Malplaquet proclamation

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English

I make known to the French that I enter their country at the head of an Army already victorious, not as an Enemy (except of the usurper, declared to be the Enemy of Mankind; with whom may be had neither Peace nor Truce), but to help them to shake off the Yoke of Iron with which they are oppressed.

In consequence I have given the annexed orders to my Army, and I request that I may be informed of all infringements of them.

The French know, however, that I have the right to require that they will conduct themselves in such a manner that I may be able to protect them against those who would do them harm.

It is necessary, then, that they supply the requisitions which will he made upon them by persons authorized to make the same, in exchange for the receipts in order and form; and that they will stay at home peaceably; and that they will not have any correspondence nor communication with the enemy usurper nor with his adherents.

All those who will absent themselves from their homes after the entry in France and all those who will be absent in the service of the Usurper,[1] will be considered as his adherents and as enemies; and their property will be appropriated for the subsistence of the army.

Given at the headquarters at Malplaquet, this 22nd of June 1815.[2]

"Wellington".[3]
French

Je fais savoir aux Français que j'entre dans leur pays à la tête d'une armée déjà victorieuse, non en ennemi (excepté l'usurpateur, prononcé l'ennemi du genre humain, avec lequel on ne peut avoir ni paix ni trêve), mais pour les aider à secouer le joug de fer par lequel ils sont opprimés.

En conséquence j'ai donné les ordres ci joints à mon armée, et je demande qu'on me fasse connaître tout infracteur.

Les François savent cependant que j'ai le droit d'exiger qu'ils se conduisent de manière que je puisse les protéger contre ceux qui voudraient leur faire du mal.

Il faut donc qu'ils fournissent aux réquisitions qui leur seront faites de la part des personnes autorisées à les faire, en échange pour des reçus en forme et ordre; et qu'ils se tiennent chiez eux paisiblement, et qu'ils n'aient aucune correspondance ou communication avec l'usurpateur ennemi, ne avec ses adhérens.

Tous ceux qui s'absenteront de leur domicile après l'entrée en France, et tous ceux qui se trouveront absens au service de l'usurpateur, seront considérés comme ses adherens et comme l'ennemis; et leurs propriétés seront affectées à la subsistance de l'armée.[4]

Donné au Quartier Général à Malplaquet, ce 22 de juin, 1815.

"Wellington"
Notes
  1. Wellington uses the term Usurper for Napoleon Bonaparte based on the Declaration at the Congress of Vienna, 13 March 1815 under which the 7th Coalition powers declared Bonaparte an outlaw and that they would render "all the assistance requisite to restore public tranquillity" to the French King and nation .
  2. A translation of the alternative ending given in French below is (Schoell 1815, pp. 346-367):

    All those who leave their home after the entry of the army in France, and all those absent, in the service of the usurper, will be considered enemies and his followers, and their properties will be suitable for subsistence of the army.

  3. Alternative English text (Gifford 1817, p. 1494):

    I announce to French that I enter their territory at the head of an army, victorious, not as an enemy, (except of the usurper, the enemy of the human race, with whom there can be neither peace nor truce,) but to aid them to shake off the iron yoke by which they suppressed. I therefore give to my army subjoined orders, and I desire that everyone who violates them may be made known to me.

    The French know, however, that I have a right to require that they conduct in such a manner that I may be able to protect them against those who would seek to do them evil.

    They must, then, furnish the requisition that will be made to them by persons authorized to make them, taking receipts in due form and order; that they remain quietly at their homes, and have no correspondence or communication with the usurper or with his adherents.

    All those who shall absent themselves from their homes, after the entrance of the army into France, and all those who shall be absent in the service of the usurper, shall be considered enemies and his adherents, and their shall be appropriated to the army.

    Given at head-quarters, at Malplaquet this 21st of June, 1815.

  4. Alternative ending to the French text (Schoell 1815, pp. 346-367):

    Tous ceux qui s'absenteront de leur domicile après l'entrée de l'armée en France, et tous ceux qui, absens, se trouveront au service de l'usurpateur, seront considérés comme ses adherens et l'ennemis, et leurs propriétés seront appropriées à subsistance de l'armée.

    Donné au quartier-général à Malplaquet, ce 21 de juin, 1815.

    "Wellington".