The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Fesch, Joseph

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FESCH, fesh, Joseph, French ecclesiastic: b. Ajaccio, Corsica, 3 Jan. 1763; d. Rome, 3 May 1839. He was half brother to the mother of Napoleon. After Bonaparte in 1801 concluded the concordat with Pius VII, he became in 1802 archbishop of Lyons, and next year a cardinal. He was likewise appointed French ambassador at Rome, and made himself very acceptable to the Pope by his ultramontane tendencies. On the approach of the Austrians in 1814 he fled with his sister, Madame Bonaparte, to Rome, but Napoleon's return brought him back to France, and he acted as a peer during the Hundred Days. When called upon by the Bourbons to resign his episcopal rights he decidedly refused, but in 1825, after a papal brief interdicted him from exercising spiritual jurisdiction, he renounced the office, but retained the dignity.