Antoine-François Bertrand de Molleville

Comte Antoine-François Bertrand de Molleville (25 October 1744, Toulouse – 19 October 1818, Paris) was a French politician.

He was considered a fiery partisan of royalty, and surnamed the enfant terrible of the monarchy. He was first conseiller to the Parlement de Toulouse in 1766, then maîtres des requêtes in 1774 and finally Intendant de Bretagne, in 1784. Bertrand de Molleville was then charged in 1788 with the difficult task of dissolving the Parliament of Brittany. Favourable to the gathering of the estates general in 1789, he advised Louis XVI after the dissolution of the Assemblée. Made ministre de la Marine et des Colonies from 1790 to 1792, he organised the mass emigration of officers. Due to numerous denunciations, he retired from his functions and became chief of the royal secret police. Before and after the 10 August 1792, he tried to organise an escape for the king, but he was eventually forced to resolve to flee to England himself. Despite his dedication and his friendship for, he was one of his most untalented servants.[1]




Antoine-François Bertrand de Molleville was received as a conseiller to the Parlement de Toulouse in 1766.

His secretary was Bernard François Balssa, father of Honoré de Balzac, still in de Moleville's service in 1771.

Antoine-François Bertrand de Molleville served his apprentice in the school of minister Maupeou. He was maîtres des requêtes in 1774.[2]

In 1775 Bertrand de Molleville defended the memoir of his ancestor chancellor Jean Bertrand, seigneur de Frazin,[3] attacked by Condorcet in his Éloge du chancelier de L'Hôpital, but he only published this apology after having communicated it to Condorcet lui-même.[4]

Antoine-François Bertrand de Molleville was made Intendant de Bretagne in 1784.

Intendant de Bretagne (1784-89)Edit

Brittany in 1789

Minister for the Fleet and the ColoniesEdit

"Louis XVI gave France a powerful fleet, but in 1791 it was completely disorganised[5]

The Royalist secret policeEdit

Arnaud de Laporte

After the day of 10 August 1792Edit

Bertrand de Molleville made several plans for the king's escape.

On his death in 1818 he was buried in the church of Ponsan-Soubiran.



  • Histoire de la Révolution française by Jules Michelet
  • Lapeyre et Rémy Scheurer, Les notaires et secrétaires du roi sous les règnes de L. XI, Ch. VIII et L. XII (1461–1515), Tome 2. Paris, 1978, in-4, 91 tablx, B.n.F. : 4° L45. (4-II)
  • Gustave Louis Chaix d'Est-Ange, Dictionnaire des familles anciennes ou notables à la fin du XIXe siècle, Évreux, 1903–1929, 20 vol. in-8, e, tome : 4, p. 148 et suivantes, B.n.F. : 8° Lm1. 164
  • Jules Villain, La France moderne, tome : 3, B.n.F. : 4° Lm1. 180
  • Le Père Anselme, Histoire de la maison royale de France et des grands officiers de la couronne, 3e éd. Paris, 1726–1733, 9 vol. in-fol, tome : 6, B.n.F. : Fol. Lm3. 398.
  • Marquis d’Aubais, Pièces fugitives pour servir à l’histoire de France, Paris, 1759, 2 vol. in-4 (t. I, 2e partie, et t. II), tome : 2, B.n.F. : 4° L46. 11,
  • Waroquier de Combles, État de la France, ou les vrais marquis, comtes..., Paris, 1783–1785, 2 vol. in-12, tome : 2, 168-9, B.n.F. : 8° Lm1. 34
  • Waroquier de Combles, Tableau généalogique et historique de la noblesse, Paris, 1786–1789, 9 vol. in-12, tome : 5, B.n.F. : 8° Lm1. 38


  1. ^ Dictionnaire de la conversation et de la lecture inventaire raisonné des ..., de William Duckett, p.98.
  2. ^ BALZAC and the vallée du VIAUR.
  3. ^ Biographie nouvelle des contemporains, d'Antoine-Vincent Arnault, p.448.
  4. ^ France, dictionnaire encyclopédique, de Philippe Le Bas, p.472, and Biographie nouvelle des contemporains, de Antoine-Vincent Arnault, p.448.
  5. ^ Ferstel, Louis. Histoire de la responsabilité criminelle..., p.54

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Claude Antoine Valdec de Lessart
Minister of the Navy and the Colonies
7 October 1791 – 16 March 1792
Succeeded by
Jean de Lacoste

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.