Foy, Maxikilien Sibastien
served fought army
FOY, MAxIKILIEN SIBASTIEN (1775-1825), French general and political orator, was born at Ham in Picardy, February 3, 1775. He was the son of an old soldier who had fought at Fontenoy, and had become post-master of the town in which he lived. His father died in 1780, and his early instruction was given by his mother, a woman of English origin and of superior ability. He continued his education at the college of Soissons, and thence passed at the age of fourteen to the artillery school of La Fere. After eighteen months' successful study he entered the army, served his first campaign in Flanders (1791), and was present at the battle of Jemmapes. He soon attained the rank of captain, and served successively under Dampierre, Jourdan, Pichegru, and Houssard. In 1794, in consequence of having spoken freely against the violence of the extreme party at Paris, he was imprisoned by order of the commissioner of the Convention, Joseph Lebon, at Cam-bray, but regained his liberty soon after the fall of Robespierre. He served under Moreau in the campaigns of 1796 and 1797, distinguishing himself in many engagements. The leisure which the treaty of Campo Formio gave him he devoted to the study of public law and modern history, attending the lectures of Professor Koch at Strasburg. Recommended by Desaix to the notice of General Bonaparte, he joined the army assembled for the invasion of England, and afterwards fought, with much regret, against the Swiss. He gained the confidence of Massona, and was promoted chef' de brigade. After the peace of Amiens he returned to France with the rank of colonel. He was at Paris at the time of Moreau's trial, and having earnestly censured the proceedings escaped arrest only by joining the army in Holland. Foy voted against the establishment of the empire, but the only penalty for his independence was a long delay before attaining the rank of general. In 1806 he married a daughter of General Baraguay d'Hilliers. In the following year he was sent to Constantinople, and there took part in the defence of the Dardanelles against the English fleet. He was next sent to Portugal, and served in the Peninsular War from the battle of Vimeira to the battle of Orthez, at which he was severely wounded. At the first restoration of the Bourbons he was made one of the inspectors-general of infantry, and was stationed at Nantes. Ile joined Napoleon I. on his escape from Elba, and fought with distinction at QuatreBras and at Waterloo, where he was again badly wounded. After the second restoration he returned to civil life, and in 1819 was elected to the chamber of deputies. For this position his experience and his studies had especially fitted him, and by his first speech he gained a commanding place in the chamber, which he never lost, his clear, manly eloquence being always employed on the side of freedom and justice. In 1823 he made a powerful protest against French intervention in Spain, and after the dissolution of 1821 he was re-elected for three constituencies. He died at Paris, November 28, 1825, and his funeral was celebrated amidst the mourning of the city and the nation. His family were provided for by a national subscription.
A collection of his speeches was published in 1826, and his unfinished Histoire de la G uerre de la Pe?tinsule sons Napol('.on in 1827. Several biographies of Foy have been published.