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NOBLE SURGEONS, DOCTORS OR PHARMACISTS OF THE EMPIRE AND/OR HOLDERS OF THE LEGION OF HONOUR

by Xavier Riaud(*), FINS

 

It is obvious that I will not go through the biographies that I already wrote : those of Desgenettes, Larrey, Percy, Cadet de Gassicourt, Bourdois de La Motte and Cabanis. Those famous doctors, pharmacists and surgeons belonged to the nobility of the Empire and all of them were awarded the Legion of Honour. I wished to dwell on less famous doctors but who also received the same awards because of their devotion and self-sacrifice on the front with soldiers of the Great Army, or at the rear of the front with wounded soldiers and the civilians. This list follows a study of the health service of the Great Army and is of course a non-exhaustive list

The nobility of the Empire started in 1804 with the advent of the Empire and the creation of the first titles of princes within the Imperial family. In 1806, the title of duke was created and in 1808, those of knights, barons and counts. The Legion of Honour was implemented on May, 19 1802 by Napoleon. It was awarded to military or civil people whose merits and services to the Nation no longer had to be proved. The first prizegiving took place on July 14, 1804 to officers of his army.

Nobles of the Empire (Georgel, 1869):

Auvity : surgeon of the Enfants de France. Knight of the Empire (Letters Patentes of April 2nd 1812).

Bousquet : surgeon major of the 25th line. Knight of the Empire (May 16th, 1813). 

Boysset : army doctor. Knight of the Empire (April 26th, 1811).

Broussonnet : chief medical officer of the hospital of Montpellier and clinical professor at the university of medicine in the same city. Knight of the Empire (January 19th, 1811).

Chifoliau : lead doctor in the army. Knight of the Empire (January 5th, 1810).

Coste : chief medical officer in the army sent to the United States under the Count de Rochambeau’s command. Consultant doctor in the armies of the King (1784). Hospital inspector of the West (1788), member of the Army Council for health. Chief medical officer of the Invalides (1796). Chief medical officer of the Army of the Coasts, then of the Great Army (1803). Present in Austerlitz (1805), Jena (1806) and Eylau (1807). Dismissed by Napoleon. Back in the Invalides. Knight of the Empire. Commander of the Legion of Honour (1814) nominated by Louis XVIII (Meylemans, 2010).

Jean-François Coste (1741-1820)
(Meylemans, 2010).

Damelincourt : surgeon major on the 33th line. Knight of the Empire (August 24th, 1811).

Hallé : member of the Institute, first doctor of the Emperor, professor at the Collège de France (1794). Knight of the Empire. President of the Empire’s Academy of Sciences (1813). Great initiator of medical hygiene in France.

Jean Noël Hallé (1754-1822)
(© National Academy of medicine).

Heurteloup : member of the Health Council (1793). First surgeon of the army in 1795, chief medical officer of the Great Army (1808). Officer of the Legion of Honour. Baron of the Empire (December 16th, 1810). (Thiébaud, 2009)

Nicolas Heurteloup (1750-1812)
(©National Academy of medicine).

Hoin : surgeon assistant major of the Grenadiers of Old Guard. Knight of the Empire (August 14th, 1813). Knight of the Order of Reunion.

Kitz : surgeon major in the 1st regiment of Vistula. Knight of the Empire (October 9th, 1813) (Georgel, 1869).

Lallemand : doctor, mayor of Metz, surgeon of the army of Murat in Spain, freed from his military obligations in 1811. Baron of the Empire (June 19th, 1813).
Pioneer in the study of brain diseases and member of the Institute. Doctor in 1818. Professor and dean of the Faculty of Medicine in Montpellier from 1832 to 1837 (Lazare, 2009).

François Claude Lallemand
(1790-1853) (© BIUM).

Lanefranque : doctor attaché to the Imperial House, chief medical officer of the hospice of Bicêtre. Knight of the Empire (December 16th, 1810) (Georgel, 1869).

Lorin : doctor in medicine. Knight of the Empire (September 11th, 1813).

Marchant : doctor, mayor of Metz. Baron of the Empire (October 11th, 1810) (Thiébaud, 2009).

Michel de Trétaigne : chief medical officer of the 1st military division. Baron of the Empire (Letters Patentes of December 11th, 1829). Historian and collector. Last Mayor of Montmartre and mayor of the 18th borough of Paris (Georgel, 1869).

Paullet : surgeon major of the Imperial Guard, assistant chief in surgery of the Hospital de la Garde of the Emperor. Knight of the Empire (May 3rd, 1809).

Pelletan : surgeon and professor, first surgeon of the Emperor. Knight of the Empire (December 16th, 1810).

Portal : professor at the Collège de France. Elected in the Academy of Sciences. Knight of the Empire (1808). First doctor of Louis XVIII and of Charles X, and president of honour of the Academy of Medicine in 1820. Baron in 1824.


Antoine Portal (1742-1832)
(© BIUM).

Poussielgue : main surgeon of the army. Knight of the Empire (May 4th, 1810).

Renoult : surgeon major of the elite police. Knight of the Empire (October 5th, 1808).

Sue : chief medical officer of the Imperial Guard. Member of the Academy of Medicine. Knight of the Empire (December 21st, 1808).

Varéliaud : surgeon of the Emperor. Knight of the Empire (July 16th, 1810).

Vergez : chief medical officer of the pages, of the Imperial houses of Ecouen, of Saint-Denis, etc. Knight of the Empire (October 9th, 1813) (Georgel, 1869).

Yvan : ordinary surgeon of the Emperor, surgeon-major Grenadier of the Imperial Guard, lead surgeon of the Imperial hotel of the Invalides. Officer of the Legion of honour (1807). Baron of the Empire (January 31st, 1810). General inspector of the health service (1814). Lead surgeon of the Invalides in 1832 (Meylemans, 2010).

Holders of the Legion of honour :

Blanvillain : surgeon-major of the line infantry. Knight of the Legion of honour (October 1st, 1807).

Chauvot de Beauchêne : Louis XVI’s consultant doctor. Doctor of the military hospital of Gros-Caillou (1790). Doctor of the « Ecole normale and of the Legislative Corps (1810). Louis XVIII’s consultant doctor and that of Charles X. Member of the Academy of medicine in 1820. Knight of the Legion of Honour (June 9th, 1820) (http://lesapn.forumactif.fr, 2010).

Delingette : sub-Assistant Surgeon in the 13th regiment of the Horse Rifle Hunters-Rangers of the Guard (1806-1807). Sub-Assistant Surgeon in the 11th regiment of Hunters (November 17th, 1807). Surgeon-major in the ambulances of the headquarter of the Great Army (January 28th, 1812). Knight of the Legion of honour (May 14th, 1829) (http://lesapn.forumactif.fr, 2010).

Duchêne : 5 military campaigns as surgeon assistant major in the Great Army (1808-1815). Knight of the Legion of Honour (December 28th, 1869). Military medal of Saint-Helena (1857).

Fosseyeux : 1st class surgeon-major in the 40th regiment of line infantry. Wounded in Minsk (July 16th, 1812). Mayor of Cravant in the Yonne area. Knight of the Legion of Honour (April 25th, 1821). Military medal of Saint-Helena.  

Gallard : sub-assistant surgeon-major of the 17th line infantry regiment (January 6th 1804-1807 >> military hospital of Reims). Assistant surgeon-major in the 17th line infantry regiment (February 18th, 1809 >> Spain, Portugal). Assistant surgeon-major in the 6th army corps (April 11th, 1815). Assistant surgeon-major in the 2nd lancers regiment (May 7th, 1815). Knight of the Legion of Honour (November 1st, 1832).

Godefroy : surgeon-major in the Imperial armies. Mayor of Chambray. Knight of the Legion of Honour (July 11th, 1807).

Horeau : ordinary doctor of Josephine (1807). Member of the Academy of medicine. Knight of the Legion of Honour.

Jacob : 2nd class health officer in the 1st battalion of the 17st light infantry regiment (1803). Surgeon-major of the 17th light infantry regiment (1804). Surgeon-major in the Imperial Guard Foot Rifle Hunters (1813), in the 5th regiment of the « voltigeurs » in the Imperial Guard (1815). Campaigns from 1803 to 1815. Knight of the Legion of Honour (April 14th, 1807).

Jeannin : surgeon-major in the 28th regiment of line infantry. Knight of the Legion of Honour (April 14th, 1807).

Lancome : sub-assistant surgeon in the 69th regiment of line infantry (1805). Assistant Surgeon major in the 50th regiment of the line infantry (1811). Surgeon-major in the 50th line (1812). Knight of the Legion of Honour (October 29th, 1828) (http://lesapn.forumactif.fr, 2010).

Lefort : navy doctor in the crew of the Vengeur. Chief medical officer in the 1st navy « arrondissement » of the Empire (1808). Knight of the Legion of Honour and member of the Academy of Medicine (1826) (Meylemans, 2010).

Loisel : In all the campaigns from 1792 to 1811. Surgeon assistant-major in the 50th regiment of the line infantry. Knight of the Legion of Honour (October 1st, 1807) (http://lesapn.forumactif.fr, 2010).

Margueron : pharmacist-major in the Imperial armies. Knight of the Legion of Honour.

Mariglier : Surgeon assistant-major (1811) in the Russian campaign, those of Saxony and of France. Mayor of Noyers in the Yonne area. Knight of the Legion of Honour (May 6th, 1866). Military medal of Saint Helena.

Mocquot : main surgeon of the observer corps of the army of the West Pyrenees (1808), in the 24th regiment of dragoons in Milan (1808), then in the army of Spain (1813). In all the campaigns from 1792 to 1815. Knight of the Legion of Honour (January 12th, 1809).

Muraour : surgeon on the « Inconstant » on Elba (1814-1815). Surgeon assistant-major in the 2nd regiment of sharpshooters of the Imperial Guard (1815). City councilman of Henrichemont (1820). Knight of the Legion of Honour, then officer. Medal of Saint Helena (http://lesapn.forumactif.fr, 2010).

Parmentier : apothecary major in the French armies (1772). Assistant in the Health Council (1782). Member of the Academy of Sciences (1795). First pharmacist in the armies (1800). General Inspector of the Health service (1805-1813). Legion of honour (Meylemans, 2010).

Antoine-Augustin Parmentier
(1737-1813) (© BIUM).

Poullain : surgeon sent on special assignment in the hospitals of the 3rd corps in Spain (1807).
Sub-Assistant Surgeon Major in the 31st regiment light infantry (1810). Surgeon assistant-major in the 9th battalion of the imperial veterans (1811), then in 1813, in the harbour of Rochefort. Surgeon major in the 2nd division of the army of Lyon (1814). Knight of the Legion of Honour. Seriously wounded on the upper jaw during the siege of Saragossa (1808). Knight of the Legion of Honour (February 28th, 1814) (http://lesapn.forumactif.fr, 2010).

Poumier : surgeon major in the Italian army, then in that of Naples (1807) and then in the army of Portugal (1808). Main surgeon in the 2nd corpse of the Portuguese army from 1809 to 1812. Surgeon major in the 3rd Dragoon regiment (1811), then in the 2nd regiment of the Chevau-Légers (1813). Wounded 14 times. Knight of the Legion of Honour (September 28th, 1813).

Rosapelly : chief surgeon in the Northern army (1796). Chief surgeon in the army of Batavia (1800-1804). Knight of the Legion of Honour (June 14th, 1804). Mayor of Appoigny in the Yonne area (http://lesapn.forumactif.fr, 2010).

Sabatier : professor of anatomy (1756). Chief surgeon of the « hôpital des Invalides ». Member of the Institute (1773). Inspector of the health service of the Army of the Rhine. Consultant surgeon of the Emperor (Meylemans, 2010).

 

Bibliography:

National Academy of Medicine, personal communication, Paris, 2010.
Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire (BIUM), personal communication, Paris, 2010.
Meylemans R., « The diseases of the Empire» [« Les Maladies de l’Empire »], in The 1809 Ambulance of the Imperial Guard [Ambulance 1809 de la Garde impériale], http://ambulance1809-gardeimperiale.ibelgique.com, 2010, pp. 1-22.
Georgel Alcide, « Armorial of the French Empire » [«Armorial de l’Empire français»], in http://www.euraldic.com or National Library of France, Paris, 1869.
http://lesapn.forumactif.fr, The great surgeons and doctors of the first Empire [Les grands chirurgiens et médecins du premier empire], 2010.
Lazare Jean, «Claude-François Lallemand, a surgeon and visionary political candidate » [«Claude-François Lallemand, chirurgien et candidat politique visionnaire»], in academiemetz.canalblog.com, 2009, pp. 1-3.
Thiébaud Jean-Marie, « Doctors and surgeons, barons of the Empire » [«Médecins et chirurgiens, barons de l’Empire (1808-1813) »], in http://www.editions-harmattan.fr, 2009, pp. 1-2.


 

(*) Dental Surgeon, Doctor in Epistemology, History of Sciences and Techniques, Laureate and member of the National Academy of Dental Surgery.