The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Maréchal Magnan

Maréchal Magnan

A carte-de-visite portrait of Maréchal Magnan (1791-1865).

Born in Paris on 7 December 1791 and educated at the lycée Napoléon, Bernard Pierre Magnan enlisted in the army on 25 December 1809 and rose through the ranks. In 1851 he was named commander of the army of Paris, a position he held until his death. He was promoted to the maréchalat on 2 December 1852.

In 1862, by imperial decree, he replaced Prince Lucien Bonaparte as grand master of the Masonic order of France. It was the first time that the government had interfered in the nomination of grand master, and Magnan was not even a mason. He had to be initiated and passed through all the ranks in a single day, a violation of the Masonic customs and rules. This act of authority met with some resistance, but this was directed at the new principal established by the government rather than at the person of Magnan. When, in 1864, Magan obtained from Napoleon III the order’s right to elect its own grand master, he was himself elected by 148 votes out of 152.

Maréchal Magnan died the following year, in Paris, on 29 May 1865.

Photographed by Disdéri of Paris.


Code: 124184
  Back           Home Contact   
© Paul Frecker 2019