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Jean François Cornu de La Poype (May 31, 1758 – January 27, 1851) was a French military leader. He was born in Lyon, to a noble, military family.


French Revolutionary Wars

Under the ancien regime he joined the army at a young age and receiveed the rank of brigadier before the French Revolution in 1789. He was named a major general in May 15, 1793. Revolutionary partisan, he married the daughter of famous convention member Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron. He distinguished himself at Siege of Toulon. He contributed strongly to the retaking of the fortified town; he then directed the attack on Fort Pharon, then is charged by Committee of public safety to contain Marseilles and the South of France under the regime of the Terror. Lapoype was not associated with the thermidor reaction, in which his brother-in-law was one of agitators. He remains without employment under the Directory and serves in Italy after 18 brumaire.

Consulate and Napoleonic wars

Sent to Santo Domingo in 1802, he deploys as much capacity there as of courage, makes a treaty with Jean-Jacques Dessalines and embarks for France in 1803, and was captured en route by the English, who imprisons him at Portsmouth. He is exchanged with another prisoner, and is unemployed until 1813. He is then named to command Wittenberg on the Elbe which Napoleon refortifies. La Poype is distinguished in the conflict there in 1814 when it was stormed by the Prussian Army under Tauentzien. La Poype fought with an elite unit, against forces ten times bigger and against a rebellion of the inhabitants. He took measures to escape the city rather than to yield. He left Wittenberg with weapons in hand, i.e. did not have to give them up and after the suspension of hostilities. He was awarded the order of Saint-Louis and the command of Agen.


Hundred Days

In 1815, Napoleon named him commander of Lille. He forced the city to recognise the imperial revival, in spite of the exasperation of its inhabitants, who were strongly in favour of Bourbons. To respond to the threat of insurrection, he placed at the door of where he was staying, two cannons charged with grapeshot; but it was the general headquarters he wanted to protect, and not his own person; and to prove it, one saw him walking without escort and hands behind his back on the streets of Lille.


At the Bourbon Restoration, he was put into retirement. Named member of Chambre des deputes in 1822, he voted consistently with the extreme left. In 1824, he was imprisoned for several months for a political booklet. He died at Brosses.


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