MACDONALD Marshal Etienne-Jacques, Duke of Taranto - Autograph Letter Signed 1825
Etienne-Jacques MACDONALD, Duke of Taranto (1765-1840)Autograph Letter Signed (“Macdonald”) to an unidentified correspondent, thanking him for his concern in his (Macdonald’s) misfortune.
1 page small 4to with integral blank leaf in French on black-edged mourning paper, Paris, 25 May 1825.
Trans: “I had no doubt of the assurance you give me, my dear Greniere [?] to believe in the concern which you take in the horrible new misfortune which has struck me.
For some years they descend very cruelly on me, and I know enough of your affection to be certain that you share in my sorrows!
Thank the good people of Giberville for their remembrance and tell them that I will always hold them in mine.
I listened to my family’s counsel and I am leaving on 2 June . . . upon which, believe in my lasting and true attachment . . .”
The letter undoubtedly refers to the death of his third wife, Ernestine-Therese. Macdonald was especially unfortunate in this respect. Married three times, his first two wives died whilst still in their 20s, and his third wife at the age of only 36.
The son of a Scottish Jacobite who fled to France, Macdonald proved loyal to his father’s adopted country, from the battle of Jemappes in 1792 where he distinguished himself as a young soldier, to Wagram which earned him his marshal’s baton. His final position, after Waterloo, was as chancellor of the Legion of Honour.
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