Cart 0

TALLEYRAND Auguste comte de - Autograph Letter Signed 1815 - Switzerland and the aftermath of Waterloo

  • £725.00

Auguste, comte de TALLEYRAND (1770-1832)

Autograph Letter Signed (“Cte. Auguste de Talleyrand”) to an unnamed correspondent [identified on the docket as Gouvion, possibly General Count Gouvion], regarding negotiations with Switzerland in the aftermath of Waterloo.

3¼ pages 4to in French, Zurich, 4 July 1815.  

An interesting letter from Count Talleyrand, cousin of the great statesman, who was named French ambassador to Switzerland by Louis XVIII at the first restoration in 1814.

Trans: “With regard to the counsel you gave me regarding negotiations to be entered into with the Swiss and with the commanders at Besancon . . . I have written to the Austrian Minister in order to propose this to him, for it is politically of the greatest importance that we do not, through any unconsidered steps, move any of these powers against us. You will see by his answer, a copy of which I enclose [not present] that all negotiations have now become useless, and that Austria itself speaks only of the legitimate sovereign. I wish that the Generals who command in the departments of the Jura and of Doubs will take forthwith the only side which can save their honour, but if they decide otherwise, it is their loss, they no longer have the slightest hope that the current order will continue, nor that one will listen to two unconstitutional chambers, which are discredited throughout Europe by the disorder of their deliberations. I would therefore entreat you to refrain from making any promises whatsoever to anyone. It is up to these military men to choose if they wish to dishonour themselves utterly, or to go back to the path to which their duty calls them while they still have the time.

A fortnight ago, they could have been seen to do well, taken advantage of their position, but now that the outcome has been decided, you can see that one cannot offer them the advantages which would have been accorded to them before the events which have put Paris in the hands of the Allies. By taking up the white flag [of the Bourbon monarchy], they spare French blood, by continuing in their rebellion, they are responsible for all the pointless misery which they run the risk of bringing to our nation.

Believe me, Sir, that I will do all I can to bring to the King’s attention the devotion which you and your brave collaborators have shown for our cause. . .” 

Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo soon resulted in the dismantlement of what was left of his empire, a process begun at the Congress of Vienna and only briefly interrupted by Napoleon’s return from Elba. Switzerland, which had been firmly within the French orbit, was declared a neutral state in March 1815 – a neutrality not necessarily of Switzerland’s own choosing, but one imposed upon it as by the other powers as an essential element in the stability of Europe, providing a buffer state between French and Austrian territory. Swiss neutrality has remained in place for over two hundred years, much to Switzerland’s benefit.

The region of the Doubs, with its capital at Besancon, shared a border with Switzerland, hence the comte de Talleyrand’s interest in events in the region, which might impact on negotiations in Switzerland.


Autographs can be delivered worldwide. Delivery costs are calculated at the time of order and items will be sent by the most appropriate means, depending on your location and the value of the item. This will usually be by Royal Mail Special Delivery within the UK and Royal Mail Tracked outside the UK. 


The current delivery charges are:

  • UK:

    Royal Mail Special Delivery £9.00

  • Europe:

    Europe Royal Mail Tracked £15.00
    EU customers should note that, following brexit, local VAT and customs duties may apply to their purchases. 


  • Royal Mail Tracked £21.00

    Rest of the World:

  • Rest of the World Tracked £18.00


Export Licensing

Customers should be aware that all letters and documents over 50 years old require an export licence, which may delay delivery by anything from one to three weeks. Signed photographs are not subject to export licence regulations, and can be sent immediately.

There is no charge for the export licence and I will take care of the application, the only inconvenience to you will be the delay.


The authenticity of the letters and documents offered is guaranteed.


Online sales orders

Payments made via the website are processed by Shopify Inc and can be made using Visa, Mastercard or American Express.

Telephone sales orders

Items may be purchased by phone. Please contact me using the website Contact Form and I will call you within 48 hours to discuss your requirements. Payment for purchases ordered by phone can be paid upon receipt of the invoice and must be paid within 7 days. Phone orders can be paid by cheque (in pounds sterling only) or bank transfer.

Items will be reserved for one week following the order confirmation and will be dispatched either within 7 days after full payment has been received, or after any required export licenses have been granted.

Returns Policy

Should you be in any way dissatisfied with your purchase, items may be returned within six weeks of delivery and a full refund will be made upon receipt of the returned item. The item must be received by Richmond Autographs in the same condition as when dispatched.  For full details, please read our Terms and Conditions.

We Also Recommend
Back to the top