Adrien Duport - Encyclopedia

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ADRIEN DUPORT (1759-1798), French politician, was born in Paris. He became an influential advocate in the parlement, becoming prominent in opposition to the ministers Calonne and Lomenie de Brienne. Elected in 1789 to the states-general by the noblesse of Paris, he soon revealed a remarkable eloquence. A learned jurist, he contributed during the Constituent Assembly to the organization of the judiciary of France. His report 'of the 29th of March 1790 is especially notable. In it he advocated trial by jury; but he was unable to obtain the jury system in civil cases. Duport had formed with Barnave and Alexandre de Lameth a group known as the "triumvirate," which was popular at first. But after the flight of the king to Varennes, Duport sought to defend him; as member of the commission charged to question the king, he tried to excuse him, and on the 14th of July 1791 he opposed the formal accusation. He was thus led to separate himself from the Jacobins and to join the Feuillant party. After the Constituent Assembly he became president of the criminal tribunal of Paris, but was arrested during the insurrection of the 10th of August 1792. He escaped, thanks probably to the complicity of Danton, returned to France after the 9th of Thermidor of the year II., left it in exile again after the republican coup d'etat of the 18th of Fructidor of the year V., and died at Appenzell in Switzerland in 1798.

See F. A. Aulard, Les Orateurs de la Constituante (2nd ed., Paris, 1905, 8vo).

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