Jacques Alexandre Bernard Law Lauriston, marquis de, a French soldier, born in Pondi-cherry, India, Feb. 1, 1708, died in Paris, June 10, 1828. At the military school of Paris he was intimate with Bonaparte. In 1792-'3 he served in the armies of the north, of the Moselle, and of the Sambre and Meuse, and distinguished himself at the siege of Valenciennes. In 1796 he left the army; but he was recalled by Bonaparte when first consul, was appointed his aide-de-camp, and accompanied him to Italy. In 1801 he was sent on diplomatic business to Denmark, and in 1802, having been chosen to convey to London the news of the ratification of the treaty of Amiens, was there received with great enthusiasm by the people, who took the horses from his carriage and drew him to Downing street. In 1805 he was sent under Admiral Villeneuve on an expedition to Martinique, where he took Fort Diamond. Ten days later the fleet sailed for Europe, and after an engagement off Cape Ortegal was defeated by Nelson at Trafalgar, Oct. 21. Returning to France, he was placed at the head of a division of the army sent into Germany, and was made governor of Braunau. In 1806 he was commissioned to superintend the surrender of the magazines and arsenals of Venice in accordance with the treaty of Presburg; and in the following year, by Napoleon's orders, he seized on the republic of Ragusa as a reprisal for the Russians having occupied the harbor of Cattaro. His defence of Ragu-sa against overwhelming odds was his most brilliant exploit.
His allies the Turks having taken many Russian prisoners, Lauriston, in order to save their lives, ransomed them with his own money. In 1808 he accompanied Napoleon to Spain; in 1809 he was with Prince Eugene Beauharnais in Italy and Hungary, where he distinguished himself at the battle of Raab. The victory of Wagram was in great measure due to his bringing up 100 cannon in the face of a terrible fire. After the peace he negotiated the marriage of Napoleon with Maria Louisa, for which service he received the title of count and a mission to Russia, where he remained till 1812, when he joined the grand army. After the retreat from Moscow he organized at Magdeburg the 5th corps, occupied Leipsic during the battle of Lutzen, turned the right wing of the enemy at the battle of Bautzen, and took Breslau, June 1, 1813. He was made prisoner at Leipsic, and did not recover his liberty till after the peace of Paris. He was treated with regard by Louis XVIII. When Napoleon returned, Lauriston accompanied the king to Bethune and then retired to his estate of Richecourt, where he remained during the hundred days. For this he was appointed peer of France and commander of the infantry of the guard. In 1817 he was created marquis, and in 1820 was called to direct the administration of the royal household.
In May, 1821, he was made a marshal of France, and after the campaign in Spain in 1823 was in command of the 2d corps of the reserve. While visiting a celebrated opera dancer, he was struck with apoplexy, and died the next day. - His widow died early in 1873, at the age of 100 years and three months. His eldest son, Augeste Jean Alexandre Law, marquis de, born at La Fere, Oct, 10, 1790, served in the army, and from 1849 to 1851 in the legislative assembly. He was for a short time under arrest in December, 1851, afterward retired from public life, and died in July. 1860.