Marie Antoinette and her Two Children by Pierre Alexandre Wille
September 29, 2009
The Case of 1771: Part 2
Welcome Back! We are discussing the trial of the comte de Morangies Vs. the Verons. This case really picked up popularity as it happened because of the subjects - regular citizens vs. the nobility. The case was an early example of a cause célèbre and reports of it spread quickly about town. Most everyone was routing for the Verons, and against the noble. If you have not read the first part read it here: (Part 1)
The lieutenant immediately had both Dujonquay and his mother in custody and they were cross examined about the matter. There was some controversy here, as it seemed they were tirelessly questions and possibly endured some violence when questioning occurred. In the end they both confessed that the receipt's had only been given to them for negotiations, and were not in fact proof of payment.
It did not take long after giving a confession for both mother and son to take it back! They brought the case to the Paris courts to pursue the comte. The trial was long and drawn out, and the Parisians followed it with peaked interest. The debate became public, there were pamphlets, and everyone had an opinion.
It took twenty months to reach a verdict. The winners of the case were the Verons. The comte was ordered to pay back the 300,000 livres, as well as interest and extra charges for damages. This was ridiculous to the comte and he brought the case to the higher Paris courts (let the great debate continue!)
As a result of his ambition to fight these rulings he spent the next four months on trial. After four months the comte was cleared of charges! An effort well spent!
In addition to being cleared of having to make the enormous payments he was to receive 1000 livres in damages. The Verons (sans grandmother who had passed away in the midst of the debacle at 88 years of age from distress over the whole pickle) received sentences. The boy was banished from the city for three years and the mother had to pay a small fine.