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    Bourbon Restoration


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    This document is signed by Macdonald the duc de Tarente. He was one of Napoleon's Marshals. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Wagram(1809), Spain(1810), and Leipzig(1813). The Bourbons made him a peer, and from 1816 he was chancellor of the Legion of Honor.



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    Guest Rick Research

    What was 20 Francs' buying power back then? Was that a "nominal fee" or basically what the Order itself would have cost, charged for the award document?

    If it was a hefty fee, one wonders if actual receipt sometimes failed if this transaction was not completed? Or-- would this letter have been enough to authorize private purchase of the actual decoration, and skip the certificate altogether? :rolleyes:

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    20 francs in those days was equivalent to a Guinea, a truly significant amount. The fee could be officially waved when permission was asked on reasonnable grounds.

    But no fee, no entry in the Order. It still is that way to day. In those days, no one would have gone and worn a un-earned order. It was a matter of decency. And if any one would dare to do so and get caught, the cost was a heavy fine and prison term.

    You had to get a receipt from the Tax administration for further administrative preliminary paperwork could be completed.



    Edited by Veteran
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    Guest Rick Research

    Ah! :speechless1: Roughly a month's pay, then.

    But then, unlike the German Orders I am more familiar with, a LoH did NOT have to be returned upon the recipient's death, did it?


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    You are absolutely right. Not only were the badges not returnable (since they were not issued by the Government) but they had to be bought. Often they would be presented by a group of friends or some organisation the awardee would belong to. Badges, in most cases, are privately owned, which is the reason why so many different firms have been making them over the times. This is still the case to-day.

    The last French awards to be returnable were the Order of Saint-Louis, until 1830.



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    Just a couple notes about this letter and the letter and the Brevet mentionned :

    The letter is dated February 10th, 1817 - which does not mean that Dufour was made on Officier de la L?gion d'Honneur at or even near that date.

    As a matter of fact, the March 26th 1816 Ordonnance reorganizing the L?gion d'Honneur stated that the former Brevets/Letters/Nominations etc... were unvalided, and that a new ranking list was to be devised, with new Brevets to be established and sent :


    As for the 20 Francs, they are not to be paid but retained on his pay.

    As a matter of fact, the L?gion d'Honneur carried pay.

    For illustration's purpose, an Officier in 1802 was allowed 1000 francs a year.

    In the 1816 Ordonnance, the only reference states that the actual amount is in some cases to be proposed by the Grand Chancellor :


    A May 1st 1817 letter from McDonald sheds some interesting light on those issues :


    A few excerpts:

    "The officiers who have only received the 300 Francs instalment have 200 francs to receive for their situation to be the same as that of the L?gionnaires"

    (The l?gionnaires had received payment for the first six-month of 1814, and an instalment for 1815, nothing having as of yet to be paid for 1817)

    Overall McDonald expects them to be paid up to 50% of the former rate.

    Another exctract is of specific relevance :

    "The new diplomas having only been sent to a small number of members, the number under which they were inscribed in the former general list, must, once again, be recalled on the 'extraits de revue' or 'certificats de vie' (...)"

    Cheers !


    Edited by Djedj
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    Guest Rick Research

    Wow! What horrifyingly complicated bureaucracy!

    Some of those clerks must still be alive, "processing" Chris's Gulf War awards! :speechless1:

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