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Robert Nisbet Bain
Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition pgs 931-932


CHARLES XIV. (1763-1844), king of Sweden and Norway, born at Pau on the 26th of January 1763, was the son of Henri Bernadotte (1711-1780), procurator at Pau, and Jeanne St Jean (1725-1809). The family name was originally Deu Pouey, but was changed into Bernadotte in the beginning of the 17th century. Bernadotte's christian names were Jean Baptiste; he added the name Jules subsequently. He entered the French army on the 3rd of September 1780, and first saw service in Corsica. On the outbreak of the Revolution his eminent military qualities brought him speedy promotion. In 1794 we find him as brigadier attached to the army of the Sambre et Meuse, and after Jourdan's victory at Fleurus he was appointed a general of division. At the battle of Theiningen, 1796, he contributed, more than any one else, to the successful retreat of the French army over the Rhine after its defeat by the archdiike Charles. In 1797 he brought reinforcements from the Rhine to Bonaparte's army in Italy, distinguishing himself greatly at the passage of the Tagliamento, and in 1798 was sent as ambassador to Vienna, but was compelled to quit his post owing to the disturbances caused by his hoisting the tricolor over the embassy. On the 16th of August 1798 he married Desire'e Clary (1777-1860), the daughter of a Marseilles banker, and sister of Joseph Bonaparte's wife. From the 2nd of July to the 14th of September he was war minister, in which capacity he displayed great ability. About this time he held aloof from Bonaparte, but though he declined to help Napoleon in the preparations for the coup d'elae of November 1799, he accepted employment from the Consulate, and from April 1800 till the 18th of August 1801 commanded the army in La Vendee. On the introduction of the empire he


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