Rey, Joseph Philippe Auguste, politician, writer and utopian socialist (1779-1855). Autograph letter signed ("Rey").

Paris, 5. VIII. 1826.

Large 4to. 1 p. with the integral address leaf attached.


In French, to the engineer Mr. Collier in Ghent, writing in part: "Here I am back home at last, where it seems I will not be disturbed. I saw the chancellor of France twice, the President of the Court of Peers, which is the only one with the jurisdiction to judge me, and it seems that they have no desire at all to treat me rigorously. I will probably be pardoned on the King's birthday at the beginning of November. I thought you would receive this news with interest, and I ask you to have the kindness to pass it on to your son in London, whom I will not write until later. The present letter has another purpose, as well, namely, to solicit your good offices for having several prospectuses of my work on the judicial institutions of England &c. distributed in Ghent, particularly at the school; they will reach you with one of the next couriers [...]".

Rey, a native of Grenoble, trained as a lawyer and became head of the General Customs Court at Lüneburg. After the second restoration of Louis XVIII in July 1815, his republican fervour cost him his position, and he soon founded "L'Union", a secret anti-monarchist society which agitated for the fall of the Bourbons - the first secret republican society in France (cf. Rochas, Biographie du Dauphiné II, 343f.). Active from 1816 to 1820, its members were forced into exile for their participation in the failed republican plot of Saint-Denis in 1820. "Réfugié en Angleterre, il profita de son séjour forcé dans cette contrée pour en étudier la législation. Il retira de cette étude le sujet d'un ouvrage [...] qui parut en 1826, sous le titre d'Institutions judiciaires en Angleterre. Vers la même époque, fatigué de l'exil, il était rentré en France pour purger sa contumace" (Rochas). Only after the July Revolution was he able to regain a public office.

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