Cambaceres (1753-1824) To contact me


“The second consul, Cambaceres, inspired confidence with people of skilful and hard businesses which had made their way in the Revolution.” (Etienne-Denis Pasquier, Memories of my time)

East India Company

Jeton de la Compagnie des Indes de 1785 (Musee de la ville de Lorient)In 1784, Guillaume Sabatier and his associate Pierre Desprez undertake a voyage to London. At the request of Calonne, controller general of Finances, they negotiate with the English government the creation of a new French India Company. On June 3,1785 is created a East India and China Company. Equipped with a capital of twenty million books, this company holds the privilege of the trade beyond the Cape of Good Hope (monopoly confirmed by a stop of the Council 21/09/1786). The company installs its Parisian offices with the Massiac hotel, place of the Victories and takes possession of the buildings, stores and workshops of the old company in Lorient and Marseilles. It opens counters in the French establishments (in Canton, in Pondichéry, on the coasts of Bengal, of Coromandel and Hefty fellow, in Moka, Mahé and on Mauritius) and also sends correspondents in the ports along the sea route of the Indies (of Lisbon with Canton).

Louis XVI names twelve directors: Bernier, Gougenot, Sabatier, Dodun, Moracin, Demars, Gourlade, of Montessuy, Bérard, Bézard, Périer and J.J. Bérard. Obligation their is made hold each one 500 actions of thousand livres is 20% of the capital carried to 30 million by the decree of September 1786. The company arms about fifteen boats and thrives very quickly. The benefit make it possible to distribute a dividend of 18% in 1788 and 16% in 1789.

On April 3,1791, the French National Assembly issues that “the trade of India, beyond the Cape of Good Hope, is free for all the French” and thus deprives the company of its monopoly. Joined together in general assembly on April 10, the shareholders name 8 police chiefs charged to study a possible continuation of the activity, among those Dangirard (uncle de Mallet), Monneron (founder of the Case of the Accounts - currents), and Sabatier. On May 23, the shareholders decide the renewal of activity and name 4 police chiefs Delessert, Fulchiron, Gauthier and Mallet charged to write the statutes of the new Eat India Company. The capital is tiny room to thirty million and the number of counters brought back to seven: Pondichéry, Yanaon, Mahé, Canton, Surate, Mauritius and the island of the Meeting. Liberalization and the Revolution do not obstruct the walk of the businesses which know a regular growth and the course of the action reaches 1.500 livres.





14.631.807 livres



12.805.994 livres



19.157.615 livres



11.088.028 livres

7.226.550 livres


26.660.471 livres

8.013.363 livres


35.154.473 livres

8.176.691 livres



8.837.124 livres



7.805.902 livres

During Terror the Eat India Company is suspected of activities counter-revolutionaries and Convention issues the 26/07/1793 the affixing of the seals on its buildings. A second decree of the 11/10/1793 removes the Eat India Company and requisitions the goods and the ships (the whole estimated at 28.544.00 livres); the directors of the company are imprisoned, many are guillotines, the others escape the capital punishment while being made intern like mental patients at the private hospital of Doctor Belhomme on recommendation of Cambaceres, Sabatier's cousin and president of committee of legislation.
After Thermidor 9, Cambaceres become president of the committee of public hello, releases the directors survivors. The direction of the company east recreates in a reduced form: 10 people of which Sabatier, Mallet and Moreau. On May 30,1795, a delegation of fifteen people (among whom Lecouteulx, Audibert, Devaisnes, Mallet and Moreau) is sent to Convention to request the restitution of the seized goods. In July 1795, the sequestration is raised and three ships are returned. But the East India Company cannot take again its commercial activities and the shareholders decide liquidation. Decided to obtain repair of the requisitions of 1793, the liquidators Mallet, Martin son of Andre and Rodier set in motion a legal procedure against the State who finishes in 1875.
Nota Bene : the funds coming from the liquidation of the Eat India Company are deposited on an account at Bank of France.

Mines of Anzin Company

Founded in 1756 by the Viscount Desandrouin and Jacques Mathieu, the Mines of Anzin Company is the largest French coal company. The use of pumps with fire (steam engines) to pump water and to go up coal allows the exploitation of galleries more than 200 m of depth. In 1789, the company with 27 wells, 12 steam engines and 4000 workmen ensures one the third of the French production. The installations required 25 million books of investments (15 million for the wells, 2 million for the steam engines and 8 million for the material).
Mines d'Anzin au debut du XIXeme siecle (fosse de Chaufour)In 1791, the French National Assembly discusses the concession minings, the Mines of Anzin Company  employs Mirabeau to safeguard her interests. The bonds between the Mines of Anzin Company and the policy perdurent under the Revolution with the use of Cambaceres like legal adviser. In 1793, the share of the capital held by the noble emigrants (that is to say 14 sols) is seized. These actions are sold to Desandrouin in June 1795. One month later, this one resells of it a great part (11 sols 1 deniers) for the sum of 2.261.700 livres to a group of financial resulting from the East India Company.
Principal shareholders in year X :
Desandrouin 4 sols 10 deniers Thieffries 1 sol
Lecouteulx 2 sols 3 deniers Desprez 11 deniers
Perier 2 sols 3 deniers Vve Pourrat nee Lecouteulx 11 deniers
Vve Bernier 1 sol 10 deniers Cambaceres 10 deniers
Sabatier 1 sol 10 deniers Berryer 6 deniers
N.B. : the authorized capital is one livre divided in 24 sols of 12 deniers each one.
Concurrently to Désandrouin, one finds the fine flower of the administration of the East India Company : Desprez, Lecouteulx, Périer, Sabatier, widows of two directors (Bernier and Pourrat), Thieffries (the associate of Périer) and for more modest shares, the two legal advisers of the company (Berryer and Cambaceres). Thanks to the financial support of Sabatier, Périer gradually take the control of the Mines of Anzin.

The Bankers of 18 Brumaire

In November 1799, the new consuls find only 167.000 frank in the cases of the Treasury. On November 24, Bonaparte convenes the most important Parisian bankers (Perregaux, Davillier, Germain, Sévène, Fulchiron, Mallet, Delessert & Récamier), makes a statement on the situation of the finance public to them and requires a loan of 12 million francs. Those make mine accept but advance only 3 million out of the 12 requested. Finances of the Consulate are saved by the intervention of Cambaceres which obtains to 8 million his friend Michel the young person and the creation of a lottery.
Globally, the financial ones adopt a wait and see position with respect to the consular mode. A letter of the Hottinguer banker summarizes the little of support until the Consulate can wait of the financial ones: “All is as cold as time here. The Constitution is received with tepidity and I fear that it is not a final version.”
Principal creditors of the State in August 1801 :
Michel brothers 7.132.600 F Fulchiron 630.000 F
Pawnshop 5.023.000 F Combe 600.000 F
Recamier 1.600.000 F Sabatier 600.000 F
Delamarre 1.200.000 F Revenaz 554.000 F
Davillier 1.170.000 F Gosset 500.000 F
Bank of France 834.000 F Barrillon 500.000 F
Dewelle 640.000 F    
“Tepidity” results concretely in a weak engagement of the banks to support the mode which must borrow 5 million from the Pawnshop. The clan of financial related to Cambaceres (Michel, Davillier, Fulchiron, Sabatier and Barrillon) always gives an important support for the finance public. One can note the engagement of Récamier which becomes the third creditor of the State. As opposed to what he is often written, the so-called bankers of the 18 Brumaire little supported the new mode at his beginnings. Only the prospect for the peace of Amiens and the revival of the trade with England lead the bankers to support Bonaparte since 1802.

Gabriel Julien Ouvrard

(Clisson 11/10/1770 - London ??/10/1846)
Gabriel Julien OuvrardThe financier Gabriel Julien Ouvrard animates under the Directory a vast network of businesses related on the colonial trade and the military supplies: from its Parisian offices, it controls three commercial firms in Brest, Nantes and Orleans, the bank, Gamba Gay & Co in Antwerp and holds important participations in three Parisian companies (Girardot & Co, Rougemont & Co, Charlemagne & Co). It also the associate of important suppliers: Vanlerberghe for corn, the Michel brothers for the military supplies, Caroillon and Roy for steel and wood. Since the end of Ancien Régime, Ouvrard is associated to the ship-owners of Bordeaux Baour & Balguerie.

On September 1798, he obtains the general supply of the food of the Navy for six years: this contract of 64 million gold francs had signed in the name of his brother-in-law Blanchard. A few months later, he takes again the contract of the Spanish fleet stationed in Brest then the supplies of the army of Italy in 1799. He is arrested in January 1800 on order of the first Bonaparte consul, but the examination of its accounts and its contracts (written by its legal director Cambaceres) does not let appear any irregularity. Released Ouvrard, takes part in the provisioning of the army the Marengo one and army from England stationed in Boulogne; it is also one of the founders of the United Traders Company.

After the crisis of 1805, the Treasury claims to him the sum of 141 million gold franc. In 1809, Ouvrard is imprisoned in Sainte-Pelagie jail for unpaid debt and is released three months later. Understanding that only maritime peace can bring back the economic growth, it tries to negotiate a secret peace with England: this project carried out with Louis Bonaparte and Fouche is worth three years of prison to him. The Restoration returns its goods to him and cancels its debt towards the Treasury: the decision of the duke of Richelieu, Prime Minister of Louis XVIII, is undoubtedly justified by the old ones and profitable relations.

21/08/06 - Emmanuel Prunaux