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Jean-Baptiste Berthier (6 January 1721, Tonnerre – 21 May 1804, Paris) was an officer (Lieutenant-Colonel) in the French Corps of Topographical Engineers during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. After attracting the attention of marchal de camp Charles Louis Auguste Fouquet, duc de Belle-Isle he was deputed by him to supervise construction of several prominent Paris public buildings, notably those of the ministries of war, navy and foreign affairs in Versailles. In 1758 he was made Director of Military Survey to King Louis XV, a position he retained with Louis XVI for whom he prepared the famous topographic maps of the Royal hunting grounds.[1]

Jean-Baptiste Berthier's first wife (married in 1746) was Marie Françoise L'Huillier de La Serre, with whom he had five children. The oldest of five children, Louis Alexandre Berthier (1753), would become Marshal of France, with the other three sons also serving in the French Army: Charles (1760) in North America, while César (1765) and Victor-Léopold (1770) became generals during the Napoleonic Wars.[2] His only daughter is only remembered as Madame d'Ogeranville.[3]

Widowed, he remarried Françoise Chéron, and had a son Alexandre Joseph Berthier (1792–1849), who married his cousin Thérèse Léopoldine Berthier (1806–1882), and had issue, Viscounts Berthier de Wagram, extinct in 1949.


  1. Watson,p.13
  2. Watson,p.13
  3. Junot Abrantès, p.285


  • Watson, S.J., By Command of the Emperor: A Life of Marshal Berthier, The Bodley Head, London, 1957
  • Junot Abrantès, Laure, Memoirs of Napoleon, His Court and Family, R. Bentley, London, 1836

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