|baron of Boussay|
3 September 1750|
|Died||13 August 1810(aged 59)|
Born in Boussay in central France to an ancient family, he had already attained the rank of Maréchal de camp in 1789, when he was elected by the Second Estate of the bailiwick of Touraine to the Estates General in 1789. He was a liberal nobleman and supported the reforms of the National Constituent Assembly, of which he was elected secretary in December and president for a standard two weeks term (27 March - 12 April 1790). He served as a member of the diplomatic committee.
General in chief of the Armée de l'Interieur, he was denounced as a traitor, put on trial and acquitted in 1795.
Adventure in Egypt
In 1798, he commanded one of the five divisions of the Armée d'Orient in Napoleon's campaign of Egypt. General of division in the army of Egypt. After the assassination of Jean-Baptiste Kléber (14 June 1800), Menou succeeded him at the head of Egypt as a general in chief. He was not as popular, and was not at all supported by the other officers.
On 21 March 1801, Menou commanded the French expeditionary force to repel the English landing at a final battle at La Muiron, a defeat. After this battle, he withdrew to Alexandria, where he surrendered at the Siege of Alexandria on 30 August 1801. He was permitted to withdraw remaining French forces, but was forced to surrender to the British the Rosetta Stone, the discovery of which had been reported to him by Captain Pierre-François Bouchard; it was a vital key to understanding the lost language of hieroglyphics.
Statesman of the Empire
He was appointed member of the Tribunat 27 Floreal X (17 May 1802), and became, shortly after, administrator of the 27th military division (Piedmont), member of the Legion of Honor 19 Frimaire XII (11 December 1803) and grand officer of the order 25 Prairial XII (14 June 1804). He was created comte de l'Empire in 1808.
Menou's principal contributions to the French Empire came in Italy. He was named Knight of the Order of the Iron Crown 23 December 1807, shortly after his appointment as governor of Venice. He died in the latter functions on 13 August 1810 in the villa Corniani, near Mestre.
The name of General Menou is inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe, on the south side. By his marriage to Zobeida El Bawab, he had a son Jacques Mourad Soliman (born 28 July 1800 in Rosetta, Egypt).
- Max Sewell. "The Discovery of the Rosetta Stone". Napoleon-series.org. Retrieved 2007-03-17.
- Louis Adolphe Thiers, History of the Consulate and the Empire of France under Napoleon, London 1893, v. 2, Book X, passim.