José Marchena Ruiz de Cueto
He was born at Utrera. He took minor orders and was for some time professor at the seminary of Vergara, but he became a convert to the doctrines of the French philosophes, scandalizing his acquaintances by his professions of materialism and his denunciations of celibacy. His writings being brought before the Inquisition in 1792, Marchena escaped to Paris, where he is said to have collaborated with Marat in L'Ami du peuple; at a later date he organized a revolutionary movement at Bayonne, returned to Paris, avowed his sympathies with the Girondists, and refused the advances of Robespierre.
He acted as editor of L'Ami des lois and other French journals until 1799, when he was expelled from France; he succeeded, however, in obtaining employment under General Moreau, upon whose fall in 1804 he declared himself a Bonapartist.
In 1808 he accompanied Murat, brother in law of Napoléon Bonaparte, to Spain as private secretary; in this same year he was imprisoned by the Inquisition, but was released by Emperor Napoléon I brother Joseph Bonaparte, who appointed him editor of the official Gaceta.
The Liberal triumph of 1820 opened Spain to him once more, but he was coldly received by the revolutionary party. He died at Madrid shortly before February 26, 1821. The interest of his voluminous writings is almost wholly ephemeral, but they are excellent specimens of trenchant journalism. His Fragmentum Petronii (Basel, 1800), which purports to reconstruct missing passages in the current text of Petronius's Satyricon, is a testimony to Marchena's fine scholarship; but, by the irony of fate, Marchena is best known by his Ode to Christ Crucified, which breathes a spirit of profound and tender piety.
- Works by José Marchena at Spanish Wikisource
- Point de gouvernement révolutionnaire ou Observations sur le projêt de décret présenté par Thibaudeau à la séance du 7 Floréal at the Bibliothèque nationale de France
- Quelques réflexions sur les fugitifs français depuis le 2 septembre at the Bibliothèque nationale de France
- J. Marchena aux assemblées primaires at the Bibliothèque nationale de France
- Fragmentum Petronii (1800 edition)
- Fragmentum Petronii (1865 edition)
- Description géographique et historique des trois provinces dites Vascongades at the Bibliothèque nationale de France
- Lecciones de filosofía moral y elocuencia; Volume I, Volume II
- Obras literarias de D. José Marchena (el Abate Marchena) recogidas de manuscritos y raros impresos con un estudio crítico-biográfico del doctor D. Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo; Volume I, Volume II
- Rinaldo Froldi, Proclamas, manifiestos y escritos políticos de José Marchena, at the Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes