Lavalette, Anthony De

Lavalette, Anthony De, a French Jesuit, who became the indirect cause of the suppression of his order in France in 1764, was born near Valbres October 21, 1707. He entered the society at Toulouse October 10, 1725; was for a time professor at Puy and Rodez, and was ordained priest in 1740. In 1741 he went to Martinique, where he had at first the care of a parish; then became administrator of the mission, and was entrusted with all its temporal concerns. Appointed general of the Jesuits' mission in South America in 1754, he indulged in wild commercial speculations for the purpose of canceling the debts of the mission, but they all failed; he became bankrupt, and had to leave the country. He retired to England, was disowned by the society, and died some time after 1762. The society was sued by his creditors, but declined any responsibility for his engagements contracted without the consent or knowledge of his superiors; the question was referred to Parliament, which decided against the Jesuits. The sums claimed amounted to five million francs. On the 8th of May, 1761, the Jesuits were condemned to pay the whole amount and costs; and on August 6, 1761, their institution itself was attacked as illegal, and as contrary to the interest of the country. T'his finally led to the suppression of the order in France by an edict of November 1764. See Senac de Meilhan, De la Destruction des Jesuites en France, in the Melanges d'Histoire et de Litterature, published by Crawford, and in the appendix to the Mineoires de Mme. du Hausset; Ranke, Hist. of the Papacy, 2:296 sq.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 29:973.

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