Monthyon (or Montyon), Antoine Jean Baptiste Robert Auget
Monthyon (or Montyon), Antoine Jean Baptiste Robert Auget a French baron, celebrated for his great philanthropic labors and munificent endowments of humanitarian institutions, was born at Paris December 23 or 26, 1733. He was successively intendant of the provinces of Provence, Auvergne, and Aunis; and, as a member of the royal council, opposed the unlawful proceedings resorted to in the case of Lachalotais, and protested against the dissolution of ancient parliaments decreed by chancellor Maupeon. In consequence of this latter act he was deprived of his office. Soon after the accession of Louis XVI he was appointed councillor of state; became, in 1780, chancellor of the count d'Artois (afterwards Charles X); emigrated to England on the breaking out of the French Revolution, and did not return to France until the second restoration. He possessed a princely fortune, and devoted the larger portion not only of his income, but also of his capital, to philanthropic purposes. He generously assisted his exiled countrymen, and bequeathed to French hospitals over 3,000,000 francs. As early as 1782 he had founded a prize for virtue, and several other prizes, to be awarded by the French Academy and the Academy of Sciences. These having been suppressed by order of the Convention, were renewed by the donor on his return to France in 1816, and afterwards increased. Every year the French Academy distributes two Monthvon prizes of 10,000 francs each: one to the poor person who has performed the most meritorious deed of virtue, the other to the author of the work which has been judged the most useful for the improvement of public morals. Two others, of equal amount, are awarded by the Academy of Sciences: one to him who shall have found during the year some means of improvement of the medical and surgical art, the other to him who shall have discovered the means of rendering some mechanical art less unhealthy. Montoyon died in 1820.