Picot, Michel Joseph Pierre

Picot, Michel Joseph Pierre a French writer of some note, was born March 24, 1770, at Neuvilleaux- Boix, near Orleans. He was early destined for the Church, and was received at the age of thirteen in the house of the bishop of Bayeux. He studied theology at the seminary of Orleans. While professor of humanities at Meung-sur-Loire, he refused the oath required by the civil constitution of the clergy. A warrant being issued against him for his share in the evasion of a royalist, he absconded to Paris; then, submitting to the duties of the requisition which he had shirked till then, he offered to enter the marine (1793), and, after two campaigns, was employed in the equipment office at Brest. In 1797 he was released, and devoted himself to the study of the history of the Church during the 18th century. The Memoires which he published in 1896 obtained the eulogies of religious societies, especially of the abbe Boulogne, who intrusted him with the redaction of the Memorial Catholique, a monthly paper founded by him. In the month of April, 1814, he was called upon to manage L'Ami de la Religion et du Roi, which soon became the official journal of the clergy. He died November 15, 1841, at Paris. He left, Memoire pour servir a l'Histoire ecclesiastique pendant le dix-huitieine Siecle (Paris, 1806,1815-1816, 4 volumes, 8vo; 3d edit. 6 volumes, 8vo); this valuable publication is less polemical than the Memoires of father d'Avrigny, of which it is a kind of continuation; but the historical part of it is weak, and the bibliography is incomplete: — Essai historique sur I'Influence de la Religion en France pendant le dix- seqtieme Siecle (ibid. 1824, 2 volumes, 8vo). He is the chief contributor to the collection of the Melanges (9 volumes, 8vo), commenced by the abbe Boulogne; and he edited in 1827 the works of that prelate, adding to the same a Tableau reliqieux de la, France sous le Directoire, and a Precis historique sur l'Eglise constitutionnelle. He wrote a number of articles in the Journal des Cares, in the Supplement au Dict. historique of Feller, the Biographie Universelle of Michaud, etc. He bequeathed part of his rich library to the seminary of Saint-Sulpice. — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 40:85.

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