Joseph Fouche

Duc d'Otrante

Joseph Fouche Napoleon Bonaparte's head of internal security, Joseph Fouche was a former school teacher who put aside the slate for politics.

As a Jacobin member of the Convention, Fouche voted for the death of Louis XVI and then, sensing a change in political fortunes, turned against them.

In 1799, Fouche became Minister of Police and used his increasingly powerful agent network to support the coup of Brumaire.

Despite his assistance, Bonaparte was nervous of Fouche's power and he was removed from office for two years, before being re-employed as security chief.

In 1810, the French emperor discovered Fouche had been having secret talks with foreign powers and eventually sacked him.

Eventually Fouche wormed his way back into semi favour and was given the governorship of Illyria.

After the Bourbon return to power Fouche kept links with Bonaparte, as he then did with the royals during the 100 Days' Campaign.

Following the emperor's final defeat he was president of the commission ruling France and even had a place in government.

Understandably, pro-royalists took offence at a regicide being in power and Fouche quit his post after only a few months.

An intriguer with few equals, Fouche was the ultimate survivor with no obvious morals.

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