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Ernest Courtot de Cissey
35th Prime Minister of France

In office
22 May 1874 – 10 March 1875
Preceded by Albert, duc de Broglie
Succeeded by Louis Buffet
Personal details
Born (1810-09-12)September 12, 1810
Died 15 June 1882(1882-06-15) (aged 71)
Political party None

Ernest Louis Octave Courtot de Cissey (French: [ɛʁnɛst kuʁto də sise]; 1810–1882) was a French general.

He was born in Paris, educated at the Prytanée National Militaire, and after passing through St Cyr, entered the army in 1832, becoming captain in 1839.

He saw active service in Algeria, and became chef d'escadron in 1849 and lieutenant-colonel in 1850. He took part as a colonel in the Crimean War, and after the battle of Inkerman received the rank of general of brigade.

In 1863 he was promoted general of division. When the Franco-German War broke out in 1870, de Cissey was given a divisional command in the Army of the Rhine, and he was included in the surrender of Bazaine's army at Metz. He was released from captivity only at the end of the war, and on his return was at once appointed by the Versailles government to a command in the army engaged in the suppression of the Commune, a task in the execution of which he displayed great rigour.

From July 1871 de Cissey sat as a deputy, and he had already become minister of war. He occupied this post several times during the critical period of the reorganization of the French army, and served briefly as Prime Minister of France from 1874 to 1875. In 1875, he was elected senator for life. In 1880, whilst holding the command of the XI corps at Nantes, he was accused of having relations with a certain Baroness Kaula, who was said to be a spy in the pay of Germany, and he was in consequence relieved from duty. An inquiry subsequently held resulted in de Cissey's favour (1881).

Cissey's Ministry, 22 May 1874 – 10 March 1875

  • Ernest Courtot de Cissey – President of the Council and Minister of War
  • Louis DecazesMinister of Foreign Affairs
  • Oscar Bardi de FourtouMinister of the Interior
  • Pierre MagneMinister of Finance
  • Adrien TailhandMinister of Justice
  • Louis Raymond de Montaignac de ChauvanceMinister of Marine and Colonies
  • Arthur de CumontMinister of Public Instruction, Fine Arts, and Worship
  • Eugène Caillaux – Minister of Public Works
  • Louis Grivart – Minister of Agriculture and Commerce


  • 20 July 1874 – The Baron de Chabaud-Latour succeeds Fourtou as Minister of the Interior. Pierre Mathieu-Bodet succeeds Magne as Minister of Finance.


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Encyclopædia Britannica Cambridge University Press 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Duc de Broglie
Prime Minister of France
22 May 1874 – 10 March 1875
Succeeded by
Louis Buffet
Preceded by
Adolphe Charles Le Flô
Minister of War
5 June 1871 – 25 May 1873
Succeeded by
François Claude du Barail
Preceded by
François Claude du Barail
Minister of War
22 May 1874 – 15 August 1876
Succeeded by
Jean Auguste Berthaud

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