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Jean-Baptiste Berthier
Jean-Baptiste Berthier
Born (1721-01-06)January 6, 1721
Tonnerre, France
Died May 21, 1804(1804-05-21) (aged 83)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Occupation Military officer, architect, cartographer
Spouse(s) Marie Françoise L'Huillier de La Serre
Françoise Chéron
Children Louis Alexandre Berthier
Charles Berthier
César Berthier
Victor-Léopold Berthier
Madame d'Ogeranville
Alexandre Joseph Berthier

Jean-Baptiste Berthier (1721–1804) was an officer (Lieutenant-Colonel) in the French Corps of Topographical Engineers during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI.


Early life

Jean-Baptiste Berthier was born on January 6, 1721 in Tonnerre, France.


After attracting the attention of marchal de camp Charles Louis Auguste Fouquet, duc de Belle-Isle, he was deputed by him to supervise construction of several prominent Paris public buildings, notably those of the ministries of war, navy and foreign affairs in Versailles.

In 1758, he was made Director of Military Survey to King Louis XV, a position he retained with Louis XVI for whom he prepared the famous topographic maps of the Royal hunting grounds.[1]

Marie Françoise L'Huillier de La Serre

Personal life

He married his first wife, Marie Françoise L'Huillier de La Serre, in 1846. They had five children. The oldest of five children, Louis Alexandre Berthier (1753), would become Marshal of France, with the other three sons also serving in the French Army: Charles (1760) in North America, while César (1765) and Victor-Léopold (1770) became generals during the Napoleonic Wars.[2] His only daughter is only remembered as Madame d'Ogeranville.[3]

Widowed, he remarried Françoise Chéron. They had a son Alexandre Joseph Berthier (1792–1849), who married his cousin Thérèse Léopoldine Berthier (1806–1882), and had issue, Viscounts Berthier de Wagram, extinct in 1949.


He died on May 21, 1804 in Paris, France.


  1. Watson,p.13
  2. Watson,p.13
  3. Junot Abrantès, p.285


  • Watson, S.J., By Command of the Emperor: A Life of Marshal Berthier, The Bodley Head, London, 1957
  • Junot Abrantès, Laure, Memoirs of Napoleon, His Court and Family, R. Bentley, London, 1836

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