He incurred great unpopularity by his abuse of lettres de cachet, and had to resign in 1775.
But neither Necker nor his wife cared to remain out of office, and in 1787 Necker was banished by "lettre de cachet" 40 leagues from Paris for attacking Calonne.
After a period of work in Holland he betook himself to England, where his treatise on lettres de cachet had been much admired, being translated into English in 1787, and where he was soon admitted into the best Whig literary and political society of London, through his old schoolfellow Gilbert Elliot, who had now inherited his father's baronetcy and estates, and become a leading Whig member of parliament.
It has been used to test the question whether Roman Catholic religious orders could enter India, and in 1870 an attempt was made thereby to challenge the validity of a warrant in the nature of a lettre de cachet issued by the viceroy (Ind.
Protests against the lettres de cachet were made continually by the parlement of Paris and by the provincial parlements, and often also by the States-General.
The affair ended by his escaping to Switzerland, where Sophie joined him; they then went to Holland, where he lived by hackwork for the booksellers; meanwhile Mirabeau had been condemned to death at Pontarlier for rapt et vol, and in May 1777 he was seized by the French police, and imprisoned by a lettre de cachet in the castle of Vincennes.
The mother discouraged the affair, and, though Voltaire tried to avail himself of the mania for proselytizing which then distinguished France, his father stopped any idea of a match by procuring a lelire de cachet, which, however, he did not use.
In order to enforce the registration of edicts the king would send lettres de cachet, known as lettres de jussion, which were not, however, always obeyed.
He at once began love-making, and in spite of his ugliness succeeded in winning the heart of the lady to whom his colonel was attached; this led to such scandal that his father obtained a lettre de cachet, and the young scapegrace was imprisoned in the isle of Re.
His violent disposition now led him to quarrel with a country gentleman who had insulted his sister, and his semi-exile was changed by lettre de cachet into imprisonment in the Chateau d'If.
SIMON NICHOLAS HENRI LINGUET (1736-1794), French journalist and advocate, was born on the 14th of July 1736, at Reims, whither his father, the assistant principal in the College de Beauvais of Paris, had recently been exiled by lettre de cachet for engaging in the Jansenist controversy.
The cachet of the Fukagawa atelier was indiscriminately applied to all such pieces, and has probably proved a source of confusion to collectors.
The best-known lettres de cachet, however, were those which may be called penal, by which the king sentenced a subject without trial and without an opportunity of defence to imprisonment in a state prison or an ordinary gaol, confinement in a convent or a hospital, transportation to the colonies, or relegation to a given place within the realm.
While serving the government as a silent weapon against political adversaries or dangerous writers and as a means of punishing culprits of high birth without the scandal of a suit at law, the lettres de cachet had many other uses.
The police, instituted in 1667 by La Reynie, became a public force independent of magistrates and under the direct orders of the ministers, making the arbitrary royal and ministerial authority absolute by means of lettres de cachet (qv.), which were very convenient for the government and very terrible for the individuals concerned.
Lettres de cachet were abolished by the Constituent Assembly, but Napoleon reestablished their equivalent by a political measure in the decree of the 9th of March 1801 on the state prisons.
The lettres de cachet, on the contrary, were signed simply by a secretary of state (formerly known as secretaire des commandements) for the king; they bore merely the imprint of the king's privy seal, from which circumstance they were often called, in the r4th and r5th centuries, lettres de petit signet or lettres de petit cachet, and were entirely exempt from the control of the chancellor.
See Honore Mirabeau, Les Lettres de cachet et des prisons d'etat (Hamburg, 1782), written in the dungeon at Vincennes into which his father had thrown him by a lettre de cachet, one of the ablest and most eloquent of his works, which had an immense circulation and was translated into English with a dedication to the duke of Norfolk in 1788; Frantz Funck-Brentano, Les Lettres de cachet d Paris (Paris, 1904); and Andre Chassaigne, Les Lettres de cachet sous l'ancien regime (Paris, 1903).
Considered solely as French documents, lettres de cachet may be defined as letters signed by the king of France, countersigned by one of his ministers, and closed with the royal seal (cachet) .