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Étienne Charles Loménie de Brienne

Loménie de Brienne, Étienne Charles (ātyĕnˈ shärl lōmānēˈ də brēĕnˈ) [key], 1727–94, French statesman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was archbishop of Toulouse (1763–88) and of Sens (1788) and a member of the French Academy. In the Assembly of the Notables (1787) he worked against the minister of finance Charles Alexandre de Calonne and, though King Louis XVI looked with disfavor on his notorious immorality, he succeeded (1787) Calonne in control of finances. Thereupon he adopted Calonne's plans for a direct land tax, for calling of provincial assemblies to apportion the tax, and for other reforms. The opposition of the Parlement of Paris to the land tax led him to exile the parlement to Troyes for a time and finally resulted in the calling of the fateful States-General. Having done nothing to relieve the financial ills of France, Brienne was forced out of office (Aug., 1788). He was made a cardinal. Brienne was one of the few French prelates to take oath to the civil constitution of the clergy, promulgated in 1790; for this he was deprived of the cardinalate. Arrested by the revolutionary government (1793), he died in prison.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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