Fesch, Joseph (17631839)

Fesch, Joseph, an eminent French ecclesiastic, born at Ajaccio, the half-brother of Napoleon's mother; was educated for the Church, but, on the outbreak of the Revolution, joined the revolutionaries as a storekeeper; co-operated with his illustrious nephew in restoring Catholicism in France, and became in 1802 archbishop of Lyons, and a cardinal in 1803; as ambassador at Rome in 1804 he won the Pope's favour, and brought about a more friendly understanding between him and Napoleon; later he lost favour with the emperor, and retired to Lyons, whence in 1814 he fled to Rome, there to end his life; was a lover of art, and left a magnificent collection of pictures (17631839).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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