De Vergy, Peter Henry Treyssac

, a French adventurer, of whose private life little is known, and whose public history is not of the most reputable kind, requires, however, some notice, as the author of various publications, and an agent in some political transactions which once were deemed of importance. He styled himself advocate in the parliament of Bourdeaux. The first notice of him occurs about 1763, when he had a concern in the quarrel between the count de Guerchy, ambassador extraordinary from the court of France, and the chevalier DEon, (see DEoN). About this time DEon published a letter to the count de Guerchy, by which we learn that De Vergy solicited his (DEon’s) acquaintance, which he declined unless he* brought letters of recommendation, and that De Vergy, piqued at the refusal, boasted of being perfectly well known to the count de Guerchy, which | proved to be a falsehood. This produced a quarrel between DEon and De Vergy, and a pamphlet in answer to DEon’s letter, and another answer under the title of “Centre Note.” After the more celebrated quarrel between de Guerchy and DEon, De Vergy published a parcel of letters from himself to the due de Cboiseul, in which he positively asserts that the count de Guerchy prevailed with him to come over to England to assassinate DEon. He even went farther, and before the grand jury of Middlesex, made oath to the same effect. Upon this deposition, the grand jury found a bill of intended murder against the count de Guerchy; which bill, however, never came to the petty jury. The king granted a noli prosequi in favour of De Guerchy, and the attorney-general was ordered to prosecute De Vergy, with the result of which order we are unacquainted; but it is certain that De Vergy, in his last will, confesses his concern in a plot against DEon, and intimates that he withdrew his assistance upon finding that it was intended to affect the chevalier’s life. After the above transaction, we find him in 1767, publishing “Lettre centre la Raison,” or, “A Letter against Reason, addressed to the chevalier DEon,” in which he repeats some of the hacknied doctrines of the French philosophical school, and professes himself a free-thinker. This was followed by a succession of novels, entitled “The Mistakes of the Heart;” “The Lovers” “Nature” “Henrietta;” “The Scotchman;” and “The Palinode,” written in remarkably good English, and with much knowledge of human nature; but scarcely one of them is free from the grossest indelicacies. He wrote also, in 1770, “A Defence of the duke of Cumberland,” a wretched catchpenny. De Vergy died Oct. 1, 1774, aged only forty-two, and remained unburied until March, his executor waiting for directions from his family. He had desired in his will that his relations would remove his body to Bourdeaux, but it was at last interred in St. Pancras church-yard.1


Lyons’s Environs, vol. III.—Gent. Mag. XLIV. where is part of his will.— Chesterfield’s Letters, vol. II. p.485, 4to edit.