Jules Quesnay de Beaurepaire (1834 - 1923)

Jules Quesnay de Beaurepaire


Judges & lawyers

Jules Quesnay de Beaurepaire was born in Saumur on 2 July 1834. As president of the Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation, he resigned before the first quashing of the verdict that had convicted Dreyfus.

The son of a King's deputy public prosecutor, he studied law and became a lawyer in 1859, before becoming a deputy public prosecutor himself in La Flèche in 1862 and then in Le Mans in 1865. He was appointed imperial prosecutor in Mamers in 1868, and resigned in 1871 after having led a company of snipers during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.

He was appointed departmental councilor in the Sarthe, and was defeated as a moderate Republican candidate in the 1877 legislative elections. He became a deputy public prosecutor again in Paris in 1879, against the advice of the first president of the Caen Court of Appeal. He served as public prosecutor in Rennes in 1881 as well as in Paris in 1889, after having been a prosecuting attorney in 1883. He attracted attention when he expedited the trial of the anarchist Ravachol.

As president of the Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation beginning on 9 October 1892, he was criticized by La Libre Parole for having "indirectly escaped expiation" of those implicated in the Panama ScandalThe Panama Scandal
In 1892, legal proceedings were started against various elected officials who had financed newspapers and padded their election funds with money from a company that had been set up to dig a canal in Panama. Ferdinand de Lesseps, who had created the Suez Canal, owned the company. Clemenceau and other members of Parliament were compromised and lost their seats in the 1893 elections.
; however, in April 1898, the Court of Cassation dismissed the charges against him. Drumont's paper praised him highly after he resigned on 10 January 1899, when he accused the Criminal Chamber of conspiring with Picquart and of being in favor of the review of the Dreyfus trial.

Although it is true that the Court of Cassation-in rehabilitating the Republican teacher Pierre Vaux in 1897, and in ordering that its rehabilitation decree be displayed publicly after the first Zola trial-demonstrated its desire to not bow before "reasons of State," other voices emphasized that "the stubbornness and bias that lead one to persevere in an opinion once one has started down the path, can become the worst enemies of justice."

In 1903, the retired judge referred to the annotated bordereau as "anteroom chattering," but Victor Basch was correct, in 1909, when we referred to his influence over the members of the Rennes court martial, adding "trust in his murderous ramblings." Renouncing his pseudonym of Lucie Herpin, it was as Jules de Glouvet that Quesnay de Beaurepaire would pursue his regional historical publications, until his death in 1923.