Ref NoMS/657
TitleAgricultural Map of France - C. Montbret
AdminHistoryCharles Étienne Coquebert de Montbret (1755 - 1831) was consul of France in the city of Hamburg during the Ancien Régime and became professor of mining statistics at the École des mines after the French Revolution.

Charles Coquebert was born in Paris on 3 July 1755 to Jean-François, a corrector in the chamber of accounts, and Geneviève Eugénie Hazon, and was the brother of Jean Antoine Coquebert de Montbret (1753–1825) and Antoine Romain Coquebert de Montbret (1767–1829). He pursued a career in diplomacy and obtained the post of commissary of the navy at the port of Hamburg before becoming consul general to the Hanseatic cities at the age of twenty-two.

In 1780, he married his first cousin Nicole Charlotte Hazon (1760-1832) and had four children with her. He then became consul in Dublin and returned to France in 1792.

Under the authority of the Agence des Mines (a government body responsible for supervising mining policy and economics), he was the first editor-in-chief of the Journal des Mines, created by decree of 13 messidor year II (1 July 1794), and is believed to have said, "Distrust the tone of confidence that it is so easy to take and so dangerous to listen to", which has since been systematically highlighted on the front page of the Journal des Mines.

He was charged by Napoleon Bonaparte with taking a census of languages spoken in France under the First Empire and published his findings in 1806 under the title 'essai d'un travail sur la géographie de la langue française'. During this investigation, he drew up the first accurate map of the Breton linguistic border and estimated the British speaking population was at 995,558 (out of a population of about 1.4 million). However, his investigation only covered the departments of Côtes-du-Nord and Morbihan, and in 1831 he produced an extrapolation based on the increase in population between 1806 and 1830.

He became secretary general to the Minister of Trade, his friend Jean-Baptiste Collin de Sussy (1750-1826).

He died in Paris on 9 April 1831 and was buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery (11th division).
DescriptionAn agricultural map of France, the Netherlands, and some neighbouring countries, entitled "Essai d'une carte Agricole de la France, des Pays Bas, et de quelques contrées voisines". Includes colour coded washes indicating areas of vine, olive and orange culture, and a note about the map addressed to the Linnean Society on the margins, dated 'Londres 1er Novembre, 1825.'
Date1 Nov 1825
Extent1 map
Creator NameCoquebert de Montbret, Baron [Charles]
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