Macdonald, Etienne-Jacques-Joseph-Alexandre, duc de Tarente, 1765-1840

Alternative names
Birth 1765-11-17
Death 1840-09-25

Biographical notes:

Epithet: General; Maréchal de France

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000798.0x0000c3

Étienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald (1765-1840) was a Marshal of France and military leader during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, regarded with respect for both his military achievements and his personal character.

Born in France to Jacobite Scottish parents, he embarked on his military career in 1785. By 1793 he was a colonel in the French Army, and fought in Spain and Italy. In 1800 he was named commander of the Helvetic Republic (Switzerland) and in 1809 he became military adviser to the viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy. In recognition of his achievements that same year in the Battle of Wagram against the Austrians, Napoleon made him a Marshal of France and duke of Taranto (in Naples). After the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814 MacDonald assisted in negotiating Napoleon's surrender and was named a peer of France, a Knight Grand-Croix of the Royal Order of St. Louis, and Chancellor of the Legion of Honor. He retired from public life in 1830 and died in 1840.

Although he visited his father's homeland, the island of Uist in the Outer Hebrides, only once, the island erected a plaque "to the memory of Marshal of France Jacques Macdonald" in May of 2010.

From the guide to the Alexandre Macdonald Letters, 1807-1840, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • First Coalition, War of the, 1792-1797--Correspondence
  • Second Coalition, War of the, 1798-1801--Correspondence
  • Politics, government and public administration
  • Military history


  • Soldiers
  • Legislators


  • Tunis, Tunisia (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • Egypt, Africa (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • Malta, Europe (as recorded)
  • Salerno, Campania (as recorded)
  • Tripoli, Lybia (as recorded)
  • Boulak, Egypt (as recorded)
  • Pizzighettone, Lombardy (as recorded)