Lettre de Cachet
(French). An arbitrary warrant of imprisonment; a letter folded
and sealed with the king's cachet or little seal. These were secret
instructions to the person addressed to proceed against someone named
in the letter. The lieutenant-general of police kept an unlimited
number of these instruments, and anyone, for a consideration, could
obtain one, either to conceal a criminal or to incarcerate someone
obnoxious. This power was abolished in the Revolution.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Lettre de Cachet from Fact Monster:
- lettre de cachet - lettre de cachet lettre de cachet , formerly in French law, private, sealed document, issued as a ...
- Bastille - Bastille Bastille [O.Fr.,=fortress], fortress and state prison in Paris, located, until its ...
- Chrétien Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes - Malesherbes, Chrétien Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, Chrétien Guillaume de ...
- Encyclopedia: French History - Encyclopeadia articles concerning French History.