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Born Dec. 4, 1750, in Vého, near Lunéville; died May 28, 1831, in Paris. Participant in the Great French Revolution.
The son of a poor peasant, Grégoire was a priest who gained popularity as an opponent of Negro slavery. In 1789 he was elected to the Estates General, in which he supported the proposal that the lower clergy join the deputies of the third estate. He was the first to swear allegiance to the new so-called civil clergy, which came into existence in 1790. Elected a deputy to the Convention in 1792, at its first meeting Grégoire called for abolition of the monarchy. In 1793 he proposed a draft for a declaration on questions of international law, based on the principle of the recognition of the sovereignty of every people. Grégoire reacted favorably to the coup d’etat of 18th Brumaire. During the restoration of the Bourbons (1814 and 1815–30) he was attacked by the reactionary monarchist clergy. Grégoire was well known in Russia, and from 1814 to 1821 he was an honorary member of the University of Kazan.
WORKSEssai historique sur les libertés de l’Eglise gallicane.... Paris, 1818.
Histoire des sectes religieuses . . ., vols. 1–6. Paris, 1828–45.
Mémoires . . ., vols. 1–2. Paris, 1837.