Born Apr. 22, 1812, in Liège; died Jan. 2, 1896, in Brussels. Belgian political and state figure; a lawyer by education.
Frère-Orban served as minister of public works in 1847 and as minister of finance from 1848 to 1852 and from 1857 to 1870, with a brief interruption in 1861. From 1868 to 1870 he was prime minister, and from 1878 to 1884 he served as both prime minister and minister of foreign affairs. He became the leader of the Liberal Party in the late 1840’s.
Frère-Orban waged a struggle against the Catholic Party; the struggle culminated in Belgium’s severance of diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 1880. Frère-Orban also helped enact a number of measures that facilitated the development of capitalism in Belgium; these measures included the abolition of import duties and city duties.