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See also: marechaussee



From French maréchaussée. Doublet of marshalcy.



maréchaussée (plural maréchaussées)

  1. (now chiefly historical) A type of guard force in France, French colonies, or sometimes by extension other places, commanded by a marshal (formerly used as a police force before the introduction of the gendarmerie); loosely (chiefly humorous), the police, the constabulary. [from 18th c.]
    • 1789, George Washington, letter, 6 Feb 1780:
      I do not unite the Maréchaussée, because that corps is destined for a particular service, to which it will be altogether applied in the course of the next campaign, nor should I think it advisable to convert it to any other purpose.
    • 1792, Charlotte Smith, “Letter VIII. To Mr. Bethel.”, in Desmond. [], volume I, London: [] G[eorge,] G[eorge,] J[ohn] and J[ames] Robinson, [], →OCLC, page 134:
      Enquire of the citizen, the mechanic, if he repoſes not more quietly in his houſe from the certainty that it is not now liable to be entered by the marechauſſées, and that it is no longer poſſible for him to be forcibly taken out of it by a lettre de cachet, []
    • 1850, Charles Augustus Murray, Miranda:
      ‘Malediction,’ he muttered to himself, but then, with that peculiar command over himself which rarely quitted him, he at once recovered, and moved towards the two officers of the maréchaussée, now semi-inebriated.
    • 1997 February 1, Caryn Cossé Bell, Revolution, Romanticism, and the Afro-Creole Protest Tradition in Louisiana, 1718--1868, LSU Press, →ISBN:
      In Saint Domingue, free men of color and whites were enlisted in the militia and the maréchaussée to hunt runaway slaves, patrol the highways, and suppress maroon colonies  []
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin, published 2003, page 156:
      Peasant communities were often effectively self-policing, while the newly reorganized maréchaussée served as an ancillary peace-keeping force.
    • 2012 December 1, Laurent Dubois, A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804, UNC Press Books, →ISBN, page 56:
      The English sailor Henry Schroeder might have witnessed the mobilization of gens de couleur and slaves for the maréchaussée when he landed in Guadeloupe in 1787 []


English Wikipedia has an article on:
French Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fr


From Old French mareschaucie (marshalcy) (with change of suffix), see maréchal.


  • IPA(key): /ma.ʁe.ʃ
  • (file)


maréchaussée f (plural maréchaussées)

  1. (historical) maréchaussée
  2. (humorous) constabulary


  • Dutch: marechaussee
  • English: maréchaussée

Further reading[edit]