Guillaume-Chrétien de Lamoignon de Malesherbes (ɡijom kʁetjɛ̃ də lamwaɲɔ̃ də malzɛʁb, 6 December 1721 – 22 April 1794), often referred to as Malesherbes or Lamoignon-Malesherbes, was a French statesman and minister in the Ancien Régime, and later counsel for the defense of Louis XVI. He is known for his vigorous criticism of royal abuses as President of the Cour des aides and his role, as director of censorship, in helping with the publication of the Encyclopédie. Despite his committed monarchism, his writings contributed to the development of liberalism during the French Age of Enlightenment.
Family and early career
Born in Paris to a famous legal family which belonged to the noblesse de robe, Malesherbes was educated for the legal profession. The young lawyer's career received a boost when his father, Guillaume de Lamoignon de Blancmesnil, was appointed Chancellor in 1750; he appointed his son Malesherbes as both President of the Cour de