Trophime Gerard, Marquis de Lally-Tollendal(1751-1830), was born at Paris on the 5th of March 1751. He was the legitimized son of the comte de Lally and only discovered the secret of his birth on the day of his father's execution, when he resolved to devote himself to clearing his father's memory. He was supported by Voltaire, and in 1778 succeeded in persuading Louis XVI. to annul the decree which had sentenced the comte de Lally; but the parlement of Rouen, to which the case was referred back, in 1784 again decided in favour of Lally's guilt. The case was retried by other courts, but Lally's innocence was never fully admitted by the French judges. In 1779 LallyTollendal bought the office of Grand Bailli of Etampes, and in 1789 was a deputy to the states-general for the noblesse of Paris. He played some part in the early stages of the Revolution, but was too conservative to be in sympathy with all even of its earlier developments. He threw himself into opposition to the "tyranny" of Mirabeau, and condemned the epidemic of renunciation which in the session of the 4th of August 1789 destroyed the traditional institutions of France. Later in the year he emigrated to England. During the trial of Louis XVI. by the National Convention (1793) he offered to defend the king, but was not allowed to return to France. He did not return till the time of the Consulate. Louis XVIII. created him a peer of France, and in 1816 he became a member of the French Academy. From that time until his death, on the 11th of March 1830, he devoted himself to philanthropic work, especially identifying himself with prison reform.
See his Plaidoyer pour Louis XVI. (London, 1793); Lally-Tollendal was also in part responsible for the Memoires, attributed to Joseph Weber, concerning Marie Antoinette (1804); he further edited the article on his father in the Biographie Michaud; see also Arnault, Discours prononce aux funerailles de M. le marquis de Lally-Tollendal le 13 mars 1830 (Paris); Gauthier de Brecy, Necrologie de M. le marquis de Lally-Tollendal (Paris, undated); Voltaire, Ouvres completes (Paris, 1889), in which see the analytical table of contents, vol. ii.