Jean-Baptiste Nothomb

Jean Baptiste, Baron Nothomb (3 July 1805 6 September 1881) was a Belgian statesman and diplomat, the sixth Prime Minister.

Jean-Baptiste Nothomb
6th Prime Minister of Belgium
In office
13 April 1841  30 July 1845
MonarchLeopold I
Preceded byJoseph Lebeau
Succeeded bySylvain Van de Weyer
Personal details
Born(1805-07-03)3 July 1805
Messancy, France
(now Belgium)
Died6 September 1881(1881-09-06) (aged 76)
Berlin, Germany
Political partyLiberal Party
Alma materUniversity of Liège



Born at Messancy in Luxembourg on 3 July 1805, he was educated at the Athénée de Luxembourg and the University of Liège, and was in Luxemburg when the Revolution of August broke out, but was nominated a member of the commission appointed to draw up the Constitution.

Nothomb became a member of the national congress, and became secretary-general of the ministry of foreign affairs under Érasme-Louis Surlet de Chokier. He supported the candidature of the Orléanist Louis, Duke of Nemours, and joined in the proposal to offer the crown to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, being one of the delegates sent to London.

When the Eighteen Articles of the Treaty of London were replaced by the Twenty-four less favorable to Belgium, he insisted on the necessity of compliance, and in 1839 he faced violent opposition to support the territorial cessions in Limburg and Luxemburg, which had remained an open question so long as the Netherlands refused to acknowledge the Twenty-four Articles.

Later life

His Essai historique et politique sur la révolution belge (1838) won for him the praise of Palmerston and the cross of the Legion of Honor from French king Louis Philippe. In 1837 he became minister of public works, and to him was largely due the rapid development of the Belgian railway system, and the increase in the mining industry.

In 1840 he was sent as Belgian envoy to the German Confederation, and in 1841, on the fall of the Lebeau ministry, he organized the new cabinet, reserving for himself the portfolio of minister of the interior. In 1845 he was defeated, and retired from the Belgian Parliament, but he held a number of diplomatic appointments before his death in Berlin.



  1. Almanach royal officiel: 1875
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Nothomb, Jean Baptiste, Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 823.
  •  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Jean-Baptiste Nothomb" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Lebeau
Prime Minister of Belgium
Succeeded by
Sylvain Van de Weyer
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