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Ernest Cloquet

Ernest Cloquet

The basics
Quick Facts
Gender male
Birth 11 October 1818
Death 1855
Star sign LibraLibra
The details

Louis André Ernest Cloquet (b. 11 October 1818, Paris — d. 1855, Tehran) was a physician in Qajar Iran of French origin during the reigns of Mohammad Shah Qajar (1834–1848) and Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (1848–1896), who also served as the French minister to the court at Tehran (1846–55).


Cloquet was born as the son of the noted French anatomist Hippolyte Cloquet, and, like him, he chose to become an anatomist. He was furthermore the nephew of another noted French physician, namely Jules Germain Cloquet. From 1840, Ernest worked at various clinical offices in his city of birth, and was a regular publisher of the Société anatomique. In 1846, with his thesis named De l’hématocèle vaginale, he was awarded his doctors degree in medicine, and, later that year he became attached to the French mission in Tehran. He was appointed as the French minister to the court and became the king's (shah's) personal phyician, succeeding another Frenchman named Dr. Labat. His regular attendance during the last illness of then incumbent king Mohammad Shah Qajar earned him a good professional reputation. Not long after Naser al-Din Shah Qajar's ascension to the throne, Cloquet was officially re-confirmed to the king in his functions. He was furthermore appointed as an instructor in the newly founded Dār al-fonūn university.

Following a failed attempt on the king's life in 1852 by followers of the Báb, Cloquet treated him and removed a bullet from one of his wounds. When subsequently many followers of the Bab were arrested and executed, and high-ranking officials at the king's court were formally invited to show their loyalty by participating in the "carnage", Cloquet did not participate, for it would violate the Hippocratic oath.

Much of his activities furthermore included the research on cholera; Cloquet himself witnessed two outbreaks — in 1846 and 1853. He furthermore made research and observations regarding the sanitary conditions of the nation as well as regarding its climate. For his contribution to the French diplomacy in Persia, he received an officer’s cross of the Légion d’honneur. In 1855, his native assistant, on an erraneous occasion, poured him a glass of tincture of cantharides (also known as Spanish fly) instead of brandy. When Cloquet realized what had happened, he drank another glass after it in order to reduce the length of his suffering. Cloquet was succeeded in 1856 by Jakob Eduard Polak as the king's personal physician.

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