MOLE, MATHIEU (1584-1656), French statesman, son of Edouard Mole (d. 1614), who was for a time procureur general, was educated at the University of Orleans. Admitted conseiller in 16°6, he was president aux requites in 161o, pro cureur-general in succession to Nicolas de Bellievre in 1614, and he took part in the assembly of the notables summoned at Rouen in 1617. He fought in vain against the setting up of spe cial tribunals, or commissions, to try prisoners charged with political offences, and for his persistence in the case of the brothers Louis and Michel de Marillac he was suspended in 1631. In 1641 he was appointed first president of the parlement.
In the long conflict between Anne of Austria and the parlement, Mole played a conciliatory part. In the popular tumult known as the day of the barricades (Aug. 26, 1648) he sought out Mazarin and the queen to demand the release of Pierre Broussel and his colleagues, whose seizure had been the original cause of the out break. Next day the parlement marched in procession to repeat Mole's demand. On their way back they were stopped by the
crowd. "Turn, traitor," said one of the rebels to Mole, seizing him by the beard, "and unless you wish to be massacred, either bring back Broussel or bring Mazarin as a hostage." Many magis trates fled; the remnant, headed by the intrepid Mole, returned to the Palais Royal, where Anne of Austria was induced to release the prisoners.
Mole failed to prevent the outbreak of the first Fronde, but he negotiated the peace of Rueil in 1651. He refused honours and rewards for himself or his family, but became keeper of the seals, and therefore retired from the presidency of the parlement. He died on Jan. 3, 1656.
The Memoires of Mole were edited for the Societe de l'histoire de France (4 vols., 1855) by Aime Champollion-Figeac, and his life was written by Baron A. G. P. de Barante in Le Parlement et la Fronde (1859). See also the memoirs of Omer Talon and of De Retz.