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Karl Ernst, Freiherr von Moy de Sons
A jurist, born 10 August, 1799, at Munich; died 1 August, 1867, at Innsbruck (Tyrol). He belonged to an ancient noble family of Picardy, banished from France in 1789 and settled in Munich. After completing his studies in his native city, he became auditor in the war office; in 1827 privatdocent; 1830-33 attorney at law, in 1833 extraordinary professor of natural and political law at Würtzburg; finally in 1837 ordinary professor at Munich. Because of the address by the Senate of the university to King Ludwig II concerning the notorious dancer Lola Montes, he was deposed together with several other professors and appointed supernumerary counsellor of the Court of Appeals at Neuburg on the Danube. Obtaining leave of absence in 1848, he went to Innsbruck, where he devoted himself to literary work for the old Conservative party and in 1851, after his complete severance from the service of Bavaria, he accepted the chair of history of the German Empire and German law, in the university of that town. In 1863 he retired after having transferred the chair of German history to Ficker. In 1860-62 he was first vice-president and in 1864 president of the General Assembly of German Catholics. A tireless champion of Catholic ideas in speech and writing, on account of his peaceable disposition he was never a leader in the struggle for the Catholic cause. In Austrian politics he soon abandoned his straightforward position and became reconciled to the modern trend, warmly defending the Concordat. Among his writings, in which he devoted the greatest attention to careful research and lucid arrangement, may be mentioned "Lehrbuch des bayerischen Staatsrechtes" (Ratisbon, 1840-46); "De impedimentis matrimonii" (Munich, 1827); "Die Ehe und die Stellung der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland rücksichtlich dieses Punktes ihrer Disciplin" (Landshut, 1830); "Das Eherecht der Christen in der morgenländischen und abendländischen Kirche bis zur Zeit Karls des Grossen nach den Quellen dargestell" (Ratisbon, 1833), by all means his best work; "Grundlinien einer Philosophie des Rechtes vom Katholischen Standpunkt" (2 vols., Vienna, 1854-57); "Die weltliche Herrschaft des Papstes und die rechtliche Ordnung in Europa" (Ratisbon, 1860). He did a great service to canon law through his foundation of the "Archiv für Katholisches Kirchenrecht mit besonderer Rücksicht auf Oesterreich" later "mit Rücksicht auch auf Deutschland" (Innsbruck, 1857), which he edited as far as the fifth volume.
Biographisches Lexicon des Kaiserthums Oesterreichs, XIX (1868), 165-167; Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, XXII (1885), 420.