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LeFevre [LeFebvre], Jean

1. Dates
Born: Lisieux, 9 April 1652
Died: Paris, 1706
Dateinfo: Dates certain
2. Father
Occupation: No Information
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: Lisieux, France
Career: Paris, France
Death: Paris, France
4. Education
Schooling: No University
That is, unknown.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic (assumed)
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Astronomy
7. Means of Support
Primary: Government
Secondary: Art, Calendars
Before 1682, LeFevre was a weaver in Lisieu.
c. 1682, doing calculations for Picard.
After Picard's death, he continued pedestrian aspects of Picard's work, calculating astronomical tables, publishing the Connaissances des Temps, making a few observations and assisting R. de la Hire in surveying.
In 1682, all of this got him elected to the Académie.
8. Patronage
Types: Scientist, Court
LeFevre first appeared in the Parisian scientific community as a friend of a certain Father Pierre, a professor of rhetoric at the College de Lisieux in Paris, who recommened him to Picard, especially in respect to the editing of the Connaissances... Picard hired him, and probably through his influence, probably along with La Hire, got him into the Académie.
LeFevre dedicated the successive editions of the Connaissances to Louis XIV.
In 1687, LeFevre accused La Hire of stealing and publishing his tables. In 1701, probably resentful at not having been named official publisher of ephemerides to the Académie, he similarly accused La Hire's son, Gabriel-Philippe. Pontchartrain, La Hire's protector, was probably behind the government's transfer of the right to publish the Connaissances... to the Académie and the eventually successful campaign to have LeFevre thrown out of the Académie.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Cartography
He did some surveying work for La Hire.
(Note: LeFevre is occasionally mistaken for an instrument maker of the same name who lived at the same time).
10. Scientific Societies
Membership: Académie Royal des Sciences
A member of the Académie (c.1682-1701).
  1. Michaud, Biographie Universelle, 23 (Paris, 1819), 546. [CT153.B6]
  2. M.J. Delacourtie, "L'astronome Jean Le Fevre," Bulletin de la Société historique de Lisieux, (1951-1952), 43-8.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. Amedée Tissot, Etude biographique sur Jean Le Fevre... (Paris, 1872). I find this listed in the catalogue of the Bibliotheque nationale, but no copy appears to exist in the U.S.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

©1995 Al Van Helden
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