The Galileo Project
site map

Rey, Jean

1. Dates
Born: Le Bugue, c. 1582
Died: c. 1645
Dateinfo: Both Dates Uncertain
Lifespan: 63
2. Father
Occupation: Unknown
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: French
Career: French
Death: French
4. Education
Schooling: Montaubon, M.A.; Montpelier, M.D.
He took his M.A. at Montaubon. He matriculated in 1605 and studied medicine at the University of Montpellier, graduating M.B. in 1607 and M.D. in 1609. I assume the equivalent of a B.A.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Chemistry
His fame rests solely on his Essays de Jean Rey docteur en médecine, (Bazas, 1630), a reply to apothecary Pierre Brun's request for an explanation of why tin and lead increase in weight when heated. The essays, appealing to reason, observation and experiments, anticipated Lavoisier's recognition in 1722 that calcination involves combination with air.
Hoefer writes that domestic difficulties forced him to put aside his studies in chemistry, but no further details are given.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Medicine
Practiced medicine at Le Bugue.
Few details are known of his life as a physician, except that he seems to have been highly regarded. The last record of him shows that he was still alive in 1645.
8. Patronage
Type: Aristrocrat
Rey dedicated his Essays to the Duc de Bouillon.
9. Technological Involvement
Types: Medical Practice, Mechanical Devices
Rey claimed to have received royal privileges for an air compressor. He claimed to have invented an air-gun some years before Rivault published his work in 1608.
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
His friends were Jean Brun, an apothecary, Deschamps, a physician, and Pierre Trichet. He corresponded with Mersenne and Descartes.
  1. Hoefer, Nouvelle biographie générale, (Paris, 1857-66).
  2. Michaud, Biographie générale.
  3. Jean Rey, The Essays of Jean Rey, Introduction by D. McKie, (London, 1951). QD11.A36 NO.11 D.McKie, in Ambix, 6 (1957-1958), 136-9. QD13.A49
  4. J.R. Partington, A History of Chemistry, 2, (London, 1961), 631-6. QD11.P27
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
Last updated
Home | Galileo | Biography | Chronology | Family | Portraits |
Science | Christianity | Library | About | Site Map | Search

Please note: We will not answer copyright requests.
See the copyright page for more information.