Date: 03 Sep 2014

Le Fèvre, Jean

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Alternate Name

Fèvre, Jean Le

BornLisieux, (Calvados), France, possibly 9 April 1652

DiedParis, France, 1706

Jean Le Fèvre was a calculator for the first official French ephemerides. Le Fèvre is reputed to have begun his career as a weaver. Around 1680, he was associated with a professor of rhetoric at the Collège de Lisieux, who was also an amateur astronomer. The latter had connections with Jean Picard and Philippe de la Hire, who were working on the first French ephemerides, the Connaissances des temps, and Le Fèvre was employed to help in the massive project of calculation of planetary, lunar, and solar positions. On their recommendation, he was elected a member of the Académie des sciences for this work. Besides doing astronomical calculations, he helped La Hire with surveying the French coastline. When La Hire published his Tabulae astronomicae in 1687, however, Le Fèvre accused him of plagiarism, and when La Hire’s son was commissioned to draw up new astronomical table ...