Jean Leurechon

Jean Leurechon (c. 1591 – 17 January 1670) was a French Jesuit priest, astronomer, and mathematician, known for inventing the pigeonhole principle and naming the thermometer.

Récréations mathématiques, 1642

. . . Jean Leurechon . . .

Leurechon was born in Bar-le-Duc where his father, also named Jean Leurechon, was a physician to the Duke of Lorraine.[1] He sent Leurechon to be educated at the Jesuit university in Pont-à-Mousson but, learning of Leurechon’s desire to take holy orders[2] and wishing him instead to become a physician,[1] brought him back to Bar-le-Duc.[2] In 1609 Leurechon ran away from home to return to the Jesuits,[2][3] and the story goes that this so enraged his mother that she took up a dagger and attempted to assassinate the head of the local Jesuit order.[3] His father appealed to the parliament in Paris, which had jurisdiction over Pont-à-Mousson, and Leurechon was returned again to Bar-le-Duc, where the Duke ordered Leurechon to be held at the convent of the Minims in Nancy.[3][2] This did not change his resolve, and after a month his parents let him go.[3]

Leurechon taught mathematics from 1614 to 1629 at Pont-à-Mousson,[4] and in 1631 became rector of the Collège Gilles de Trèves [fr], a Jesuit school in Bar-le-Duc.[1][3] This position reconciled him with his parents, who willed their estate to the Jesuits.[3] At Bar-le-Duc, he also took the confessions of Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine.[2]

From 1649 to 1655 he worked in an army chapel in Brussels.[5] He died on 17 January 1670 in Pont-à-Mousson.[2]

. . . Jean Leurechon . . .

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. . . Jean Leurechon . . .