previous section
next section


Table 1

Payments are listed under the fiscal year in which they were made. Academicians' names are followed by their dates of membership in the Academy. I am grateful to Michael S. Mahoney for sharing information about pensions paid under Colbert and Louvois.

a     Sources: CdB, 1: 158, 161–63, 226–28, 278, 283, 299–300, 377–79, 448, 449–51, 476, 564–66, 646, 647–50, 712–15, 780, 782–83, 855–56, 925–27, 990, 992–93, 1084, 1085–87, 1093, 1204–1206, 1209, 1211–12, 1342, 1344–45, 1348, 1349–50; 2: 101–103, 104, 236–38, 244, 377, 379. Colbert, Lettres, 5: 470–98, lists only pensions to gens de lettres, but academicians and their assistants were often paid under other rubrics, so that it often has less information than the CdB . When one source provides information omitted from the other, I have followed the former. Table 1 a includes all sums listed in these two documents as pensions, supplements to pensions, moving expenses, or wages. Colbert, Lettres, sometimes confuses the names of Pivert, Picard, Carcavi, and Cassini. The wages of Bourdelin's garçon du laboratoire are included in table 7. Payments to Loir, who assisted academicians in extending the meridian and mapping the généralité of Paris, are included in table 4. The 2,000 lv. paid to Du Vivier in 1679 was actually for him and other, unnamed persons "qui servent avec luy" in mapping the kingdom. In 1673 Pecquet's heirs collected his pension.

b     Sources: CdB, 2: 539–040, 782–83, 1011, 1012–13, 1208–10; 3: 125–26, 305–307, 440; AN O1 656. On Gallois's pension, see Stroup, Royal Funding, 91n. c. Louvois paid academicians in fiscal year 1684 for work done in 1683, in 1685 for 1683 and 1684, in 1686 for 1685, and so on; in 1690 academicians received one-third of their pensions for 1689. In 1688 Perrault's heirs received his pension; in 1689 Borelly's widow collected two-thirds of his pension. Thévenot was pensioned for his work at the Bibliothèque du roi, not at the Academy: CdB,


2: 541. Lannion's pension was said to be for work in belles-lettres, but he was not a member of the Académie des inscriptions or the Académie française, and he was listed with members of the Academy of Sciences.

c     Sources: BN MS. Clairambault 566: 247, 251; AN G7 893–94, 897–903, 973, 986–87, 992; CdB, 4: 268, 411, 427, 566. Asterisks indicate that no record of payment exists, but that the amount listed is consistent with the estat and with practice in other years. Many pensions due in fiscal years 1694, 1695, and 1696 became rentes . Payments in fiscal year 1691 were for work performed in 1689, in 1692 for 1690 and 1691, in 1694 for 1692 and 1693, in 1695 for 1694, in 1696 for 1695, in 1697 for 1696 and 1697, in 1698 for 1697 and 1698, in 1699 for 1698 and 1699. For details, see Stroup, Royal Funding, app. C, and tables 1 and 2.

Table 2

a     Wolf, Observatoire, 14–16, gives the cost of the Observatory from 1667 through 1683 as 713,954 lv. 15 s. 11 d.; my total for Colbert's expenditure on the Observatory is 713,704 lv. 3 s. 11 d. The following points explain this difference of 250 lv. 12 s. between our totals:

(i) Wolfy included two payments of 620 lv. to Danglebert for a wooden model of the Observatory (in 1667 and 1668); there was only one (CdB, 1: 276).

(ii) Wolf omitted 8 s. in a payment for a furnace (CdB, 1: 213).

(iii) Wolf omitted payment of 600 lv. to Sainte-Marie for guarding the construction site (CdB, 1: 376).

(iv) Wolf omitted 6 s. from his total for 1669, although it appears in his subtotals.

(v) Wolf's total for 1671 omits 200 lv. included in the subtotals.

(vi) Wolf includes in the costs of construction 431 lv. paid to Furet in 1683 for metalwork and scientific instruments. I count that as payment for scientific instruments.

(vii) Addition of Wolf's yearly totals yields the sum of 713,954 lv. 9 s. 11 d., not 713,954 lv. 15 s. 11 d., as printed.

I follow Wolf (Observatoire, 8) in accepting that only one payment of 6,604 lv. was made for purchase of the site, although two payments are listed in CdB, 1: 153, 216. Both Wolf and I base our calculations on the CdB, but the architect Robert de Cotte, a surintendant des bâtiments du roy, calculated in the eighteenth century that from 1667 to 1683 the Observatory cost 725,174 lv. 4 s. 8 d.: BN MS. fr. 7801: 54r–55r. His sources are unknown.

b     Some repairs are included with small expenses. See table 11b, 167 lv. 13 s. 3 d. (1687), 433 lv. 19 s. (1688), and 370 lv. 9 s. (1689).

c     As Wolf, Observatoire, 167–68, states, the sum paid to Claude Tricot, mason, in 1686 must have been 2,748 lv. 17 s. 5 d., not 2,748 lv. 17 s. 4 d. as written in CdB, since this is parfait payement of a total of 3,548 lv. 17 s. 5 d.

Table 3

a     Marks sums, totaling 17,499 lv. 10 s., paid for burning mirrors. On the mirror purchased in 1669, see Oldenburg, Correspondence, 6: 294–95; on that


purchased in 1686, see Mercure galant (Oct. 1685): 252–66, and AdS, Reg., 11: 129v, 131v–32r (26 May, 3 June 1685).

b     Part of 195 lv. 15 s. paid to Raguin was also for work on the Marly tower.

c     Apparatus for measuring rainfall.

d     This sum covered repairs to machines in the Observatory and a pendulum clock.

e     From 1695 through 1699, Thuret's responsibilities were for all pendulum clocks in all royal buildings, in Paris and Versailles; his retainer of 300 lv. is listed therefore in table 12h.

Table 4

The cost of apparatus for these expeditions is listed in table 3. For additional costs of mapping the généralité de Paris, see table 1 a, ii (Du Vivier, Dupuy), and table 10a.

Col. d includes De La Voye's aborted voyage to Madagascar, the trip of Meurisse and Richer to Cayenne, Picard's voyage to Denmark, Roemer's to England, and Deglos's to Gorée and St. Thomé.

Table 5

Some reimbursements for small expenses (table 11) included payments for the collection of models: see CdB, 3: 124 (1688), and AN G7 902 (1698).

a     Niquet's expenses.

b     Almost all of Potel's work for the royal buildings was with hydraulic equipment. He first worked on this model in 1669.

c     This may have been for the salle des machines at the Louvre; CdB, 2: 499, lists a payment in 1684 to Le Roy for work there.

Table 6

Additional expenses for anatomical research in 1693 are included in the sum of 892 lv. divided by Colson, Homberg, and Chastillon (table 11 a). Du Hamel was probably reimbursed during fiscal year 1688 for 327 lv., spent for the Academy's anatomical research from April 1686 through February 1688 (AN O1 2124), but no corresponding entry exists in CdB . From 1693 the cost of the petit jardin (ranging from 100 lv. to 171 lv.) was combined in the CdB with payments for the terrace and amphitheater of the Jardin royal (table 12i).

Table 7

Col. a lists expenses, cols. b and c list reimbursements, and col. d summarizes the known costs of the laboratory. Given the inadequacy of the record, we do not know when the crown reimbursed Bourdelin; thus this table, unlike the others, is not a record of what the crown spent in each fiscal year. The record of expenditure is incomplete: Bourdelin's recorded expenses are much greater than his reimbursements


in the CdB, and no record survives of Duclos's, Borelly's, or Homberg's expenses. Some may have been charged to the Library (table 12c–d).

a     Based on BN MSS. n. a. fr. 5147 and 5149. For 1678 and 1681, when the sources disagree, I have followed BN MS. n. a. fr. 5149, which records the actual quittances submitted by Bourdelin. The CdB records only 7,032 lv. 4 s. paid to Bourdelin and his suppliers under Colbert (1: 231, 271, 503–504, 647, 781), and 3,341 lv. 18 s. 6 d. paid under Louvois (2: 378, 779, 1009, 1204; 3: 438, 584). AN G7 894–95, 987–99, and 901–903 show reimbursements totaling 678 lv. 17 s.; see Stroup, Royal Funding , table 5.

b     CdB, 3: 120, 305.

c     From AN G7 ; see Stroup, Royal Funding, table 5, for details.

Table 8

The artists were Bosse, Chastillon, Le Clerc, and Robert.

Some entries in CdB for 1688 and 1689 combine payments for the Academy's engravings and other engravings. I have calculated the Academy's share by dividing proportionally or by applying the normal price scale. Chastillon, for example, earned 300 lv. for engraving a conquered city, 90 lv. for engraving a plant, and 88 lv. for revising a plate of animals. Unidentified plates by Chastillon that cost 90 lv. in 1675, 1676, and 1677 are assumed to be plants.

Lister heard that the plates for Tournefort's Élémens cost the crown 12,000 lv.; since no confirmation of that figure has been found in any of the sources searched to date, it is omitted here.

Table 9

The artists were Jean Patigny and Gilles Jodelet, sieur de La Boissière. Patigny illustrated planets in 1671 and 1672, constellations in 1677. The payment of 1,080 lv. in 1678 for the map of the moon was also for illustrations of the satellites of Jupiter. Le Clerc drew the "mer des humeurs" and the phases of an eclipse of the moon on 14 and 15 Sept. 1671 (Wolf, Observatoire, 168), but payment for this does not appear in the CdB .

Table 10

a     This map, engraved by [De] La Pointe, required nine plates. The final payment is described as "parfait payement de 1300 livres"; that total seems to be mistaken.

b     The engravers for Perrault's Vitruvius were Gérard Edelinck, Gantrel, Grignon, Le Clerc, Le Pautre, Patigny, Pitau, Scotin, Tournier, and Van der Banc; Papillon prepared wood cuts. The cost of Le Clerc's work for this book is not included because his engravings are not identified as such in the CdB .

c     The engravers were Le Clerc (1675, 1676, 1680) and Chastillon (1678). Chastillon's portion of 892 lv. paid in 1693 to him, Homberg, and Colson (table 11 a) also fits this category.

d     The artists were Chastillon and Simonneau.


e    Engraved by Chastillon.

f    See Stroup, Royal Funding , 146 n. g.

g    This total excludes the costs of the engravings for Tournefort's Élémens de botanique; see table 8, n. a.

Table 11

a    Although reimbursements to Couplet total 826 lv. 6 s., the reference in CdB to "parfait payement de 321 lv. 7 s. 6 d." implies that he received 926 lv. 6 s.: Wolf, Observatoire, 42.

b    Spent in preparation for the king's visit.

Table 12

a    A payment of 952 lv. (CdB, 1: 218) in 1667 to Robert may also belong here.

b    Lists payments for work on several royal establishments including the Academy, Observatory, Bibliothèque du roi, or, in certain contexts, the Jardin royal.

c    For books, flowers, and animals purchased in the Levant.

d    Paid to Thévenot for books, maps, etc.

e    For printing plates for the Histoire des animaux and for an inventory of books involving Chazelles, Pothenot, and Gallois.

f    Includes the cost of two copies of a catalogue of the garden in Leiden.

g    Includes payment for printing part of the Academy's "Voyages et Observations astronomiques."

Table 16

Because Pontchartrain treated the pensions of several academicians as rentes, the actual sums he paid are unknown, although the amount budgeted was a matter of record. The figures reported here for pensions, therefore, represent the total amount budgeted.

Table 17

Because Pontchartrain treated the pensions of several academicians as rentes, the actual sums he paid are unknown, although the amount budgeted was a matter of record. The figures reported here for pensions under Pontchartrain, therefore, represent the total amount budgeted.


previous section
next section