Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon

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Georges Louis Leclerc

Birthplace: Montbard, Côte-d'Or, Burgandy, France
Death: Died in Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Benjamin Leclerc and Anne Christine Marlin
Husband of Marie Françoise de Saint-Belin Malain
Father of Georges Louis Marie Leclerc de Buffon

Managed by: Johanna van Beusekom
Last Updated:

About Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon

  • Georges-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, né à Montbard le 7 septembre 1707 et mort à Paris le 16 avril 17881, est un naturaliste, mathématicien, biologiste, cosmologiste, philosophe, écrivain et franc-maçon français. Son nom est lié à la localité de Buffon, en Côte-d'Or, dont la seigneurie fut acquise par la famille Leclerc.]

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (7 September 1707 – 16 April 1788) was a French naturalist, mathematician, cosmologist, and encyclopedic author. His works influenced the next two generations of naturalists, including Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Georges Cuvier. Buffon published thirty-six quarto volumes of his Histoire naturelle during his lifetime; with additional volumes based on his notes and further research being published in the two decades following his death.

It has been said that "Truly, Buffon was the father of all thought in natural history in the second half of the 18th century".

Buffon held the position of intendant (director) at the Jardin du Roi, now called the Jardin des Plantes; it is the French equivalent of Kew Gardens..."

"...Georges Louis Leclerc (later Count de Buffon) was born at Montbard, in the Province of Burgundy to Benjamin Leclerc, a minor local official in charge of the salt tax and Anne-Christine Marlin also from a family of civil servants. Georges was named after his mother’s uncle (his godfather) Georges Blaisot, the tax-farmer of the Duke of Savoy for all of Sicily. In 1714 Blaisot died childless, leaving a considerable fortune to his seven-year-old godson. Benjamin Leclerc then purchased an estate containing the nearby village of Buffon and moved the family to Dijon acquiring various offices there as well as a seat in the Dijon Parlement. Georges attended the Jesuit College of Godrans in Dijon from the age of ten onwards. From 1723–1726 he then studied law in Dijon, the prerequisite for continuing the family tradition in civil service. In 1728 Georges left Dijon to study mathematics and medicine at the University of Angers in France. At Angers in 1730 he made the acquaintance of the young English Duke of Kingston, who was on his grand tour of Europe, and traveled with him and a large and expensive entourage for a year and a half through southern France and parts of Italy. There are persistent but completely undocumented rumors from this period about duels, abductions and secret trips to England. In 1732 after the death of his mother and before the impending remarriage of his father, Georges left Kingston and returned to Dijon to secure his inheritance. Having added “de Buffon” to his name while traveling with the Duke, he repurchased the village of Buffon, which his father had meanwhile sold off. With a fortune of about 80 000 livres Buffon set himself up in Paris to pursue science, at first primarily mathematics and mechanics, and the increase of his fortune..."


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Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon's Timeline

September 7, 1707
Montbard, Côte-d'Or, Burgandy, France
May 22, 1764
Age 56
Montbard, Côte-d'Or, Burgundy, France
April 16, 1788
Age 80
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France