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Francois Quesnay
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1711-1774

Francois Quesnay was born in Seine-and-Oise, June 4 1694, of a father who worked as a ploughman and merchant. In 1711, Quesnay entered in training for five years as a Parisian engraver. Following this, he registered at the university and the college of surgery, receiving his degree in 1717. In 1718, Quesnay was accepted in the community of surgeons of Paris.

In 1723, he became royal surgeon, entering into the service of the Duke of Villeroy in 1734, and in 1744 was awarded the rank of doctor of medicine. Five years later he became physician to Mrs. de Pompadour. Elected to the Academy of Science in 1751, Quesnay becomes a member of Royal Society in 1752. The same year he is made a noble by the king after curing the Dolphin of the small pox.

Encouraged to collaborate onthe Encyclopaedia, Quesnay delivers initially the articles "Obviousness " and "Farmers" (political economy), which appear in volume VI (1756), then "Grains", which appears in volume VII (1757). But the attack of Damiens (January 5, 1757) makes him withdraw three other articles that he had prepared: "Interest of the money", "Men" and "Taxes". It is during this time, 1757-1758, that a group of men begin to meet around Quesnay and Mirabeau who were to become known as the Economists (i.e., the Physiocrats). In 1758 (November or December) the first edition of the Economic Table is published. An explanation of the Table by Mirabeau is integrated inthe Friend of the Men, and the Table forms the basis for the participation of Quesnay in Rural Philosophie of Mirabeau which appears in 1763.

From 1765, Quesnay and the followers of his doctrines undertake to ensure the diffusion by the press of it. A supplement in Gazette of the Trade, the Newspaper of agriculture, trade and finances is created. And, under the pseudonyms Mr. H., Mr. N, Mr. of Isle or Mr. Nisaque, Quesnay publishes articles regularly there: "Observations on the natural right", "Memory on the advantages of industry and the trade" , and "Launching the discussion on the productive class and the sterile class." After the resumption in hands by its adversaries of the Newspaper, Quesnay finds in the citizen of the Baudeau abbot a new platform. It is in this newspaper that Quesnay has essays published on "Government of Incas of Peru", then "Despotism of China". In March of 1767 is published Physiocratie, his work in two volumes made up of a selection of its articles edited by Dupont de Nemours, who " worked them over carefully.

The last contribution of Quesnay was, in February 1768, "Letters of a farmer and an owner".

Quesnay died in Versailles on December 16, 1774.