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.