Beauchamps, Joseph

, a member of the national Institute of France, and an astronomer of considerable fame, was born at Vesoul, June 29, 1752. He was originally intended for the church, and in 1767, entered the order of the Bernardines, but his turn for astronomy induced him | to become the pupil of Lalande, and one of the ablest of his scholars. His uncle Miroudat, bishop of Babylonia, having-appointed him his vicar-general, he left France in 1781, to exercise the functions of that office in the Levant, and at the same time to take astronomical observations. He went first to Aleppo, thence to Bagdad, Bassora, and Persia. On the eve of the revolution, he returned to France, after having contributed very essentially to the promotion of the sciences of astronomy and geography, as may appear by his communications in the “Journal deaf Savans” for 1782, 1784, 1785, 1787, 1788, and 1790. He remained with his family until 1795, when the then French government appointed him consul at Mascate, a Portuguese settlement in Arabia; but in 1797, we find him at Constantinople, whence he sailed along the Black Sea, making many observations, and rectifying many errors in the charts of that sea. When Bonaparte was appointed commander of the expedition to Egypt, he recalled Beauchamps from Mascate, and added him to the number of scientific men attached to the army. In 1799, Bonaparte sent him on a secret mission to Constantinople, but before he had proceeded far from the port of Alexandria, he was taken by the English, and delivered up to the grand Turk as a spy. By the intercession, however, of the ambassadors of Spain and Russia, his punishment was mitigated to imprisonment in a strong castle on the borders of the Black Sea, and in 1801 he was released. Bonaparte, then first consul, appointed him mercantile commissary at Lisbon, but before he could reach this place, he died at Nice, Nov. 19, 1801, to the great regret of his friends, and particularly of the learned world. 1