Savary, James

, an useful French writer upon the Subject of trade, was born at Doue in Anjou Sept. 22, 1622. He was sent to Paris, and put apprentice to a merchant; and carried on trade till 1658, when he left off the practice, to apply with more attention to the theory. It is said, that he had acquired a very competent fortune; but, in 1667, when the king rewarded with certain privileges and pensions such of his subjects as had twelve children alive, Savary was not too rich to put in his claim. He was afterwards admitted of the council for the reformation of commerce; and the orders, which passed in 1670, were drawn up from his instructions and advice. Being requested by the commissioners to digest his principles into a volume, he published at Paris, in 1675, 4to, “Le Parfait Negociant, ou, Instruction generate pour ce qui regarde le Commerce des Merchandises de France et des Pays Etrangers.” This went through many editions, the best of which is that of 1777, 2 vols. 4to; and has been translated into almost all European languages. In 1688, he published “Avis et Conseils sur les plus importantes matieres du Commerce,” in 4to; which has been considered as a second volume to the former work, and often re-printed. He died in 1690; and, out of seventeen children which he had by one wife, left eleven.

Two of the sons, James and Philemon, became afterwards writers on the same subject. James Savary being chosen in 1686 inspector general of the manufactures at the custom-house of Paris, took an account of all the several sorts of merchandise that passed through it; and ranged in alphabetical order all the words relating to manufactures and commerce, with definitions and explications, merely at first for his private use, but being told how useful such a work might prove, if extended and methodized, he employed his brother Philemon to assist him, but died in 1716, leaving it unfinished, Philemon at length published it at Paris in 1723, under this title, “Dictionnaire Universel du Commerce,” in 2 vols. folio; and, animated by the favourable reception given to this work, spent three other years in making it more complete and perfect; and finished a third volume, by way of supplement to the two former, which appeared in 1729. This was after his death, which happened in 1727. This “Dictionary of Commerce” has been universally spoken of as a very excellent work, and has been often reprinted. The best edition is | that edited by Philibert, at Copenhagen, 1759 66, 5 vols. fol. 1


Niceron, vols. IX and X. —Dict. Hist.