Fagon, Guy Crescent

, an eminent French physician in the reign of Louis XIV. was born at Paris, May 11, 1638. He was the son of Henry Fagon, commissioner in ordinary of war, and of Louisa de la Brosse, niece of Guy de la Brosse, physician in ordinary to Louis XIII. and grandson of a physician in ordinary to Henry IV. He studied first in the Sorbonne, under M. Gillot, an eminent doctor, with whom he resided as student, and who persuaded him to chuse the medical profession. M. Fagon never forgot M. Gillot in his highest prosperity; but, if he met him in the street, alighted from his coach, and conducted him to the house where he was going. This young physician had scarcely begun to dispute, when he ventured to maintain, in a thesis, the circulation of the blood, which was at that time held as a paradox among the old doctors; and also another on the use of tobacco, published long afterwards; “An frequens Nicotian ye usus vitam | abbreviet,Paris, 1699, 4to. He took his doctor’s degree 1664, M. Vallot wishing to repair and replenish the royal garden, M. Fagon offered his services; and going, at his own expence, to Auvergne, Languedoc, Provence, the Alps, and the Pyrenees, returned with an ample collection of curious and useful plants. He had the principal share in the catalogue of the plants in that garden, puhlished 1665, entitled “Hortus Regius,” to which he prefixed a little Latin poem of his own. M. Fagon was made professor of botany and chemistry at the royal garden, and began to have the plants engraved; but there are only forty -five plates finished, which are very scarce. The king appointed bim first physician to the dauphiness in 1680, and to the queen some months after. In 1693 he was made first physician to the king, and superintendant of the royal garden in 1698, to which he retired after the king’s death, and, for the improvement of which, he persuaded Louis XIV. to send M. de Tournfort into Greece, Asia, and Egypt, which produced the scientific voyage so well known to the learned world. Fagon died March 11, 1718, aged near eighty. The academy of sciences had chosen him an honorary member in 1699. He left “Les Qualités du Quinquina,Paris, 1703, 12mo. He married Mary Nozereau, by whom he had two sons Anthony, the eldest, bishop of Lombez, then of Vannes, died February.16, 1742 the second, Lewis, counsellor of state in ordinary, and to the royal council, and intendant of the finances, died at Paris May 8, 1741, unmarried. The Fagonia, in botany, was so called by Tournfort in honour of him. 1

1 Dict. Hist. de L’AvocAt. —Moreri.