Flamel, Nicholas

, falsely celebrated as an alchymist, under which supposition some forged works have been attributed to him (as, “A Philosophical Summary,” in verse, 1561, and a treatise “On the Transformation of Metals,” in 1621), was a native of Pontoise, towards the close of the fourteenth century, and exercised the profession of a notary at Paris. He began life without any fortune, but suddenly became rich, which occasioned the upposition that he had found the grand secret. He made, however, no other use of his riches than in relieving the distressed, founding hospitals, and repairing places of divine worship. To account for this sudden wealth in a more probable way, it has been said, that he bought up the debts owing to the Jews when they were expelled in 1394, and made great profits by the contracts, This, however, has been refuted, and the truth perhaps is, that he made his money by a profound knowledge of commerce, at a time when men in general were ignorant of its principles. He died at Paris, March 22, 1418. He and his wife Pernelle have been the subject of some curious inquiries at Paris, where they pretended to have found his alchemical apparatus. Paul Lucas, a thorough traveller, asserted that he had heard of him alive in India, long after his real decease. In the “Essais sur Paris,” by IVt,. St. Foix, there are many particulars of Flamel, also in the 44 Hermippus Redivivus,“London, 1749, second edit, anc) in the” Varieties of Literature," 1795, 8vo. 1


Pilkington. Argenville, vol. III. Biog. Universelle in Bertholet. Moren. Dict. Ili>t. “Hist. Crit. de Nic. Flamel,Paris, 1761, 21mo. Another Life was published at Paris in 1782.