Jean Sylvain Bailly

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Bailly, Jean Sylvain


Born Sept. 15, 1736, in Paris; died Nov. 11, 1793, on the Champ de Mars. Figure in the Great French Revolution and astronomer. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1763).

Bailly worked in various areas of astronomy, and in particular, studied Jupiter and its satellites. One of the leaders of the prominent bourgeoisie and its party of constitutionalists, he was the first president of the National Assembly (June-July 1789) and first mayor of Paris (1789–91). Bailly favored an agreement with the monarchy and endeavored to thwart the development of the revolution. Together with M. J. Lafayette, he was responsible for firing on the popular demonstration on the Champ de Mars on July 17, 1791. During the Jacobean dictatorship, he was beheaded on orders of the revolutionary tribunal.


Smith, E. B. Jean Sylvain Bailly, 1736–1793. Philadelphia, 1954. (With bibliography of Bailly’s works and literature about him.)
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