1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Demoivre, Abraham
DEMOIVRE, ABRAHAM (1667–1754), English mathematician of French extraction, was born at Vitry, in Champagne, on the 26th of May 1667. He belonged to a French Protestant family, and was compelled to take refuge in England at the revocation of the edict of Nantes, in 1685. Having laid the foundation of his mathematical studies in France, he prosecuted them further in London, where he read public lectures on natural philosophy for his support. The Principia mathematica of Sir Isaac Newton, which chance threw in his way, caused him to prosecute his studies with vigour, and he soon became distinguished among first-rate mathematicians. He was among the intimate personal friends of Newton, and his eminence and abilities secured his admission into the Royal Society of London in 1697, and afterwards into the Academies of Berlin and Paris. His merit was so well known and acknowledged by the Royal Society that they judged him a fit person to decide the famous contest between Newton and G. W. Leibnitz (see Infinitesimal Calculus). The life of Demoivre was quiet and uneventful. His old age was spent in obscure poverty, his friends and associates having nearly all passed away before him. He died at London, on the 27th of November 1754.