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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 976 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TILLEMONT, S$BASTIEN LE NAIN DE (1637-1698), French ecclesiastical historian, was born in Paris on the 3oth of November 1637. His father, a wealthy member of the legal class, being a devoted Jansenist, the boy was brought up in the little schools of Port Royal. Here his bent towards historical study was warmly encouraged, and in 166o he was made a tutor in the seminary of Buzenval, Jansenist bishop of -Beauvais. Ten years later he came back to Paris, and was eventually persuaded (1676) to enter the priesthood, and become a chaplain at Port Royal. In 1679 the storm of persecution drove him to settle on his family estate of Tillemont, between Montreuil and Vincennes. There he spent the remainder of his life, dying on the loth of January 1698. He was buried at Port Royal; in 1711, on the desecration of the cemetery, his remains were transferred From the age of twenty he was at work on his two great books—the Memoires pour servir d l'histoire ecclesiastique des six premiers siecles, and the Histoire des empereurs during the same period. Both works began to appear during his lifetime—the Histoire in 169o, the Memoires in 1693—but in neither case was the publication many of their designs were produced by such famous architects as Pugin, Gilbert Scott,. Street, &c., so that between 185o and 188o encaustic tiles had a great vogue for pavement work not only in England, but in all civilized countries, and fine examples of the rich encaustic pavements made at Mintons', Maw's, or Godwin's of Hereford, are to be found in most of the restored cathedrals and churches of this period. Side by side with the revival of this ancient process, there was developed an essentially modern process of manufacturing by compressing pulverized clay in metal dies under a screw press. This was the outgrowth of a patent granted to Richard Prosser in 184o, and worked out and perfected at the works of Minton at Stoke-upon-Trent. The advantages of this method of manufacture consist in (a) greater rapidity in execution than can be effected by the plastic method, and (b) the greater mechanical accuracy of the finished tile due to the steel dies used in shaping the tile and to the diminished contraction in drying and firing: This essentially modern method of tile-making is really an out-come of the methods introduced in the manufacture of English earthenware (see CERAMICS), and it has not only been extensively developed in England, but has been adopted, practically without modification, in all the leading countries of Europe and in the to the church of St Andre des Arcs in Paris. finished till long after his death. To his modesty Bossuet bears witness, when he told him to stand up sometimes, and not be always on his knees before a critic. Gibbon vouches for his learning, when (in the 47th chapter) he speaks of "this incomparable guide, whose bigotry is overbalanced by the merits of erudition, diligence, veracity and scrupulous minuteness." There is a full account of his life in the 4th volume of Sainte-Beuve's Port Royal.
End of Article: TILLEMONT

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