Claude Fleury

1640-1723. French church historian. Born in Paris, son of a Normandy lawyer, he was educated in the Jesuit College of Clermont and began practicing law in 1658. Bossuet and Fénelon brought him into contact with leading French personages, and his own studies in civil and canon law, history, literature, and archeology advanced. Ordained in 1669, he won positions in the French court as tutor to the Princes de Conti (1672) and then to Louis XIV's grandsons (1689), was abbot of the Cistercian Loc-Dieu (1684), elected to the French Academy in 1696, and was made prior of Notre-Dame-d'Argenteuil in 1706. Chosen confessor to Louis XV, he was averse to disputes and remained aloof from Jansenism and other movements. His great work was Histoire ecclésiastique (20 vols., 1690-1720), which he ended at 1414 and others continued. This, together with Les Moeurs des chrétiens (1682) and Grand Catechisme historique (1683) and other works, was placed on the Index* for Gallican tendencies.