Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Maire, Christopher

MAIRE, CHRISTOPHER (1697–1767), jesuit, son of Christopher Maire, esq., of Hartbushes, co. Durham, by Frances Ingleby of Lawkland, Yorkshire, was born on 6 March 1696–7, and studied humanities in the college of the English jesuits at St. Omer. He entered the Society of Jesus 7 Sept. 1715, and was professed of the four vows 2 Feb. 1733. After a course of teaching at St. Omer, and professing philosophy and theology at Liège, he was declared rector of the English College at Rome in the autumn of 1744, and he held that office until 1750. He returned to St. Omer in March 1757; and died at Ghent on 22 Feb. 1767.

Alban Butler calls him ‘an able mathematician,’ in allusion to measurements which he made of St. Paul's Cathedral, London (Lives of the Saints, 18 Nov., note). Pope Benedict XIV entrusted to him and Father Boscovich the task of making a correct map of the State of the Church.

His works are: 1. ‘Tractatus Theologicus de Sanctissima Trinitate,’ 1737, 12mo, pp. 152, manuscript in the library of the University of Liège. 2. ‘Observationes Cometæ ineunte anno mdccxliv in Collegio Anglicano Romæ habitæ, et cum theoria Newtoniana comparatæ,’ Rome, 1744, 4to. A translation into Italian also appeared. 3. ‘Observationes Astronomicæ Leodii, Audomarapoli, et Romæ habitæ ab anno 1727 ad 1743:’ in C. A. Giuliani's ‘Memorie sopra la Fisica e Istoria Naturale di diversi Valentuomini,’ Lucca, 1744, vol. ii. (see Journal des Savants, 1746, p. 224). 4. ‘Continuatio Observationum Astronomicarum P. C. Maire … quas Romæ habuit annis 1743 et 1744:’ in Giuliani's ‘Memorie,’ vol. iii. 5. ‘Table of Longitudes and Latitudes for the principal Towns of the World:’ in ‘Scientia Eclipsium,’ Rome, 1747. 6. ‘Defectus Solis observatus die 25 Julii in Collegio Anglicano:’ in ‘Mém. de Trev.’ September 1748, p. 2087. 7. ‘Observatio partialis Eclipsis Lunæ die 25 Decembris 1749 in Collegio Anglicano:’ in Zaccaria's ‘Storia Letteraria d'Italia,’ xi. 375–7, and in the ‘Giornale di Roma,’ 1749, art. 42. 8. ‘Observations made at Rome of the Eclipse of the Moon, Dec. 23, 1749, and of that of the Sun, Jan. 8, 1750:’ in ‘Philosophical Transactions,’ x. 4 (1750). 9. ‘Osservazioni dell' ultimo passagio di Mercurio fatte in Roma,’ 1753: in the ‘Giornali de' Letterati’ (see Zaccaria, Storia Letteraria, viii. 181). 10. ‘De litteraria Expeditione per Pontificiam Ditionem ad dimetiendos duos Meridiani Gradus et corrigendam Mappam geographicam, jussu et auspiciis Benedicti XIV Pont. Max. suscepta a Patribus Societatis Jesu Christophoro Maire et Rogerio Josepho Boscovich,’ Rome, 1755, 4to. A French translation, with notes by Hugon, appeared at Paris in 1770, 4to. 11. ‘Nuova Carta Geographica dello Stato Ecclesiastico,’ fol. (Catal. de Cotte, No. 1559). 12. Three letters in Stanislaus Wydra's ‘Vita Josephi Stepling,’ Prague, 1779, 8vo, pp. 106–12.

[Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 137; Foley's Records, v. 653, vii. 479; De Backer's Bibl. de la Compagnie de Jésus, ii. 1007; Archbishop Ullathorne's Autobiog. pp. 132–7; Watt's Bibl. Brit.]

T. C.