John Despierres (Father John)
John Despierres, a learned Flemish Benedictine monk. By his learning and talents he recommended himself to several honourable offices belonging to his order, until he became superior of the Benedictine college in the university of Douay. He was created doctor in divinity in the year 1640. But he was distinguished for his acquaintance with the mathematical sciences. as well as his proficiency in other branches of learning; on which account he was appointed by the king professor of mathematics in the university of Douay. He died in 1664, aged seventy-six. He was the inventor of a sphere of iron, which, by an ingenious application of mechanism, illustrated the movements of the sun, moon, and other planets. He wrote, on the Roman Calendar; a Commentary on Psalms; a Defence of the Vulgate Translation; and other works. — A Universal Biography: 3d series. [15th-16th century) by the Rev. John Platts.
John Evelyn describes Father John during his visit to Rome:
“I was especially recommended to Father John, a Benedictine monk and Superior of his Order for the English College of Douay, a person of singular learning, religion, and humanity;”