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Tycho de Hofman

Tycho de Hofman
was born as the second son of 
Sören de Hofman on 15 December 1714. From the beginning, it was meant that Tycho should study theology but he had no particular interest in the subject although he passed his exam in 1735. Instead, he studied law helped by a scholarship set up by a relative of his - Peder Lassen.

In 1737, he embarked on a four-year journey taking him to universities in Göttingen, Leipzig and Strasbourg. The main subjects he studied were history, languages and philosophy. He also visited England and the main university towns of Cambridge and Oxford as well as Paris. When he returned in 1741 via Holland and Germany, he published his first book "Leben einiger wohlverdienten Dänen" which earned him the job of Secretary in the Danish chancellery. 


But already the year after, he took off on another four-year trip together with his friend, the diplomat, 18-year old Frederik de Berregaard (1724-1757). They visited Germany, France, Italy, England and Holland and everyhere they went, his companion's extensive connections gave him admission to the royal courts. Fredrik de Berregaard was the only son of Oberstlieutant Fredrik de Berregaard (died in 1724) who was married to Marie de Lasson (died in 1747). Frederik de Berregaard died in Warsaw after being appointed envoyé at the Polish royal court. After his father he inherited a large fortune and he owned several estates inluding Ørslev Monestary, Starupgaard and Strandet. He was married twice but did not have any children.


During his travels, Tycho studied hard, working on his second project, "Portraits historique des hommes illustres de Dannemarc" which contained six parts. In addition, he produced biographies on famous individuals including Griffenfeld,Cort Adeler and Tordenskjold. Without any doubt, these masterpieces, including dedications to the King, accelerated his career in a very favorable manner. In 1747, he was proclaimed Judge in the Royal Court at the castle of Copenhagen and in 1750 Judge in the Supreme Court. Besides these professional duties, he took time to continue his studies, which was his main interest. In 1748, he applied for a job as Archive Secretary in the Royal Archive (Gehejmearkivet).  


Later, he became Dr. Jur. at the university of Jena after producing a thesis called "Kort Afhandling om Oprindelsen til at tage og give Tiende samt Rettighed til at kalde Praester" which was printed in 1750. In 1753, he produced a book about his cousin , the famous Jurist Peder Lasson"Fundationer Paa de Legata, som ere Stiftede af Peder Lasson....samt hans liv of Levnet".

Tycho de Hofman goes down in history as a man who contributed highly to the promotion of Danish book production during the 17th century. Especially, his use of copper-plates is regarded to be outstanding. He is most famous for his book "Historic information an well-merited Danish Noblemen" published in 1746. "Fundationer, gavebrev" which was published in 1755. 


Tycho de Hofman died on 14th of February 1754 by a violent haemorrage to the brain, only 40 years old. View a larger picture of Tycho de Hofman, a cooper-plate produced in 1745 by J.G. Witt in Paris, France.

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