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Chemistry Teaching at Oxford and Cambridge, Circa 1700

  • Anita Guerrini
Chapter
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas / Archives Internationales D’Histoire des Idées book series (ARCH, volume 140)

Abstract

In his lectures from the first decades of the eighteenth century, Hermann Boerhaave defined chemistry as

An Art that teaches us how to perform certain physical operations, by which bodies that are discernible by the senses, or that may be rendered so, and that are capable of being contained in vessels, may by suitable instruments be so changed, that particular determin’d effects may be thence produced, and the causes of those effects understood by the effects themselves, to the manifold improvement of various Arts.1

Keywords

Eighteenth Century Seventeenth Century Chemistry Teaching British Library Newtonian Natural Philosophy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Hermann Boerhaave, Elements of Chemistry, trans. Timothy Dallowe, 2 vols. (London: J. and J. Pemberton et al., 1735), vol. 1 p. 19.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Christoph Meinel, “Artibus Academicis Inserenda: Chemistry’s Place in Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century Universities,” History of Universities 7 (1988): pp. 89–115, at p. 89.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Owen Hannaway, The Chemists and the Word (Baltimore, 1975); Robert Multhauf, The Origins of Chemistry (London, 1966), 257-73; Jan V. Golinski, “Language, Method and Theory in British Chemical Discourse, c. 1660-1770” (Ph.D. thesis, Leeds, 1984), ch. B, pp. 22-76; J. R. R. Christie and J. V. Golinski, “The Spreading of the Word: New Directions in the Historiography of Chemistry 1600-1800,” History of Science, 20 (1982) pp. 235–66; Bruce T. Moran, Chemical Pharmacy Enters the University: Johannes Hartmann and the Didactic Care of “Chymiatria” in the Early Seventeenth Century (Madison, 1991); Meinel, “Chemistry’s Place” (n. 2) pp. 91-95.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Nicaise Lefebvre, Traicté de la chymie, 2 vol. (Paris: T. Jolly, 1660), translated into English as A Compleat Body of Chymistry (London: T. Ratcliffe for O. Pulleyn Jr., 1664); Hélène Metzger, Les doctrines chimiques en France du début du XVIIe à la fin du XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1969), Ch. I; Jean-Paul Contant, L’Enseignement de la chimie au Jardin Royal de Plantes de Paris (Cahors, 1952).Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Nicolas Lemery, Cours de chymie (Paris: L’Autheur, 1675). Eight French editions of this work appeared before 1700, and well as translations into Latin, Dutch, English, German and Italian. Metzger, Doctrines chimiques (n. 5) ch. v, pp. 281-338.Google Scholar
  6. Jean-Claude Guédon, “Protestantisme et chimie: Le milieu intellectuel de Nicolas Lemery,” Isis, 65 (1974), pp. 212–28; Dictionary of Scientific Biography, 8, pp. 172-75 (Owen Hannaway).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Nicolas Lemery, A Course of Chymistry, containing An easie Method of Preparing those Chymical Medicins which are used in Physick. With Curious Remarks and Useful Discourses upon each Preparation, for the benefit of such as desire to be instructed in the Knowledge of this Art. The Third Edition, Translated from the Eighth Edition in the French, which is very much enlarged beyond any of the former [Translated by James Keill] (London: R.N. for Walter Kettilby, 1698), p. 6. Lemery’s—and Keill’s—use of the word “principle” is intended to have the double meaning of chemical principle or element and the more general principles or laws of physics.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    R.T. Gunther, Early Science in Oxford, 14 vols. (Oxford, 1920–45), vol. 1, pp. 22–24.Google Scholar
  9. G.H. Turnbull, “Peter Stahl, the First Public Teacher of Chemistry at Oxford,” Annals of Science, 9 (1953), pp. 265–70; Golinski, “Chemical Discourse” (n. 4), pp. 56-58. 10. Robert G. Frank, Jr., Harvey and the Oxford Physiologists (Berkeley, 1980), pp. 48-52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 12.
    George Wilson, A Compleat Course of Chymistry, Containing over Three Hundred Operations....[second edn] (London: Printed and sold at the Author’s House in Well-Yard, near St Bartholomew’s Hospital and by Walter Kettilby... 1699).Google Scholar
  11. F.W. Gibbs, “George Wilson (1631-1711),” Endeavour 12 (1953), pp. 182–85.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    Larry Stewart, “The Selling of Newton: Science and Technology in Early Eighteenth-century England,” Journal of British Studies, 25 (1986) pp. 178–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 14.
    Dictionary of National Biography, s.v. Vigani (John Ferguson); Dictionary of Scientific Biography, 14, pp. 26-27 (A. R. Hall); L. J. M. Coleby, “John Francis Vigani,” Annals of Science 8 (1952), 46–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. J. R. Partington, A History of Chemistry, 4 vols. (London, 1961–70), vol. 2 pp. 686–87.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    J.F. Vigani, Medulla chymiae (London: H. Faithorne and J. Kersey, 1683), Epistola ad lectorem, not paginated (my translation).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Boerhaave, Methodi studii medici (Amsterdam, 1751), I, p. 139, quoted by Coleby, “Vigani” (n. 14), p. 49.Google Scholar
  17. 21.
    L. J. M. Coleby, “John Mickleburgh,” Annals of Science, 8 (1952), pp. 165–74; R.S. Schofield, Mechanism and Materialism (Princeton, 1970), 47-49; Golinski, “Chemical Discourse” (n. 4), pp. 161-65. Mickleburgh’s lectures were never published.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 22.
    A.V. Simcock, The Ashmolean Museum and Oxford Science 1683–1983 (Oxford, 1984), pp. 1-2, 7-8; R. T. Günther, “The First Public Chemical Laboratory in England,” Nature, 119 (April 2, 1927), p. 492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 26.
    On Keill’s background, see Anita Guerrini, “The Tory Newtonians: Gregory, Pitcairne and their Circle,” Journal of British Studies, 25 (1986), pp. 305–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Anita Guerrini and Jole R. Shackelford, “John Keill’s De operationum chymicarum ratione mechanical,” Ambix, 36 (1989), pp. 138–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 27.
    John Keill, An Introduction to Natural Philosophy, or Philosophical Lectures Read in the University of Oxford, Anno Dom. 1700 [Trans. George Sewell and J.T. Desaguliers] (2nd edn London: J. Senex et al., 1726), Preface, pp. x–xi; Guerrini and Shackelford, “John Keill” (n. 26), p. 139.Google Scholar
  22. 38.
    J. T. Desaguliers, A Course of Experimental Philosophy, 1 (London: J. Senex et al., 1734), Preface, n.p. (biographical accounts of Keill have cited this passage without the dates supplied by Desaguliers); Guerrini and Shackelford, “John Keill” (n. 26), pp. 138-39; DNB, s.v. Keill; Simcock, Ashmolean Museum (n. 22), p. 11.Google Scholar
  23. 41.
    David Gregory, [Memoranda], British Library, Add. MS 29,243, f.lr; John Keill, “Epistola ad Cl. virum Gulielmum Cockburn, in qua leges attractionis, aliaque physices principia traduntur,” Philosophical Transactions 26 (1708) pp. 97–110. See also Guerrini and Shackelford, “John Keill” (n. 22), p. 141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 43.
    See Anita Guerrini, “Archibald Pitcairne and Newtonian Medicine,” Medical History, 31 (1987) pp. 70–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 46.
    John Freind, Emmenologia (1703), trans. Thomas Dale (London: T. Cox, 1729); Guerrini. “Newtonian Matter Theory” (n. 40), pp. 170-74; cf. Golinski, “Chemical Discourse” (n. 4) pp. 131-32, who seems unaware of Pitcairne’s existence.Google Scholar
  26. 48.
    John Freind, Chymical Lectures (1709), trans. J. M. (London: Philip Gwillim for Jonah Bowyer, 1712), Preface, not paginated.Google Scholar
  27. 49.
    Ibid., pp. 7–10.Google Scholar
  28. 50.
    Ibid., p. 6.Google Scholar
  29. 59.
    On Shaw see Jan V. Golinski, “Peter Shaw: Chemistry and Communication in Augustan England,” Ambix, 30 (1983), pp. 19–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

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  • Anita Guerrini

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