Hooke, Robert, 1635-1703

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Hooke, Robert, 1635-1703

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HOOKE, ROBERT, son of Rev. John Hooke, Curate, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, and his second wife Cecily, dau. of Robert Gyles, Brading, Isle of Wight, merchant; b. 18 Jul 1635; a pupil of Sir Peter Lely, the painter; subsequently adm. to the School, boarding with the Head Master (Busby) (Chapter Muniments 43112); astonished his teachers by mastering the six books of Euclid in one week; while at school learned “to play twenty lessons on the organ” and “invented thirty several ways of flying” (Wood, Athenae Oxonienses, iv, 628); Christ Church, Oxford, adm. as chorister or servitor, matr. 31 Jul 1658; MA 28 Sep 1663; MD (Lambeth) 7 Dec 1691; assisted Thomas Willis in his chemistry and Robert Boyle with his air-pump; Curator of Experiments, Royal Society, from 12 Nov 1662; FRS 20 May 1663, being one of original Fellows under second charter; Secretary, Royal Society 30 Nov 1677 – 30 Nov 1679; Professor of Geometry, Gresham College, from 20 Mar 1665; the first to apply a spiral spring to regulate the balance of a watch 1658, and the first to infer the rotation of Jupiter 1664; discovered the fifth star in Orion 1664; proposed to measure the force of gravity by the swinging of a pendulum 1666; constructed the first Gregorian telescope 1674; expounded the true theory of the elasticity and the kinetic hypothesis of gases 1678; described a practical system of telegraphy 1684; invented a marine barometer and other instruments; laid before the Common Council of the City of London in Sep 1666 his plan for rebuilding the City of London after the fire, and in Oct 1666 was appointed one of the City’s three surveyors; also one of the Surveyors for rebuilding the City churches, collaborating with his cousin Sir Christopher Wren (qv); buildings designed by him included Bethlehem Hospital, Montagu House and the Royal College of Physicians; Surveyor to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Jan 1690/1 – Jan 1696/7; author, Micrographia 1665; his Posthumous Works were edited by Richard Waller, 1705; his diaries for the years 1672-80 were published as The Diary of Robert Hooke, 1935, and those for 1688-90, 1692-3 were published in R. T. Gunther (ed), Early Science in Oxford, 1935, 69-265; d. unm. 3 Mar 1702/3. DNB.


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GB 2014

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International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families - ISAAR(CPF) 2nd edition



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Prepared for import into AtoM by Westminster School Archive staff, 2019-2020




Users should note that the information recorded here that is not to be found in the first two volumes of the Record of Old Westminsters and its first Supplement has been assembled from various published and manuscript sources by Hugh Edmund Pagan MA FSA, and all new resulting text is his copyright, © 2014.

The Record of Old Westminsters: A biographical list of all those who are known to have been educated at Westminster School from the earliest times to 1927, Volumes 1 & 2, compiled by G. F. Russell Barker and Alan H. Stenning, London, 1928.

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