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17th Century England Index

Introduction : Constitutional Government
James I and the Divine Right of Kings
Towards Civil War
The First English Civil War
Cromwell and the New Model Army
The Second English Civil War
The Trial and Execution of Charles I
The English Republic (1649 - 1660)
Life in Cromwell's England
Charles II : "The Merry Monarch"
Whigs and Tories
James II and the Monmouth Rebellion (1685)
The Bill of Rights
John Locke and the "Treatises on Government"

England during the Reign of Charles II Index

Samuel Pepys
The Great Plague
The Great Fire of London

History Chapters Main Index

 

17th Century Presidents of the Royal Society

1662-1677

The Viscount Brouncker
Mathematician

1677-1680

Sir Joseph Williamson
Civil servant and politician

1680-1682

Sir Christopher Wren
Architect, astronomer and physicist

1682-1683

Sir John Hoskyns
Lawyer

1683-1684

Cyril Wyche
Lawyer and politician

1684-1686

Samuel Pepys
Naval administrator and Politician

1686-1689

The Earl of Carbery
Politician

1689-1690

The Earl of Pembroke
Politician

1690-1695

Sir Robert Southwell
Diplomat

1695-1698

Charles Montagu
Poet and statesman

1698-1703

The Lord Somers
Jurist and statesman

source Wikipedia

 

BRITAIN : ISLAND STATE TO EMPIRE

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England during the Reign of Charles II

The Royal Society

This society started as a series of meetings held at Oxford University and, later, in Gresham College, Bishopsgate Street. Two of its founder members were Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren. It was granted a royal charter in 1660 by Charles II, and thus became known as the Royal Society. However, the Royal Society was never financed by the crown, unlike similar societies which started up in other European countries at that time.

Robert Hooke's microscope

Robert Hooke's microscope

The members of the Royal Society were intellectuals from both the arts and science. Science had only just emerged as a discipline in its own right and many famous scientists were members of the Royal Society. Robert Hooke studied optics and the properties of metals under tension. He developed a new, improved microscope, called the compound microscope. This enabled him to observe detail, such as that shown by his flea drawing which no-one had ever been able to see before. Robert Boyle studied atoms and the properties of gases. He developed the law, called Boyle's Law, which states that the volume of a gas is inversely proportional to its pressure.

Isaac Newton invented the mirror telescope to study the stars and planets. He was the first person to realise that light could be split into the colours of the rainbow. Newton's book The Principia, set down scientific laws about planetary movements and gravity, which are still the basics of modern physics today.

Isaac Newton

Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton by Godfrey Kneller (1702)

The Royal Society set up a commission to study and improve the English language. Famous poets and writers of the time, such as John Dryden and John Evelyn, participated. The Society boasts some very famous Presidents;  Christopher Wren (1680), the diarist Samuel Pepys (1684) and Issac Newton (1703).

 

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