4 Annotations

Pedro  •  Link

Mr. Boyle.

This definitely refers to Robert Boyle, but as yet there are no annotations. The previous references to a Mr. Boyle are in 1660, and the background points to Charles Boyle, and it is there that the annotations have up to now been sited…


Michael Robinson  •  Link

The Robert Boyle Project, based at Birkbeck College, University of London, includes links to the Boyle Papers as they become available:

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Robert Boyle's views of the possibilities of the future

The following article, by Charity Brown, appeared in The Washington Post on June 22, 2010. It can be accessed on line (probably for a limited time) at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/ar...

In the 1660s, English chemist Robert Boyle wrote an extraordinary document, a combination of wish list and predictions of what science might achieve in the coming centuries. Found in his private papers, the list is a centerpiece of the exhibition "The Royal Society: 350 Years of Science," running until November at the society's headquarters in London.

Boyle -- who was a founder of the society, the world's oldest scientific academy in continuous existence -- seems to have envisioned airplanes, organ transplants, submarines, commercial agriculture and psychotropic drugs. Some wishes, such as "The Recovery of Youth, or at least some of the marks of it, as new Teeth, new Hair colour'd as in youth," seem to have come true, while others, such as "The Transmutation of Species," remain unfulfilled.

This is the first time the papers have been made available for public viewing. "This document provides us with an amazing window into one of the most extraordinary minds of the 17th century," says Jonathan Ashmore, an exhibition spokesman.

Samples from Boyle's list:

-- The Prolongation of Life.

-- The Recovery of Youth, or at least some of the Marks of it, as new Teeth, new Hair colour'd as in youth.

-- The Art of Flying.

-- The Art of Continuing long under water, and exercising functions freely there.

-- The Cure of Wounds at a Distance.

-- The Cure of Diseases at a distance or at least by Transplantation.

-- The Emulating of Fish without Engines by Custome and Education only.

-- The Acceleration of the Production of things out of Seed.

-- The makeing of Glass Malleable.

-- The Transmutation of Species in Mineralls, Animals, and Vegetables.

-- The making Armor light and extremely hard.

-- The use of Pendulums at Sea and in Journeys, and the Application of it to watches.

-- Potent Druggs to alter or Exalt Imagination, Waking, Memory, and other functions, and appease pain, procure innocent sleep, harmless dreams, etc.

-- A Ship to saile with All Winds, and A Ship not to be Sunk.

-- Freedom from Necessity of much Sleeping exemplify'd by the Operations of Tea and what happens in Mad-Men.

-- Pleasing Dreams and physicall Exercises exemplify'd by the Egyptian Electuary and by the Fungus mentioned by the French Author.

-- Great Strength and Agility of Body exemplify'd by that of Frantick Epileptick and Hystericall persons.

-- A perpetuall Light.

Bill  •  Link

Robert Boyle, who was born the fame year in which lord Bacon died, seems to have inherited the penetrating and inquisitive genius of that illustrious philosopher. We are at a loss which to admire most, his extensive knowledge, or his exalted piety. These excellencies kept pace with each other: but the former never carried him to vanity, nor the latter to enthusiasm. He was himself The christian virtuoso which he has described. Religion never sat more easy upon a man, nor added greater dignity to a character. He particularly applied himself to chymistry; and made such discoveries in that branch of science, as can scarce be credited upon less authority than his own. His doctrine of the weight and spring of the air, a fluid on which our health and our very being depend, gained him all the reputation he deserved. Ob. 30 Dec. 1691, Æt. 65.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1775.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.