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Robert Boyle
BOYLE, Robert.

BOYLE, Robert.
(1627 - 1691)

(Born: Lismore, Ireland, 25 January 1627; Died: London, England, 30 December 1691) Irish chemist, physician & naturalist.

Born the son of Richard Boyle, first earl of Cork, Robert entered into a comfortable life with many advantages and much affluence. He was educated by private tutors before entereing Eaton at the age of eight. In 1639, he was sent with his next oldest brother to the Continent where he continued his education in the polite arts, language, mathematics and science. The outbreak of the English civil war caused his return to England. His support of the Parlimentarians brought him into contact with many of the leading English scientists, and through them Boyle developed an interest in chemistry. He entered Oxford in 1656 to advance his studies. After the Restoration, Boyle frequently visited London, finally moving there in 1668. He was one of the founders of the Royal Society of London, and throughout the rest of his life he was one of its most influencial and notable Fellows. His home was open to all those interested in science, and in a laboratory he had built onto the house, he performed all his experiments.

Biographical references: Barr, Index to Biographical Fragments, 1973: 31. BBA: I 135, 143-443; 136, 1-22; 1219, 188-193; II 1328, 228-235. Catalogue of Portraits of Naturalists: 211-2 [3 portraits listed]. Dictionary of Irish Biography: 34, portrait. DNB. Drugulin, Sechstausend Portraits, 1863: nos. 605-11. DSB: 2, 377-82 [by M.B. Hall]. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition. Great Chemists: 135-148, portrait. Hunter, M., ed. Robert Boyle Reconsidered. Cambridge, 1994. ISIS, 1913-65: 1, 182-5. Maddison, R.E.W., The Life of the Honourable Robert Boyle, F.R.S. London, 1969. More, L.T., The Life and Works of the Honorable Robert Boyle. New York, 1944. Oster, M., "Biography, Culture, and Science: The Formative Years of Robert Boyle", History of Science, 31, (1993), 177-226. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 267-9. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 600-2, Suppl. 1 (1986), 1, 306-7 & Suppl. 2 (1995), 1, 458-9. Schaedler, Biographisch Handw÷rterbuch, 1891: 16-7. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 226.

1. Latin, 1664 [First edition].
Brevis Ennarratio Quarundam Observationum, Factarum A Nobili Roberto Boyle De Adamante In Tenebris Lucente. Londoni, 1664.

8░: Very rare.

Experimenta Et Considerationes De Coloribus ... ceu Initium Historiae Experimentalis De Coloribus A Roberto Boyle Nobili Anglo, Et Societatis Regiae Membro. Londini, Herringman, 1665. [48], 444 p. Contains the Brevis Ennarratio Quarundam Observationum, Factarum A Nobili Roberto Boyle De Adamante In Tenebris Lucente.

Bibliographical references: LKG: X 1.

2. Latin, 1667 [2nd edition].
Brevis enarratio quarundam observationum factarum a Rob. Boyle de adamante in tunebris lucente. Amstelodami, 1667.

8░:

Very rare. "A short account of some observations about a diamond that shines in the dark." Contained in: Experimenta Et Considerationes De Coloribus ..., ceu Initium Historiae Experimentalis De Coloribus. Amstelodami, Schagen, 1667.

An Essay, 1672

3. English, 1672 [Original edition].
[Contained within a double rule box:] An | Essay | About The | Origine & Virtues | Of | Gems. | Wherein are Propos'd and Historical- | ly Illustrated some Conjectures about the | Consistence of the Matter of Precious | Stones, and the Subjects wherein their | chiefest Virtues reside. | [rule] | By the Honourable Robert Boyle, Esq; | Fellow of the Royal Society. | [rule] | London, | Printed by William Godbid, and are to | be Sold by Moses Pitt at the White | Hart in Little Britain, 1672.

8░: A-M8 N4; 100l.; [16], 185 p. (i.e., 184, page 181 omitted).

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [6 pgs], "The Publisher to the Reader."; [7 pgs], "The Preface."; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-[94], Text, section 1.; 95-185 [i.e., 184], Text, section 2.

Very scarce. REWORK THIS ENTRY. Very scarce. A monumental work that can be considered as the first scientific treatise in English on crystallography. Among the many revolutionary insights and theories set forth within this volume are Boyle's belief in the hydrothermal origin of crystals and crystal growth by accretion of particles around a seed nucleus. Boyle also suspected that the nucleus around which the crystal grows has the same geometry as the final product. Further observations include that the finest crystals grow in open spaces, whereas distorted crystals are only "molds" of the space in which they formed, and that because of a vastly higher specific gravity, rock crystal was not any type of ice. This work also contains observations on the medical virtues of gems.

This celebrated treatise, justly called by Fulton "the beginning of the modern development in knowledge of crystal structure"' (Sinkankas). 'The literature [on gems] increased at an astonishing rate during the first two centuries after printing; but except for technical works on stonecutting and the setting of precious stones, the subject continued to be largely a mixture of myth and credulity until the advent of Boyle's Essay ... of Gems' (Fulton, p. 67).

The work 'really has very little to do with gemstones except as they happened conveniently to provide crystals for Boyle's inquiries in to the solid state of matter. There are two fundamental hypotheses posed in this essay, the first being "that many of these Gems and Medical Stones, either fluid bodies, as the Transparent ones; or in part made up of such substances as were once fluid," and second "that many of the real Virtues of such stones may be probably derived from the mixture of Metalline and other Mineral substances, which, (though unsuspectedly,) are usually incorporated with them." However, an even more fundamental concept underlies both hypotheses which Boyle clearly demonstrates that he was aware of even though he does not say so explicitly, that is, that crystals grow from solution from very minute particles which attach themselves to the growing crystal in such a manner that they add bulk and create characteristic external planes ...' (Sinkankas).

Facsimile reprint, 1972: An Essay About the | Origine and Virtues | of Gems | by | Robert Boyle | (Facsimile of the 1672 Edition) | Introduction by Arthur F. Hagner | Foreword by | George W. White | Hafner Publishing Company | New York | 1972. 8░: [i]-xxvii, [1], [16], 1-185 p. (i.e., 184, page 181 omitted), frontispiece (portrait of Boyle).

Contents: [i-ii], Blank, verso "Contributions to the History of Geology."; [iii], "Contributions to the History of Geology Edited by George W. White Research Professor of Geology University of Illinois Volume 7."; [iv], Portrait of Robert Boyle, reproduced from the frontispiece of Boyle's "Complete Works," (London, 1772).; [v-vi], Title page, verso "Copyright ę 1972 ..."; vii-viii, "Editor's Forward by George W. White."; ix-xxii, "Introduction by Arthur F. Hagner."; xxiii-xxv, "Bibliography"-29 entries.; xxvi-xxvii, "Glossary of Old Terms."; [1 pg], "In the original edition used for this facsimile reprint two signiatures were improperly folioed. ..."; Facsimile reprint begins: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [6 pgs], "The Publisher to the Reader."; [7 pgs], "The Preface."; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-[94], Text, section 1.; 95-185, Text, section 2. A modern facsimile reprint of An Essay About the Origine and Virtues of Gems (London, 1672), with the additions of a historical forward by George W. White [see note below] and an introduction by Arthur F. Hagner.

George Willard White. (Born: North Lawrence, Ohio, U.S.A., 8 July 1903; Died: Champaign, Illinois, U.S.A., February 1985) American geologist & historian of geology. White earned his bachelor's degree at Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio, and his master's and doctor's degree from Ohio State University. Between 1926 and 1941, he rose from instructor to department head at the University of New Hampshire. From 1941 to 1947, he was a professor of geology at Ohio State University, where upon he went to the University of Illinois, becoming head of the geology department, retiring in 1965. He specialized in glacial and groundwater geology, as well as the history of geology. He is remembered fondly by his many students.

Bibliographical references: Burke, Origins of the Science of Crystals, 1966: p. 13, 40, 44-5 & 69. DSB: 2, 377-82. Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, 1965: p. 94. Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 1, 120-2. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 79. Fulton, Bibliography of Robert Boyle, 1961: p. 67-8, no. 96. Hoover Collection: no. 161. Kobell, Geschichte der Mineralogie, 1864: p. 12-15. LKG: XVI 215. NLM 17th Century Books (Krivatsy): no. 1692. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 863. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 289. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 2, 222. Wing: B-3947. Wolf, History of Science, 16th & 17th Centuries, 1950: 2, 370-71. (White) ABA: II 668, 55. American Men of Science. 5th ed., New York, 1933. Carozzi, A.V., "Tribute to George W. White," Earth Sciences History, 2 (1983), no. 1, 1-3. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 3, 2415, Suppl. 1 (1987), 1, 887 & Suppl. 2 (1996), 2, 1196. WBI.

4. English, 1672 [Reprint, 1972].
An Essay About the | Origine and Virtues | of Gems | by | Robert Boyle | (Facsimile of the 1672 Edition) | Introduction by Arthur F. Hagner | Foreword by | George W. White | Hafner Publishing Company | New York | 1972.

8░: π14 A-M8 N4; 114l.; [i]-xxvii, [1], [16], 1-185 p. (i.e., 184, page 181 omitted), frontispiece (portrait of Boyle). Page size: 233 x 148 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Blank, verso "Contributions to the History of Geology."; [iii], "Contributions to the History of Geology Edited by George W. White Research Professor of Geology University of Illinois Volume 7."; [iv], Portrait of Robert Boyle, reproduced from the frontispiece of Boyle's "Complete Works," (London, 1772).; [v-vi], Title page, verso "Copyright ę 1972 ..."; vii-viii, "Editor's Forward by George W. White."; ix-xxii, "Introduction by Arthur F. Hagner."; xxiii-xxv, "Bibliography"-29 entries.; xxvi-xxvii, "Glossary of Old Terms."; [1 pg], "In the original edition used for this facsimile reprint two signiatures were improperly folioed. ..."; Facsimile reprint begins: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [6 pgs], "The Publisher to the Reader."; [7 pgs], "The Preface."; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-[94], Text, section 1.; 95-185, Text, section 2.

Very scarce. Modern facsimile reprint of An Essay About the Origine and Virtues of Gems (London, 1672), with the additions of a historical forward by George W. White [see note below] and an introduction by Arthur F. Hagner.

George Willard White. (Born: North Lawrence, Ohio, U.S.A., 8 July 1903; Died: Champaign, Illinois, U.S.A., February 1985) American geologist & historian of geology. White earned his bachelor's degree at Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio, and his master's and doctor's degree from Ohio State University. Between 1926 and 1941, he rose from instructor to department head at the University of New Hampshire. From 1941 to 1947, he was a professor of geology at Ohio State University, where upon he went to the University of Illinois, becoming head of the geology department, retiring in 1965. He specialized in glacial and groundwater geology, as well as the history of geology. He is remembered fondly by his many students.

Bibliographical references: (White) ABA: II 668, 55. American Men of Science. 5th ed., New York, 1933. Carozzi, A.V., "Tribute to George W. White," Earth Sciences History, 2 (1983), no. 1, 1-3. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 3, 2415, Suppl. 1 (1987), 1, 887 & Suppl. 2 (1996), 2, 1196. WBI.

Latin editions

5. Latin, 1673 [First edition].
Exercitatio | De | Origine & Viribus | Gemmarum. | In qua proponuntur & HistoricŔ | illustrantur ConjecturŠ quŠ- | dam circa materiŠ Gemmarum | Consistentiam, necnon Subjecta, | quibus prŠcipuŠ earum vires | inhŠrent. | [rule] | Authore | Roberto Boyle, | Nobili Anglo, e Societate RegiÔ. | Londini, | Typis Guilielmi Godbid, & venales | prostant apud Mosem Pitt, ad in- | signe albi Cervi, in vico vulgo vo- | cato Little Britain. 1673.

12░: A6 B-G12 H6; 84l.; [12], 150, [6] p.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [5 pgs], "Editor Lectori."; [5 pgs], "PrŠloqulum Authoris"; 1-146 [i.e., 147], Text.; 145-143 [i.e., 148-150], "Addenda."; [1 pg], "Errata."; [1 pg], Blank.; [4 pgs], Publisher's list of books for sale.

Very scarce. Translation by [H.O. ??] of An Essay about the Origine & Virtues of Gems (London, 1672).

Henry Oldenburg. (Born: Bremen, Germay, c1618; Died: Charlton, near Greenwich, England, 5 September 1677) English scientist. Oldenburg graduated from the University of Utrecht in 1641, and he matriculated at Oxford from 1657 to 1658. He taught in the Paedogogium of Bremen. Later he became a professor in the newly established University of Dorpat, in what is now Estonia. Although it is known that Oldenburg matriculated in the University of Utrecht in 1641, nothing is known with assurance about what he did during the following twelve years, but there is presumptive evidence that he was a tutor during these years. In 1656 he became tutor to Boyle's nephew, Richard Jones, later the third Viscount Ranelagh and first Earl of Ranelagh. Oldenburg made a profession of scientific administration. He founded a system of records in the Royal Society that is still followed, created an international correspondence of scientists, and founded the first scientific journal, The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Oldenburg began publishing in 1665 the Philosophical Transactions, which were his personal enterprise, to make money, although he never made as much as he hoped. He also translated papers for the London Gazette. He also translated and published works from abroad. He translated at least two of Boyle's works into Latin, and he appears to have functioned effectively as the publisher for a number of Boyle's works.

Bibliographical references: Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, 1965: p. 94. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 80. Fulton, Bibliography of Robert Boyle, 1961: no. 97. LKG: XVI 215. Wing: B-3956. (Oldenburg) Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 831, 153-174. Biographie Universelle. DNB: 14, 988-90. DSB: 10, 200-3 [by A. Rupert Hall]. Nouvelle Biographie GÚnÚrale (Hoefer). Poggendorff: 2, cols. 321-2. Waller, Dictionary of Universal Biography, 1857-63. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: pp. 1279-80.

6. Latin, 1673 [2nd edition].
Specimen | De | Gemmarum | Origine | & | Virtutibus. | In quo proponuntur & historicŔ illustran- | tur quaedam conjecturŠ circa con- | sistentiam materiŠ Lapidum PrŠ- | tiosorum, & subjecta, in quibus eo- | rum prŠcipuŠ virtutes consistunt. | Primum AnglicŔ conscriptum | Authore | Roberto Boyle, Armig | Societatis RegiŠ Socio. | Numc LatinŔ, interprete C.S. | [ornament] | Hamburgi, Apud Gothofredum Schultz. | Prostant & Amsterodami, | Apud Joannem Janssonium Ó Waesberge. | [rule] | M.DC.LXXIII.

12░: )(10 A-H12 I6 K1; 113l.; [20], 206 p.

Contents: [2 pgs], Engraved title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Printed title page.; [10 pgs], "PrŠfatio."; [5 pgs], "Editor ad Lectorem."; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-206, Text.

Very scarce. Translation by C.S. of An Essay about the Origine & Virtues of Gems (London, 1672). Not seen, details from Fulton #98.

Bibliographical references: Fulton, Bibliography of Robert Boyle, 1961: no. 98. Hoover Collection: no. 162. VD17: 39:115394Q.

7. Latin, 1677 [3rd edition].
Specimen | De | Gemmarvm | Origine & Virtvtibvs. | ... [&c.] Ab Honoratissimo | Roberto Boyle | Nobili Anglo, Ŕ Societate Regia. | [ornament] | GenevŠ, | Apud Samvelem De Tovrnes. | [short rule] | M. DC.LXXVII.

4░: π3 A-G4 H1; 27l.; [6], 58 p.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [3 pgs], "PrŠfatio."; [1 pg], "Editor ad Lectorem."; 1-58, Text.

Very scarce. Translation by An Essay about the Origine & Virtues of Gems (London, 1672). Not seen, details from Fulton #99.

Bibliographical references: Fulton, Bibliography of Robert Boyle, 1961: no. 99.

Specimen de Gemmarvm Origine, 1680

8. Latin, 1680 [4th edition, issue A].
Specimen | De | Gemmarvm | Origine & Virtvtibvs. | In Qvo | Proponuntur & historicŔ illustrantur quaedam ConjecturŠ circa | Consistentiam materiŠ Lapidum PrŠtiosorum, & subjecta, in | quibus eorum prŠcipuŠ virtutes consistunt. | Ab Honoratissimo | Roberto Boyle | Nobili Anglo Ŕ Societate Regia. | [ornament] | ColoniŠ Allobrogvm, | Apud Samvelem De Tovrnes. | [short rule] | M. DC. LXXX.

4░: π3 A-G4 H1; 32l.; [6], 58 p.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [3 pgs], "PrŠfatio."; [1 pg], "Editor ad Lectorem."; 1-58, Text.

Very scarce. Translation of An Essay about the Origine & Virtues of Gems (London, 1672).

Bibliographical references: Fulton, Bibliography of Robert Boyle, 1961: no. 100.

9. Latin, 1680 [4th edition, issue B].
Specimen | De | Gemmarvm | Origine & Virtvtibvs. | In Qvo | Proponuntur & historicŔ illustrantur quaedam ConjecturŠ circa | Consistentiam materiŠ Lapidum PrŠtiosorum, & subjecta, in | quibus eorum prŠcipuŠ virtutes consistunt. | Ab Honoratissimo | Roberto Boyle | Nobili Anglo Ŕ Societate Regia. | [ornament] | GenevŠ | Apud Samvelem De Tovrnes. | [short rule] | M. DC. LXXX.

4░: π3 A-G4 H1; 32l.; [6], 58 p.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [3 pgs], "PrŠfatio."; [1 pg], "Editor ad Lectorem."; 1-58, Text.

Very scarce. Identical to issue A, above, with only the imprint on the title page differentiating between the two.

Bibliographical references: Fulton, Bibliography of Robert Boyle, 1961: no. 100A.

10. Latin, 1676.
Observationes de generatione metallorum. London, 1676.

8░: Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIII 10.

11. Latin, 1680.
Tract. de temperie subterranearum regionum. Genevae, 1680.

8░: Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIII 11a.

12. English, 1744.
The works of the honourable Robert Boyle in five volumes : to which is prefixed the life of the author. London : Printed for A. Millar, 1744.

5 vols.

Very scarce. "The life of the Honourable Robert Boyle" / by Thomas Birch: v. 1, p. 1-139 of first paging. Bibliog. Includes bibliographical references. Subject Science - Early works to 1800. Physics. Chemistry. Theology - History - 17th century. Medicine. Other author Birch, Thomas, 1705-1766.

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