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Robert Hooke
HOOKE, Robert.

HOOKE, Robert.
(1635 - 1703)

(Born: Freshwater, Isle of Wright, England, 18 July 1635; Died: London, England, 3 March 1703)

Hooke's father John Hooke was the local vicar. It was the ambition of his parents that Robert should receive an education befitting him for Holy Orders, but he had a delicate constitution and although sprightly and quick-witted was unable to study on account of frequent and severe headaches.

After his father's death in October 1648, Robert Hooke went to Westminster School and soon displayed an outstanding ability in mathematics. In 1653 he entered Oxford University where his knowledge of mechanics and inventive skill was noticed by Robert Boyle who engaged Hooke as his assistant. Through Boyle's influence Hooke was appointed Curator to the Royal Society on I th November I66z and on 3rd June the following year was elected a Fellow.

The genius of Hooke was justly rewarded by the Royal Society when they perpetuated his appointment as Curator with a good salary, providing him with apartments in Gresham College, Bishops- gate Street, where he resided for the rest of his life.

Elected Professor of Geometry at the College on zoth March 1665 Hooke concentrated on the invention of mechanical devices, the development of the microscope and the study of astronomy. From  sth October 1677 to 30th November I68z he acted as Secretary to the Royal Society in addition to his other duties and edited seven numbers of the Philosophical Collections, substituted by him for the Society's Transactions. In spite of poor health since childhood Hooke was a prodigious inventor and his mind was so prolific that there was scarcely a discovery made which he did not claim to have conceived himself.

Hooke was involved in a Chancery suit concerning his salary in 1696 and although he won the case the ordeal brought about a further deterioration of his health. During the last year of his life blindness and swelling of the legs rendered him helpless and he died at Gresham College on 3rd March 1703 at the age of sixty-seven. He was buried in the local church of St. Helen. Sources Dictionary of National Biography (repr., London: Oxford University Press, 1949-50), 9, 1177-81. Biographia Britannica, 1st ed. (London, 1747-66), 4, 2652-63. John Ward, The Lives of the Professors of Gresham College, facsimile ed. (New York, 1967), pp. 169-93. Margaret 'Espinasse, Robert Hooke, (London, 1956). Q143 .H78E77 John Aubrey, Brief Lives, 1, 409-16. R.S. Westfall, Introduction, Posthumous Works, reprint ed. (New York, 1969). Richard Waller, "The Life of Dr. Robert Hooke," Posthumous Works, (London, 1705). E.N. da C. Andrade, "Robert Hooke," Procedings of the Royal Society, 201A (1950) 439-73. ANONYMOUS, "Robert Hooke, F.R.S. (1635-1703)," Notes and Records of the Royal Society, 15 (1960), 137-45. Robert McKeon, "Le debut de l'astronomie de precision," Physis, 13 (1971), 225-88; 14 (1972), 221-42; especially 13, 244-5 and 14, 229-30. Michael Hunter and Simon Schaffer, eds. Robert Hooke: New Studies, (Woodbridge, England, 1989). J.A. Bennett, "Robert Hooke as Mechanic and Natural Philosopher," Notes and Records of the Royal Society, 35 (1980-1), 33-48. Geoffrey Keynes, A Bibliography of Dr. Robert Hooke, (Oxford, 1960). Penelope Gouk, "The Role of Acoustics and Music Theory in the Scientific Work of Robert Hooke," Annals of Science, 37 (1980), 573-605. Not Available and Not Consulted E.G.R. Taylor, "Robert Hooke and the Cartographical Projects of the Late Seventeenth Century," Geographical Journal, 9 (1937), 529-40. W.S. Middleton, "The Medical Aspect of Robert Hooke," Annals of Medical History, 9 (1927), 227-43.

Biographical references: Poggendorff: 1, cols. 1137-8.

Micrographia, 1665

1. English, 1665 [First edition, issue A].
[In red:] Micrographia: | [in black:] Or Some | Physiological Descriptions | Of | [in red:] Minute Bodies | [in black:] Made By | [in red:] Magnifying Glasses. | [in black:] With | [in red:] Observations [in black:] and [in red:] Inquiries [in black:] thereupon. | [rule] | By [in red:] R. Hooke, [in black:] Fellow of the [in red:] Royal Society. | [in black, rule] | Non possis oculo quantum contendere Linceus, | Non tamen idcirco contemnas Lippus inungi. Horat. Ep. lib. I. | [rule] | [Within a single rule box: coat of arms] | [rule] | London, Printed by [in red:] Jo. Martyn, [in black:] and [in red:] Ja. Allestry, [in black:] Printers to the | [in red:] Royal Society, [in black:] and are to be sold at their Shop at the Bell in | S. Paul's Church-yard. [in red:] M DC LX V.

2: π2 A2 a-g2 B-C2 D-Z4 Aa-Kk4 Ll-Mm2; 146l.; [36], 1-246, [10] p., 38 plates. Title page in red and black.

Contents: π1r, blank; π1v, "Imprimatur."-dated 23 November 1664.; π2r, Title page.; π2v, Blank.; A1r-A2r, "The Epistle Dedicatory"; A2v, Address to the Royal Society.; a1r-g2v, "The Preface."; 1-246 (B1r-Kk3v), Text.; Kk4r-Mm2r, "The Table." [=contents].; Mm2v, "Errata."

Plates: There are thirty-eight engraved plates called schemes, some folding, illustrating scientific objects with several as seen under the microscope. The figures contain key numbers and letters for reference from the text. Plates II and XXXIV are the only ones indicating the numbers of the pages facing.

Rare. Micrographia is one of the first books published under the the aupices of the Royal Society, and at a meeting of the Council held on November 23rd, 1664, the President was requested to sign the licence for the printing of the book. (Keynes)

Hooke was much more than a naturalist and never happier than when studying details of animal and vegetable structure under the microscope. In this work he describes and theorises in a most accurate and informative fashion upon the scale of an eel, the underside of a nettle leaf, the sting of a bee and the common moulds. He was no specialist like his successors who considered themselves experts in the use of the microscope; although they may have probed deeper their work was confined to narrower limits. The lepidoptera are represented by a single species, the White Plume Moth Alucila pentadactyla L. or, as Hooke calls it, 'The White Feather-winged Moth' which he says is sometimes found on nettles.

The preface to the second edition contains the interesting information that the first edition of the Micrographia has 'grown extremely scarce and the price thereof greatly raised'. The fact is also mentioned that the original copperplate blocks were used for illustrating the second edition, with the exception of seven which had been lost and replaced by exact copies.

The first edition was reproduced in facsimile by Robert Gunther in 1938 as part of a larger work. Robert William Theodore Gunther was born at Surbiton, Surrey, on z3rd August  869. After studying zoology at London and Oxford Universities he was appointed Lecturer at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1897. Gunther published a number of works dealing with the history of science and died March 1940.

Facsimile reprint, 1938: Early Science in Oxford by R. T. Gunther Vol. XIII The Life and Work of Robert Hooke (Part V) Micrographia, 1665. Oxford, Printed for the Subscribers 1938. 8: x, [36], 274 p.

[i]-x, preliminary matter; pp. [36]+256 facsimile reprint, issue 1665; pp. 257-270 index reprinted from the abridgement of the 1780 issue, no. 40; pp. 271-274 supplementary index (I938).

Bibliographical references: Horblit: no. 50 [title page reproduced]. Keynes, Bibliography of Dr. Robert Hooke, 1960: no. 6. Lisney, Bibliography of British Lepidoptera, 1960: no. 37. LKG: XVII 154 & 155. Schmitz, Handbuch zur Geschichte der Optik, 1981-90: 1, ??. Wing: H-2620.

2. English, 1667 [First edition, issue B].
Micrographia: Or some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by Magnifying Glasses. With Observations and Inquiries thereupon. [rule] By R. Hooke, Fellow of the Royal Society. [rule] Non possis oculo quantum contendere Linceus, Non tamen idcirco contemnas Lippus inungi. Horat. Ep. lib. I. [rule] [coat of arms within single line] [rule] London, Printed for James Allestry, Printer to the Royal Society, and are to be sold at his Shop, at the Rose and Crown in Duck-Lane. M DC LXVII.

2: π2 A2 a-g8 B-C2 D-Z4 Aa-Kk4 Ll-Mm2; 146l.;

Contents: π1r, blank; π1v, "Imprimatur."-dated 23 November 1664.; π2r, Title page.; π2v, Blank.; A1r-A2r, "The Epistle Dedicatory"; A2v, Address to the Royal Society.; a1r-g2v, "The Preface."; 1-246 (B1r-Kk3v), Text.; Kk4r-Mm2r, "The Table." [=contents].; Mm2v, "Errata."

Plates: As in no. 37 and printed from the same blocks with the numbers of the pages which the plates face added to all the engravings; plate V has been printed in reverse.

Very scarce. The type in the imprimatur, which is between strips of ornaments of different design, has been reset with slight alterations, otherwise the same printed sheets have been used with a new title-page.

Bibliographical references: Keynes, Bibliography of Dr. Robert Hooke, 1960: no. 7. Lisney, Bibliography of British Lepidoptera, 1960: no. 39. Wing: H-2621.

3. English, 1745 [2nd edition, issue A].
Micrographia Restaurata: Or, the Copper-Plates of Dr. Hooke's Wonderful Discoveries by the Microscope, Reprinted and fully Explained: Whereby the most Valuable Particulars in that Celebrated Author's Micrographia Are brought together in a narrow Compass; and Intermixed, occasionally, with many Entertaining and Instructive Discoveries and Observations in Natural History. [rule] Rerum Natura nusquam magis quam in minimis tote est. Plin. Hist. Nat. Lib. xi. C. z. [rule] [zooodcut device] [double rule] London: Printed for and Sold by John Bowles, Printseller at the Black Horse in Cornhill. Sold also by R. Dodsley, in Pallmall, and John Cuff, Optician, in Fleetstreet. MDCCXLV.

2: [A]2 B-R2 χ1 S2; 37l. Very scarce.

Contents: [A]1r, Title page.; [A]1v, Blank.; [A]2r-[A]2v, Preface; [1]-65, Text with errata under printer's ornament at bottom of 65.; [66], Blank; S1r-S2v, Index.

Plates: As in no. 39 omitting plates I, IV, VI, XXXVII and XXXVIII. Each plate and figure is numbered as before but the latter is also accompanied by a name and description and the appropriate page number for reference. Seven of the original plates, which had been lost, were replaced by exact copies.

Bibliographical references: Keynes, Bibliography of Dr. Robert Hooke, 1960: no. 10. Lisney, Bibliography of British Lepidoptera, 1960: no. 40.

4. English, 1780 [2nd edition, issue B].
Microscopic Observations; Or, Dr. Hooke's Wonderful Discoveries by the Microscope, Illustrated by Thirty-three Copper-plates, curiously engraved: Whereby the most valuable Particulars in that Celebrated Author's Micrographia Are brought together in a narrow Compass; . . . [double rule] London: Printed for Robert Wilkinson, at N. 58, in Cornhill. MDCCLXXX.

2: [A]2 B-R2 χ1 S2; 37l. Very scarce.

Contents: [Same].

Bibliographical references: Keynes, Bibliography of Dr. Robert Hooke, 1960: no. 11. Lisney, Bibliography of British Lepidoptera, 1960: no. 41.

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