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Allin, John (1623–1683), nonconformist minister and alchemist, was born on 13 October 1623 in Wrentham, Suffolk, the son of the Revd John Allen, or Allin (c. 1596–1671), and his first wife, Margaret, née Morse (c.1598–1653). At the time of Allin's birth his father was the curate in ...

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Barlow, William (1544–1625), Church of England clergyman and natural philosopher, was one of two sons and five daughters born to William Barlow (d. 1568), then bishop of St David's, and his wife, Agatha Wellesbourne (d. 1593), a former nun. His father's elder brother ...

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Beale, John (bap. 1608, d. 1683), Church of England clergyman and writer on agriculture and natural philosophy, was baptized at Yarkhill, Herefordshire, on 17 April 1608, the sixth and youngest son of Thomas Beale (1575–1620), a lawyer and prominent gentleman farmer, and his wife, ...

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Bennet, Abraham (bap. 1749, d. 1799), Church of England clergyman and natural philosopher, was baptized in Taxal, Cheshire, on 20 December 1749, the son of Abraham Bennet, schoolmaster, of Whaley Lane, Cheshire, and his wife, Ann Fallowes of Cheadle. He appears to have been the eldest child, with at least one brother, ...

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Bentham, Edward (1707–1776), university professor, fifth son of the Revd Samuel Bentham (c.1681–1733), a minor canon of Ely, and his wife, Philippa Willen (c.1681–1747), was born in the college at Ely on 23 July 1707, and baptized in the cathedral on 21 August 1707. After singing as a chorister at ...

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Coddington, Henry (1798/9–1845), natural philosopher and Church of England clergyman, was born at Oldbridge, co. Meath, Ireland, the son of the Revd Latham Coddington, rector of Tinolin, co. Kildare, and his wife, Anne Bellingham. He matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1816 and graduated in 1820 as senior wrangler and first Smith's prizeman, being elected a fellow of his college the same year. He proceeded MA in 1823 and was tutor from 1822 to 1833. He was ordained priest in 1826 and he retired to the college living of ...

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Cooke, George Leigh (bap. 1779, d. 1853), Church of England clergyman and natural philosopher, was baptized on 12 September 1779, the son of Samuel Cooke, rector of Great Bookham, Surrey, and his wife, Cassandra. He entered the University of Oxford in 1797 as a commoner of ...

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Derham, William (1657–1735), Church of England clergyman and natural philosopher, was born at Stoulton, near Worcester, on 26 November 1657. His father's name was Thomas, but no other information is available about his parents. He went to school at Blockley, Gloucestershire, and was admitted to ...

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Exley, Thomas (1775–1855), natural philosopher and scriptural commentator, was born in Gowdall, Yorkshire. Little is known of his first thirty years. He is sometimes described as an MA, but it is not known if he attended a university. However, it is certain that he maintained an interest in a wide spectrum of academic and literary disciplines, for in 1812 he co-authored, with the ...

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Michael Faraday (1791–1867) by Thomas Phillips, 1841–2 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Faraday, Michael (1791–1867), natural philosopher, scientific adviser, and Sandemanian, was born on 22 September 1791 in Newington Butts, Surrey, the third of four children of James Faraday (1761–1810), blacksmith, and his wife, Margaret (1764–1838), daughter of Michael Hastwell, farmer of Mallestang near Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland...

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Holder, William (1615/16–1698), Church of England clergyman and natural philosopher, was born in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, the third son of Clement Holder (d. 1638), prebendary of Southwell and rector of Kilvington and South Wheatley, and his wife, whose maiden name was Brudenell. William...

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Laughton, Richard (bap. 1670, d. 1723), Church of England clergyman and natural philosopher, was baptized at St Andrew's, Holborn, London, on 19 February 1670, the son of William Laughton and his wife, Anne. He was admitted as a sizar at Clare College, Cambridge...

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Lee, Samuel (1625?–1691), nonconformist minister and natural philosopher, was born in London, the only son of Samuel Lee (d. in or after 1669), a pious and prosperous haberdasher of Fish Street Hill. Anthony Wood recorded his birth date as 1625, but he may have been the ...

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Line [alias Hall], Francis (1595–1675), Roman Catholic priest and natural philosopher, was born in London or Buckinghamshire, probably to a recusant family. It is not known where he received his boyhood education; he was already a young man when he arrived at the college of the English Jesuits at ...

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Milner, Isaac (1750–1820), natural philosopher and dean of Carlisle, was born on 11 January 1750 in Mabgate, Leeds, the third son of a pious mother (c.1715–1796) and an unlucky businessman (c.1715–1760) who had suffered greatly after the Jacobite rising of 1745. He began his education at a grammar school in ...

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Payne, Robert (1596–1651), Church of England clergyman and natural philosopher, was born in Abingdon, Berkshire, the son of Robert Payne (d. 1628), a wealthy woollen draper and four times mayor of the town, and his wife, Martha, daughter of William Branch, also of ...

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Priestley, Joseph (1733–1804), theologian and natural philosopher, was born on 13 March 1733 at Birstall Fieldhead, West Riding of Yorkshire, about 6 miles south-west of Leeds. He was the first of six children of Jonas Priestley (1700–1779), cloth dresser, and his first wife, ...

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Joseph Priestley (1733–1804) by or after Ellen Sharples [original, c.1797] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Swineshead, Roger (d. 1365?), natural philosopher and Benedictine monk, is now, following the work of J. A. Weisheipl, generally assumed to have been a different person from Richard Swineshead, an Oxford contemporary who wrote on similar themes. Roger's place of origin is unknown, but it might be conjectured that he came from the ...