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Thomson's History of the Royal Society

Thomas Thomson


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Thomas Thomson (1773—1852), chemist, was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1811. His History of the Royal Society traces the development of science from the seventeenth century through to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Based on examination of the Society’s Philosophical Transactions from 1665 to 1800, it vividly illustrates the progress made in each of the four main sciences — Natural History, Mathematics, Mechanical Philosophy and Chemistry — during this stimulating period. Divided into five Books, plus a section of Miscellaneous Articles, the work analyses each science in turn, providing the scholar with a summary of the advancement of science over 135 years and the contribution of the Royal Society in this development. Thomson acknowledges this contribution in his Historical Introduction: ‘The Royal Society was established for the express purpose of advancing experimental philosophy, and is beyond dispute the most magnificent and liberal establishment of the kind which has ever been formed.’

Containing an in-depth examination of the contributions made to science by the Royal Society fellows (including Boyle, Descartes, Galileo, Halley, Herschel and Priestley), the History also features an Appendix giving additional information about the Royal Society and a list of the fellows from 1663 up until 1812. The concise index is also useful, allowing readers to easily locate different subjects and scientists. Reprinted here in two volumes from the first edition of 1812, this companion to Weld’s History of the Royal Society (published by Thoemmes Press in 2000) is an essential reference tool for historians of science.

—essential historiography of the Royal Society
—examination of the role of the Society in the development of science
—companion work to Weld’s History of the Royal Society

Thoemmes Continuum, 9781855069084, 654pp.

Publication Date: May 1, 2001