- John Wilkins
name = John Wilkins
image_size = 200px
birth_date = birth date|1614|01|01
death_date = death date and age|1672|11|19|1614|01|01
occupation = Anglican clergyman, Author, Warden of
Wadham College, Oxford, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Secretary of the Royal Society, Bishop of Chester
Church of England
Robina Cromwell(sister of Oliver)
John Wilkins (
January 1, 1614- November 19, 1672) was an English clergyman and author. He was founder and first secretary of the Royal Societyin 1660 and Bishop of Chesterfrom 1668 until his death. As an author, he is particularly known for " An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language".
Wilkins is the only person to have headed a college at both the
University of Oxfordand the University of Cambridge.
Wilkins was born at
Fawsley, Northamptonshire, and educated at Magdalen Hall (which later became Hertford College), Oxford. His father was a goldsmith, and his grandfather was a vicar, John Dodd. After ordination, Wilkins became vicarof his home town of Fawsley in 1637, but soon resigned and became chaplain successively to Lord Saye and Sele, Lord Berkeley, and Prince Charles Louis, nephew of King Charles I and afterwards elector palatine of the Rhine.
In 1641, Wilkins published an anonymous treatise entitled "Mercury, or The Secret and Swift Messenger". [ [http://www.light-of-truth.com/Secret_Messenger/secret.html M E R C V R Y: The secret and swift Messenger] Scan of original book] This small but comprehensive work on
cryptographyproved a timely gift to the diplomats and leaders of the imminent English Civil War.
In 1648, he became warden of
Wadham College, Oxford. Under him the college prospered extraordinarily, for, although a supporter of Oliver Cromwell, he remained in touch with the most cultured Royalists, who placed their sons in his charge. In 1656, he married Robina Cromwell, sister of Oliver Cromwell. In 1659, shortly before his death, Oliver Cromwell arranged his appointment as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge[ [http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php?pageid=172 The Master of Trinity] at Trinity College, Cambridge] , an appointment that was confirmed by Cromwell's successor as Lord Protector, his son Richard Cromwell.
At the Restoration in 1660, the new authorities deprived Wilkins of the position given him by Cromwell; he gained appointment as
prebendaryof York and rectorof Cranford, Middlesex. In 1661, he was reduced to preacher at Gray's Inn, lodging with his friend Seth Ward. In 1662, he became vicar of St Lawrence Jewry, London. He became vicar of Polebrook, Northamptonshire, in 1666, prebendaryof Exeter in 1667, and in the following year prebendary of St Paul's and bishopof Chester.
Possessing strong scientific tastes, Wilkins was the chief founder of the
Royal Societyand its first secretary. In 1668 he published his "Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language", in which he attempted to create a universal language to replace Latin as a completely unambiguous tongue with which scholars and philosophers could communicate. [ [http://www.alamut.com/subj/artiface/language/johnWilkins.html The Analytical Language of John Wilkins] from alamut.com]
The "" (1663), an ode to the society, describes his efforts:cquote
A Doctor counted very able
Designes that all Mankynd converse shall,
Spite o' th' confusion made att Babell,
By Character call'd Universall.
How long this character will be learning,
That truly passeth my discerning. [Stimson, Dorothy. "'Ballad of Gresham College'". "Isis" volume 18, number 1, 1932. pp. 103-117.]
In 1668, Wilkins presented to the
Royal Societyhis suggestions for rationalising the measurement system; his plan was not taken up, though in retrospect it has been identified as the first statement of a metric system. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_6890000/newsid_6898200/6898274.stm?bw=nb&mp=wm&news=1&ms3=10 Metric system 'was British'] - from the BBC video news]
Death and legacy
He died in London, most likely from the medicines used to treat his
kidney stones and stoppage of urine. [cite book
first=Stephen | last=Inwood | year=2005
title=The Forgotten Genius: The Biography of Robert Hooke 1635-1703
The influence and ambitions of John Wilkins were an important thread in the
historical fictiontrilogy " The Baroque Cycle" by Neal Stephenson.
His numerous written works include:
*"The Discovery of a World in the Moone" (1638) [ [http://www.independent.co.uk//eceRedirect?articleId=27752&pubId=55 Cromwell's moonshot: how one Jacobean scientist tried to kick off the space race] from "
The Independent"] [ [http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/brunof14.htm The Discovery of a World in the Moon] from http://www.positiveatheism.org]
*"A Discourse Concerning a New Planet" (1640)
*"Mercury, or the Secret and Swift Messenger" (1641), the first English-language book on
*"Mathematical Magick" (1648)
An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language" (London, 1668), in which he proposes a new universal language for the use of natural philosophers.
*"Of the Principle and Duties of Natural Religion" (London, 1675).
* [http://galileo.rice.edu/Catalog/NewFiles/wilkins.html Galileo Project: Wilkins] from the
*gutenberg author | id=John_Wilkins_(1614-1672) | name=John Wilkins
* [http://www.bishopwilkins.co.uk Bishop Wilkins College] A Rosicrucian SRIA College named after Wilkins
NAME = Wilkins, John
ALTERNATIVE NAMES =
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Warden of Wadham College, Oxford, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Secretary of the Royal Society, Bishop of Chester
DATE OF BIRTH =
PLACE OF BIRTH =
Fawsley, Northamptonshire, England
DATE OF DEATH =
PLACE OF DEATH =
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
John Wilkins — (* 1. Januar 1614 in Fawsley, Northamptonshire; † 19. November 1672 in London) war Bischof von Chester und Gründungsmitglied, sowie erster Sekretär der Royal Society … Deutsch Wikipedia
John Wilkins — John Wilkins. John Wilkins, religioso y naturalista inglés ( * 1 de enero de 1614 19 de noviembre de 1672) decano de Ripon, capellán de Carlos Luis, príncipe palatino, posteriormente obispo de Chester y director de uno de los colegios de Oxford;… … Wikipedia Español
John Wilkins — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Wilkins. John Wilkins. John Wilkins (1er janvier 1614, Fawsley, No … Wikipédia en Français
John Wilkins — Religioso inglés (1599 1658) decano de Ripon, capellán de Carlos Luis, príncipe palatino, posteriormente obispo de Chester y director de uno de los colegios de Oxford; quizá se le recuerda mejor por ser el primer secretario de la prestigiosa… … Enciclopedia Universal
John Wilkins (American football) — John Wilkins is a former American football coach. He was highly successful in his 13 years as head coach of Permian High School in Odessa, Texas, amassing a 148–16–7 record and two Class 4A state titles.Wilkins became head coach at Odessa Permian … Wikipedia
John Wilkins Whitfield — (* 11. März 1818 in Franklin, Tennessee; † 27. Oktober 1879 in Hallettsville, Texas) war ein US amerikanischer Armeeoffizier und Politiker. Zwischen 1854 und 1857 vertrat er das … Deutsch Wikipedia
John Wilkins Whitfield — (March 11, 1818 ndash; October 27, 1879) was a territorial delegate to the United States Congress representing the Kansas Territory from 1854 until 1856. He was late a general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War Whitfield was… … Wikipedia
Langue analytique de John Wilkins — John Wilkins Pour les articles homonymes, voir Wilkins. John Wilkins. John Wilkins (1er janvier 1614 … Wikipédia en Français
John Witkins — John Wilkins Pour les articles homonymes, voir Wilkins. John Wilkins. John Wilkins (1er janvier 1614 … Wikipédia en Français
John Witkins (1614-1672) — John Wilkins Pour les articles homonymes, voir Wilkins. John Wilkins. John Wilkins (1er janvier 1614 … Wikipédia en Français