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18th Century 1700-1799

Mathematical Society Spitalfields.

Mathematical Society Spitalfields

Like many of the ‘societies’ of its time the Mathematical Society of Spitalfields, founded in 1717, was run as a club where people of like minded interests could meet, discuss and debate the latest news, views and ideas of their chosen interest, in this case mathematics with a bit of physics thrown in for good…

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Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestly
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Age of Reason and Enlightenment

Joseph Priestley radical dissenter and champion for the open and inquiring mind. Joseph Priestly was quite possibly one of the most important thinkers of the Enlightenment. His direct and open inquiry into both religious beliefs and ideas was also directed at science, politics and society. Who was Joseph Priestley? He was born on the 13th…

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The Vinegar Bible

The Vinegar Bible is widely accepted to be one of the best Bibles printed in the United Kingdom in the C18th but how did it get its name and what of John Baskett the man behind it?

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Iron Bridge Coalbrook Dale

Iron Bridge Coalbrook Dale

The iron bridge near Coalbrook Dale is a humbling testament to the skill of ironworkers over two hundred years ago. The spectacular Severn gorge that carves its way through layers of limestone, coal and iron ore is a striking natural feature that gave rise to the most important industrialised landscape of the C18th. The River…

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Matthew Boulton

Matthew Boulton

Matthew Boulton could be described as the father of the Industrial Revolution but his name is less well known than that of his partner James Watt. Matthew Boulton was born in Birmingham in 1728, the same year as Captain James Cook and into an age of enlightenment, reason and industrial revolution. His early years were…

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Laura Bassi Scientist

Laura Bassi

Laura Bassi was born in Bologna in 1711, the same year as St Paul’s Cathedral in London was completed. Laura Maria Caterina Bassi was a brilliant and erudite young woman, born into a heady atmosphere of early 18th century Bologna, a melting pot of ideas and fusion of like minded scholars, caught in the bosom…

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Rachel Wriothesley wife of Lord Russell

Rachel Wriothesley

Rachel Wriothesley played an interesting role in 17th Century intrigue but who was she? Rachel was born in 1636 in Titchfield Hampshire, the daughter of Thomas Wriothesley the 4th Earl of Southampton. The Wriothesley’s had an illustrious history, after the Reformation, the family grew more powerful and wealthier than ever before. Thomas Wriothesley, the 1st…

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Gin Act 1751

Gin Act 1751

The Gin Act 1751 is a reminder that drunkenness on the streets is nothing new. London has always been a magnet for people wanting to improve their chances in life.  The early 18th century rural economy was already beginning to creak and groan under the yoke of enclosure and agricultural revolution. More people were seeking…

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John Wilkinson Ironmaster

John Wilkinson
This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series Industrial Revolution

John Wilkinson was the ‘Ironmaster’ of the industrial revolution Iron  ran through the veins of John Wilkinson, who was fortunate enough to be born into the heart of the industrial revolution, both literally and figuratively. He was born in 1728, the son of Isaac Wilkinson. He worked in the iron industry at a blast furnace…

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