Famous 17th Century British Scientists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 17th Century British Scientists

 1 Robert Hooke

Robert Hooke
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 28, 1635
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Freshwater, Isle of Wight
Died: March 3, 1703

Scientist Robert Hooke, also called England's Leonardo, initially gained recognition as an architect, conducting surveys following the Great Fire of London. He also taught geometry and was part of the Royal Society. He assisted Robert Boyle and eventually developed his own microscope, thus becoming the first to visualize micro-organisms.

 2 Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle
Famous As: Founder of Modern Chemistry, Boyle's Law
Birthdate: January 25, 1627
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ireland
Died: December 30, 1691

Robert Boyle was an Anglo-Irish chemist, natural philosopher, inventor, and physicist. Regarded as the first modern chemist, Boyle is often counted among the founders of modern chemistry. One of the pioneers of the scientific method, Robert Boyle is also remembered for his books, including The Sceptical Chymist, which is viewed as a keystone book in chemistry.

 3 Edmond Halley

Edmond Halley
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: November 8, 1656
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Haggerston, London, England
Died: January 14, 1742

Edmond Halley was an English astronomer and mathematician who was mainly concerned with practical applications of science. He abandoned college education to travel to St. Helena. He published catalogue of 341 southern stars with telescopically determined locations. Known for his wide range of interest, he helped Newton to publish his magnum opus,  Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. He used Newton's Law of Motion to compute periodicty of Halley’s Comet.

Recommended Lists:

 4 Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton
Famous As: Formulated the Laws of Motion & Universal Gravitation
Birthdate: January 4, 1643
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England
Died: March 31, 1727

One of the most influential and popular scientists of all time, Sir Isaac Newton played a prominent role in our understanding of natural phenomena. He formulated the law of universal gravitation and laws of motion. He also developed the Newtonian telescope among other devices. Apart from science, Newton was also intrigued by religion, occult, and alchemy.

 5 John Dee

John Dee
Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher
Birthdate: July 13, 1527
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tower Ward, London
Died: February 29, 1609

Anglo-Welsh mathematician, occultist, astronomer, teacher, astrologer and alchemist John Dee is best-remembered as advisor to Queen of England, Elizabeth I. Dee coined the term British Empire and advocated its formation by founding of English colonies in the New World. He had one of the largest libraries in England at the time and wrote on astrology, geography, trigonometry, navigation and calendar reform.

 6 Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: October 20, 1632
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: East Knoyle
Died: February 25, 1723

Architect Sir Christopher Wren had built over 50 churches in London, the most popular of them being the St. Paul’s Cathedral. He was a major force behind the formation of the Royal Society and was also knighted for his achievements. He was also a member of the English Parliament.

 7 Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish

Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish
Famous As: philosopher, scientist, poet, science fiction writer
Birthdate: 1623 AD
Birthplace: Colchester, England
Died: December 15, 1673

Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish was an English poet, philosopher, playwright, fiction writer, and scientist. Margaret, who had the audacity to publish her works without using a pen name at a time when female writers remained anonymous, was ahead of her time. Not surprisingly, she was considered eccentric and earned the nickname Mad Madge. Her works gained popularity in the 1980s.

You May Like

 8 Brook Taylor

Brook Taylor
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: August 18, 1685
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Edmonton
Died: December 29, 1731

 9 William Petty

William Petty
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: May 26, 1623
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Romsey, Hampshire, England
Died: December 16, 1687

Initially a physician and anatomy professor, William Petty also taught music. However, he later established himself as a noted economist and became famous for his works such as Treatise of Taxes and Contributions. He was a surveyor under Oliver Cromwell and was a pioneer of political arithmetic.

 10 John Wallis

John Wallis
Famous As: mathematician, philosopher, musicologist, cryptologist
Birthdate: November 23, 1616
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ashford
Died: October 28, 1703

 11 Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland

Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland
Famous As: Nobleman
Birthdate: April 27, 1564
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tynemouth Castle, Northumberland, England

 12 Isaac Barrow

Isaac Barrow
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: September 30, 1630
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London
Died: May 4, 1677

 13 Thomas Sydenham

Thomas Sydenham
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: September 10, 1624
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wynford Eagle
Died: December 29, 1689

Known as The English Hippocrates for authoring the medicine textbook Observationes Medicae, physician Thomas Sydenham is also remembered for his pathbreaking research on gout and scarlet fever. He also discovered St. Vitus’ dance, or Sydenham’s chore; believed in nosological classification of ailments; and popularized the use of quinine for treating malaria.

 14 Robert Fludd

Robert Fludd
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: January 17, 1574
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bearsted, England
Died: September 8, 1637

Best remembered for his study of occult philosophy, Robert Fludd, the son of English diplomat Sir Thomas Fludd, was also a physician. However, he was criticized for being a medical professional who believed in magic and defended Rosicrucianism. His other interests included cosmology, astrology, and Freemasonry.

 15 Colin Maclaurin

Colin Maclaurin
Famous As: Edinburgh
Birthdate: February 1, 1698
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Argyll
Died: June 14, 1746

Colin Maclaurin was a Scottish mathematician best remembered for his contributions to algebra and geometry. A child prodigy, Maclaurin became one of the youngest professors in history when he became a professor of mathematics at the age of 19. Colin Maclaurin also contributed immensely to the study of elliptic integrals and is credited with discovering the Euler–Maclaurin formula.

 16 William Whiston

William Whiston
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist, Historian, University teacher
Birthdate: December 9, 1667
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leicestershire
Died: August 22, 1752

Anglican priest and mathematician William Whiston is remembered for his efforts in popularizing the works of his mentor Isaac Newton. His A New Theory of the Earth aimed at explaining the historical and scientific validity of biblical events. He was also a supporter of Arianism and Primitive Christianity.

 17 John Flamsteed

John Flamsteed
Famous As: Astronomer and the first Astronomer Royal
Birthdate: August 19, 1646
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Denby, Derbyshire, England
Died: December 31, 1719

 18 Stephen Hales

Stephen Hales
Famous As: Botanist, Physicist, Chemist
Birthdate: September 17, 1677
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kent
Died: January 4, 1761

Apart from being a scientist, Stephen Hales was also a clergyman. He went down in history as the first person to quantitatively measure human blood pressure and also discovered transpiration in plants. He also invented surgical and other medical devices. He devoted himself to charitable causes following his wife’s death.

 19 John Gerard

John Gerard
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: 1545 AD
Birthplace: Nantwich, Cheshire, England
Died: January 31, 1612

British herbalist John Gerard is best remembered for his iconic book The Herball, known as the first catalogue for plants. However, experts feel it was mostly plagiarized from a similar collection by Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens. Apart from details about plants, he also included folklore in his works.

 20 Jeremiah Horrocks

Jeremiah Horrocks
Famous As: astronomer, mathematician
Birthdate: 1617 AD
Birthplace: Liverpool
Died: January 3, 1641

 21 Henry Briggs

Henry Briggs
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: February 1, 1561
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warleywood, Yorkshire, England
Died: January 26, 1630

 22 Nehemiah Grew

Nehemiah Grew
Famous As: Medico
Birthdate: September 26, 1641
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mancetter Parish, Warwickshire
Died: March 25, 1712

English botanist Nehemiah Grew is considered a pioneer of plant anatomy, along with Italian biologist and physician Marcello Malpighi. Initially a physician, he later penned iconic books on botany, such as The Anatomy of Plants. He also made pioneering studies in finger-print patterns. A genus of trees has been named after him.

 23 Francis Hauksbee

Francis Hauksbee
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: 1660 AD
Birthplace: Colchester, England
Died: 1713 AD

Francis Hauksbee was an 18th-century English scientist. He is remembered for his work on electricity and electrostatic repulsion. He began his career as a draper and may have run his own drapery. He eventually became Isaac Newton's lab assistant and began his scientific career. With time, he gained a reputation as a talented scientific instrument-maker.

 24 Edmund Gunter

Edmund Gunter
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1581 AD
Birthplace: Hertfordshire, England
Died: December 10, 1626

 25 John Machin

John Machin
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1686 AD
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: June 9, 1751

 26 John Hadley

John Hadley
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 16, 1682
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bloomsbury, London, England
Died: February 14, 1744

 27 John Mayow

John Mayow
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: May 24, 1640
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Looe, England
Died: September 30, 1679

John Mayow is said to have discovered oxygen as piritus nitroaereus about a century before the existence of Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and Joseph Pristley. Though he initially studied law, he later switched to practicing medicine and is remembered for his contribution to pneumatic chemistry. He was named a Fellow of The Royal Society.

 28 George Hadley

George Hadley
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: February 12, 1685
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 28, 1768

 29 Edward Bernard

Edward Bernard
Famous As: astronomer
Birthdate: 1638 AD
Birthplace: Paulerspury, Northamptonshire
Died: January 12, 1697

 30 John Greaves

John Greaves
Famous As: Mathematician, astronomer, and antiquary
Birthdate: 1602 AD
Birthplace: Colemore, United Kingdom
Died: October 8, 1652

 31 Edward Tyson

Edward Tyson
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: January 20, 1651
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: August 1, 1708

 32 Samuel Molyneux

Samuel Molyneux
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: July 16, 1689
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chester, England
Died: April 13, 1728

 33 John Bainbridge

John Bainbridge
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: 1582 AD
Birthplace: Ashby-de-la-Zouch, England
Died: November 3, 1643