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People and their collections

Robert Plot 1640-96 - scientist & antiquary

His life and times (Time Line 3: 1680-1699)

Dr Robert Plot's life

Philosophy and science time line
Oxford virtual science walk

National/ local time line

1682-84 Secretary of the Royal Society.

1682 Halley predicted the periodic orbit of the comet now known as Halley's comet.


May 1683 Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, and University of Oxford's first Professor of Chemistry.
1683-84 Edited Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions (succeeded by Halley).

Mar 18 1683 John Evelyn (1620-1706) in a letter to Dr Plot wrote 'Elysium Britannicum not printed neere ready &c'.

21 May 1683 James, Duke of York, shortly to be James II, visited the University of Oxford, the highlight being the opening of the Ashmolean Museum. He heard an English speech spoken by Doctor Plot ye Curator (Anthony Wood).

1686 The Natural History of Staffordshire was published.

1685-93 Halley edited Philosophical Transactions.

1685 Accession of James II who tried to turn England back to the Catholic faith.

1687-88 Council member for Royal Society. Appointed Registrar of the Court of Chivalry.

1687 Publication (paid for by Halley) of Isaac Newton's Principia (full title Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica) the greatest scientific book ever written.

1688 Oroonoko, a short novel by Aphra Behn, published. The hero is a black male slave.

1688-89 Appointed Historiographer Royal.


1688 James II deposed in favour of his protestant daughter Mary, and her husband William of Orange (Mary II & William III).

1689 Resigned as Professor of Chemistry.

Dec 1689 John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding is published. 'Though the familiar use of Things about us, takes off our Wonder; yet it cures not our Ignorance (III.vi.9)'.

1689 The Glorious Revolution with the passage of the Bill of Rights (precursor of the American Bill of Rights). It limited the power of the monarchy, and ended the concept of divine right of kings.

Aug 1690 Married Rebecca Burman with whom he had two sons.
Dec 1690 Resigned as Keeper of The Ashmolean Museum.


1690 Battle of the Boyne in Ireland between James II & William III. It is this Orange victory which is still celebrated on July 12th by Northern Ireland protestants.

1692-93 Secretary of the Royal Society.

18/19 May 1692 Death of Elias Ashmole.


1693 Surveys of Middlesex & Kent for Gibson's new edition of Camden's Britannia.


1693 Smoking was banned in the House of Commons.

1694 Worked on The Natural History of London and Middlesex (np).


1694 death of Mary II from smallpox.

1695 Created Mowbray Herald extraordinary and Registrar of the College of Heralds


30 Apr 1696 Died from complications arising from urinary calculi (kidney stones). Memorial raised by his widow at Borden church, Kent.

1696 Lady Damaris Cudworth Masham, (1659-1708) philosopher and feminist, publishes A Discourse concerning the Love of God. A close friend of John Locke, she argued against a double standard for men and women.

Time Line 2: 1660-1679 Robert Plot: case study Plot and pottery
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last updated: jcm/16-dec-2005