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People and their collections

 Robert Plot 1640-96 - scientist & antiquary

 His life and times (Time Line 2 1660-1679)

Dr Robert Plot's life

Philosophy and science time line Oxford virtual science walk

National/ local time line


1659-1669 Samuel Pepys (1633 -1703), civil servant and a founder of the professional navy, wrote detailed private diaries, a major source of information for this Restoration period.


1660 Founding of Society of Experimental Philosophy, from 1662 the  Royal Society. Christopher Wren (1632-1723), a founder member, was Professor of Astronomy at Oxford 1661-1673.Wren was the architect of St Paul's Cathedral, London.

1660 Restoration of Charles II, with the provision that parliament remained powerful.
Tobacco growing was forbidden in England to preserve taxes from Virginian imports.

1661 Awarded B.A.

1662 Robert Boyle (1627-1691) expounded the relationship between the volume of gases and pressure (Boyle's law). He lived in Oxford 1656-6
12 Nov 1662 Robert Hooke (1635-1703), Christ Church, Oxford, appointed first Curator of Experiments at the Royal Society.


1664 Awarded M.A.

1664 Wren designed his first building - the Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street, Oxford.

1664-7 Aphra Behn was a spy for Charles II in Holland during the Dutch wars. She was not paid, so was imprisoned for debt on her return to London in 1668.

1665 Dean and Vice-Principal of Magdalen Hall.

1665 Hooke published Micrographia containing pictures of objects seen through a microscope. The book contains fundamental biological discoveries.
Apr 19 1665 John Evelyn (1620-1706) wrote in his diary: hence to our [ Royal ] Society where were divers poisons experimented on animals.

1665-66The Great Plague. At its peak in August 1665, the bubonic plague killed 6000 people a week. 100,000 people perished in and around London. Smoking was thought to offer protection and it was made compulsory at Eton public school to ward off infection.


Oct 1666 The Royal Society set up its own museum, assuring donors that their gifts would there be preserved for posterity probably much better and safer than in their own private Cabinets.

2-6 Sep 1666 The Great Fire of London destroyed 80% of the city. There was a massive rebuilding programme, led by Sir Christopher Wren, aided by Robert Hooke.

Mar 1667 Mr Plott of Magdalen Hall paid one shilling poll tax.

He took a practical chemistry course and was taught by Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke.


1667 Act to regulate the Negroes on the British Plantation passed. This law detailed the controls to be used over African-American slaves, including the use of branding as a punishment.


3 Nov 1668 Elias Ashmole's third marriage to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Dugdale.

1660s-1680s English coffee houses flourished. These penny universities were forerunners of gentlemen's clubs. Customers put their pennies in a brass box inscribed TO INSURE PROMPTNESS, the origin of tip.

1671 Gained a BCL and a DCL.

1672 Isaac Newton (1643-1727) was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. Knighted in 1705, he was the first scientist to be so honoured for his work.

1670s Sash windows first used in Britain. The larger panes of glass enabled the display of conspicuous wealth.


1673 Edmund Halley (1656-1742) entered Queen's College, Oxford. Aged 17, he was already an expert astronomer.


1674-6 Travelled in the English Midlands to study all curiosities of both art and nature.

1674 Anthony Wood (1632-1695), scholar and antiquarian, inspired by Dugdale, published Historia et Antiquatates Oxoniensis.


1677 The Natural History of Oxford-shire was published. It contains the first modern record of a dinosaur. Dr Plot described the thigh bone of a Megalosaurus as that of an elephant or giant human (see Plot 1677 pp131-39).


Mar 1677 Opening of Aphra Behn's most successful play The Rover, with Nell Gwyn as the whore Angelica Bianca.

Dec 1677 Elected a fellow of the Royal Society.

1679-83 Construction of the Ashmolean Museum, Broad Street, Oxford.

Time Line 1:1600-1659 Robert Plot: case study Time Line 3:1680-1699
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last updated: jcm/16-dec-2005