Article ID: CBB365909346

Plant and Soil Chemistry in Seventeenth-Century England: Worsley, Boyle and Coxe (2018)


In seventeenth-century England agriculturalists, projectors and natural philosophers devoted special attention to the chemical investigation of plants, of soil composition and of fertilizers. Hugh Plat’s and Francis Bacon’s works became particularly influential in the mid-seventeenth century, and inspired much of the Hartlib Circle’s schemes and research for improving agriculture. The Hartlibians turned to chemistry in order to provide techniques for improving soil and to investigate plant generation and growth. They drew upon the Paracelsian chemistry of salts, as well as upon the works of van Helmont and Glauber. Benjamin Worsley, Boyle’s scientific companion in the 1640s and 1650s, played a leading role in the Hartlib Circle’s research on saltpetre and on fertilizers. The Hartlib Circle’s research in agricultural chemistry shaped much of the research carried out by the Royal Society in the 1660s and in the 1670s. Daniel Coxe, who adopted Boyle’s chemical theories and pursued original experimental research on the composition of plants, played a central part in the early Royal Society’s agricultural projects and notably in the investigations of plants.

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Article Fabrizio Baldassarri; Oana Matei (2018) Manipulating Flora: Seventeenth-Century Botanical Practices and Natural Philosophy. Introduction. Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period (pp. 413-419). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Yeo, Richard R.
Anstey, Peter R.
Attie, Katherine Bootle
Boantza, Victor D.
Burchell, David
Cecon, Kleber
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Galilæana: Journal of Galilean Studies
Modern Philology
University of Chicago Press
University of Chicago
Indiana University
Duquesne University Press
Prospect Books
Experiments and experimentation
Methodology of science; scientific method
Natural philosophy
Science and culture
Boyle, Robert
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Hooke, Robert
Locke, John
Beale, John
Hartlib, Samuel
Time Periods
17th century
Early modern
18th century
16th century
Great Britain
Royal Society of London

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