Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports compiled by Rictor Norton

Science and Learning

8-10 July 1701   A boarding school for young gentlewomen has been lately set up at Hamsted [i.e. Hampstead], where is taught French, English, all manner of needle-work, writing, arithmetick, geography, dancing, and drawing, and where there are all sorts of good accommodations. [Post Man]


2-4 October 1701
On Monday next being the 6th of October there will be a Society began at Coles Coffee-house, in Birchin-lane, at 5 in the afternoon, where Mr Caffarelli an Italian Minister, will teach geography, history, chronology, and the use of the terrestial globe, 3 times a week in 3 different languages, (viz.) On Monday in Latin, Wednesday in Italian, and Friday in French. [Post Man]

7-9 January 1702
There is now Publish’d, that useful, Yearly Book, PARKER’s Double Ephemeris of the Planets Motions for the Year 1702. With the Exact Times of High-Water at London Bridge. Directions for Passing and Repassing on the Water, and the Set[t]led Rates to be paid to Watermen and Hackney Coachmen, according to Act of Parliament, and the Order of the Lord Mayor. Also the Times and Places of the Carriers and Stage-Coaches being at London from most Parts of the Kingdom. The Equation of Time to Regulate Clocks and Watches: Excellent New Rules and Directions for Gardening and Husbandry. A Discourse on the Art of Astrology, with an account of the unfortunate Days of the Year; with a Mechanick way to make a Sun-Dial. And a Brief Observation on the impending Fate of the French King.
     Sold by the Company of Stationers. [The English Post]

7 January 1720   A new invented engine for raising water is set up at Dr. Desagulier’s house in Channel-Row. The invention has been made appear [sic] to the Doctor to be perfectly new, and an easier way of raising water than ever was practis’d before, being done by a pole or plunger, moving up and down in a barrel, like the bucket or sucker of a pump, but without being leathered, or touching any side of the barrel, and thereby avoiding all frictions of solids. This engine being wrought by a boy of 14 years of age, throws up water, at least 56 foot high, through a two inch pipe, from a bason in the Doctor’s yard into a cistern on the top of his house. The Doctor, to shew his approbation of this machine, is drawing up a particular description of it, which he intends to publish, to do justice to the inventer [sic], who has also proposed a better method for extinguishing fire than ever was yet pratised. (London Journal)

4 December 1725   Last Week the Church-Wardens, and some of the principal Inhabitants of St. Sepulchres Parish, together with some of the Gentlemen of the Hand-in-Hand Fire-Office, had a Meeting in West-Smithfield, in order to try a new Engine for extinguishing Fire, made on purpose for the said Parish by Mr. Gray, Engine-Maker, at Mill-Bank, Westminster; the Performance of which was so wonderfully great, by throwing out a vast Quantity of Water in a continual Stream, to such a prodigious Heighth [sic] and Distance, and with that great Force, as occasioned a general Approbation of all the Spectators; and, in the Opinion of several very good Judges, is not to be equall’d in Goodness with any other Engine of that Size, and is worked only by four Persons. [Mist's Weekly Journal]

29 January 1726   We hear that for the Ease and Conveniency of Deptford and Greenwich a Timber Bridge, will shortly be built over the River Ravensbourn, betwixt those Towns, near the Place when it falls into the Thames, and that it will be so contrived as not to obstruct the Navigation of Coal Lighters, and Timber Barges as before. ’Tis proposed to build this Bridge by a small Pound-Rate, to be laid on the Rents of the Houses and Lands, and by the generous Contributions of the Gentlemen of both the Parishes, and also that a Toll of one Penny per Horse, for Hackney Coaches, Drays and Carts, for ever, be collected weekly by each Parish alternately, and distributed to the Watermen of both the said Parishes. If this Design obtains, which seems so well calculated for the joint Benefit of Deptford and Greenwich, ’tis not to be doubted but a Street will be built from each Town to the said Bridge, which will convert that marshy Ground into a wholsome [sic] Residence: And we hear that a Subscription is actually begun for the Encouragement of this useful Undertaking. [Weekly Journal, or British Gazetteer]

3 December 1726
Spittlefields, Nov.
30. Here is a great talk amongst the weavers of a machine or engine that is invented by a master weaver, near the Cross in Coventry, that will weave as many dozen yards of pieces of ribbon or lace in a week’s time, by one man’s tending of it, as twelve men can weave in the time. (Mist’s Weekly Journal)

10 December 1726
The CHAMBER-LAMP, or Concave Watch-Light, by the Inventor (with Printed Directions, and several Figures of it cut, describing and explaining its Use and Advantage,)
Is a little brass machine, which is so commodiously contrived, that by only placing it upon the rim of a common wine blass, with a little lamp oil in it, and lighting it, will continue burning all night, and not go out, which a rush candle is apt to do, and yet will hardly consume in the longest winter night, above half a farthing's worth of oil: It is likewise as quickly, and with as little trouble, got ready and lighted, as is a candle, and is so much neater and cleaner, and burns with that entire safety and sweetness, that there is not a family, or scarcely a single person in England, when once they have tried it, will ever be without it; for it may be set, without the least danger or smell, as well on a chair or stool by the bed-side, as in the chimney; or upon a table, or chest of drawers, in any other part of the room: And withal, this little lamp is so durable, as well as useful, that it will last time out of mind, and not be once out of order. The inventor has left a parcel of them at Mr. Isted's a bookseller, at the Golden Ball between St. Dunstan's Church and Chancery-lane in Fleetstreet, and at Mr. Crouch's, a bookseller, at the Bell over-against the Queen's Head Tavern in Paternoster-Row, near Cheapside; where they may be had, and at no other place, at 1s. 6d. each; by wholesale, to town and country shop keepers, to sell again, cheaper. Those that bespeak them, may have them in silver, neatly finished at 4s. each.
     Beware of counterfeits, especially those of an audacious mimick, who has stole almost all the inventor's advertisement, word for word, to impose on the publick his clumsey defective ware. [London Journal]

10 December 1726
This Day is published,
Astronomy; or, the True System of the Planets, demonstrated; wherein are shewn by Instruments the Places of the Heavenly Bodies, the Eclipses of the Luminaries, and the Moon’s Phases, with a Method of computing the Times when Venus and Mercury may be seen in the Sun’s Disk; as also the Earth’s Motion is plainly and succinctly demonstrated to the meanest Capacity, by short and easy Rules and new Astronomical Tables, with proper Cuts to each Planet of their several Instruments; also the Places to 130 principal fix’d Stars, designed as a Help to discover the Longitude at Sea: together with an Alphabetical Catalogue of as many Terms in Astronomy as are useful; a Work entirely new, and in a Method hitherto unattempted. By CHARLES LEADBETTER. Printed for J. Wilcox in Little-Britain, and T. Heath next the Fountain Tavern in the Strand. price 5s. [The London Journal]

9 April 1730   The Anatomical Theatre at Surgeon’s hall, built by Inigo Jones about an hundred years ago, and esteemed the most commodious structure in Europe for the purpose, being out of repair, after several estimates given in by builders, who from the peculiarity of the structure very much differ’d about the manner and expence of repairing it, the Earl of Burlington was last week requested to survey it, who not only directed the only proper way of repairing it, and that at a much less expence than by any of the other estimates, but also out of his regard to that great English Architect, and to the generous encouragement he is always ready to afford to maintain the memory and productions of the Artists in every profession, ordeed it to be forthwith repaired by one of his own builders at his own expence. [The Grub-street Journal]

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Science and Learning", 8 October 2003, enlarged 3 January 2006 <http://grubstreet.rictornorton.co.uk/learning.htm>

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