Authorised form of nameKeill; John (1671 - 1721); mathematician; natural philosopher
Dates1671 - 1721
Place of birthEdinburgh, Scotland
Date of birth01 December 1671
Place of deathHolywell Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Date of death31 August 1721
Dates and placesBurial: St Mary's Church, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England (2 September 1721)
Research fieldPhysics
Edinburgh under David Gregory (FRS 1692); MA; Incorporated at Oxford (1694); Balliol College, Oxford. BMed, DMed (1713)
Lecturer in Experimental Philosophy at Hart Hall, Oxford; Deputy to the Sedleian Professor of Natural Philosophy (1699); Treasurer of the Palatines (1709); took refugees from the Palatinate to New England, returning (1711); Decipherer to Queen Anne and George I (1712-1716); Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford (1712-death); defended Newton against charges of plagiarism by Leibniz; died of a violent fever.
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election30/11/1700
Age at election29
RelationshipsParents: Robert Keill and Sarah Cockburn (d. 1697)
Siblings: James Keill (FRS 1712)
Spouse: Mary or Moll (née Clements) (b. c.1696) (1717)
Children: James Keill
Published worksRCN 46949
RCN 46947
RCN 46948
RCN 18459
RCN 18460
RCN 46946
RCN 46950
General contextImportant defender of Isaac Newton and disseminator of Newtonian principles. Following his appointment as lecturer in experimental Philosophy at Hart Hall, Keill began giving lectures and performing experiments based on Newton's findings, instructing his students on the laws of motion, principles of hydrostatics & optics, and Newtonian propositions on light and colours. He became involved in the famous Newton calculus plagiarism controversy, alleged by Gottfried Liebniz. He defended Newton's Principia mathematica against a criticism levelled at it by Johann Bernoulli (Philosophical Transactions, July–September, 1714).
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Thomas; Eloy
H E Bell, 'The Savilian Professors' Houses and Halley's Observatory at Oxford' in NR 1961 vol 16 pp 179-186
Sir Alan Cook, 'The 350th Anniversary of the Birth of G W Leibniz, FRS' in NR 1996 vol 50 pp 153-163
J P Zinsser, 'The ultimate commentary: a consideration of I Bernhard Cohen's Guide to Newton's Principia' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 231-238

According to Hunter, he was admitted in 1702.
As he was also known as Joannis Keill, some works in the Transaions do not appear under the search using his auuthorised form of name. Works attributed to Joannis Keill can be found here:
Royal Society codeNA5348
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
MM/5/49Letter from Brooke Taylor, near Canterbury, to Isaac Newton22 April 1716
EL/K/22Letter, from John Keill to William Cockburn1708
EL/K/23Letter, from John Keill to John Machin, dated at Oxford21 May 1720
CLP/8i/64Paper, regarding a solution to the Kepler problem by John Keill1712
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