Authorised form of nameWoodward; John (1665 - 1728); physician, natural historian, and antiquary
Dates1665 - 1728
Place of birthDerbyshire, England, Europe
Date of birth1 May 1665
Place of deathAt his apartments in Gresham College, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Date of death25 April 1728
Dates and placesBurial:
Westminster Abbey, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe (1 May 1728)
Research fieldGeology
Apprenticed to a linen draper; pupil of Peter Barwick FCP; MD (Lambeth 1695); incorporated at Cambridge
Gresham Professor of Physic (1692-death); Goulstonian Lecturer (1710); first British author to publish systematic classification and desription of minerals
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (1702/3)
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election30/11/1693
ProposerRobert Hooke
Date of ejection or withdrawalExpelled from the Society's Council 1710
Royal Society activityRoyal Society roles:
Council 1696, 1698-1699
Committees and panels:
Committee to consider new statutes of the Academie des Sciences at Paris (1699)
Other Royal Society activityProposed on 22 November 1693;
Corresponded e.g. with Johann Jakob Scheuchzer (FRS 1703) on natural history of Switzerland (1700s);
Insulted Sir Hans Sloane (FRS 1685) at a Council meeting when he was reading his paper and refused to apologise - he was expelled from Council (1710)
Published worksRCN: R65090
RCN: R65089
RCN: R65087
RCN: R65093
RCN: R65091
RCN: R65088
RCN: R65094
General contextWoodward was assisted in obtaining the post of Professor of Physic at Gresham College through Peter Barwick, physician to Charles II. In 1718, Woodward published his only medical work, 'The State of Physick and of Diseases', in which he proposed an alternative treatment for smallpox. It was after this publication, that he allegedly was involved in a sword fight with Richard Mead (FRS 1703), with whose method for smallpox treatments he disagreed. Woodward also wrote extensively on natural history and geology, including instructions for making such observations and collections. He was a benefactor to the University of Cambridge and his collection formed the nucleus of the Woodwardian Museum. In his will, he also founded the Woodwardian Professorship of Geology.
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Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Ward; Hunter; Venn; ODNB
Armytage, W H G. 1954-55. 'The Royal Society and the Apothecaries', in Notes and Records, vol. 11, pp. 22-37
De Beer. 1953. 'Sir Hans Sloane, FRS, 1660-1753', in Notes and Records, vol. 10, pp. 81-84
Fontes da Costa, P. 2002. 'The Culture of Curiosity at The Royal Society in the first half of the eighteenth century', in Notes and Records, vol. 56, pp. 147-166
Jacquot, J. 1953. 'Sir Hans Sloane and French Men of Science', in Notes and Records, vol. 10, pp. 85-98
Levine, J M. 1977. 'Dr Woodward's shield: history, science and satire in Augustan England' (Berkeley)
Smith, H. 2001. 'English 'feminist' writings and Judith Drake's 'An essay in defence of the female sex' (1696)', in Historical Journal, vol. 44(3), pp. 727-748
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA6100
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
CLP/22ii/23Paper, 'Fossils of all kinds digested into a method suitable to their mutual relation and affinity ...' by John Woodward[1728]
EL/M2/25Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward, dated at Boston21 November 1712
LBO/19/5Copy letter from Antoine Deidier, Monbtpelier, to John Woodward28 April 1722
CLP/4i/54Letter, 'De ignis seu caloris certa portione Helvetiae adsignata' [Of fire or heat in parts of Switzerland] from Johann Jakob Scheuchzer to John Woodward[1707]
EL/M2/23Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward, dated at Boston19 November 1712
EL/M2/49Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward23 September 1724
EL/M2/51Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward25 September 1724
EL/M2/21Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward, dated at Boston17 November 1712
EL/H3/94Letter, from Mr [Benjamin] Holloway to Dr [John] Woodward19 February 1713
EL/M2/26Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward, dated at Boston22 November 1712
EL/M2/24Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward, dated at Boston20 November 1712
EL/M2/22Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward, dated at Boston18 November 1712
EL/M2/55Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward30 September [1724]
EL/M2/47Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward21 September 1724
EL/H3/111Letter, from Benjamin Holloway to John Woodward, dated at Bedford6 July 1723
EL/M2/46Letter, from Cotton Mather to James Jurin and John Woodward, dated at Boston1724
EL/M2/53Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward28 September 1724
CLP/11ii/2Extract of letter, regarding the preparation of caerulei prussiaci sent to John Woodward17 November 1723
CLP/8i/61Paper, 'Observatis eclipsis lunaris peracto Bostoniis' [Observations of the lunar eclipse observated at Boston, New England [USA] on 5 April 1707] by Thomas Brattle10 November 1707
RBO/11/103'Extract of a letter from Caspar Neumann to Dr Woodward'1724
EL/M2/27Letter, from Cotton Mather to John Woodward, dated at Boston24 November 1712
EL/M2/34Summaries of several letters from Cotton Mather to John Woodward and to Richard Wallernd
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