Authorised form of nameKeir; James (1735 - 1820); chemist
Dates1735 - 1820
Place of birthEdinburgh, Scotland
Date of birth29 September 1735
Place of deathWest Bromwich, Staffordshire
Date of death11 October 1820
Dates and placesBurial:
West Bromwich churchyard, Staffordshire
Research fieldChemistry
Edinburgh University (medicine)
Entered the Army (1757-1766); started a business as a glass manufacturer (1775); gave it up to take charge of Boulton's Soho factory in his absence; established alkali works,Tipton (1780); close friend of Erasmus Darwin (FRS 1761) and friend of Matthew Boulton (FRS 1785), James Watt (FRS 1785) and of Joseph Priestley (FRS 1766)
Lunar Society
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election08/12/1785
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB
Robert E Schofield, 'The Lunar Society of Birmingham; A Bicentenary Appraisal' in NR 1966 vol 21 pp 144-161
Barbara M D Smith and J L Moilliet, 'James Keir of the Lunar Society' in NR 1967 vol 22 pp 144-154, plate
Jennifer S Pugh and John Hudson, 'The Chemical Work of James Watt, FRS' in NR 1985-86 vol 40 pp 41-52
Desmond King-Hele, 'The 1997 Wilkins Lecture: Erasmus Darwin, the Lunaticks and Evolution' in NR 1998 vol 52 pp 153-180
N G Coley, 'George Pearson MD, FRS (1751-1828): 'The greatest chemist in England'? in NR 2003 vol 57 pp
D King-Hele, 'Makers of the future. The Lunar Men: the friends who made the future, by J Uglow' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 348 - 350
At head of election certificate: Compounded
Royal Society codeNA8245
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
MM/6/2Letter from Joseph Banks, Soho Square, to James Keir14 February 1780
MM/6/3Letter from Joseph Banks, Soho Square, to James Keir17 February 1780
MM/6/1Letter from Joseph Banks, Soho Square, to James Keir12 February 1780
IM/002493Keir, Jamesnd
IM/002494Keir, James2001
NLB/66/331Copy letter from Francis Alexander Towle, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to Richard Pilcher Esq., Registrar and Secretary, Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain, Russell Square, W.C 10 April 1924
L&P/6/182Paper, 'Of crystallizations in glass' by James Keir1776
L&P/9/44Paper, 'Experiments on the congelation of the vitriolic acid' by James Keir1787
EC/1785/14Keir, James: certificate of election to the Royal Society
L&P/9/171Paper, 'Experiments and observations on the dissolution of metals in acids, and the precipitations; with an account of a new compound acid menstrum' by James Keir1790
L&P/9/87Letter, 'Additional experiments and observations relating to the principle of acidity, the decomposition of water and phlogiston' from James Keir to Joseph Priestley 26 March 1788
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