Authorised form of nameWilkins; John (1614 - 1672)
Dates1614 - 1672
Dates and placesBirth:
Fawsley, Northamptonshire, England (1614)
House of John Tillotson (FRS 1671), Chancery Lane, London (19 November 1672)
St Lawrence Jewry, London
Clergyman, Church of England
Research Field:
Edward Sylvester's school at Oxford; New Inn Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1627), but migrated to Magdalene Hall. BA (1631), MA (1634), BD (1648), DD (1649)
Tutor at Oxford; Vicar of Fawsley (1637), but gave up the parish; Chaplain, successively, to William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele, George, 8th Lord Berkeley, and Charles Lewis, Prince Palatine; Warden, Wadham College, Oxford (1648-1659) where he hosted meetings of the group of men who became the founders of the Royal Society; first Secretary of the Royal Society; Master of Trinity College, Cambridge (1659); deprived of Mastership at the Restoration; Canon of York (1660-1668); Preacher of Gray's Inn (1661); Rector of Cranford, Middlesex (1661); Vicar of St Lawrence Jewry, London (1662-1668); Rector of Polebrooke, Northamptonshire (1666-1667); Canon and Precentor of Exeter (1667-1668); Canon of St Paul's (1668); Dean of Ripon (1668); Rector of Wigan, Lancashire (1668-1672); Bishop of Chester (1668-1672); died of the stone
Royal Society activityMembership:
Founder Fellow
Election Date:
Sec 1663-1668
RelationshipsSon of Walter Wilkins, goldsmith, of Oxford and his wife, a daughter of John Dod; half-brother of Walter Pope (FRS 1663); married Robina Cromwell, widow of a Canon of Christ Church and sister of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector; his stepdaughter married John Tillotson (FRS 1672)
General contextA55842
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; Venn; Foster; Aubrey
The Editor (Sir Harold Hartley), 'Epilogue' in NR 1960 vol 15 pp 259-264
Sir Harold Hartley, 'The Debt of Engineering to Fellows of the Royal Society' in NR 1961 vol 16 pp 136-140
G H Turnbull, 'Samuel Hartlib's Influence on the Early History of the Royal Society' in NR 1953 vol 10 pp 101-130
E J Bowen and Sir Harold Hartley, 'The Right Reverend John Wilkins, FRS (1614-1672)' in NR 1960 vol 15 pp 47-56, plate
Douglas McKie, 'The Origins and Foundation of the Royal Society of London' in NR 1960 vol 15 pp 1-37
A C S, 'Notes on the Foundation and History of the Royal Society' in NR 1938 vol 1 pp 32-36
H G Lyons, 'The Society's First Bequest' in NR 1939 vol 2 pp 43-46
Roy S Porter, 'Medical futures' (The Wilkins Lecture 2000) in NR 2001 vol 55 pp 325-329
Susan McMahon, 'John Ray (1627-1705) and the Act of Uniformity 1662' in NR 2000 vol 54 pp 153-178
Neil Chambers, 'Letters From the President: the Correspondence of Sir Joseph Banks' in NR 1999 vol 53 pp 27-57
Allan Chapman, 'Edmond Halley's Use of Historical Evidence in the Advancement of Science' in NR 1994 vol 48 pp 167-191, plate
Stephen F Mason, 'Bishop John Wilkins, FRS (1614-72): Analogies of Thought-Style in the Protestant Reformation and Early Modern Science' in NR 1992 vol 46 pp 1-21
Marie Boas Hall, 'The Early Years of the Royal Society', review of Michael Hunter, Establishing the New Science: the Experience of the Early Royal Society in NR 1990 vol 44 pp 265-268
A Rupert Hall and Marie Boas Hall, 'The Intellectual Origins of the Royal Society - London and Oxford' in NR 1968 vol 23 pp 157-168
Christopher Hill, 'The Intellectual Origins of the Royal Society - London or Oxford?' in NR 1968 vol 23 pp 144-156
Michael Hunter, 'Early Problems in Professionalizing Scientific Research: Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712) and the Royal Society, With an Unpublished Letter to Henry Oldenburg' in NR 1981-82 vol 36 pp 189-209
William T Stearn, 'The Wilkins Lecture, 1985. John Wilkins, John Ray and Carl Linnaeus' in NR 1985-86 vol 40 pp 101-123
R Lewis, 'The publication of John Wilkins's Essay (1668): some contextual considerations' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp133-146
N J W Thrower, 'Samuel Pepys FRS (1633-1733) and The Royal Society' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 3-13
L Jardine, 'The 2003 Wilkins Lecture: Dr Wilkins's boy wonders' in NR 2004 vol 58 pp 107-129
J Gribbin, 'The Fellowship', 2005, pp130-134
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA8296
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
DM/5/68'Transactions of the Committee for Correspondence'19 August 1664, 23 September 1664
IM/004167Wilkins, John2002
EL/P1/43Walter Pope, dated at Rome, to John Wilkins5 April 1664
IM/004165Wilkins, John2002
IM/004166Wilkins, John2002
EL/P1/45Walter Pope, dated at Brussels, to John Wilkins13 January 1664
IM/004913Wilkins, John1991
EL/W3/4Christopher Wren, dated at Wadham College, Oxford, to John Wilkins26 November 1663
IM/004914Wilkins, Johnnd
RBC/1/17'Experiments concerning the force of blowing with a Mans Breath' by Dr Wilkins19 August 1661
CLP/10i/2Paper, 'Observations on the humble and sensible plants in Mr Chiffin's garden in St James his parke' by Dr Clarke9 August 1661
DM/5/78C'Experiments recommended to Dr Wilkins'c.1660s
P/0142Portrait of Wilkins, Johnc1660
NLB/19/36Copy letter from Robert William Frederick Harrison, to Reverend F Sanders, Hoylake Vicarage, Cheshire6 June 1899
CLP/24/73Inscription, 'A Latin inscription for the tomb stone of John Wilkins' [author unknown]1672
CLP/8i/28/2Drawing, astronomical diagram [by John Palmer]1671
CLP/4i/17Paper, 'Experiments concerning the force of blowing with a man's breath' by Dr [John] Wilkins1661
EL/P1/44Walter Pope, dated at Padova, to John Wilkins1 August 1664
DM/5/101A list of benefactors to the Museum, to the value of £5 or upwards at one time c.1737
CLP/8i/28/1Paper, eclipse of the moon [by John Palmer]1671
CLP/8i/28Paper, eclipse of the moon by John Palmer1671
DM/5/64Minutes of meetings of the Committee for Agriculture (endorsed as 'Transactions of the Georgicall Committee')October 1664-February 1664/5
DM/5/66Minutes of meetings of the Mechanicall Committee July-October 1664
DM/5/70Resolution signed by Henry Oldenburg, appointing a Committee of the Royal Society to consider a way of determining the measure of a degree on the earth21 October 1669
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