|1635||18 July||Born Freshwater, Isle of Wight, son of The Rev John Hooke, curate to the parish. RH is intended for the Church, but headaches and a sickly constitution decree otherwise. Occupies himself in making mechanical toys.|
|1648||October||Death of father; RH goes to London as the pupil of the painter Sir Peter Lely - is allergic to the smell of paint. Then enters Westminster School in the house of Dr Busby|
|1653||Enters Christ Church, Oxford. Close friend of Wren, also 'Alumnus Westmonasteriensis', who came up to Wadham in 1650.|
|1655||Comminicates 'artifices for flying' to John Wilkins (Wadham College), studies astronomy with Seth Ward, assist Thomas Willis in Chemistry and is recommended by him to Robert Boyle. Assists Boyle in construction of the air pump.|
|1658||Applied the circular pendulum to watches; refuses terms of a patent negotiated by Boyle. Discovery remains unknown until 1675.|
|1661||Publishes article on capillary attraction, later included in Micrographia.|
|1662||12 November||Appointed Curator of Experiments at the Royal Society.|
|1663||3 June||Elected FRS|
|19 Oct||Royal Society's Repository committed to RH's care.|
|1664||9 May||First to infer the rotation of Jupiter|
|June||Sir John Cutler founds a lecture for RH at a salary of £50 p.a. Reads astronomical lectures at Gresham College as locum for Dr Pope 1664-65|
|July||Found the number of vibrations corresponding to musical notes.|
|17 September||Discovers fifth star in the Orion trapezium|
|1665||11 January||RH's post of Curator at the Royal Society is made permanent
at a salary of £30 p.a. with apartments in Gresham College, Bishopsgate St. RH lives
there for the remainder of his life.
Early inquiries include: the nature of the air and its relationship to respiration and combustion; specific weights; the laws of falling bodies; improvements to diving-bells; methods of telegraphy; the relationship of barometric readings to the weather; fixes the thermometrical zero at the freezing-point of water; invents a machine for cutting gear-wheels.
|20 March||Nominated Professor of Geometry, Gresham College.
Micrographia is published. Contains amongst other things: earliest investigation of the colours of thin plates of mica with an explanation based on interference; comment on the 'black spot' in soap bubbles; a theory of light as a transverse vibrational motion; a definition of heat as a propety of a body arising from the vibration of its parts; a discourse on the true nature of combustion.
|Whilst plague is in London, RH is at Epsom, employed as Philosophical Assistant to Dr Wilkins and Sir William Petty at Durdans, the seat of the Earl of Berkeley.|
|1666||12 March||Drawings of Mars enable its period of rotation to be found more than 200 years later. (RH shows here his tendency to make superb observations which he then loses interest in and leaves others to develop.)|
|21 March||Meetings of Royal Society are resumed, RH reads a discourse on gravity and suggests measuring its force by means of a pendulum.|
|May||Reads paper on curvilinear motion and shows that the cente of gravity of the earth and the moon describes an ellipse around the sun. Presents to the Royal Society the first screw-divided quadrant, an anemometer, and a 'weather-clock'.|
|Sat under a bell-jar whilst the air was pumped out from it....|
|1 August||Communicates observations of the comet of 1664 to the Royal Society.|
|1667||12 June||Discourse on the effect of earthquakes.|
|19 September||Exhibited a model for the rebuilding of the City of London
after the Great Fire.This was not adopted, but he was appointed (by the City authorities)
a City Surveyor together with Edward Jerman and Peter Mills and also (appointed by the
King) Wren, Hugh May and Roger Pratt. Hooke and Wren jointly are responsible for The
Monument to the Great Fire.
RH designs the Bethlehem Hospital (Bedlam); Montague House; the Royal College of Physicians (all demolished in the 19th century): and Ragley Hall (Warwickshire); and for his old Head Master at Westminster, Willen Church in Buckinghamshire.
Explains the scintillation of stars.
|1669||July - October||Earliest attempt at measuring the parallax of a fixed star - his results lead to Bradley's discovery of stellar aberration.|
|1670||Delivers Cutlerian Lectures dealing with the above experiments.|
|1672||15 Feb||Publishes paper on diffraction of light, objecting to Newton's communication on this subject to the Royal Society in January.|
|1674||Publishes 'An Attempt to Prove the Motion of the Earth by
Observations'; this records the first observation of a star in daylight.
Controversy with Hevelius, author of 'Machina Celestis'; a series of Cutlerian Lectures finds RH making acrid remarks on "that curoius and pompous book".
Constructs the first Gregorian telescope.
|1675||9 & 16 Dec||Newton's 'Discourse on Colour' evokes objections from Hooke on the grounds that "the main of it was contained in Micrographia". The argument is resolved with Newton claiming originality but acknowledging important obligations to RH's work.|
|Huyghens re-discovers the spiral spring applied to watches; RH then has Thomas Tompion make some of his 'new watches'.|
|1676||Publishes the principles of the spiral springs in 'A Description of Helioscopes'. This starts a quarrel with Oldenburg (Secretary of the Royal Society) who RH accuses of being "a trafficker in intelligence".|
|1677||RH obliged by the Royal Society to withdraw his comment on Oldenburg; this was contained in 'Lampas, or a Description of some Mechanical Improvements of Lamps and Water-poises'.|
|25 Oct||RH becomes Secretary to the Royal Society on Oldenburg's death.|
|1678||'Cometa', dealing with the great comet of 1677 and including a statement of the Law of Inverse Squares and the effect of the Sun on comet tails; 'Lectures de Potentia Restitutiva' give virtually the present notions of elasticity and the kinetic theory of gases|
|1679||Letter from RH to Newton induces the latter to 'resume his former thoughts concerning the Moon'. The publication of this work in 'Principia' led to protest from Hooke that he 'gave Newton the first hint of this invention'. Newton's irritation leads to his suppressing 'Opticks' until after Hooke's death.|
|1682||RH begins to adopt a policy of secrecy to guard against supposed infringements of his rights.|
|30 Nov||RH ceases to be Secretary to the Royal Society.|
|1684||Describes a practical system of telegraphy.|
|Other inventions include: an odometer, an 'otocousticon' as an aid to hearing, a reflecting quadrant, a wheel barometer, the anchor escapement of clocks, the universal joint; other suggestions include the true principle of the arch, anticipation of the method for showing nodal lines in vibrating surfaces, the motion of the Sun among the stars, correct notions as to the nature of fossils and the succession of living things on Earth.|
|1687||Grace Hooke, RH's niece and housekeeper (but more likely his 'common-law' wife) dies, which affects Hooke's spirits profoundly.|
|1691||Dec||Created Doctor of Physic at Doctors' Commons|
|1692||Reads a 'curious discourse' on the Tower of Babel to the Royal Society.|
|1693||Expounds on Ovid's 'Metamorphoses'.|
|1696||June||Royal Society offers to pay for experiments - but Hooke's health is failing. Chancery suit over his salary settled in his favour.|
|1700||Halley describes RH's last invention, a marine telescope, to the Royal Society.|
|1702-3||RH becomes blind and legs swell - possibly a consequence of diabetes.|
|1703||3 March||RH dies at Gresham College; is buried at St Helen's
His remains were exhumed and reburied in 'North London' sometime in the 19th century. The Hooke Memorial Window was destroyed in the Bishopsgate bombing in the 1980's.
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