Barlowe, William

, son of the above, an eminent mathematician and divine, in the sixteenth century, was born in Pembrokeshire. In 1560 he was entered commoner of Baliol college in Oxford; and in 1564, having taken a degree in arts, he left the university, and | went to sea; but in what capacity is uncertain however, he thence acquired considerable knowledge in the art of navigation, as his writings afterwards shewed. About the year 1573, he entered into orders, and became prebendary of Winchester, and rector of Easton, near that city. In 1588 he was made prebendary of Lichneld, which he exchanged for the office of treasurer of that church. He afterwards was appointed chaplain to prince Henry, eldest son of king James the first and in 1614, archdeacon of Salisbury. Barlowe was remarkable, especially for having been the first writer on the nature and properties pf the loadstone, twenty years before Gilbert published his book on that subject. He was the first who made the inclinatory instrument transparent, and to be used with a glass on both sides. It was he also who suspended it in a compass-box, where, with two ounces weight, it was made fit for use at sea. He also found out the difference between iron and steel, and their tempers for magnetical uses. He likewise discovered the proper way of touching magnetical needles and of piecing and cementing of loadstones and also why a loadstone, being double-capped, must take up so great a weight.

Barlowe died in the year 1625. His works are as follow: 1. “The Navigator’s Supply, containing rnaiw things of principal importance belonging to Navigation, and use of diverse Instruments framed chiefly for that purpose,” Lond. 1597, 4to dedicated to Robert earl of Essex. 2. “Magnetical Advertisement, or diverse pertinent observations and improved experiments concerning the natnre and properties of the Loadstone,” Lond. 1616, 4to. 3. “A Brief Discovery of the idle animadversions of Mark Ridley, M. D. upon a treatise entitled Magnetical Advertisement,” Lond. 1618, 4to.

In the first of these pieces, Barlowe gave a demonstration of Wright’s or Mercator’s division of the meridian line, as communicated by a friend observing that “This manner of carde has been publiquely extant in print these thirtie yeares at least [he should have said twenty-eight only], but a cloude (as it were) and thicke miste of ignorance doth keepe it hitherto concealed and so much the more, because some who were reckoned for men of good knowledge, have by glauncing speeches (but never by any one reason of moment) gone about what they could to, disgrace it.” This work of Barlowe’s contains descriptions | of several instruments for the use of navigation, the principal of which is an azimuth compass, with two upright sights and as the author was very curious in making experiments on the loadstone, he treats well and fully upon the sea- compass. And he treated still farther on the same instrument in his second work, the Magnetical Advertisement. 1


Biog. Brit.—Hutton’s Mathematical Dictionary.