Becher, John Joachim

, born in 1645,at Spires, was at first professor of medicine, and then first physician to the elector of Mentz, and afterwards to him of Bavaria. He went to London, where his reputation had got before him, and where the malice of his rivals had forced him to seek an asylum, and here he died in 1685. His works are various, among which we may distinguish the following: 1. “Physica subterranea,” Frankfort, 1669, 8vo, reprinted at Leipsic, 1703, and in 1759, 8vo. 2. “Experimentum Chymicum novum,” Frankfort, 1671, 8vo. 3. “Character pro notitia linguarum universali;” a universal language, by means whereof all nations might easily understand each other the fanciful idea of a man of genius. 4. “Institntiones Chymicse, seu manuductio ad pjiilosophiam hermeticam,” Mentz, 1662, 8vo. 5. “Institutiones GhymictE prodromye,” Frankfort, 1664, and Amsterdam, 1665, 12mo. 6. “Experimentum novum ac curiosum de Minera arenaria perpetua,” Frankfort, 1680, 8vo. 7. “Epistohe Chymicae,Amsterdam, 1673, 8vo. Becher was reputed to be a very able machinist and a good chymist. He was a man of a lively te-mper, impetuous and headstrong, and therefore indulged jn a thousand chymical reveries. He was the first who applied the art of chymistry, in all its | extent, to philosophy, and shewed what use might be made of it in explaining the structure, the combinations, and the mutual relations of hodies. He pretended to have found out a sort or‘ perpetual motion. However, it is beyond a doubt ’that the world is indebted to him for some useful discoveries, and he attempted to make some improvements in the art of printing.1


Moreri.—Manget.—Hallen.—Dict. Hist.