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an eminent optician, and the inventor of the achromatic telescope,

, an eminent optician, and the inventor of the achromatic telescope, was born in Spitalfields, June 10, 1706. His parents were French protestants, and at the time of the revocation of the edict of Nantz, in 1685, resided in Normandy, but in what particular part cannot now be ascertained. M. de Lalande does not believe the name to be of French origin; but, however this may be, the family were compelled soon after this period to seek refuge in England, in order to avoid persecution, and to preserve their religion. The fate of this family was not a solitary case; fifty thousand persons pursued the same measures, and we may date from this period the rise of several arts and manufactures, which have become highly beneficial to this country. An establishment was given to these refugees, by the wise policy of our government, in Spitalfields, and particular encouragement granted to the silk manufactory.

an eminent optician, was born at Worplesdon, in Surrey, in 1704,

, an eminent optician, was born at Worplesdon, in Surrey, in 1704, and began life as a plough-boy at Broad-street, a hamlet belonging to that parish. By some means, however, he contrived to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic, so as to be soon enabled to teach them to others. For some time he continued to assist in the farming business, but, as our authority states, “finding that he became a poor husbandman in proportion as he grew a learned one, he prudently forsook what indeed he had no great inclination for,” and having a strong inclination to mathematics and philosophical speculations, now entered upon such a course of reading and study as in some measure supplied the want of a learned education. The historian of Surrey says that he first taught reading and writing at Guildford. It was probably some time after this that a legacy of five hundred pounds bequeathed to him by a relation encouraged his laudable ambition, and after purchasing books, instruments, &c. and acquiring some knowledge of the languages, we find him, in 1735, settled at Chichester, where he taught mathematics, and performed courses of experimental philosophy. At this time he published his first work, “The Philosophical Grammar; being a view of the present state of experimental physiology, or naturaf philosophy, &c.” London, 8vo. When he came up to London we have not been able to discover, but after settling there he read lectures on experimental philosophy for many years, and carried on a very extensive trade as an optician and globe-maker in Fleet-street, till the growing infirmities of old age compelled him to withdraw from the active part of business. Trusting too fatally to what he thought the integrity of others, he unfortunately, though with a capital more than sufficient to pay all his debts, became a bankrupt. The unhappy old man, in a moment of desperation from this unexpected stroke, attempted to destroy himself; and the wound, though not immediately mortal, hastened his death, which happened Feb. 9th, 1782, at seventy-eight years of age.

an eminent optician, was born in Edinburgh in the year 1710. At

, an eminent optician, was born in Edinburgh in the year 1710. At the age of ten being left in a state of indigence by the death of both his parents, he was admitted into Heriot’s hospital, where he soon shewed a fine mechanical genius, by constructing for himself a number of curious articles with common knives, or such other instruments as he could procure. Two years after he was removed from the hospital to the high- school, where he so much distinguished himself in classical learning, that his friends thought of qualifying him for a learned profession. After four years spent at the high-school, in 1726 he was entered a student of the university of Edinburgh, where he passed through a regular course of study, took his degree of master of arts, and at the earnest entreaties of his relations, attended the divinity lectures: after which, in 1731, he passed his examination to fit him for a preacher in the church of Scotland. He soon, however, gave up all thoughts of a profession which he found little suited to his talents, and from this period he devoted his whole time to mathematical and mechanical pursuits. He was pupil to the celebrated Maclaurin, who perceiving the bent of his genius, encouraged him to prosecute those particular studies for which he seemed best qualified by nature. Under the eye of his preceptor he began, in 1732, to construct Gregorian telescopes; and, as the professor observed, by attending to the figure of his specula, he was enabled to give them larger apertures, and to carry them to greater perfection, than had ever been done before him.