By William R. Newman
Reputed to have played surprising feats in New England--restoring the hair and the teeth to an elderly girl, bringing a withered peach tree to fruit--Eirenaeus Philalethes used to be additionally rumored to be an adept possessor of the alchemical philosophers' stone. That the guy was once basically a legendary production did not cut down his acceptance a whit--his writings have been spectacularly winning, learn by way of Leibniz, esteemed by means of Newton and Boyle, voraciously fed on through numerous readers. Gehennical Fire is the tale of the fellow in the back of the parable, George Starkey.
Though nearly unknown this day and little famous in heritage, Starkey used to be America's most generally learn and celebrated scientist prior to Benjamin Franklin. Born in Bermuda, he got his A.B. from Harvard in 1646 and 4 years later emigrated to London, the place he speedy received prominence as a "chymist." thank you largely to the scholarly detective paintings of William Newman, we now be aware of that this is often just a small a part of a rare tale, that during truth George Starkey led lives. no longer content material just to post his alchemical works below the identify Eirenaeus Philalethes, "A peaceable Lover of Truth," Starkey unfold complex stories approximately his regulate ego, in influence giving him a lifetime of his own.
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Additional info for Gehennical Fire: The Lives of George Starkey, an American Alchemist in the Scientific Revolution
It also gave him a thorough backing in a corpuscular matter theory that would serve him in his own alchemical works. After learning the dioti or theory of alchemy, Starkey was able to test this against practice with the aid of his classmate Alcocke under the tutelage of Richard Palgrave. , and we shall see in the next chapter that these connections brought him into the midst of the most vital experimental circle of the Commonwealth. He would arrive there not as a novice, but as the teacher of Robert Boyle himself.
Got his hints from reading of certain Papers of one John White as I take it called the Gilder of Norwich of whom Mr. ^"^ Starkey has the following to say about his anonymous friend: Once I saw, and even possessed, the chrysopoetic and argyropoetic stone— I was an ocular witness of the first, an actual possessor of the second. It was given to me by a certain young friend (who had both elixirs), still living. I insist on hiding his name forever (constrained by a vow). Some few ounces of it were given to me, of which, when I attempted to multiply them, I lost the greater part.
Anti-Jesuit hysteria was in fact rampant in the Bay Colony at the time of the Remonstrance, and Child definitely was accused of belonging to the Society of Jesus. ” Perhaps Hartlib somehow confused Starkey’s situation with that of Child, who really was confined for an extended period. Starkey in America 51 Our first evidence of Starkey’s medical practice comes from Patrick Copeland, the Bermuda minister who had initiated Starkey’s entrance into Harvard College. In September of 1647 Copeland wrote Winthrop express ing his dismay at rumors that Starkey was practicing “physick”: “I doubt not but you will afford your grave counsel to George Stirke, from both his father and my selfe dedicated unto God.