« Boyd, Andrew Kennedy Hutchison Boyle, Robert, and the Boyle Lectures Brace, Charles Loring »

Boyle, Robert, and the Boyle Lectures

BOYLE, ROBERT, AND THE BOYLE LECTURES: Robert Boyle was born at Lismore Castle (30 m. n.e. of Cork), Waterford, Ireland, Jan. 25, 1627, son of Richard Boyle, earl of Cork; d. in London Dec. 30,1691. He studied at Eton and (1638–44) at Geneva and elsewhere on the Continent; on his return to England he lived at first on his estate, Stalbridge, Dorsetshire, after 1654 in Oxford, and after 1668 in London. As a scientist he holds a high rank and has been considered the heir to both the methods and abilities of Francis Bacon. He was one of the founders of the Royal Society (1662), and was constantly engaged in investigations which resulted in numerous publications. He wrote many theological, moral, and religious essays, gave freely for the translation of the Bible into various languages, and was liberal in private charity. He was governor of the Corporation for the Spread of the Gospel in New England (see Eliot, John). In his will he left an endowment of £50 annually for the Boyle Lectures, a series of 8 sermons, to be delivered each year in some church, against unbelievers. For the lectures St. Paul's was used in 1699 and 1701, the pariah church of St. Mary le Bow 1711–1805, Westminster Abbey 1852–53, the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, 1864–85, while the lectures of 1903-05 were delivered in the Church of St. Edmund, Lombard St. The first course was given by Richard Bentley (1692); his successors have included some of England's most prominent theologians. A selection from the sermons was published by Gilbert Burnet, vicar of Coggeshall, in 4 vols., London, 1737. A partial list of the published Boyle Lectures down to 1892–93 is given in J. F. Hurst, Literature of Theology (New York, 1896). Since then there have been published the lectures for 1895, W. C. E. Newbolt, The Gospel of Experience (London, 1896), and for 1903-05 by R. J. Knowling, The Testimony of St. Paul to Christ (London, 1905).

Boyle's complete works with life were published by Thomas Birch (5 vols., London, 1744; 2d ed., 6 vols., 1772).

Bibliography: Aside from the life by Birch there are available: A. à Wood. Athenæ Oxonienses, ed. P. Bliss, ii, 286, 4 vols., London, 1813–20; A. C. Brown, Development of the Idea of Chemical Composition, pp. 9–14, Edinburgh, 1869; DNB, vi, 118–123.

« Boyd, Andrew Kennedy Hutchison Boyle, Robert, and the Boyle Lectures Brace, Charles Loring »
VIEWNAME is workSection