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High Church ProphetBishop Samuel Horsley (1733–1806) and the Caroline Tradition in the Later Georgian Church$
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F. C. Mather

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202271

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202271.001.0001

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Man of Science and Liberality

Man of Science and Liberality

(p.41) 3 Man of Science and Liberality
High Church Prophet


Oxford University Press

On 30 November 1771 Samuel Horsley was elected to the Council of the Royal Society. One of his most important contributions was the proposal he laid before Council on 21 December 1775 to ‘publish, by subscription, a compleat edition of all the works of Sir Isaac Newton, with notes and comments, in five vols. in quarto’, for which he already claimed to have the patronage of King George III. Newton's basic contribution to natural philosophy had long been available in the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, first printed in 1687. This ran through its second and third editions in 1713 and 1726 respectively, and was well known to Cambridge undergraduates in a simplified form through textbooks. But Newton had also left behind him a heterogeneous collection of papers on various aspects of his subject — fluxions, the species and magnitude of curvilinear figures, optics, and lunar theory, as well as items of scientific correspondence. It was in the attempt to collate this wider range of material in a five-volume work, using hitherto unpublished manuscript sources for the purpose, that the originality of Horsley's mammoth undertaking lay.

Keywords:   Samuel Horsley, Oxford, Royal Society, Sir Isaac Newton

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