Station Three: Wadham Books and Meetings

The Royal Society

Philosophical Transactions, no.151 (20 September 1683)

 An Essay open at the title page

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Philosophical Transactions, the journal of the Royal Society, was first published under the society's imprimatur in March 1665 by the society's secretary, Henry Oldenburg, and continues to this day. The journal was in abeyance after Oldenburg's death in 1677, although partially replaced by Robert Hooke's own Philosophical Collections; but it was revived by Robert Plot in Oxford in 1683, and for a period in 1684-1685 it was co-edited by William Musgrave of New College. From 1683 to 1686 the journal was also printed in Oxford, an experiment that was not entirely successful. Issue no. 151, of 20 September 1683, edited by Plot and exhibited here, exemplifies not only the strong presence of the Oxonian philosophers in the journal at this time, but also its international reach. The first article, a report of an early-morning earthquake at Oxford three days prior to the publication of this issue, was by Thomas Pigot of Wadham; the second, on Jupiter's moons, by the Astronomer Royal John Flamsteed; the third, of a dissection, by William Musgrave of New College; and the fourth and fifth, reports of observations of a Great Conjunction made at Danzig by the astronomer Johannes Hevelius.