Petty, Sir William

SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology
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b. 26 May 1623 Romsey, Hampshire, England
d. 16 December 1687 London, England
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English scientist, medical practitioner, researcher and founder member of the Royal Society of London.
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Despite coming from modest circumstances, Petty had an illustrious career, which started with college in France at the age of 13, followed by service on a small coastal ship and then studies at the medical schools of Ley den and Paris. In 1651 he was appointed Professor of Anatomy at Oxford, and by this time was attending meetings of fellow scientists and philosophers which culminated in the founding of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge. In 1652 Petty was sent to Ireland as PhysicianGeneral for the Army; he was soon involved in many matters of an intellectual and experimental nature. He took responsibility for the first proper survey of the country and produced maps and an Irish atlas, Hiberniae Delineatio, published in 1685. His investigations into political economics had a profound effect on seventeenth-century thinking. Of equal importance were his radical proposals for ship design; he presented many papers on naval architecture to the Royal Society and at one time suggested floating harbours similar to the Mulberry harbours of nearly three centuries later. In 1662 he built the pioneer catamaran Invention II (described at the time as a double-bottomed ship!), which was capable of lifting 5 tons of cargo.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Knighted 1661.
Further Reading
P.G.Dale, 1987, Sir W.P. of Romsey, Romsey: LTVAS Group.
FMW

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Petty, Sir William — born May 26, 1623, Romsey, Hampshire, Eng. died Dec. 16, 1687, London British political economist and statistician. He gave up a life at sea to study medicine, and taught anatomy at the University of Oxford. He founded mines, ironworks, and… …   Universalium

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  • William Petty — William Petty. Sir William Petty (26 de mayo de 1623 Londres, 16 de diciembre 1687) fue un filósofo, médico, economista y estadístico inglés.[1 …   Wikipedia Español

  • William Petty — Sir William Petty (* 27. Mai 1623 in Romsey in der Grafschaft Hampshire; † 16. Dezember 1687 in London) war ein Ökonom, Wissenschaftler und Philosoph. Er gilt als der Vater der englischen Nationalökonomie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Petty — Petty, Sir William, engl. Volkswirt, geb. 26. Mai 1623 in Rompy bei London, seit 1652 Generalarzt der Armee von Irland, Mitbegründer der Royal Society, starb 16. Dez. 1687 in London; ein Vorgänger von Adam Smith, schrieb: »Treatise of taxes and… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • sir — /serr/, n. 1. a respectful or formal term of address used to a man: No, sir. 2. (cap.) the distinctive title of a knight or baronet: Sir Walter Scott. 3. (cap.) a title of respect for some notable personage of ancient times: Sir Pandarus of Troy …   Universalium

  • William — /wil yeuhm/, n. 1. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter W. 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning will and helmet. * * * (as used in expressions) Huddie William Ledbetter Aberhart William George William… …   Universalium

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