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Medicine, metals and empire: the survival of a chymical projector in early eighteenth-century London

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 September 2015

CRASSH, University of Cambridge, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DT, UK. Email:


It is well known that Newtonian philosophers such as Johan T. Desaguliers defined their authority in contradistinction to the ‘projector’, a promoter of allegedly impractical and fraudulent schemes. Partly due to the lack of evidence, however, we know relatively little about these eighteenth-century projectors, especially those operating outside learned networks without claims to gentility, disinterest or theoretical sophistication. This paper begins to remedy this lacuna through the case of a ‘chymical’ projector, Moses Stringer (fl. 1693–1714). Instead of aspiring to respectability, this London chymist survived by vigorously promoting new projects, thereby accelerating, rather than attenuating, the course of action that rendered him dubious in the first place. The article follows his (often abortive) exploitation of medicine, metals and empire, and thereby illuminates the shady end of the enlightened world of public science.

Research Article
Copyright © British Society for the History of Science 2015 

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1 Thomas Savery, The miners friend; or, an engine to raise water by fire, 1702, p. 2. The place of publication for pre-1800 materials is London unless otherwise stated.

2 Johan T. Desaguliers, A course of experimental philosophy, vol. 1, 2nd edn, corrected, 1745, p. 138; Desaguliers, A course of experimental philosophy, vol. 2, 1744, p. viii.

3 Mary Margaret Robischon, ‘Scientific instrument makers in London during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’, PhD thesis, University of Michigan, 1983; Alexi Baker, ‘The business of life: the socioeconomics of the “scientific” instrument trade in early modern London’, in F.-E. Eliassen and K. Szende (eds.), Generations in Towns: Succession and Success in Pre-industrial Urban Societies, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholar Publishing, 2009, pp. 169–191. For European contexts see Biagioli, Mario, ‘From print to patents: living on instruments in early modern Europe’, History of Science (2006) 44, pp. 139–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

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5 Larry Stewart, The Rise of Public Science: Rhetoric, Technology, and Natural Philosophy in Newtonian Britain, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 29, 126, 282, 286, 326, 335, 390, 393; Margaret C. Jacob and Larry Stewart, Practical Matter: Newton's Science in the Service of Industry and Empire, 1687–1851, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004, pp. 67–8, 83; Liliane Pérez, ‘Technology, curiosity and utility in France and in England in the eighteenth century’, in Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent and Christine Blondel (eds.), Science and Spectacle, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008, pp. 25–42, 34, 38.

6 Christine MacLeod, ‘The 1690s patents boom: invention or stock-jobbing?’, Economic History Review (1986) 2nd series 39, pp. 549–571. On ‘projecting’ in the early eighteenth century see Paul Slack, The Invention of Improvement: Information and Material Progress in Seventeenth-Century England, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015, Chapter 6. See also Maximillian E. Novak (ed.), The Age of Projects, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008, especially chapters by Kimberly Latta, Alison F. O'Bryne, Sarah Kareem and Larry Stewart.

7 Stewart, op. cit. (5), pp. 283, 286. See also Schaffer, Simon, ‘The show that never ends: perpetual motion in the early eighteenth century’, BJHS (1995) 28, pp. 157189CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. 185.

8 Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985; Steven Shapin, A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1994; Shapin ‘The man of science’, in Katherine Park and Lorraine Daston (eds.), The Cambridge History of Science, vol. 3: Early Modern Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 179–191; Shapin, ‘The image of the man of science’, in Roy Porter (ed.), The Cambridge History of Science, vol. 4: Eighteenth-Century Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 159–183.

9 Stephen Johnston, ‘Making mathematical practice: gentlemen, practitioners and artisans in Elizabethan England’, PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, 1994; Eric H. Ash, Power, Knowledge, and Expertise in Elizabethan England, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

10 Stewart, op. cit. (5), pp. 260–261. See also Koji Yamamoto, ‘Reformation and the distrust of the projector in the Hartlib circle’, Historical Journal (2012) 55, pp. 375–397.

11 Stewart, op. cit. (5), pp. 261 (quotation), 271, 301.

12 Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth, Selling Science in the Age of Newton, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010, p. 136.

13 Schaffer, , ‘Swedenborg's Lunars’, Annals of Science, (2014) 71, pp. 226CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Richard Dunn and Rebekah Higgitt, Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude, Glasgow: Collins, 2014, Chapter 2.

14 Stewart, op. cit. (5), p. 305; Schaffer, op. cit. (13), p. 3.

15 William R. Newman, ‘From alchemy to “chymistry”’, in Park and Daston, op. cit. (8), pp. 497–517.

16 The National Archives (hereafter TNA), PRIS 1/2, fols. 3, 174, 315 (at fol. 3). It is most likely that the debt was repaid shortly after the committal.

17 Edward Ward, Mars stript of his armour: or, the army display'd in all its true colours, 1709, p. 96.

18 Nathaniel Wanley, The history of man; or, the wonders of humane nature, 1704, p. 105.

19 Carl Wennerlind, Casualties of Credit: The English Financial Revolution, 1620–1720, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011; Ted McCormick, William Petty and the Ambitions of Political Arithmetic, New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. For transmutation in Petty's idea see also Sue Dale, ‘Sir William Petty's “ten tooles”: a programme for the transformation of England and Ireland during the reign of James II’, PhD thesis, Birkbeck, 2014, Chapters 4–7.

20 Davies, D. Seaborne, ‘The records of the Mines Royal and the Mineral and Battery Works’, Economic History Review (1936) 6, pp. 209–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar. As for the Mineral and Battery Works, for example, meetings were held more than once after 1688 only in 1702 (twice) and in 1704 (four times). See British Library (hereafter BL), Loan 16(2).

21 Moses Stringer, Variety of choice experiments made of two incomparable medicines, 1700, p. 8. For his license see P.J. Wallis and R.V. Wallis, Eighteenth-Century Medics, 2nd edn, Newcastle upon Tyne: Project for Historical Bibliography, 1988, p. 577.

22 Alumni Oxonienses 1500–1714, Oxford: Parker, 1891, pp. 1422–52; An exact alphabetical catalogue of all that have taken the degree of Doctor of Physick in our two universities, from the year 1659 to this present year 1695, 1696.

23 Appleby, John H., ‘Moses Stringer (fl. 1695–1713): iatrochemist and mineral master general’, Ambix (1987) 34, pp. 3145CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

24 Loewenson, Leo, ‘People Peter the Great met in England: Moses Stringer, chymist and physician’, Slavonic and East European Review (1959) 37, pp. 459–68Google Scholar; Eric Williams, History of the People of Trinidad and Tobago, New York: Frederick Praeger, 1964, p. 52; William Rees, Industry before the Industrial Revolution, 2 vols., Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1968, vol. 2, pp. 657–66.

25 C.J.S. Thompson, The Quacks of Old London, London: Brentano, 1928, pp. 248–251; John Morton, ‘The rise of the modern copper and brass industry in Britain, 1690–1750’, PhD thesis, University of Birmingham, 1985, Chapter 2, p. 42.

26 See the lists of college membership published annually under the same title, The catalogue of the fellows and other members of the Royal College of Physicians, London, 1695.

27 J.J. Keevil, Medicine and the Navy, 1200–1900, vol. 2, 1649–1714 (London: Livingstone, 1958), p. 253.

28 Appleby, op. cit. (23), p. 43.

29 See also John Appleby, ‘Stringer, Moses’, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 61 vols., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, vol. 53, p. 89.

30 BL, Loan 16(2), fol. 227.

31 BL, Loan 16(2), fol. 226v; M[oses] S[tringer], Opera mineralia explicata: or, the mineral kingdom, within the dominions of Great Britain, display'd, 1713, p. 255.

32 BL, Loan 16(2), fols. 228v, 231v; Morton, op. cit. (25), p. 41.

33 Rees, op. cit. (24), vol. 2, p. 660; Appleby, op. cit. (23), p. 40; Morton, op. cit. (25), p. 42 (quotation).

34 McCook, Stuart, ‘Introduction' (to Focus: Global Currents in National Histories of Science)’, Isis (2013) 104, p. 776Google Scholar (my italic).

35 Mordechai Feingold, ‘The mathematical sciences and new philosophies’, in Nicholas Tyacke (ed.), The History of the University of Oxford, vol. 6: Seventeenth-Century Oxford, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 442. This section owes much to this excellent chapter.

36 Feingold, op. cit. (35), p. 439; Carol Brookes, ‘Experimental chemistry in Oxford 1648–c.1700: its techniques, theories and personnel’, unpublished MA thesis, Oxford, 1985, pp. 25–6.

37 BL, Harley 5931, item no 116, Moses Stringer, Old-age and the gout: in a letter to the learned Dr. Woodrofe, 1707, p. 1; R.T. Gunther, Early Science in Oxford, Part I - Chemistry, Oxford: Oxford Science Laboratories, 1921, p. 23.

38 Edward Lhuyd was the keeper of the Ashmolean between 1691 and 1709. But no letters to and from Stringer or Woodroffe have been found in Lhuyd Correspondence at Bodleian Library, MSS Ashmole 1817a (O–S), 1817b (T–W).

39 Allen G. Debus, The Chemical Philosophy: Paracelsian Science and Medicine in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, 2 vols., New York: Science History Publications, 1977, vol. 1, esp. pp. 84–9, 96–103. For subsequent developments see William R. Newman and Lawrence M. Principe, Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2002. While Stringer hinted that his cures approached the universal medicine, we find no evidence to indicate that he was seeking to transmute base metals into silver or gold.

40 Harold J. Cook, ‘Medicine’, in Park and Daston, op. cit. (8), pp. 407–434, esp. pp. 421–423.

41 BL, Loan 16(2), fol. 248v. See also Appleby, op. cit. (23), p. 31. For Moriaen, Glauber and Becher see John T. Young, Faith, Medical Alchemy and Natural Philosophy: Johan Moriaen, Reformed Intelligencer, and the Hartlib Circle, Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998; Pamela H. Smith, The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.

42 T.W. Jackson (ed.), ‘Dr Wallis’ letter against Mr Maidwell, 1700’, in Collectania, First Series, Oxford: Oxford Historical Society, 1885, p. 316.

43 Edward Chamberlayne, Angliae Notitia, 1684, pp. 327–8. See also R.F. Ovenell, The Ashmolean Museum, 1683–1894, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986, Chapter 2.

44 Feingold, op. cit. (35), p. 428 n. 196.

45 Jakson, op. cit. (42), p. 316.

46 BL, Loan 16(3), fol. 93, 16 June 1693 (Mines Royal admission, quotation); BL, Loan 16(2), fol. 207v, 7 Dec. 1693 (Mineral and Battery Works admission).

47 Stringer, op. cit. (21), p. 16. Licensed by the university, Oxford apothecaries were closely involved in chymistry, with their shops numbering about twenty by the 1660s. See Brookes, op. cit. (36), pp. 12, 30 (a map showing their locations).

48 [Stringer], A most wonderful and true relation, 1698; BL, MS Loan 16(2), fol. 220v.

49 TNA, C 5/632/110.

50 Appleby, ‘Stringer’, p. 38.

51 BL, Loan 16(2), fol. 220v; Stringer, op. cit. (21), p. 15.

52 Stringer, op. cit. (21), esp. pp. 3–16.

53 [Stringer], op. cit. (48); Stringer, English and Welsh mines and minerals discovered, 1699, p. 24.

54 National Archives Scotland (hereafter NAS), GD 406/1/4359, Stringer to James Duke of Hamilton, 28 September 1699.

55 NAS, GD 406/1/4359.

56 Stringer, op. cit. (21), p. 14; NAS, GD 406/1/4359.

57 NAS, GD 406/1/4359. For the cost of a patent see Christine MacLeod, Inventing the Industrial Revolution: The English Patent System, 1660–1800, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 76.

58 NAS, GD 406/1/4359. See also Stringer, op. cit. (21), p. 10.

59 TNA, C 5/632/110, Stringer con Martin, January 1702 (Stringer's bill); Stringer, op. cit. (21), title page; S[tringer], op. cit. (31), p. xii. It is possible that Stringer expected his grateful patients to help pay the rent.

60 TNA, C 5/316/55, Stringer con Martin, June 1702 (Martin and others, answer to C 5/632/110).

61 TNA, C 5/316/55. Martin was not alone in having reservations about Stringer. See Cook, Harold J., ‘Sir John Colbatch and Augustan medicine: experimentalism, character and entrepreneurialism’, Annals of Science (1990) 47, 475505CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 486 n. 58.

62 TNA, C 5/316/55. It was probably very unusual to hand lease documents to a third party. I thank Natasha Glaisyer and Anne Murphy for advice.

63 Newman and Principe, op. cit. (39), pp. 100–155.

64 See Cook, Harold J., ‘Practical medicine and the British armed forces after the “Glorious Revolution”’, Medical History (1990) 34, pp. 126CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed, 16. See also Cunningham, Andrew, ‘Sydenham versus Newton: the Edinburgh fever dispute of the 1690s between Andrew Brown and Archibald Pitcairne’, Medical History (1981) Supplement 1, 7198CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 77–79.

65 Stringer, Variety of surprising experiments, made of two incomparable medicines, 1707, pp. 6–7.

66 Chetham's Library, Manchester, HP H.P.2526, Moses Stringer, An advertisement. Of two incomparable medicines [n.d. 1705?].

67 Cook, op. cit. (61), pp. 489–494; Cunningham, op. cit. (64), pp. 72–73. Cf. Coley, Noel G., ‘Physicians and the chemical analysis of mineral waters in eighteenth-century England’, Medical History (1982) 26, pp. 123144CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

68 Cook, op. cit. (61), p. 488. Licentiates were defined as non-fellows ‘Skilled in Physick’ who were ‘not capable to be Elected’ because of age, foreign nationality, the lack of a doctorate, or ‘their not being Eminently Learned’. See The catalogue of the fellows and other members of the Royal College of Physicians, London, 1695.

69 See, for example, Stringer, op. cit. (21), passim.

70 Royal College of Physicians, London, Annales Collegii Medicorum, vol. 7, covering 1695–1710. As for Lister and Plot, I am grateful to Anna-Marie Roos for her advice. As for Sloane, I thank Alice Marples who is completing a thesis on Sloane's correspondence networks.

71 Compare Stringer, op. cit. (37), p. 1, with Works of Robert Boyle (ed. Michael Hunter and Edward B. Davis), 14 vols., London: Pickering & Chatto, 1999, vol. 3, p. 408.

72 Newman and Principe, op. cit. (39), p. 154. See also Richard Yeo, Notebooks, English Virtuosi, and Early Modern Science, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014.

73 Stringer, op. cit. (53), pp. 6, 10–11, 14.

74 Stringer, op. cit. (53), p. 8. The source was John Webster, Metallographia, 1671, pp. 20–21. Stringer also cited John Houghton's Collections for the Improvement of Husbandry and Trade.

75 Stringer, op. cit. (53), p. 21.

76 Stringer, op. cit. (53), pp. 9–10.

77 Stringer, op. cit. (53), p. 28.

78 Jenner, Mark S.R., ‘Tasting Litchfield, touching China: Sir John Floyer's senses’, Historical Journal (2010) 53, pp. 647670CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Elizabeth L. Swann, ‘“The Apish Art”: taste in early modern England’, DPhil thesis, University of York, 2013, pp. 159–160, 163–167, 196.

79 Stringer, op. cit. (53), p. 4.

80 See William Waller, A description of the mines in Cardiganshire, 1704; A true copy of several affidavits and other proofs of the largeness and richness of the mines, late of Sir Carbery Pryse, the original whereof are fil'd in the high court of Chancery, 1698. For background see Yamamoto, Koji, ‘Piety, profit and public service in the financial revolution’, English Historical Review (2011) 126, pp. 806834CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 813–814.

81 Stringer, op. cit. (53), p. 9.

82 John Woodward, ‘Journey into Cornwall’, Cambridge University Library, Special Collection (hereafter CUL), MS Add. 9386/1. For Woodward see Joseph M. Levine, Dr. Woodward's Shield: History, Science, and Satire in Augustan England, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977.

83 John Woodward, ‘Of the Forrest of Dean’, CUL, MS Add. 9386/2.

84 John Woodward, ‘Mr W[illia]m Wallers Acc[oun]t of the great Lead Mines in Cardiganishire of S[i]r H. Mackworth’, CUL, MS Add. 9386/4, pp. 45–48, esp. 47.

85 Stringer, op. cit. (53), pp. 8–9.

86 Stringer, op. cit. (53), pp. 9, 7. This is true of his subsequent discussion of minerals. See BL, Loan 16(2), fols. 227v–228; S[tringer], op. cit. (31), pp. 221–222.

87 [Stringer], op. cit. (48).

88 I am grateful to Anna Marie Roos for this suggestion. The composition of lead glass is discussed by Colin Brain, ‘Vitrum saturni: lead glass in Britain’, in Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk (ed.), Glass of the Alchemists: Lead Crystal–Gold Ruby, 1650–1750, Corning, NY: Corning Museum of Glass, 2008, pp. 107–121. The colouring of glass would have required further knowledge about which minerals to add, as outlined in Antonio Neri, The art of glass, 1662, pp. 110–121.

89 MacLeod, Christine, ‘Accident or design? George Ravenscroft's patent and the invention of lead-crystal glass’, Technology & Culture (1987) 28, pp. 776803CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. 781–783, 797–798; Brain, op. cit. (88), pp. 107, 114.

90 MacLeod, op. cit. (89), pp. 777, 803.

91 John Houghton, The collection for the improvement of husbandry and trade, 4 vols., 1727–8, vol. 2, p. 48 (no 198, 15 May 1696).

92 MacLeod, op. cit. (89), p. 792; Encyclopaedia of Chemistry, Practical and Theoretical, 2nd edn, Philadelphia, 1854, p. 682.

93 Houghton, op. cit. (91), p. 48.

94 The scientific analysis presented here owes much to Colin Brain, who has been making lead glasses according to different seventeenth-century recipes. Using lead glasses of different PbO content, he tested whether it is possible to scratch a glass plate four millimetres thick. It was not possible to create a visible scratch with lead glass of 34.5 or 41.3 per cent PbO content. Harder lead glass with 14 per cent PbO content was, however, able to create a shallow scratch.

95 [Stringer], op. cit. (48).

96 See Neri, op. cit. (88), pp. 142–143. Stringer would have replaced ‘sulpher saturni’ (lead sulphide, PbS) mentioned there with lead carbonate (PbCO3). This would have created a lead glass with approximately 11 per cent PbO.

97 TNA, C 5/316/55, Stringer con Martin, 1702.

98 BL, Loan MS 16(2), fol. [218v]. Stringer hoped to build an upper-floor extension to his laboratory to hold meetings and keep specimen and the corporate records. See BL, Loan 16(3), fol. 97.

99 BL, Loan 16(2), fols. 220v, 227v–228.

100 BL, Loan 16(3), fols. 96v–97.

101 Patricia Kathleen Crimmin, ‘British naval health, 1700–1800: improvement over time?’, in Geoffrey L. Hudson, (ed.), British Military and Naval Medicine, 1600–1830, Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 2007, pp. 183–200, 183.

102 Cook, op. cit. (64), p. 14.

103 Cook, op. cit. (64), pp. 12–14; Harold J. Cook, The Decline of the Old Medical Regime in Stuart London, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986, pp. 236–238, 246.

104 Cook, op. cit. (64), pp. 16–25.

105 Stringer, op. cit. (21), pp. 7, 16.

106 Appleby, op. cit. (23), p. 33.

107 Post Boy, 15–17 July 1701.

108 R.D. Merriman (ed.), The Sergison Papers, Navy Records Society (1950) 89, p. 221; BL, Add. 36525, fol. 2, a report by Benbow, 22 June 1701.

109 TNA, ADM 3/16, 5 Aug. 1701, unfoliated; TNA, ADM 1/3591, fol. 221, 6 Aug. 1701; Moses Stringer, Variety of surprising experiments made of two incomparable medicines, 1703, p. 16.

110 Zahedieh, Nuala, ‘Colonies, copper, and the market for inventive activities in England and Wales, 1680–1730’, Economic History Review (2013) 66, pp. 805825CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 809; Zahedieh, The Capital and the Colonies: London and the Atlantic Economy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, p. 11.

111 Pratik Chakrabarti, Materials and Medicine: Trade, Conquest and Therapeutics in the Eighteenth Century, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2010, pp. 146–7.

112 BL, Map Room 82510.(4.); John Lloyd, To the Worshipful Hugh Chamberlen … an account of the situation, product, and other advantages of the island of Tobago, n.d. [1690s].

113 Hugh Chamberlen, Manuale Medicum, or a small treatise of the art of physick in general, 1685, p. 29.

114 Richard Drayton, Nature's Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the ‘Improvement’ of the World, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000; Londa L. Schiebinger, Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

115 English Post with News Foreign and Domestic, 8–11 June 1703.

116 Henry E. Huntington Library, BL 415, 1st Earl of Jersey answer to the French ambassador's memorial relating to Tobago, c.1698; TNA, CO 29/7, pp. 15–20.

117 Quoted in Henry Horwitz, Revolution Politicks: The Career of Daniel Finch Second Earl of Nottingham, 1647–1730, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968, pp. 177–178.

118 TNA, CO 28/6, no 62.

119 BL, Add. Ms 22265, fols. 94–95, 98.

120 BL Add. Ms. 22265, fol. 95. See also TNA, CO 29/7, p. 20, a petition against the settlement of Tobago signed by Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, William Blathwayt, John Pollexsen, Abraham Hill and George Stepney.

121 Harold Cook, Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007, p. 48.

122 TNA, CO 388/76, no 70.

123 TNA, CO 388/76, no 54, 3 May 1709, Sunderland to the Commissioners of Trade and Plantation.

124 TNA, CO 388/76, no 76, Memorial signed by Stringer and others, 23 June 1709; TNA, CO 388/76, no 58, 23 May 1709.

125 CO 28/7, no 19, petition of Moses Stringer to Queen, received and read 21 February 1704, fols. 231–231v. The idea had been borrowed from Stringer's business associate John Poyntz. See John Poyntz, The present prospect of the famous and fertile island of Tobago, 1683, p. 46.

126 TNA, CO 388/76, no 76 [fol. 2].

127 Berg, Maxine, ‘In pursuit of luxury: global history and British consumer goods in the eighteenth century’, Past & Present (2004) 182, pp. 85142CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 86–88, 140–141; Prasannan Parthasarathi, Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not: Global Economic Divergence, 1600–1850, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 103–109.

128 BL, Loan 16(2), fol. 211.

129 David Armitage, The Ideological Origins of the British Empire, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 6, 114; Sarah Irving, Natural Science and the Origins of the British Empire, London: Pickering & Chatto, 2008, p. 110. Cf. Drayton, op. cit. (114), Chapter 1; William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England, New York: Hill and Wang, 1983, Chapter 4, esp. pp. 63, 77.

130 Alix Cooper, Inventing the Indigenous: Local Knowledge and Natural History in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, esp. pp. 3, 22–30, 39, 50. See also Pratik Chakrabarti, Medicine and Empire, 1600–1900, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2014, p. 9.

131 Stringer, op. cit. (53), pp. 5, 21.

132 TNA, CO 28/6, no 62; CO 28/7, no 19.

133 BL Add. Ms. 22265, letter from London of Moses Stringer on the ‘Setling and Fortifieing the Island of Tobago in America’, to Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, an ambassador to Brandenburg-Prussia, April 1706, fol. 94.

134 S[tringer], op. cit. (31), p. 10.

135 S[tringer], op. cit. (31), p. 28.

136 BL, Loan 16(2), fols. 220 ff.

137 BL, Loan 16(2), fol. 222.

138 BL, Loan 16(2), fol. 211v; Loan 16(3) fols. 98–98v.

139 Post Boy, 8–10 Dec. 1709.

140 TNA, C 11/2729/154, Potter v. Hippocrates Stringer [son of Moses], a bill of complaint, 20 Dec. 1716.

141 Loan 16(2), fol. 220.

142 TNA, CO 5/865, no 85, ‘The order of court for taking up 20000l’, n.d. [1712?], p. 5.

143 MacLeod, op. cit. (57), p. 27.

144 Ash, Eric H.Queen v. Northumberland, and the control of technical expertise’, History of Science (2001) 39, pp. 215240CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

145 Cook, op. cit. (103), pp. 248–251; William A. Pettigrew, Freedom's Debt: The Royal African Company and the Politics of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1672–1752, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013, pp. 94, 110–111, 118.

146 Statutes of the Realm, vol. 6, p. 95 (1 W&M, c.30), pp. 446–447 (5 W&M, c.6), quotation at p. 446.

147 BL, Loan 16(2), fol. 211.

148 S[tringer], op. cit. (31), pp. 233, 238, 251, 255.

149 Ash, op. cit. (144), p. 228.

150 BL, Loan 16(2), fol. 236v.

151 BL, Loan 16(2), fols. 233v (quotation), 231.

152 TNA, PRIS 1/2, pp. 174, 315; Morton, op. cit. (25), pp. 43–6; Rees, op. cit. (24), pp. 662–5.

153 Tara Nummedal, Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007, pp. 79–85. See also Smith, op. cit. (41), p. 243; Keller, Vera, ‘Mining Tacitus: secrets of empire, nature and art in the reason of state’, BJHS (2012) 45, pp. 189212CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

154 See McGee, C.E., ‘Bushell's rock: place, politics, and theatrical self-promotion’, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England (2003) 16, pp. 3180Google Scholar.

155 Gabriel Plattes, A discovery of subterraneal treasure, 1639, sig. [B2v]; Yamamoto, op. cit. (80), pp. 818–823.

156 Stringer, op. cit. (53), pp. 5, 13. Stringer made similar arguments when he responded to the arrival of German refugees in London in 1709. See TNA, CO 388/76, no 65(i).

157 Savery, op. cit. (1), p. 83.

158 Humphrey Walcot, Sea-water made fresh and wholsome, 1702, unpaginated handbill.

159 ‘The order of court for taking up 20000l’, op. cit. (142), p. 7; Stringer, op. cit. (54), pp. 27–28, 27.

160 TNA, CO 28/6, no 62, original petition of John Poyntz, Benjamin Woodroffe, Moses Stringer ‘Physician and Chymist’, 24 June 1702.

161 Stringer, op. cit. (109), ‘appendix’ with separate pagination, pp. 4, 1.

162 Jonathan Barry, ‘Publicity and the public good: presenting medicine in eighteenth-century Bristol’, in W.F. Bynum and Roy Porter (eds.), Medical Fringe and Medical Orthodoxy, 1750–1850, London: Croom Helm, 1987, pp. 29–39, 30; Roy Porter, Health for Sale: Quackery in England, 1660–1850, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989.

163 Stringer, op. cit. (109), ‘appendix’, pp. 1, 2.

164 Lissa Roberts, ‘Going Dutch: situating science in the Dutch Enlightenment’, in William Clark, Jan Golinski and Simon Schaffer (eds.), The Sciences in Enlightened Europe: Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999, 350–388, 372. For a late eighteenth-century case study see Jan Golinski, ‘Joseph Priestley and the chemical sublime in British public science’, in Bensaude-Vincent and Blondel, op. cit. (5), pp. 117–127, 123.

165 Donna T. Andrew, Philanthropy and Police: London Charity in the Eighteenth Century, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989, pp. 22–30.

166 Stringer, op. cit. (53), 28.

167 Post Man and the Historical Account, 18–20 May 1708; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, op. cit. (29), vol. 48, p. 734.

168 TNA, CO 28/6, no 62. See also TNA, CO 28/7, no 19, petition of Moses Stringer to Queen, received and read 21 February 1704

169 BL, Loan 16(2), fol. 228v. For similar promises under Stringer see also Post Boy, 8–10 December 1709; S[tringer], op. cit. (31), p. 305.

170 S[tringer], op. cit. (31), pp. 294–296.

171 S[tringer], op. cit. (31), pp. ii, 9.

172 Geoffrey Clark, Betting on Lives: The Culture of Life Insurance in England, 1695–1775, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999, p. 83; Pettigrew, op. cit. (145), pp. 198–200; Brent S. Sirota, The Christian Monitors: The Church of England and the Age of Benevolence, 1680–1730, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014, pp. 96–98.

173 Anna Marie Roos, ‘The chymistry of “the learned Dr Plot” (1640–96)’, in Chemical Knowledge in the Early Modern World, Osiris (2014) 29, pp. 81–95.

174 See Feingold, op. cit. (35); Anita Guerrini, ‘Chemistry teaching at Oxford and Cambridge, circa 1700’, in Piyo Rattansi and Antonio Clericuzio (eds.), Alchemy and Chemistry in the 16th and 17th Centuries, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1994, pp. 183–199.

175 Keller, Vera and Penman, Leigh T.I., ‘From the archives of scientific diplomacy: science and the shared interests of Samuel Hartlib's London and Frederick Clodius's Gottorf’, Isis (2015), 106, pp. 1742CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed, 21.

176 Bruce T. Moran, The Alchemical World of the German Court: Occult Philosophy and Chemical Medicine in the Circle of Moritz of Hessen, 1572–1632, Stuttgart: Steiner, 1991; Smith, op. cit. (41); Nummedal, op. cit. (153).

177 Appleby, op. cit. (23), pp. 37–8.

178 Pertinent recent works include Margaret C. Jacob, The First Knowledge Economy: Human Capital and the European Economy, 1750–1850, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014; Lilian Hilaire-Pérez, L'invention technique au siècle des Lumière, Paris: Albin Michel, 2000; Andre Wakefield, The Disordered Police State: German Cameralism as Science and Practice, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009; Dániel Margócsy, Commercial Visions: Science, Trade, and Visual Culture in the Dutch Golden Age, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 2014.

179 [Samuel Hartlib], A further discoverie of the office of publick addresse for accommodations, 1648, p. 3.

180 John Dennis, The characters and conduct of Sir John Edgar, 1720, p. 17; Hue and cry … being an answer to the late verses about the man-midwife and the land-bank, 1699, unpaginated handbill; Levine, op. cit. (82), esp. pp. 13–17, 124–127.

181 Analogous situations in early modern political (rather than natural) philosophy have been discussed by Parkin, Jon, ‘Straw men and political philosophy: the case of Hobbes’, Political Studies (2011), 59, pp. 564579CrossRefGoogle Scholar.