John Wilkins

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John Wilkins.

John Wilkins (January 1 1614 - November 19 1672), an English churchman, served as Bishop of Chester from 1668 until his death.

He was born at Fawsley, Northamptonshire, and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford (then Magdalen Hall). After ordination he became vicar of his home town of Fawsley in 1637, but soon resigned and became chaplain successively to Lord Saye and Sele, Lord Berkeley, and Prince Charles Louis, nephew of King Charles I and afterwards elector palatine of the Rhine.

In 1641, Wilkins published an anonymous treatise entitled Mercury, or The Secret and Swift Messenger. This small but comprehensive work on cryptography proved a timely gift to the diplomats and leaders of the imminent English Civil War. In 1648 he became warden of Wadham College, Oxford. Under him the college prospered extraordinarily, for, although a supporter of Oliver Cromwell, he remained in touch with the most cultured Royalists, who placed their sons in his charge. In 1659, Richard Cromwell appointed him master of Trinity College, Cambridge.

At the Restoration in 1660 the new authorities deprived Wilkins of the position given him by Cromwell; he gained appointment as prebendary of York and rector of Cranford, Middlesex. In 1661 he became preacher at Gray's Inn, and in 1662 vicar of St Lawrence Jewry, London. He became vicar of Polebrook, Northamptonshire, in 1666, prebendary of Exeter in 1667, and in the following year prebendary of St Paul's and bishop of Chester.

Possessing strong scientific tastes, Wilkins was the chief founder of the Royal Society and its first secretary. He died in London.

His numerous written works include:

External links

de:John Wilkins ia:John Wilkins is:John Wilkins

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