Robert Boyle Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1627 - 1691 *** Full Name: Robert Boyle *** Occupation: Anglo-Irish Natural Philosopher, Physicist, Chemist and Inventor *** Date of Birth: Robert Boyle was born on January 25th, 1627 *** Place of Birth: Robert Boyle was born in Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland *** Family background: His father was Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork and his mother was Catherine Fenton. Robert Boyle was the seventh son of fourteen children that the couple had. His father moved to Ireland during the Tudor plantations period and obtained an appointment as a deputy escheator and had accumulated huge landholdings at the time of his birth. His mother was the daughter of the former Secretary of State for Ireland, Sir Geoffrey Fenton *** Early life and childhood: Robert Boyle grew up within the folds of a large family but would fostered to a local family as was usual at the time, together with his elder brothers and under these circumstances he together with his brothers learnt to speak Irish *** Education: Robert Boyle began his education at eight years of age and was privately tutored and learnt Greek, Latin and French. After the death of his mother Robert Boyle would be sent to Eton College in England ***
Robert Boyle Fact 1: Robert Boyle was born on January 25th 1627 during the time when European empires are exploring the world and discovering new territories such as American, China, India and Southern Africa.
Robert Boyle Fact 2: When he finished school Robert Boyle traveled to Italy in 1641 and spent the winter in Florence studying the “paradoxes of the great star-gazer” Galileo Galilei.
Robert Boyle Fact 3: In 1644 he finally returned to Ireland, his father had died the year before and he had inherited the Stalbridge manor house in Dorset as well as various large estates in County Limerick.
Robert Boyle Fact 4: Robert Boyle also returned with a very keen interest in the sciences.
Robert Boyle Fact 5: Although Robert Boyle had periodically visited his estates in Ireland between 1647 and 1652 he finally decided to move to Ireland only to find his scientific work hampered because of his inability to procure the materials necessary for his work.
Robert Boyle Fact 6: Robert Boyle decided to return to England in 1654 and settled in Oxford.
Robert Boyle Fact 7: Having read an article about Otto von Guericke’s air pump in 1657, he hired Robert Hooke and together they conceived of improvements to the pump this would become the Pneumatical Engine completed in 1659.
Robert Boyle Fact 8: Robert Boyle wrote New Experiments Physico-Mechanicall, Touching the Spring of the Air, and its Effects was printed in 1660.Robert Boyle Fact 15: By 1689, never having particularly good health, he started to decline and so made the choice to withdraw from public life, whether it be from engagements or communiqués from the Royal Society or even from receiving visitors.
Robert Boyle Fact 9: Robert Boyle was the leading philosopher in 'The Invisible College' a precursor to The Royal Society of London, which aimed to acquire knowledge through experimental investigation. Robert Boyle was then named a council member by King Charles II of England.
Robert Boyle Fact 10: Robert Boyle went on to produce a list he referred to as his “wish list”, in included 24 items which could be invented and these included, “the prolongation of life” and the “art of flying”, “making armor light and extremely hard” and “perpetual light”, “a ship to sail with all winds and a ship not to be sunk” and “practicable and certain way of finding longitudes”. Nearly all 24 items have come to fruition.
Robert Boyle Fact 11: Whilst attending Oxford Robert Boyle became a Chevalier, also to be known as a Parliamentarian, a derogatory name for a wealthy male supporter of the Royals.
Robert Boyle Fact 12: There are no specific records of his involvement as a Chevalier as at the time his potential activities would have been highly secretive as the parliamentarian forces were making progress.
Robert Boyle Fact 13: Leaving Oxford for London in 1668 he went to reside with his older sister Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh at her home on Pall Mall.
Robert Boyle Fact 14: Brother and sister shared many of the same scientific interests and often helped and influenced each other.
Robert Boyle Fact 16: In 1691 his health worsened.
Robert Boyle Fact 17: His sister, with whom he had shared a home, died in 1691.
Robert Boyle Fact 18: One week after the death of his sister, Robert Boyle died on December 31st 1691 from paralysis.
Robert Boyle Fact 19: His body was laid to rest in the churchyard of St Martin-in-the-Fields, in the City of Westminster, London.
Influence & Legacy: Ultimately an alchemist he also believed in transmutation of metals. Robert Boyle also accomplished very important work in relation to physics, in particular Boyle’s law. Robert Boyle also carried out extensive experiments on the expansion force of frozen water.
Important Events of the era and during the life of Robert Boyle include: The town of Boston is founded in the New World, Cromwell defeats Scottish Armies and the Great Fire of London sees much of the city destroyed.
Short Facts about Robert Boyle for Kids
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