Cover image for Freemasonry and the birth of modern science
Freemasonry and the birth of modern science
Lomas, Robert, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Gloucester, Mass. : Fair Winds Press, 2003.

Physical Description:
x, 374 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HS405 .L66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In 1660, within a few months of the restoration of Charles II, a group of twelve men, including Robert Boyle and Christopher Wren, met in London to set up a society to study the mechanisms of nature. At a time when superstition and magic governed reason, the repressive dogma of Christian belief silenced many, and where post-war loyalties ruined careers, these men forbade the discussion of religion and politics at their meetings. The Royal Society was born and with it modern, experimental science. This situation seems unlikely enough, but the fact that the founding members came from both sides of a brutal Civil War makes its origins all the more astonishing. Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science is a fascinating study of the turbulent political, economic, and religious background to the formation of the Royal Society -- an era of war against the Dutch, the Great Plague, and the Great Fire of London. In particular, it reveals the ambitions of one man, Sir Robert Moray, the key driving force behind the society. Building on his detailed experience of another organization and the principles on which it was based, Moray was able to structure and gain finance for the Royal Society. This other organization, the "Invisible College" as Boyle called it, is known today as Freemasonry. Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science will make you reassess many of the key events of this period and will show how Freemasonry, supported by Charles II, was the guiding force behind the birth of modern science, under the cover of the Royal Society. Book jacket.

Author Notes

Robert Lomas gained a first-class honors degree in electrical engineering before earning a Ph.D. for research into solid state physics and crystalline structures. He has always had a keen interest in the history of science and wrote an acclaimed biography of Nikola Tesla entitled The Man Who Invented the Twentieth Century.
In 1986, Robert became a Freemason and quickly became a popular lecturer on Masonic history. He currently lectures in Information Systems at Bradford University School of Management

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. ix
Prologue: A Cold Winter's Day in Late Novemberp. 1
Chapter 1 A World before Sciencep. 11
Chapter 2 The Founders of the Royal Societyp. 25
Chapter 3 Conflicting Storiesp. 51
Chapter 4 The Patron Saint of Frozen Chickensp. 71
Chapter 5 An Alien Monarchp. 81
Chapter 6 The Life and Soul of the Royal Societyp. 103
Chapter 7 Fellow Number Thirty-sevenp. 139
Chapter 8 The Restorationp. 165
Chapter 9 The Royal Chartersp. 193
Chapter 10 Early Worksp. 217
Chapter 11 Gossips, Spies and French Mistressesp. 247
Chapter 12 A Legend of Gracious and Kindly Kingsp. 259
Chapter 13 Sir Robert's Heritagep. 287
Postscript: Life, the Universe and a Theory of Everythingp. 299
Appendix The Scientific Secrets of the Craftp. 309
Endnotesp. 323
Bibliographyp. 337
Timelinep. 345
Indexp. 351