John Harris

Birth: 1667


John Harris, D.D. (1667?-1719), scientific writer, divine, and topographer, born about 1666, son of Edward Harris, was scholar of Trinity College, Oxford, from 1684 to 1688. After taking orders he was presented to the vicarage of Icklesham, Sussex. On 7 Sept. 1690 he entered on the cure of the adjacent parish of Winchelsea, by the special order of the Bishop of Chichester, and on 14 Feb. 1690-1 he was inducted into the rectory of St. Thomas, Winchelsea (Cooper, Hist. of Winchelsea, p. 142). He was patronised by Sir William Cowper, lord keeper of the great seal (afterwards Lord Cowper and lord chancellor).

Cowper appointed him his chaplain; obtained for him a prebend in the cathedral of Rochester, in which he was installed 6 Feb. 1707-8; and presented him to the united parishes of St. Mildred, Bread Street, and St. Margaret Moses, London. Harris also held the perpetual curacy of Strood, Kent, to which he was appointed, in right of his prebendal stall, on 29 Aug. 1711; and he was presented to the rectory of East Barming, Kent, in 1715. He was severely persecuted by the Rev. Charles Humphreys, lecturer at St. Mildred's in 1708, who held him up to ridicule in a publication entitled 'The Picture of a High-flying Clergyman' (London, 1716).

At an early age his studies had taken a scientific turn, and on 29 April 1696 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society (Thomson, Hist. Royal Soc. App. p. xxix). Two years later he preached the Boyle lectures in St. Paul's Cathedral. He took the degree of B.D. at Cambridge in 1699, and obtained the Lambeth degree of D.D. on 10 July 1706 (Gent. Mag. ccxvi. 636). About 1698, or soon afterwards, he began to read free public lectures on mathematics at the Marine Coffee House in Birchin Lane. These lectures had been instituted 'for the public good' by Mr. (afterwards Sir Charles) Cox, M.P. Harris was still engaged in delivering those lectures in 1702 and 1704; and in the former year he also taught all kinds of mathematics at his house in Amen Corner, 'where any person might be either boarded or taught by the month.'

In 1706, and perhaps earlier, he was a member of the council of the Royal Society, and on 30 Nov. 1709 he was elected secretary, an office which he held for only one year. He is supposed also to have been for a short time a vice-president of the society. He was employed by the London booksellers to compile a 'Collection of Voyages and Travels,' which was afterwards improved by Dr. John Campbell; and he likewise, at their suggestion, prepared the first English 'Dictionary of Arts and Sciences,' from which more recent cyclopaedias take their origin. In 1712 he began to make collections for a 'History of Kent,' of which one volume-of little value-was published shortly after his death.

Harris was culpably improvident, and was generally in distress. He died on 7 Sept. 1719 an absolute pauper, at Norton Court, Kent, and was buried in Norton Church at the expense of John Godfrey, esq., who had long been his friend and benefactor. His portrait, engraved by G. White, from a painting by B. White, is prefixed to the 'Lexicon Technicum;' another, engraved by Vertue, from a painting by A. Russel, appears in the 'History of Kent'.


His works are:

[Addit. MS. 5871, f. 43 b; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, No. 5012; Gent. Mag. 1814, pt. i. p. 19; Gough's British Topography, i. 445, 462, 483, 788; Hasted's Kent, i. pref. iv, 557, ii. 29 n.; Le Neve's Fasti; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), p. 1002; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ix. 769; Memoirs of Whiston, p. 155.]


Thompson Cooper, Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 25. pgs. 13-14.

Sabalico Logo
Sabali Mail Logo
Domain Search Logo
Test Speed Logo
Website On Logo
Code Editor Logo
ASCII Table Logo
HTML Symbols Logo
Emoji Symbols Logo
Encode File Logo
Generator Password Logo
QR Code Generator Logo
Barcode Generator Logo
Online Sign Logo
Dictionary Online Logo
Counter Word Logo
Text Convert Logo
Lorem Ipsum Generator Logo
Sprite Sheet Logo
Resize Image Logo
Image Compress Logo
Image Color Logo
Image Crop Logo
Combine Images Logo
Color Picker Logo
Color Convert Logo
CSS Gradient Logo
To-Do List Logo
Calendar Free Logo
Generator Meme Logo
Word Spinner Logo
Phone Country Logo
Sabalytics Logo
Senty Logo
World Map Logo
SEO Guide Logo
Keyword Tool Logo
What is my IP Logo
My Device Logo
My Browser Logo
My Location Logo
Time Zone Logo
Day Map Logo
My Weather Logo
My Galaxy Logo
The Moon Logo
Periodic Table Logo
rStatistics Logo
Unit Convert Logo
Data Convert Logo
Coordinate Converter Logo
Temperature Convert Logo
2020 Election Logo
Currency Convert Logo
Free Calculator Logo
Finance Calculator Logo
Loan Calculator Logo
Calculator Mortgage Logo
Stock Calculator Logo
Bond Calculator Logo
Tax Calculator Logo
Tip Calculator Logo
Gas Mileage Logo
History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Golden Age of Piracy Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo
History of Humanity - Mafia History Logo