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Events in the history of the Pitt Rivers Museum that took place before 1800.

Readers are reminded that this table is a work in progress and may be amended or added to at any time.

Year Specific date Event Source of Information Notes
1524 Unspecified Thomas Linacre bequeathed estates to found 2 medical lectureships in the University based at Merton. By 18th century they had become sinecures. Vernon, 1909: 13   
1618 Unspecified Sir William Sedley founded Professorship of Natural Philosophy with stipend of £120 p.a., the professor had the use of the room 'which now houses the Hope Collection of engraved portraits'.  Vernon, 1909: 13  I think the room was either in the Bodleian or the Clarendon building. AP
1619 Unspecified Sir Henry Savile, Warden of Merton, founded Professorships of Astronomy and Geometry, they taught in the 2 rooms of middle storey on east side of Schools Vernon, 1909: 13   
1622 Unspecified Lord Danby bought land opposite Magdalen College (which had been Jewish cemetery) for a 'Physick Garden', with endowment for keeper. This is now the Botanical Gardens. Vernon, 1909: 14   
1648 or 1649 Unspecified Group of people who had been meeting to discuss Natural Philosophy in London commenced holding meetings in Wadham College, Oxford and later Boyle's lodgings and lab. near University College. This was possibly the Oxford Philosophical Society which remained in Oxford until 1690 (and later turned into Royal Society). Cited members include William Petty (Oxford doctor and Fellow of Brasenose College), Thomas Millington (believed to be discoverer of sexuality of plants) Sedleian professor of natural philosophy from 1675-1704, Dr Seth Ward Savilian professor of Astronomy, ?Christopher Wren, and Robert Boyle Vernon, 1909: 7 et seq [citing Dr John Wallis, Savilian professor of geometry in 1649]  
1656 Unspecified Publication of Musaeum Tradescantianum, a list of the items in the Tradescant collection which formed the foundation of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford Ovenell papers Ashmolean Museum RFO/A/3/11 printed pamphlet 2  
1677 Unspecified Presentation of Elias Ashmole's collection of curiosities to the University of Oxford on condition that a building 'should be erected for its accommodation'. Vernon, 1909: 14-15   
1682 Unspecified Building of the Ashmolean Museum building, alongside the Clarendon Building on Broad Street to hold Ashmole's collection of curiosities Vernon, 1909: 14-15   
?1682 Unspecified Robert Plot, Professor of Chemistry, appointed first keeper of Ashmolean Museum Vernon, 1909: 17; Oxford DNB  
1683 Unspecified Ashmolean Museum building completed, chemical laboratory set up underneath museum. Described by Anthony à Wood, quoted in Vernon, 1901: 16-17 Ashmolean Museum website; Vernon, 1909: 11, 16-17  
1690 Unspecified Edward Llwyd, Lhwyd or Lhuyd or Lloyd becomes second Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum Vernon, 1909: 17; Oxford DNB   
1700-1800 Unspecified The Regius Professor (who was supposed to teach medicine and anatomy) had a room 'Schola Medicinae' in middle storey of south side of Schools, in 'eighteenth century it seems chiefly to have been used to accommodate a miscellaneous collection of curiosities, by no means strictly medical in character. One of these was a dresss that had belonged to Ivan the Terrible called 'Joseph's coat'. Vernon, 1909: 12   
1737 Unspecified Radcliffe (or Physick) Library founded, funded by money left in 1714 by Dr John Radcliffe Vernon, 1909: 21-22  
1755 Unspecified Bishop Rawlinson bequeathes endowment for Keeper of Ashmolean Museum with 'curious restrictions', the keeper could not be doctors in any faculty, or fellows of the Royal Society or Society of Antiquarians or Irish, Scottish or 'colonial' and must be unmarried. Vernon, 1909: 19  
1755 Unspecified Matthew Lee bequeaths money to Christ Church to build School of Anatomy and endow readership of £140 p.a. Vernon, 1909: 23  
1759 Unspecified British Museum opens    
1767 Unspecified Christ Church Anatomy School built, 'outside of south of Tom Quad' Vernon, 1909: 23  
1770 Unspecified Opening of the Radcliffe Infirmary, funded by money left in 1714 by Dr John Radcliffe. All physicians had at first to be Doctors of Medicine of Oxford Vernon, 1909: 22-23   
1772 Unspecified Lord Litchfield founds Professorship of Clinical Medicine Vernon, 1909: 22-23   
1772 Unspecified Radcliffe Observatory building begins Vernon, 1909: 22-23   
1790 Unspecified Christopher Pegge appointed Lee's Reader in Anatomy at Christ Church, and physician at Radcliffe Infirmary Oxford DNB   


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