Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Willis, Timothy

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1048836Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 62 — Willis, Timothy1900Bertha Porter

WILLIS, TIMOTHY (fl. 1615), writer on alchemy, was the son of Richard Willis, leather-seller of London. He was admitted to Merchant Taylors' school on 22 April 1575, and thence was elected to a fellowship at St. John's College, Oxford, in 1578. He matriculated on 17 Nov. 1581, but was ejected from his fellowship the following year ‘for certain misdemeanours.’ He proceeded B.A. from Gloucester Hall on 10 July 1582, and was afterwards readmitted to St. John's at the request of William Cordell, and by favour of Queen Elizabeth made ‘doctor bullatus,’ and sent on an embassy to Muscovy. He published: 1. ‘Propositiones Tentationum, sive Propædeumata de Vitiis et Fœcunditate compositorum naturalium,’ London, 1615. 2. ‘The Search of Causes; containing a Theosophicall Investigation of the Possibilitie of Transmutatorie Alchemie,’ London, 1616. On the title-page of the latter work he describes himself as ‘Apprentise in Phisicke.’

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Wood's Fasti, ed. Bliss, vol. i. cols. 220–1; Reg. of Univ. of Oxford (Oxford Hist. Soc.), II. ii. 44, iii. 105; Robinson's Reg. of Merchant Taylors' School, i. 24.]

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