Power, Henry (DNB00)

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POWER, HENRY, M.D. (1623–1668), physician and naturalist, born in 1623, was matriculated at Cambridge, as a pensioner of Christ's College, 15 Dec. 1641, and graduated B.A. in 1644. He became a regular correspondent of Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) [q. v.] on scientific subjects, and writing to him from Halifax, 13 June 1646, he says: 'My yeers in the University are whole up to a midle bachelaur-shippe, which height of a graduate I am sure ought to speake him indefective in any part of philosophy' (Sloane MS. 3418, f. 94). He graduated M.A. in 1648, and M.D. in 1655. It appears that he practised his profession at Halifax for some time, but he eventually removed to New Hall, near Ealand. Power was elected and admitted a fellow of the Royal Society 1 July 1663, he and Sir Justinian Isham being the first elected members of that body (Thomson, Hist. of the Royal Soc. append, iv. p. xxiii). He died at New Hall on 23 Dec. 1668, and lies buried in the church of All Saints, Wakefield, where there is a brass plate to his memory, with a Latin inscription, on the floor in the middle chancel (Sisson, Church of Wakefield, p. 41).

His only published work is: 'Experimental Philosophy, in three Books: containing New Experiments, Microsopical, Mercurial, Magnetical. With some Deductions, and Probable Hypotheses, raised from them, in Avouchment and Illustration of the now famous Atomical Hypothesis,' London, 1664, 4to (actually published in 1663). The preface is dated 'from New Hall, near Hallifax, 1 Aug. 1661.' A copy, with the author's manuscript corrections and additions, is in the British Museum (Sloane MS. 1318).

He left the following works in manuscript: 'Experiments recommended to him by the Royal Society,' Sloane MS. 1326, art, 10; 'A Course of Chymistry,' Sloane MS. 496, art. 2; 'Chymia Practica, 1659,' Sloane MS. 1380, art. 17; 'Copies of several Letters to and from him mostly on Chemical Subjects, and some Anatomical Observations,' Sloane MS. 1326, art. 2; 'A Physico-anatomical History,' Sloane MS. 1380, art. 12; Memorandum Books, 7 vols., Sloane MSS. 1351, 1353-8; 'Epitome, seu chronica rerum ab orbe condito gestarum,' Sloane MS. 1326, art. 1; 'Experiments and subtelties,' Sloane MS. 1334, p. 8; 'Analogia inter alphabetum Hebraicum et Musicum,' Sloane MS. 1326, art, 5; 'The Motion of the Earth discovered by Spotts of the Sun,' Sloane MS. 4022, art. 3; 'Experimenta Mercurialia,' Sloane MSS. 1333 art. 3, and 1380 art. 20; 'Essay on the World's Duration,' Sloane MS. 2279, art. 3; 'Experiments with the Air-pump,' Sloane MS. 1326, art. 11; 'Microscopical Observations, 1661' Sloane MSS. 1380 art. 15, and 4022 art. 11; 'Magnetical Philosophy, 1659,' Sloane MSS. 1380, art. 18; 'Physico-mechanical Experiments,' Sloane MS. 1380, art, 19: 'Hydragyral Experiments, 1653,' Sloane MS. 1380, art. 21; 'Subterraneous Experiments, or Observations made in Coal Mines, October 1662,' Sloane MS. 243, art. 56; 'Theatrum botanicum,' Sloane MS. 1343, art. 4; 'Poem in commendation of the Microscope,' Sloane MS. 1380, art. 16; 'Some Objections against Astrology,' Sloane MS. 1326, art. 6.

[Addit. MS. 5878, f. 33; Ayscough's Cat. of MSS. pp. 576, 763, 654, 670, 678, 723, 824; Boyle's Works, 1744, v. 343; Gent's Hist. of Rippon (Journey, pp. 13, 14); Sir T. Browne's Works (Wilkin), iv. 525; Halliwell's Scientific Letters, p. 91; Lupton's Wakefield Worthies, pp.149, 150; Wright's Antiquities of Halifax, p. 171.]

T. C.