(1572–1633), Dutch alchemist and hydraulic engineer, a native of Alkmaar who emigrated to England and secured the patronage of James I (James VI), to whom he presented a machine for producing perpetual motion. He later visited the court of Rudolf II in Prague, and in 1620 was imprisoned when the city fell to the elector palatine. He was freed at the behest of King James (the elector's father-in-law) and returned to England. He contributed to plans to drain the Fens, and continued to produce (or claim credit for) inventions, including the thermometer and a submarine which he demonstrated in the Thames.
From The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700).