Martin Lister

(1639—1712) physician and naturalist

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Martin Lister was born in Radclive, Buckinghamshire and died in Epsom on 2 February 1712. He was a member of a landed family of Yorkshire extraction. He entered St John's College, Cambridge in 1655, graduating BA in 1658 and MA in 1662, and becoming a Fellow of his College in 1660. During the 1660s he travelled for some time on the Continent, studying medicine at Montpellier from 1663 until 1666, but not taking a degree there. He developed a keen interest in natural history, specializing in the anatomy, physiology and behaviour of invertebrate animals such as spiders, insects and especially molluscs. As a young man, he corresponded with John Ray and Edward Lhuyd about such matters, and was soon drawn into the circle of the early Royal Society. His friend Lhuyd proposed him for Fellowship in 1671, and he went on to contribute masses of material to the Philosophical Transactions, ranging from simple observations and letters to articles on key points of biological theory.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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