Henry Pemberton

(1694—1771) physician and mathematician

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Henry Pemberton was born and educated in London. He died on 9 March 1771. Little is known of his early life but he appears to have developed an early interest in mathematics and read Apollonius at school. In 1714 he went to Leiden to study medicine and chemistry with Hermann Boerhaave and while there he also read further in the works of the leading mathematicians. He next studied anatomy in Paris and started a collection of mathematical books. Until he met Isaac Newton he was largely self-taught in mathematics. He returned briefly to London to study at St Thomas's Hospital but returned to Leiden in 1719 to take his MD. He then settled in London. As his health was poor he did not engage very actively in medical practice but devoted himself to writing on various subjects, including medicine. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society and contributed papers to the Philosophical Transactions between volumes 32 and 62.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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