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Croone [Croune], William

1. Dates
Born: London, 15 Sept. 1633
Died: London, 12 Oct. 1684
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 51
2. Father
Occupation: Merchant
Henry Croone was a merchant in London.
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: English
Career: English
Death: English
4. Education
Schooling: Cambridge
Merchant Taylor's School.
Cambridge University, 1647-50; Emmanuel College; B.A., 1650; M.A. 1654.
M.D. by Cambridge University in pursuance of the King's mandate, 1662 (and hence not listed).
5. Religion
Affiliation: Anglican
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Physiology, Embryology, Anatomy
Subordinate: Physics, Mtr.
Croone was especially interested in muscular action and embryology. He published De ratione motus musculorum in 1664, and in 1672 read a paper , "De formatione pulli in ovo," (radically preformationist) to the Royal Society in 1672. He gave reports to the Royal Society on a range of physiological questions. He lectured on anatomy to the Barber Surgeons for years, and also pursued some comparative anatomy.
As an experimenter he was associated with Boyle's study of pressure and volume in air. Croone discovered, and demonstrated experimentally, that water has its maximum density above the freezing point.
He carried out systematic observations of the weather with crude thermometers and hygroscopes and with barometers.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Medicine
Secondary: Academia, Scientific Society
Croone was highly esteemed as a physician; he acquired an extensive and lucrative practice and died rich.
Elected Fellow of Emmanuel at Cambridge 1650- . No one says when he lay the fellowship down, but Emmanuel did have the statute limiting tenure.
Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College, 1659-1670--salary L50.
Lecturer in anatomy to Barber-Surgeon's Company. This I list under Organizational employee.
Admmited to Gray's Inn, 1670.
8. Patronage
Type: Court Official
The mandated medical degree is the only documented patronage in Croone's life.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: Royal Society, Medical College
Informal Connections: London circle.
Correspondence with N. Steno, Henry Power, and others.
Royal Society, 1660-84. Croone was one of the original members. He was Register (i.e., Secretary), 1660-2, frequently on the Council throughout the rest of his life, and in general active in the Society's affairs.
Royal College of Physicians, 1663-84; Candidate 1663; Fellow 1675; Censor, 1679.
  1. L.M. Payne, Leonard G. Wilson, and Harold Hartley, "William Croone, F.R.S.," Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, 15, (1960), 211-19.
  2. Leonard G. Wilson, "William Croone's Theory of Muscle Contraction," Ibid., 16 (1961), 158-78.
  3. T. Birch, History of the Royal Society, 4, 339-340.
  4. Dictionary of National Biography (repr., London: Oxford University Press, 1949-1950), 5, 207-8. William Munk, The Roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London, 2nd ed., 3 vols. (London, 1878), 1, 369-71.
  5. John Ward, The Lives of the Professors of Gresham College, facsimile ed. (New York, 1967), pp. 320-7.
  6. F.J. Cole, "Dr. William Croone on Generation," in M.F. Ashley Montague, ed. Studies and Essays in the History of Science and Learning Offered in Homage to George Sarton, (New York, 1947), pp. 113-35. Q171 S95
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

1995 Al Van Helden
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