- 1. Dates
- Born: location unknown, England, c.1610
- Died: London, 1665
- Dateinfo: Birth Uncertain
- Lifespan: 55
- 2. Father
- Occupation: Gentry
- The case is not clear, but it appears that he came from a family of gentry.
- No information on financial status.
- 3. Nationality
- Birth: English
- Career: English
- Death: English
- 4. Education
- Schooling: No University
- No records of education. Since there are no records, I will leave it this way; however, there is good reason to believe that Johnson was a member of the clergy before the Commonwealth, and this would probably have meant university education.
- 5. Religion
- Affiliation: Anglican
- The fact that he left the clergy upon the outcome of the Civil War strongly suggests that he was Anglican.
- 6. Scientific Disciplines
- Primary: Iatrochemistry, Pharmacology
- Johnson was considered an iatrochemist, though he was at odds with other English iatrochemists. He published Three Exact Pieces of Leonard Piorovant, 1652, and in that same year Lexicon chemicum, drawn from Ruland, Basil Valentine, and Van Helmont. Though an iatrochemist, as an employee of the College of Physicians he wrote a defense of Galenic pharmacology (Some Brief Animadversions, 1665) against the attack of George Thomson.
- 7. Means of Support
- Primary: Personal Means, Apothecary
- Secondary: Church Life, Scientific Society
- He is said to have inherited wealth from his gentry family.
- He was an apothecary, doing business from the premises of the College of Physicians.
- He became the Operator of the College of Physicians, at least by 1651, preparing chemical medicines and ingredients as samples and for sale, and instructing fellows in their preparation. He remained in this post until his death.
- In a publication of 1652, Johnson seemed to state clearly that for eight or nine years he was a member of the clergy. Apparently, when the outcome of the Civil War disrupted the church, he turned to pharmacology and chemistry.
- 8. Patronage
- Type: Physician
- Johnson dedicated his Lexicon to Francis Prujean and other fellows of the College of Physicians.
- For Some Brief Animadversions, 1665, the College voted him a gratuity of £100.
- 9. Technological Involvement
- Type: Pharmacology
- 10. Scientific Societies
- Membership: Society of Apoth
- Society of Apothecaries, 1654-65.
- G.N. Clark, History of the Royal College of Physicians, (London, 1964). Patricia P. McLachlan, Scientific Professionals in the 17th Century, Ph.D. thesis, Yale University, 1968, pp. 61-83.
- Cecil Wall, A History of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London, p.335.
- 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.