- 1. Dates
- Born: Sutton Court, Somerset, 10 May 1671
- Died: Greenwich, 11 June 1743
- Dateinfo: Dates Certain
- Lifespan: 72
- 2. Father
- Occupation: Gentry
- Also John Strachey, he was a member of the gentry; he died when Strachey was three.
- From the picture of the estate, I think we have to say wealthy.
- 3. Nationality
- Birth: English
- Career: English
- Death: English
- 4. Education
- Schooling: Oxford
- Oxford University, Trinity College, 1686-7. Apparently did not bother with a degree, which held no importance for a member of his class.
- Studied law at Middle Temple, London, 1687-8.
- 5. Religion
- Affiliation: Anglican
- By assumption.
- 6. Scientific Disciplines
- Primary: Geology
- Stratigraphy, studied through coal mines. Strachey published two geological papers in the Philosophical Transactions. In them he sketched cross-sections of strata, using fossils to identify one stratum. This interest was part of the broader interests of the country gentleman in history, genealogy, heraldry, archaeology, antiquities, and natural history.
- 7. Means of Support
- Primary: Personal Means
- He inherited an estate from his father at Sutton Court, and in his adult life he played out all the roles of the country squire--justice of the peace, tax commissioner, Deputy Lieutenant, musterer of the militia, etc.
- 8. Patronage
- Type: None
- To defray the cost of publication of the map, Strachey sought subscriptions, not with a great deal of success. The details of this, in Harley, sound straight-forwardly commercial, and lacking entirely in the relations I associate with patronage.
- 9. Technological Involvement
- Type: Cartography
- In 1637 he published a map of Somerset which he had prepared leisurely over a period of twenty-five years. He triangulated the whole country, and he showed among other things the sites of coal and metalliferous mines. The resulting map, though not altogether successful, was was largest, most detailed country map yet prepared.
- 10. Scientific Societies
- Membership: Royal Society
- Royal Society, 1719.
- J.G.C.M. Fuller, "The Industrial Basis of Stratigraphy," Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 53, no.
- 11 (1969), 2256-73. (This is mostly about a later geologist, Smith) J.D. Webby, "Some Early Ideas Attributing Easterly Dipping Strata to the Rotation of the Earth," Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 80, pt. 1 (1969), 91-7.
- J. Brian Harley, "John Strachey of Somerset: an Antiquarian Cartographer of the early 18th Century," Cartographic Journal, 3 (1966), 2-7. This article has much the most detail about Strachey that I have found.
- There is not a great deal on Strachey. He is not in DNB. Only Harley, of the three articles above, gives details of his life, though Fuller does publish a picture of the rather magnificent estate at Sutton Court, Somerset.
- 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.