Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Stephen Hales, FRS, DD (17 September 1677 – 4 January 1761) was an English clergyman who made major contributions to a range of scientific fields including botany, pneumatic chemistry and physiology. He invented several devices, including a ventilator, a pneumatic trough and a surgical forceps for the removal of bladder stones. He was also a philanthropist and wrote a popular tract on alcoholic intemperance.
Stephen Hales was born in 1677 in Bekesbourne, Kent, England. He was son of Thomas Hales, heir to Baronetcy of Beakesbourne and Brymore, and his wife, Mary (née Marsham), and was one of twelve or possibly thirteen children.
Hales was educated in Kensington and then at Orpington before attending Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (or St Benedict's as it was then known) in 1696. Although he was an ordinand studying divinity, Hales would have received tuition in the Classics, mathematics, natural sciences and philosophy while in Cambridge. Hales was admitted as a Fellow of Corpus Christi in 1703, the same year as he took the degree of Master of Arts, and was ordained as Deacon at Bugden, Cambridgeshire. Read more