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Derham, William

DERHAM, WILLIAM (1657-1735), English divine, was born at Stoulton, near Worcester, on the 26th of November 1657. He was educated at Blockley, in his native county, and at Trinity College, Oxford. In 1682 he became vicar of Wargrave, in Berkshire; and in 1689 he was preferred to the living of Upminster, in Essex. In 1696 he published his Artificial Clockmaker, which went through several editions. The best known of his subsequent works are Physico-Theology, published in 1713; Astro-Theology, 1714; and Christo-Theology, 1730. The first two of these books were teleological arguments for the being and attributes of God, and were used by Paley nearly a century later. In 1702 Derham was elected fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1716 was made a canon of Windsor. He was Boyle lecturer in 1711-1712. His last work, entitled A Defence of the Church's Right in Leasehold Estates, appeared in 1731. He died on the 5th of April 1735. Besides the works published in his own name, Derham, who was keenly interested in natural history, contributed a variety of papers to the Transactions of the Royal Society, revised the Miscellanea Curiosa, edited the correspondence of John Ray and Eleazar Albin's Natural History, and published some of the MSS. of Robert Hooke, the natural philosopher.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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