WHICHCOTE (or WHITCHCOTE), BENJAMIN (1609-1683), English divine and philosopher, was born at Whichcote Hall, Stoke, Shropshire, and educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he became fellow in 1633. He was ordained in 1636, and appointed shortly afterwards to be Sunday afternoon 1 Afterwards broken up into three parts published separately: (i) the History of Scientific Ideas (1858), substantially a reproduction of the first part of the Philosophy; (2) the Novum organum renovatum (1858), containing the second part of the same work, but without the historical review of opinions, which was issued with large additions as (3) the Philosophy of Discovery (1860).
lecturer at Trinity Church, Cambridge. In 1643 he received the rectory of North Cadbury, Somerset, and in the following year he was appointed provost of King's College, Cambridge, in place of Samuel Collins who was ejected. On resigning North Cadbury in 1649 he became rector of Milton, Cambridgeshire. In 1650 he was vice-chancellor of Cambridge University. Cromwell in 1655 consulted him upon the question of extending tolerance to the Jews. His Puritan views lost him the provostship of King's College at the Restoration of 1660, but on complying with the Act of Uniformity he was appointed to the living of St Anne's, Blackfriars, London. In 1668 he became vicar of St Lawrence Jewry, London. He is regarded as the founder of the important school of Cambridge Platonists. His works, chiefly theological treatises and sermons, were all published posthumously. He died in May 1683.
See John Tulloch, Rational Theology, ii. 59-84 (1874); and Masters in English Theology, edited by A. Barry (1877).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)