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10th Gerard Turner Memorial Lecture 2022 ‘Two Enlightenment collections of scientific instruments in Hanoverian Britain’

November 4 @ 6:00 pm - 7:45 pm GMT

Presented by Dr Alison Morrison-Low, National Museums Scotland

Variable microscope, in silver, by George Adams the Elder, signed by C.W. Dixey, associated with John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. NMS.T.1987.344 (c) National Museums Scotland.
Portable silver compound astronomical device, unsigned, probably owned by Archibald Campbell, 1st Earl of Ilay and 3rd Duke of Argyll. NMS.T.2007.54 (c) National Museums Scotland.

Research into scientific instrument collections over the past forty years has shown that it is only relatively recently that instruments have been collected for antiquarian reasons. This lecture will discuss two long-dispersed collections owned by two Scottish noblemen, and attempt to characterise the reasons for their contents. Both collectors were politically powerful and wealthy, and lived most of their lives close to London. They were also interested in aspects of contemporary science.

They were: Archibald Campbell, 1st Earl of Ilay and 3rd Duke of Argyll (1682-1761), and his nephew, John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute (1713-1792).






Alison Morrison-Low is a Research Associate at National Museums Scotland, and author of Making Scientific Instruments in the Industrial Revolution (2007), which won the Paul Bunge Prize for 2008. Together with Anita McConnell, she edited the final work of the late Brian Gee, Francis Watkins and the Dollond Telescope Patent Controversy (2014), which also won the Bunge Prize. Among other retirement projects, she is currently General Editor of the Scientific Instrument Commission’s series Scientific Instruments and Collections, published by Brill.

We intend to host this event in person at the Society of Antiquaries,
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BE.

We will also make arrangements to live stream this event via Zoom.

The lecture is free and open to the public, please do share among your contacts.

Further details and booking information will be available in September/October 2022.


November 4
6:00 pm - 7:45 pm GMT
Event Category:


Sarah Cavalier


Society of Antiquaries
Burlington House, Piccadilly
London, W1J 0BE United Kingdom
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