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

November 4, 2022 @ 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.


5.30pm Tea and Coffee
6.00pm Lecture starts both in person and online via Zoom
7.00pm Drinks and nibbles reception
7.45pm Event ends
8.00pm Post lecture dinner (3 course menu), Kings Head, 10 Stafford St, Greater, London W1S 4RX

To help us plan for this event, please kindly complete the lecture booking form (for both online and in-person registration) and

dinner order form (if applicable) and return to Sarah Cavalier by Wednesday 26th October 2022, email: info@scientificinstrumentsociety.org


November 4, 2022
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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