, Sir Christopher Wren – one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history – was born.
He was a man of considerable scientific abilities. He was regarded as the most influential British architect of all time, and a notable anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist.
He was a founder of the Royal Society (president 1680–82), and his scientific work was highly regarded by Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal.
He showed an early talent for mathematics and enjoyed inventing things. At the age of 13, he invented an astronomical instrument, a pneumatic engine and an instrument for writing in the dark. While at Oxford, he had plans for an instrument to measure angles, a “weather wheel”, a weather clock, an instrument to write double, a surveying instrument, and a new engine to raise water.
He developed a micrometer, attached telescopic sights to telescopes and developed a double-hinged telescope for measuring angles. In 1657, Wren was appointed professor of astronomy at Gresham College in London and four years later, professor of astronomy at Oxford. He focused on astronomy, physics, and anatomy. He experimented with submarine design, road paving, and design of telescopes and was the greatest English architect of his time.