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Mary Shelley - Christopher Wren

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Case Study - Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren was born in East Knoyle, Wiltshire in 1632. Although little is known of his schooling, he was thought to have studied at Oxford. He graduated B.A. in 1651, and three years later received M.A.

Wren was appointed Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, London in 1657. He gave weekly lectures in both Latin and English, and continued to meet with scientists from Oxford. He undoubtedly played a major role in the early life of what would become the Royal Society; his expertise in so many different subjects helping in the exchange of ideas between the various scientists.

After the the Great Fire destroyed two-thirds of the city of London, Wren and he was responsible for rebuilding 51 churches, including designing and building a battered St Paul's Cathedral.

His first marriage to Faith Coghill in 1669 lasted only six years - she passed away in 1675. In 1677, seventeen months after the death of his first wife, Wren married once again, this time to Jane Fitzwilliam. Like the first, this second marriage was also brief. Jane Wren died of tuberculosis in September 1680.

Wren's later life was not without criticisms on his competence and his taste. Although he was appointed to the Fifty New Churches Commission in 1711, he was dismissed in 1718 in favour of William Benson. He passed away on 25 February 1723, and laid to rest on 5 March 1723.

Wren's friend, Robert Hooke said of him "Since the time of Archimedes there scarce ever met in one man in so great perfection such a mechanical hand and so philosophical mind."

Christopher Wren's second marriage can be found in a register of marriages at the Royal Chapels of St James:

Image from BMDRegisters.co.uk

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