Sir Isaac Newton
1642 – 1727
Yes, Newton is best known for his work on gravity, but did you know about his deepest passions?
He was an English mathematician, astronomer and physicist who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution.
In later life he delved deep into alchemy. At the time of his death, he had 169 books on the topic of alchemy in his personal library, and was believed to have considerably more books on this topic during his Cambridge years. For its time, his was considered one of the finest alchemical libraries in the world.
He wrote that he had successfully created the ‘philosopher’s stone’, which turns lead into gold, despite being declared illegal by a Royal decree. (Ironically Newton was made the Master of the Mint.)
Amongst other more esoteric interests, he was interested in the sacred geometry contained in ancient buildings and wrote extensively on the Temple of Solomon. He wrote several treatises on the subject of prophecy and believed that ancient wisdom was waiting to be deciphered. He believed he had located Atlantis and he was linked with key secret societies that had curated ancient knowledge and wisdom.
So, far from his modern label as the father of Calculus and mechanics, Sir Isaac Newton focused his incredible talents on deep research in illegal alchemical secrets, which could have cost him his life it any point.