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KEILL, JOHN, a celebrated astronomer and mathematician, elder brother of the subject of the following notice, was born at Edinburgh, December 1, 1671, and studied at the university of that city, under the mathematical professor, David Gregory. In 1694, on the removal of Gregory to Oxford, Keill accompanied him, and was admitted to one of the Scotch exhibitions (or bursaries) at Baliol college, where he read lectures on the Newtonian philosophy. In 1698 he published an ‘Examination of Dr. Burnet’s Theory of the Earth, with Remarks on Mr. Whiston’s Theory,’ which led to answers from both, to which, in 1699, he printed a reply. In 1700 he was selected by Dr. Millington, Sedelian professor of natural philosophy at Oxford, to be his assistant, and was the first who illustrated the principals of Newton by experiments, having invented an apparatus for the purpose. About 1708 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, on which he wrote a paper on the Laws of Attraction, inserted in the Philosophical Transactions. About the same period he engaged in a controversy with Leibnitz, relative to that philosopher’s claim to the invention of the doctrine of fluxions, and communicated to the Royal Society an able vindication of Newton’s title to the discovery. In 1709, being appointed treasurer to the German exiles from the Palatinate, he accompanied them to the settlements granted to them in New England. On his return in the year following, he was nominated successor of Dr. Caswell, Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford.

      Objections having been urged against the Newtonian philosophy, on the foundation of Des Cartes’ notions of a plenum, Keill again came forward in defence of Sir Isaac, by publishing a paper in the Philosophical Transactions for 1713, ‘On the Rarity of Matter, and the Tenuity of its Composition.’ While engaged in this dispute, Queen Anne appointed him her decipherer, in which situation he continued till 1716. In 1713 the university of Oxford conferred on him the degree of M.D. He died September 1, 1721.

      His works are:

      Examination of Burnet’s Theory of the Earth; to which are added, Remarks upon Whiston’s New Theory. Oxford, 1698, 8vo. The same; with a Dissertation on the Celestial Bodies; from the French of Maupertuis, Lond. 1734, 8vo.

      Examination of the Reflections on the Theory of the Earth; together with a Defence of the Remarks on Whiston’s New Theory. Oxford, 1699, 8vo.

      Introductio ad Veram Physicam, accedunt Christiani Hugenii Theoremata de Vi Centrifuga et Motu circulari Demonstrata, seu Lectiones Physicae in Schola Naturalis Philosophiae, Oxon. habitae. Oxford, 1701, 1702, 1705, 8vo. Lond. 1715, 8vo. Camb. 1741, 8vo. This is supposed to be the best and most useful of all his performances. An English translation was printed at London 1736.

      Response aux Auteurs des Remarques, sur le Difference entre M. De Leibnitz et M. Newton. 1713, 8vo.

      Introductio ad Veram Physicam, et Veram Astronomiam, Quibus accedunt, Trigonometriae Elementa, de Viribus Centralibus Epistolae et Leges Attrractionis. Oxford, 1715, 8vo. Lugd. Bat. 1725, 1739, 4to.

      Trigonometriae Elementa, et de Logarithmis, Tractatus. Oxford, 1715, 8vo.

      Introductio ad Veram Astronomiam, seu Lectionis Astronomicae. Oxf. 1718, 8vo. 2d edit. auctior et emendatior. Lond. 1721, 8vo. The same, in English; translated by himself, and published under the title of, An Introduction to the true Astronomy; or, Astronomical Lectures read in the Astronomical Schools of the University of Oxford. Lond. 1721, 1742, 8vo.

      Epistola ad Joannem Bernoullium, in qua Isaacum Newtonum et seipsum contra Criminationes, in Actis Lipsiensibus a Crusio quodam, publicatas, defendit. Lond. 1720, 4to. This relates to a contest between Leibnitz and Keill, respecting the invention of Fluxions, in which the latter behaved with great firmness and spirit.

      The Laws of Attraction and other Physical Principles. Phil. Trans. Abr. v. 417. 1708.

      On the Laws of Centripetal Force. Ib. 435.

      The Newtonian Solution of Kepler’s Problem, of finding the true Motion of the Planets, describing Areas proportional to the Times, in elliptical Orbits, about one of the Foci, demonstrated and illustrated with Examples. Ib. vi. 1, 1713.

      Theoremata quaedam Infinitam Materiae Divisibilitatem Spectantia, quae ejusdem Raritatem et Tenuem Compositionem Demonstrant, quorum ope plurimae in Physica tolluntur Difficultates. Ib. 91. 1714.

      Observations on Mr. John Bernoulli’s Remarks on the Inverse Problem of Centripetal Forces; with a New Solution of the same Problem. Ib. 93.

      Commercium epistolicum collusii et aliorum, de Analysi Promota, concerning the Dispute between Mr. Leibnitz and Dr. Deill, about the Right of the Invention of the Method of Fluxions, by some called the Differential Method. Ib. 116. 1714. Consisting of several Letters and Papers, in the custody of the Royal Society.

KEILL, JAMES, an eminent physician, younger brother of the preceding, was born, March 27, 1663. He received his education at Edinburgh, and pursued his medical studies at Leyden and other foreign universities. On his return, having acquired a thorough knowledge of anatomy, he delivered lectures on that science at Oxford and Cambridge, and received from the latter the degree of M.D. He was a fellow of the Royal Society, and contributed several papers to the Philosophical Transactions. He had a controversy with Dr. Jurin on the force of the heart. In 1700 he settled at Northampton, where he died of a cancer in the mouth, July 16, 1719.

      His works are:

      Lemery’s Course of Chemistry, translated. London, 1698.

      Anatomy of the Human Body abridged; or a Short and Full View of all the Parts of the Body, with their uses, drawn from their Compositions and Structures. Lond. 1698, 1703, 12mo. 1718, 8vo. Of this little work the 4th edition was published in 1710, and the 11th in 1742; besides these, it was printed several times in Edinburgh, &c.

      An Account of Animal Secretion; the quantities of Blood in the Human Body, and Muscular Motion. Lon. 1708. 8vo.

      Essays on several Parts of the Animal Economy. Lond. 1717, 1738, 8vo. 4th edit. This is a reprint of the preceding, with the addition of an Essay concerning the force of the Heart in driving the Blood through the whole Body.

      Tentamina Medico-Physica ad Economiam Animalem accommodata, quibus accessit Medicina Statica Britannica. Lond. 1718, 8vo. Leyden, 1741, 4to. Lucc. 1756, 8vo.

      Account of the Death and Dissection of John Bayles, reputed to have been 130 years old. Phil. Trans. Abr. v. 299, 1706.

      Account of Animal Secretion; the quantity of Blood in the Human Body; Muscular Motion. Ib. 492.

      Epistola de Viribus Cordis. Ib. Abr. vi. 415, 1719.

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