Robert Hooke, a former pupil of Westminster School, was one of the leading scientists and architects of Restoration England.
Hooke was at the forefront of the scientific revolution which broke away from the authority of classical authors to assert the importance of experimentation and observation. Hooke invented an astonishing number of scientific instruments to measure the natural world. He sketched a number of theories for fossils, gravity and optics, many of which would later be adopted. His most famous work, Micrographia, sparked huge public interest in science and was later reissued as Micrographia Restaurata. After the 1666 Great Fire of London, Hooke was involved in the rebuilding of London, designing many buildings himself, though always outshone by his schoolmate and friend, Sir Christopher Wren.
While aspects of Hooke’s personal life and relations may date him with seventeenth century morals, many of his scientific achievements and inventions still stand as remarkably modern. His inputs to the multiple and varied fields he engaged in are so often overshadowed by more well known figures such as Sir Isaac Newton and Wren, and Hooke himself often becomes a silent contributor.