|Born Freshwater, Isle of Wight, son of The Rev John Hooke, curate to the parish. Hooke is intended for the Church, but headaches and a sickly constitution decree otherwise.
|Death of father; Hooke goes to London. Enters Westminster School
|Enters Christ Church College, Oxford. Close friend of Wren also an Old Westminster, who came up to Wadham in 1650.
|Communicates ‘artifices for flying’ to John Wilkins (Wadham College), studies astronomy with Seth Ward, assists Thomas Willis in Chemistry and is recommended by him to Robert Boyle. Assists Boyle in construction of the air pump.
|Applied the circular pendulum to watches; refuses terms of a patent negotiated by Boyle. Discovery remains unknown until 1675.
|Publishes article on capillary attraction, later included in Micrographia.
|Appointed Curator of Experiments at the Royal Society.
|Elected Fellow of the Royal Society
|Royal Society’s Repository committed to Hooke’s care.
|First to infer the rotation of Jupiter
|Sir John Cutler founds a lecture for Hooke at a yearly salary of £50. Reads astronomical lectures at Gresham College as locum for Dr Pope 1664-65
|Found the number of vibrations corresponding to musical notes.
|Discovers fifth star in the Orion trapezium
|Publication of Micrographia
|Hooke’s post of Curator at the Royal Society is made permanent at a salary of £30 p.a. with apartments in Gresham College. Hooke lives there for the remainder of his life.
|Nominated Professor of Geometry, Gresham College.
|While plague is in London, Hooke is at Epsom, employed as Philosophical Assistant to Dr Wilkins and Sir William Petty at Durdans, the seat of the Earl of Berkeley.
|Drawings of Mars enable its period of rotation to be found more than 200 years later.
|Meetings of Royal Society are resumed, Hooke reads a discourse on gravity and suggests measuring its force by means of a pendulum.
|Reads paper on curvilinear motion and shows that the centre of gravity of the earth and the moon. Also describes an ellipse around the sun. Presents to the Royal Society the first screw-divided quadrant, an anemometer, and a ‘weather-clock’.
|Sat under a bell-jar while the air was pumped from it
|Presents observations of the comet of 1664 to the Royal Society.
|Discourse on the effect of earthquakes.
|Exhibited an unsuccessful model for the rebuilding of the City of London after the Great Fire. Appointed as a City Surveyor and designs numerous buildings.
Explains the scintillation of stars.
|July – October
|Earliest attempt at measuring the parallax of a fixed star – his results lead to Bradley’s discovery of stellar aberration.
|Delivers Cutlerian Lectures dealing with the above experiments.
|Publishes paper on diffraction of light, objecting to Newton’s communication on this subject to the Royal Society in January.
|Publishes ‘An Attempt to Prove the Motion of the Earth by Observations’; this records the first observation of a star in daylight. Controversy with Hevelius, author of ‘Machina Celestis’; a series of Cutlerian Lectures finds Hooke making acrid remarks on “that curoius and pompous book”.
Constructs the first Gregorian telescope.
|9 & 16 Dec
|Newton’s ‘Discourse on Colour’ evokes objections from Hooke on the grounds that the main of it was contained in Micrographia. The argument is resolved with Newton claiming originality but acknowledging important obligations to Hooke’s work.
|Huyghens re-discovers the spiral spring applied to watches; Hooke then has Thomas Tompion make some of his ‘new watches’.
|Publishes the principles of the spiral springs in ‘A Description of Helioscopes’. This starts a quarrel with Oldenburg (Secretary of the Royal Society) who Hooke accuses of being “a trafficker in intelligence”.
|Hooke obliged by the Royal Society to withdraw his comment on Oldenburg; this was contained in ‘Lampas, or a Description of some Mechanical Improvements of Lamps and Water-poises’.
|Hooke becomes Secretary to the Royal Society on Oldenburg’s death.
|‘Cometa’, dealing with the great comet of 1677 and including a statement of the Law of Inverse Squares and the effect of the Sun on comet tails; ‘Lectures de Potentia Restitutiva’ give virtually the present notions of elasticity and the kinetic theory of gases
|Letter from Hooke to Newton induces the latter to ‘resume his former thoughts concerning the Moon’. The publication of this work in ‘Principia’ led to protest from Hooke that he ‘gave Newton the first hint of this invention’. Newton’s irritation leads to his suppressing ‘Opticks’ until after Hooke’s death.
|Hooke begins to adopt a policy of secrecy to guard against supposed infringements of his rights.
|Hooke ceases to be Secretary to the Royal Society.
|Describes a practical system of telegraphy.
|Grace Hooke, Hooke’s niece dies, which affects Hooke’s spirits profoundly.
|Created Doctor of Physic at Doctors’ Commons
|Reads a ‘curious discourse’ on the Tower of Babel to the Royal Society.
|Expounds on Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’.
|Royal Society offers to pay for experiments – but Hooke’s health is failing. Chancery suit over his salary settled in his favour.
|Halley describes Hooke’s last invention, a marine telescope, to the Royal Society.
|Hooke becomes blind and legs swell – possibly a consequence of diabetes.
|Hooke dies at Gresham College; is buried at St Helen’s Bishopsgate.