Turners of the Early Modern Period in England


Portrait of George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield

Although a member of parliament, Lord Macclesfield preferred astronomy. In 1722, he became a fellow of the Royal Society and spent most of his time in at Shirburn Castle (which had been bought by his father in 1716) where he built an observatory and a chemical laboratory.

He is also known to have played a prominent role in the changeover to the Gregorian calendar, which came into effect in 1752. This made him somewhat unpopular as people generally felt they had lost eleven days of the year due to the switch.

From 1752 until his death, Macclesfield was president of the Royal Society.

Rose engine lathe belonging to Lord Macclesfield, c1740)

How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered into the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which have been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known!

Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707 - 1788)