The reception of Kepler's astronomy in England, 1596-1650
This thesis attempts to gather all the evidence bearing on the English reception of Kepler's astronomy from the time when Kepler might first have been read up to around 1650/ when foreign secondary influences changed the content of English keplerian astronomy. Kepler first attained fame in England in the early 1600s, and from that time, he was in direct communication with English mathematicians and other scholars. As a result, there was an audience awaiting his Astronomia Nova (1609), which contained his first two laws of planetary motion. Some of its readers adopted the first law, which states that the planetary orbits are elliptical. Over the following decade, there was little apparent promotion of keplerian astronomy in England, but in the universities, libraries were beginning to stock Kepler's books, and dons were recommending his writings to their students of astronomy. Thereafter, the assimilation of the first law into English astronomical thought was very rapid, owing to the work of mathematicians in the universities and in London. Some consideration was given also to Kepler's new celestial physics. Until his death in 1630, Englishmen continued to communicate directly with Kepler, for whom they felt fellowship in matters of religion. By 1640, English astronomy was very much keplerian. Kepler's second law of planetary motion, however, was never mentioned directly in this period, and his third, harmonic law was not adopted until, in the late 1630s, Jeremiah Horrox adopted it and verified it by independent observation. Horrox was also the first to attempt, to any great degree, to advance the physical foundation of keplerian astronomy. Kepler's astrology did not prove popular, with the exception of some of his forecasts, which were reprinted at the beginning of the turmoil of the 1640s. In 1645, there began a French influence on English astronomy when English astronomers took over, with modifications, the device of Ismael Boulliaud for circumventing the second law. The second and longer part of the thesis is a collection of six very detailed case studies in which an attempt is made to explicate each man's approach to the new astronomy.