My watch list  

George Starkey (alchemist)

George Starkey (1628 - 1665) was an alchemist and the first American scientist.

He was born in Bermuda and educated at Harvard College. He became the first English-speaking native of the New World to be extensively read across Europe. Starkey left for London in 1650. Here he set up a laboratory and became the informal chemistry teacher of Robert Boyle, though Boyle never acknowledged this debt. At this time, Starkey wrote various alchemical tracts under the nom de plume of Eirenaeus Philalethes - peaceful lover of truth. These works were read by such luminaries as Isaac Newton, John Locke, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Newton's extensive writings on alchemy are heavily indebted to Starkey, although Newton incorporated significant modifications as well.


Three tracts were published in Amsterdam in 1668 as Tres tractatus de metallorum transmutatione... These were later later included in the Musaeum Hermeticum of 1678. An English translation was printed at London in 1694.

Metamorphosis of Metals
Brief Guide to the Celestial Ruby
Fount of Chemical Truth


  • Gehennical Fire: The Lives of George Starkey, an American Alchemist in the Scientific Revolution by William R Newman, University of Chicago Press, 2003 (ISBN-10: 0226577147)
  • Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry by William R. Newman, Lawrence M. Principe, University of Chicago Press, 2002 (ISBN-10: 0226577112)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "George_Starkey_(alchemist)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE