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THE GENERAL

BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.

A NEW EDITION.

VOL. V.

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ADVERTISEMENT.

The Publick are respectfully informed that

VOLUME SIXTH

of the

BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY

Will be published on Monday, November 2, and the subsequent Volumes every Two Months.

This change in the periods of Publication has been found absolutely necessary, from the accumulation of New Lives, and the imperfect state in which many of the old ones were given in the former Edition. The Volume now before the Reader affords a striking instance of how much is wanted to render the Work, what, in the present state of biographical materials, it ought to be. Of THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY SEVEN Lives in this Volume, two HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN are New, SIXTY EIGHT are reWRITTÉN, and sixty Five only have been retained from the former Edition, the greater part of which have required many additions and alterations. The Editor, therefore, hopes that his anxiety to render the BIOGRAPHICAL DicTIONARY more complete and useful, will reconcile the Publick to this change in the mode of Publication, which, while it does not materially lessen his labours, will at least afford time to fulfil his future engagements without interruption. '

September 1, 1812.

BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY:

CONTAINING

AN HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL ACCOUNT

OF THE

LIVES AND WRITINGS

OF THE

MOST EMINENT PERSONS

IN EVERY NATION;

PARTICULARLY THE BRITISH AND IRISH;

FROM THE EARLIEST ACCOUNTS TO THE PRESENT TIME.

A NEW EDITION,

REVISED AND ENLARGED BY

ALEXANDER CHALMERS, F. S. A.

VOL. V.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR J. NICHOLS AND SON; F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON; T. PAYNE ;

W. OTRIDGE AND SON; G., AND W. NICOL; WILKIE AND ROBINSON ;
. WALKER; R. LEA; W. LOWNDES; WHITE, COCHRANE, AND Co. ;
J. DEIGHTON; T. EGERTON; LACKINGTON, ALLEN, AND CO.; J. CARPENTER;
LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN; CADELL AND DAVIES; C. LAW;
J. BOOKER ; J. CUTHELL; CLARKE AND SONS; J. AND A. ARCH; J. HARRIS ;
BLACK, PARRY, AND CO.; J. BOOTH; J. MAWMAN; GALE AND CURTIS ;
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SON AND CO.; E. BENTLEY; AND J. FAULDER.

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A NEW AND GENERAL

BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.

BENVENUTI (CHARLES), an Italian Jesuit, physician, and mathematician of considerable eminence, was born at Leghorn, Feb. 8, 1716. He began his noviciate among the Jesuits at the age of sixteen, but did not take the four vows, according to the statutes of that order, until eighteen years afterwards. He had already published a funeral oration on Louis Ancajani, bishop of Spoleto, 1743, and a species of oratorio, to be set to music, entitled “ Cristo presentato al tempio," but it was neither as an orator or poet that he was destined to shine. He became professor of philosophy at Fermo, and when father Boscovich was obliged to leave Rome to complete the chorographical chart of the papal state, which he published some years afterwards, Benvenuti succeeded him in the mathemati. cal chair of the Roman college, and also resumed his lectures on philosophy in the same college. His first scientific work was an Italian translation of Clairaut's Geometry, Rome, 1751, 8vo; and he afterwards published two works, which gained him much reputation : 1. “ Synopsis Physicæ generalis," a thesis maintained by one of his disciples, the marquis de Castagnaga, on Benvenuti's principles, which were those of sir Isaac Newton, Rome, 1754, 4to. 2. De Lumine dissertatio physica,” another thesis maintained by the marquis, ibid. 1754, 4to. By both these he contributed to establish the Newtonian system in room of those fallacious principles which had so long obtained in that college; but it must not be concealed that a considerable part of this second work on light, belongs to father Boscovich, as Benvenuti was taken ill before he had completed it, and after it was sent to press. After the expul

VOL. V.

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