Boyle Godfrey

Published in 18th–19th - Century History, Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 2012), Volume 20, What’s new in manuscripts

Boyle Godfrey was a ne’er-do-well London-born doctor and chemist who fled to Ireland sometime in 1742 to escape his creditors. He seems to have earned a living in Ireland on the fringes of both respectable science and society. His father Ambrose, a German apothecary of some distinction, Anglicised the family name to Godfrey. It is likely that his eldest son was named after the Irish-born scientist Robert Boyle, for whom Ambrose had worked as a laboratory assistant in his younger days.

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