Sir William Petty, English physician

Sir William Petty, English physician

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sir William Petty (1623-1687), English physician, surveyor and ship designer. Born in Hampshire, England, Petty travelled to France to study at the age of 13. There, he studied medicine before being appointed Professor of Anatomy at Oxford University, England, in 1651. He was a founder member of the Royal Society in London, and was then sent to Ireland as Physician-General for the Army. While there, he produced the first complete maps of Ireland, and the atlas Hiberniae Delineatio (1685). He also worked on naval designs, proposing floating harbours and, in 1662, building the first catamaran. He was knighted in 1661.

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