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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Conduitt (/ˈkɒnd(j)uɪt/; c. 8 March 1688 – 23 May 1737), of Cranbury Park, Hampshire, was a British landowner and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1721 to 1737. He married the niece of Sir Isaac Newton whom he succeeded as Master of the Mint.

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  • ✪ Νεύτων: Η Δύναμη του Θεού | Newton: The Force of God (2016)
  • ✪ Isaac Newton: " If I have seen Further... is the Quote of the day
  • ✪ Isaac Newton:" a child on the beach..." is the Best quote of the day
  • ✪ Issac Newton "We build too many walls..." is your quote of the day
  • ✪ Isaac Newton .Best quote of the Day :" To Every action....


The dialogues of the historical figures and the graphics are based on manuscripts, letters and published texts of the thinkers. Mr. Conduitt, I deeply appreciate your constant presence these days. You are aware of the whole hearted love and devotion I have for you. I couldn't be anywhere else. I was thinking of telling you a story... I would love to write it but... A true story, Mr Newton? True? Truth, Mr Conduitt, is the offspring of silence and unbroken meditation. A lonely path... A path... the light! NEWTON: THE FORCE OF GOD I was born on Christmas Day 1642 in Woolsthorpe, a village near London. For several years, the civil war had been hurting Britain... England, Scotland and Ireland counted thousands of dead. The Parliament's representatives fought to limit the arbitrariness of King Charles I. A society was seeking order, a political system was at his limits, a state gestated an empire... The civil war ended with one of the most dramatic events in the history of England, the beheading of King Charles I. Until 1660, power was at the hands of the Parliamentarians under the iron fist of Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. The questioning of the institutions of Church and Kingship was culminating, resulting in a political and social question to all sides: Are there laws? And if so, who has the power to enforce them? I was so puny when I was born, that no one expected me to live. My father had died long before I was born. My mother abandoned me in my grandmother's hands when I was three years old and remarried. She returned nine years later, with my three half-brothers. Everyone at home said I was a foolish kid, who would never be good at anything. I learned not to care about what they said... I found shelter in my Father in the heavens... As a child I used to make my own toys. Hydraulic watches, small windmills, even a sundial on the walls of my house. In the evenings I used to tie a paper lantern on a kite and rise it above the houses! From the screaming and crying I realized that it did not seem so funny to local residents. When Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell died, in September 1658, a great storm swept across England. Everyone said that it was the devil riding the whirlwind to claim Cromwell's lost soul. I remember that I was competing with friends who could jump the farthest. I calculated the speed of wind, I picked the right moment and I outleaped all the other boys. This was one of my first experiments. Newton's happiest years were in Grantham high school. There, he prepared for the most important journey of his life. On the 5th June 1661, he crossed the gates of Trinity College, University of Cambridge. His first glance inevitably encountered the statue of Henry the 8th and the lions that were on his feet. The 'lion of Britain' had found his natural place. From now on, he would only answer to God. So many sins... Unclean... unclean thoughts and words and dreams... I listened and took lightly many vows... Used Thy name in vain. I feared men above Thee... I ate an apple at Thy house! I punched my sister... I wished... I wished death for my mother and stepfather... Forgive me... Forgive me! In 1660 the monarchy was restored in the face of Charles II. The optimism that a new Age of Light was beginning, coexisted with the certainty that the end of the world was approaching. The plague of 1665, the Great Fire of London in the following year and the constant wars indicated that the Second Coming was close. England had a need for law and order and reason had to prevail over superstition. This need had prompted several thinkers to the founding of the Royal Society of London since 1660. Their purpose was, through the improvement of natural knowledge, to solve problems of the State. Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is truth...! His new 'friend' was the mechanical philosophy of Rene Descartes. The French philosopher considered the world as an eternal machine in constant motion, an accurate clock that seemed to obey a divine Design with specific laws. The problem was that Descartes' well-tuned clock seemed not to require the constant presence of the clockmaker God. And that, for Newton, was inconceivable. God always had to be present! As a student in Cambridge, I deeply appreciated mathematics and philosophy. I remember systematically dealing with the nature of light and the properties of colors. But an unexpected event occurred, which gave me the opportunity to clarify some of my thoughts. The unexpected event was the plague of 1665. Cambridge was evacuated and Newton was forced to return to his family home. The year 1666 is known as Newton's ''Annus Mirabilis'', namely, his Miraculous Year. In this one year Newton posed all his great questions. Until then, colours were considered variations of white light. On the contrary, I considered white light as the sum of different colours. And I proved that with the famous Crucial Experiment: In a dark room I let a beam of sunlight in through a tiny hole. The ray travelled in a straight line on a prism. From the other side of the prism came out the colours of the rainbow, each in a different angle. Then, I did something that no one, until then, had thought: I placed a second prism, through which I observed every colour beam passing through the first prism. Their colour did not change even when I was rotating the prism. Light is complex and the colours that constitute it do not vary! His second great achievement was related to mathematics. Newton invented a new mathematical tool, the Calculus, which allowed him to calculate the minor changes in the velocity of a body, while moving. For the first time in history, someone could calculate the precise orbit of the Moon as it rotates around the Earth and the precise velocity of an apple that falls, in every point of its movement. When we launch an object, it does not escape into the Universe, but returns to Earth. The force of gravity intervenes, which redirects the course of the body and brings it back. But why does the Moon not also fall upon Earth? What kind of force keeps it in its orbit? Does gravity after all extend beyond Earth? Does it affect all bodies throughout the Universe? I realized that this force weakens as an object moves away from the Earth! Mr. Newton, I have only one question: Where do you believe that the force of gravity resides? Inside matter or outside of it? Where do I believe... Wise choice of words Mr. Conduitt... The concept of universal gravitation was Newton's third feat. Before turning 24, he was already one of the leading mathematicians of Europe, although no one knew of him. During the ''Annus Mirabilis'', he laid the foundations of all that would follow. Nothing, however, had yet been completed! The synthesis was just starting. Surprisingly, he said nothing to nobody about all things he had devised... I see not what there is desirable in public esteem, were I able to acquire it and maintain it. It would increase my acquaintance and the obligations will make me confine my studies. In 1669, at the age of 27, I had already become professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Few came to my lectures and even fewer understood me. I used prisms and lenses and did experiments to prove my theory for the analysis and synthesis of light. I emphasized on accuracy and I urged natural philosophers to become geometers, so as not to speculate and hypothesize aimlessly. The crisis in England continued. The wounds of the civil war were still open. As the main request was the search for law and order, the regime was seeking a way to impose its own order. Order, though, seemed to exist only in nature. Therefore, if natural philosophy could invent a language to find the truth of nature and God, then this truth could be used from the State to justify the decisions of authority. Newton, at that time, considered that the proper language to study nature was perhaps mathematics. During 1671-1672 Newton shook things up for the Royal Society by offering a gift. He manufactured the first reflecting telescope. By replacing the lenses with mirrors, he limited the chromatic aberration of the image that reached the eye. This telescope, although it was only fifteen centimeters long, was forty times more powerful than any other. The Royal Society invited him to become a member. This was the beginning of a new era for Newton. In 1672 I sent to the ''Philosophical Transactions'' journal my studies on the Crucial Experiment, The Secretary of The Royal Society, editor of the journal and friend of mine, Henry Oldenburg, sent my article to an 'expert', in order to approve its final publication. Before Newton, the prism was a game, "the Fool's Paradise" as it was called. Newton turned it into a scientific instrument, a tool that literally changed our perception of light. The man, however, who should certify the truth of what Newton said about light, was going to haunt him until the end of his life. A natural philosopher with unsurpassed intuition and experience, the curator of experiments of the Royal Society, Robert Hooke. - Mr. Hooke! - Mr. Newton! I do not mingle conjectures with certainties, Mr. Hooke. My studies prove undoubtedly that light is composed of particles. You have not proven that light is nothing else but a pulse, propagated through an homogeneous and transparent medium, in this case, the aether. No... The behavior of light in the geometric arrangement of the Crucial Experiment clearly shows that light cannot be a pulse, as you claim. The parallel and straight colored rays and the way their angle is twisted during refraction, can only be explained through a particle theory. - I confess that ... your hupothesis is ingenious, but I cannot think it to be the only hypothesis; nor so certain as mathematical demonstrations. I think you hustled Mr. Newton... Hooke was right! Newton had promised not to feign hypotheses and he eventually did. Newton's fury became stronger and stronger, as many others appeared that questioned his claims. The 'lion of Britain' had started to show its teeth. Fortunately, the editor of the journal, Oldenburg, was on his side. I owe Mr. Hooke a reply, fitting to the politeness he demonstrated. Sir, as your faithful friend, I advise you not to attack persons by name. Aim at nothing but the discovery of truth. Mr. Hooke will face the consequences! Please, deliver this to the Royal Society. Mr. Hooke considers himself qualified to judge me. Mr. Hooke knows well that it is not for one man to prescribe rules to the studies of another, especially not understanding the grounds on which he proceeds. Mr. Hooke would do well to repeat the Crucial Experiment rather than rely on hypothetical explications. In 1674 Newton published his Hypothesis of Light. In this text he claimed that reflection and refraction were caused by the interaction of light with aether, a rare substance probably existing everywhere in the Universe and through which all forces were transmitted. He suffered, however, one more fierce attack from someone he did not expect, the Dutch experimenter Christian Huygens. Huygens questioned that white light was the outcome of the composition of all colors, while he agreed with Hooke that light was a wave. I am delighted that Mr. Huygens has similar opinions with mine. As for you, Mr. Newton, you displayed discourtesy once again. I shall not deal with the inaccuracies of Mr. Huygens' experiments... As for the discourtesy, what do you mean? In your last text, the idea on the existence of the aether is mine and you did not make reference to me. I did not make reference to you?! Well, if it pleases you, I can only say that... ...if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants! Mr. Oldenburg, I have long since determined to concern myself no further about the promotion of Philosophy. I desire that you will procure that I may be put out from being any longer fellow of the Royal Society. The Royal Society in general esteems and loves you, which I can assure you of. We shall not allow similar attacks on you ever again. I see.. I see I have made myself a slave to philosophy. I will resolutely bid adieu to it, eternally, excepting what I do for my private satisfaction or leave to come out after me. For I see a man must either resolve to point out nothing new or to become a slave to defend it! During the years that followed, Newton withdrew from action. His friend Oldenburg dies in 1677 and there is no one now to motivate him. His agony to find the occult God's Design led him to the paths of alchemy. Thirty years of studies, more than a million words in manuscripts, hundreds of experiments... Newton had become a magician alchemist. Would alchemy lead him where mathematics failed? Would he unveil the deepest secrets of matter? Alchemy was an occult practice and the personification of all that mechanical philosophy rejected. Alchemy considered nature to be alive and not a machine. For Newton, however, alchemy was more of an alternative study of nature. He believed that through it he would find answers to the causes of all phenomena. In the decade of 1670s he also began to deal systematically with theology. In the previous decade he had dealt with mathematics and philosophy, in this with alchemy and theology. Soon, all would become one. I discovered that the official Christian doctrine of the Trinity was a terrible fraud, which began in the 4th and 5th century with the falsification of The Bible by the Ecumenical Councils. Worshipping Christ as God is idolatry and sin! The God of the Old Testament is the one and only God! I studied ancient monuments and texts with the belief that our ancestors, who built the ancient temples such as Solomon's Temple, Stonehenge and many more, had knowledge of the heliocentric system, of the invisible forces of God and generally of a long lost knowledge. At the same time, I studied the Apocalypse of John and the prophecies of Daniel, in order to match them with historical events and reach up to our age. For instance, the sixth Trumpet of the Apocalypse depicted the rise of the Ottoman Empire. Along with Saracens, they were the very great scourges of the Christian world for this last thousand years. Newton had become heretic and follower of Arianism. But, what did that mean for his research in nature? Protestantism argued that humans are condemned and incapable of reaching certain knowledge. For this reason, natural philosophers did not accept the arrogant certainty of mathematicians and preferred only to conduct experiments. Newton, as a heretic, did not share this pessimistic attitude towards knowledge. His confidence in human capabilities may have pushed him to follow different paths, such as mathematics, history and alchemy, and interweave them. God hath chosen a few scattered persons, such as without being led by interest, education, or humane authorities can set themselves sincerely and earnestly to search after truth. This first religion was the most rational of all others till the nations corrupted it. There is one God, the Father, ever-living, omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. And one Mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ. As He did, I also suffered according to the will of our Heavenly Father... In 1683 it was disputed whether Newton had invented calculus first, the mathematical method he had conceived during the Annus Mirabilis. Its paternity was claimed by a mathematician and philosopher of enormous range, German Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. This fight, however, would not yet break out. It was postponed by a visit, perhaps the most important in the History of Science. The famous astronomer Edmond Halley visited Newton in order to ask him how the deduction of Kepler's laws by the attraction between bodies could be proved mathematically. What kind of curve would be set by the planets supposing the force of attraction towards the sun to be reciprocal to the square of their distance from it? Of course, it would be an ellipse. - How do you know it? - Because I have calculated it. May I see your calculations? Of course, please wait. I was certain that they were here somewhere. I promise to redo them and I shall send them to you directly. Halley had posed a question the moment that Newton was more mature than ever to answer it. He never lost his calculations; he just wanted to be more careful. He prepared a short text in three months and he sent it to Halley. Newton had proved the existence of an invisible force that held the Earth in orbit around the Sun and the Moon around the Earth. It was a force consistent with everything he had read in alchemy and theology, a spirit penetrating everything and forcing them in motion. Halley pressed Newton to publish his results. Newton told him that he would soon have a book ready for publication. Thoughts of twenty years began to take form. The work which would unite the celestial and terrestrial mechanics was at the gates. Until 1684, I had completed almost nothing. Some ideas, inventions, some publications and letters, but nothing coherent and complete. I knew Mr Conduitt, I was destined to describe the Design of God. I had to explain through mechanics and geometry how the Universe moves... To perfect natural philosophy! From August 1684 until the spring 1686, he worked frantically, as if an invisible force was moving him, pushing himself to extreme conditions. God was forced to reveal His Plan. The book was ready. He named it Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, known as Principia, as if they were the only Principles ever written in the history of science. With this book, Newton was telling everyone that if they want to look for the causes of phenomena, if they want to discover what lies behind the Design of God for Nature, then they should start from the mathematical description and simplicity of Principia. In Principia I begin with three axioms or, three laws of motion. The first law completely reverses the Aristotelian concept of motion and rest of bodies. It is known as the law of inertia and defines the following: Each body maintains its state of motion, unless a force causes it to change its state. This means that the matter is passive, it is dead, and only if an active force is exerted on it, it will change its state of motion. According to the second law, when a force is exerted on a body, its motion changes according to this force. Finally, according to the third law, for every action there is always a reaction: whenever a force is exerted on a body, then, in its turn, it exerts an equal and opposite force. The essential point in the third law is the existence of force. Newton did not refer only to body collisions, like Descartes and all others before him did, but also to the attractive forces, which act from a distance. Principia, essentially, are a mathematical description of forces and motions in both the Earth and Heavens. Now, through Newton's mathematical model one is able not only to calculate every motion but, also, to predict it. - And we come to the Law of Universal Attraction: two bodies attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. The elliptical orbits of the planets, which Kepler had described, can be explained by analyzing their motion in two motions: one is due to the inertial motion, which is tangent to their orbit and it would lead them by itself out of their orbit, and the other is due to the centripetal gravitational attraction, which by itself would lead them towards the Sun. Therefore, generalizing, each body in the Universe attracts every other body and, depending on the mass and the characteristics of their motions, three things can occur: either collide, or be put in orbit around each other, or not affect one another due to very long distance! Newton built a Universe where all material bodies are passive, from the smallest to the largest. They all obey the same law and all are governed by the same force: the universal attraction. This was the force of God and it was imposed directly by Him, like a miracle. A force not arbitrary, but following a mathematical pattern and travelling through an absolute space and time. But, from where was it coming and where did this force reside? I have not...! I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena sir..., and I do not feign hypotheses. I simply wanted to provide a mathematical description of these forces. I had described mathematically a force, for which I knew nothing more... The real battle with myself was just beginning. A battle that would bring Mr. Hooke in the spotlight again. Mr. Hooke has some claims to the invention of the law of gravity. He claims that you stole his idea, though he acknowledges that the proof belongs wholly to you. Once more, Mr. Hooke has crossed the line! He seems to expect you would make some mention of him in the preface. And why should I mention someone who came to the same conclusion... with miscalculations? All in Royal Society are of the opinion that you ought to be considered as the inventor. - But... there is something else! - Please Mr. Halley, go ahead! The Royal Society is not financially strong. I pledged myself to bear the cost of printing your book. I have already been attacked by followers of Mr. Hooke, but they cannot stop me from supporting your work. After their publication, Principia were recognized both in Britain and in the rest of Europe. Newton showed to everyone that the world is governed by an almighty God who exerts his force constantly. And this force is the reason why there are laws of nature and order in the Universe. Many thought that the order of the natural world could be applied by analogy in the political world, so as to eliminate the problems. The concept of force, however, was against the tide of most natural philosophy works of that era and continued to seem incomprehensible. Even so, universal attraction came in the spotlight shortly before another revolution. England would change and with it nature would change as well. In 1688, the famous Glorious Revolution broke out. William III seized control of the throne giving an end to the favor reserved for the Catholic Church. At the same time, the power of the king was limited and the Parliament's powers were expanded. Religious freedom was established for all, with the exception of the Catholics and those who did not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. In the early 1690's, Newton corresponded systematically with the philosopher John Locke on alchemy and religion issues, as both were heretics. During the same period, Newton made one more friendship with Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, a young Swiss mathematician. For the first time after many years, Newton came so close to someone. for the first time he had such a great connection. Their relationship was intense but, unfortunately, short. I still recall 1693, a year of crisis. I was betrayed and disappointed unexpectedly by a friend and I unfairly and unexpectedly attacked friends. The deadlock of my studies in alchemy, the exhaustion of previous years and some unfulfilled expectations had their price... and I paid it! Newton needed a reason to return. In January 1697 they delivered to him two problems that Johann Bernoulli had posed to all mathematicians of Europe, a challenge addressed mainly to Newton. Bernoulli wanted to show that only the German mathematician Leibniz could solve it, someone who was familiar with the calculus. He was mistaken, however, when on January 30 he received a letter with the solution of the problems. When he read the anonymous letter, he said that he could tell the lion ''by the mark of his claw''. The 'lion of Britain' had returned. I decided not to let anyone hurt me again. In 1696 I left Cambridge and I was appointed in the Mint, where three years later I became Master of the Mint. I hunted down the counterfeiters and I sent a lot of them to the gallows. Four years later two incidents of... special significance occurred. Mr. Hooke died. And I was appointed President of the Royal Society. I destroyed all his portraits... And, in 1704, I published my second most important book, Opticks. Now, no one could oppose to me. In Opticks he included his studies concerning the synthesis and analysis of light he had conducted during the decade of 1670s and, of course, the famous Crucial Experiment. It contains many details regarding reflection and refraction, the function of the eye, the construction of the reflecting telescope, even issues unrelated to light such as metabolism, blood circulation, alchemical experiments, Noah's Flood and the dreams of the mad. While in Principia he had shown how, through the contrivance of a new mathematical model, we can describe nature, in Opticks he did something else. He received a mathematical tradition, geometrical optics, but he did not intervene with it. He wanted to show that through this we can find the hidden nature of the light. But still, something was missing. How mathematics would reveal the causes behind the phenomena? The main business of Natural Philosophy is to argue from Phenomena... Until now I have explained... This force must be derived by some cause that penetrates the centre of the Sun and the planets... ...without feigning Hypotheses. The Supreme God does nothing by Himself... ...and to deduce Causes from Effects till we come to the very first Cause... ..that He can do by others. ...which certainly is not mechanical. The spirit... ...there might be an aether that penetrates all objects... This agent, as it travels through long distances in the empty space, becomes denser and denser and causes the attraction between bodies! In the decades that preceded, and those that would follow, Newton expressed many and different views as to where the force of God lies. Newton's supporters expressed further variations of these views. Some even dared to remove God from their system. So, how are we entitled to say that there was one correct theory on nature, since everybody, even Newton, constantly conceived different 'Newtonian' philosophies? The complex and changeable society of England had thinkers with different political and religious beliefs. These differences defined the image of nature. The real battle in the dawn of modern science was the battle for the place of man in a new world. If Principia were his vehicle to eternity, Opticks would be his vehicle to glory. The following year, Queen Anne, who had succeeded William, knighted Newton. Sir Isaac Newton was now at the pinnacle of his glory. My two most recent works, and the most important ones, are theological. One is on the chronology of the Ancient Kingdoms and the second on the prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of John. I must admit that mathematics and natural philosophy were a small parenthesis, a short interruption in my life. They did not lead me where I wanted to. Perhaps, I asked for more than they could give me. Eventually, only if we interpret the Word of God properly, we shall understand His Design! We must believe that there is one God, supreme Monarch that we may fear and obey Him and keep His laws and give Him honour and glory! We must believe that He is the pantokrator Lord of all things with an irresistible and boundless power and dominion, that we may not hope to escape if we rebel and set up other Gods or transgress the laws of His monarchy and that we may expect great rewards if we obey His will... His will.... I obey... His will... From the decade of 1720s, England began to find the long-desired order. The natural philosophers were increasingly talking about the intermediate agents, such as the aether, through which God exercised His power in nature. In the same way God was using intermediates, the King was distributing his power through the Parliament. As power was distributed, something similar occurred in the production of knowledge. Knowledge was generated in more places and by more people, from Royal Society to the coffee-houses and the ladies' salons. These different power relations between people started producing different knowledge, which seemed compatible to the new political and social structures. The new knowledge did not speak the truth, it simply told a truth that resulted from these relations! Newton was trying to participate in these new developments. But he was tired. His only company was his niece, and wife of his friend and biographer Mr. Conduitt, Mrs. Catherine Barton. Sir, you seem to be writing in a place where you cannot so well see... A little light... serves me! The rain stopped... One day, perhaps... Someone will write a story about me... Perhaps, someone will wonder what I thought about myself... I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then, finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary... whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me... London, 20th March 1727. The previous night he had refused to receive the viaticum; his only public confession that he was heretic. He knew that he could not win the battle with death, but he triumphed in the battle for eternity. He tried to control the world, hold it in the palm of his hand. He forged a force that would rule all things, a force to bring them all close and bind the cosmos. The man who considered himself the Chosen of God stared at the Abyss of space and time, and the Abyss stared back at him. As Halley said: ''Nearer the gods no mortal may approach''.


Early life

Conduitt was the son of Leonard and Sarah Conduitt, and was baptised at St Paul's, Covent Garden, London, on 8 March 1688.[1] He was admitted to St Peter's College, Westminster School, as a King's scholar in June 1701. In 1705, while at Westminster, he was elected a Queen's scholar to Trinity College, Cambridge, with three others He was admitted there in June of that year and matriculated to the University, but did not graduate, staying only two years.[2]


By 1707, based on his own account he was "travelling" in Holland and Germany. In September 1710, he became judge advocate with the British forces in Portugal. He was a "very pretty gentleman" according to James Brydges.[3] From October 1710, he acted as the Earl of Portmore's secretary when the latter arrived in Portugal (N&Q)[clarification needed]. During this time, he kept the Earl of Dartmouth informed as to the Portuguese court. He returned to London by October 1711 with Lord Portmore. During the following year, he was made a captain in a regiment of the dragoons serving in Portugal, but by September 1713 he had been appointed Deputy Paymaster General to the British forces in Gibraltar. The posts appear to have been remunerative, and in May 1717 he returned home to England a richer man. In 1720, he acquired the estate and house at Cranbury Park, near Winchester

Parliament and Mint

In June 1721, Conduitt was elected, on petition, a Whig Member of Parliament for Whitchurch, Hampshire, which he represented during the 1720s as a loyal supporter of Walpole's government. He took an active interest in the running of Isaac Newton's office of Master of the Mint in the latter years of Newton's life, and he was appointed in his stead in March 1727 after Newton's death.[1] He attempted to collect materials for a life of Newton, but after starting, he quickly stopped. In 1728, he was somewhat unhelpful to John Newton, the heir to Isaac Newton's real estate, and Newton had to resort to the Chancery courts to get satisfaction.[4]

By the early 1730s, Conduitt had become a relatively prominent parliamentary speaker, defending the government on a number of issues, including Walpole's maintenance of the Septennial Act. In 1734, he was re-elected to his seat, but chose to represent Southampton. On 12 January 1736, he introduced a successful bill repealing an early 17th-century act against conjuration and witchcraft.

Personal life

Shortly after his arrival back in England, he became acquainted with Sir Isaac Newton and his niece Catherine Barton. After what must have been a whirlwind romance, they applied to the Faculty Office for a licence, which was granted on 23 August 1717, to marry at St Paul's, Covent Garden. Catherine, then aged 38 years, described herself as 32 years old, Conduitt more correctly as about 30. Despite the licence, they instead married three days later on 26 August in her uncle's parish in the Russell Court Chapel in the church of St Martin in the Fields. Perhaps in an effort to dignify himself for his impending marriage to one of London's famous daughters, Conduitt obtained for himself a grant of arms from the College of Heralds on 16 August.

The couple had one daughter, named after her mother, born 23 May 1721 and baptised in the same parish of St Martin's on 8 June. Partly as a result of his antiquarian interests, Conduitt was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 1 December 1718, proposed by the president, and his uncle by marriage, Sir Isaac Newton. Sir Isaac Newton took up residence at Cranbury with his niece and her husband until his death in 1727 towards the end of his life.[5]

Death and descendants

Conduitt died on 23 May 1737 and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 29 May to the right of Sir Isaac Newton. His wife Catherine died in 1739 and was buried with him. In his will dated 1732, he left his estate to his wife and made her guardian of their underage daughter Catherine. On his death, the trustees sold the estate at Cranbury Park[5][6] as well as estates at Weston and Netley, near Southampton to Thomas Lee Dummer, who succeeded him as MP for Southampton

His daughter Catherine later married John Wallop, Viscount Lymington (died 1749) in 1740. He was the eldest son of John Wallop, 1st Earl of Portsmouth, and their son, John Wallop, succeeded as the second earl of Portsmouth.


  1. ^ a b "CONDUITT, John (1688-1737), of Cranbury Park, Hants". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Conduitt, John (CNDT705J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ Letter to Capt Leigh 3 October 1710, Huntingdon Library, California, ms 57, vol 4, folder 169
  4. ^ PRO, Chancery depositions
  5. ^ a b Yonge, Charlotte M. (1898). "Cranbury and Brambridge". John Keble's Parishes – Chapter 6. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  6. ^ Page, William (1908). "Parishes – Hursley: Cranbury". A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3. Retrieved 27 September 2009.

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Isaac Newton
Master of the Mint
Succeeded by
Richard Arundell
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Carpenter
Frederick Tylney
Member of Parliament for Whitchurch
With: George Carpenter 1721–1722
Thomas Vernon 1722–1727
Thomas Farrington 172
John Selwyn 1727–1734
John Selwyn, Jr 1734–1735
Succeeded by
John Selwyn, Jr
John Mordaunt
Preceded by
Anthony Henley
Member of Parliament for Southampton
With: Sir William Heathcote
Succeeded by
Thomas Lee Dummer
This page was last edited on 6 June 2019, at 04:35
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