Young (Thomas) Notebooks

Scope and Content

Manuscript notes for lectures on natural philosophy delivered at the Royal Institution, numbered 2 to 21; no 1 is missing.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Young was born in Milverton on 13 June 1773. He showed great learning ability from a young age and by the age of 18 was recognised as a classical scholar. In 1792 he started studying for the medical profession, and he was created a Doctor of Physic in July 1796. In 1797 he went to Emmanuel College Cambridge and by 1799 he was practising as a physician in London. In 1801 he was appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Royal Institution, where he delivered many lectures, which were published in 1807. He resigned the Professorship in July 1803 as his friends considered the duties interfered with Young's prospects as a physician. In 1802 he was appointed Foreign Secretary to the Royal Society, a position he held until his death. In 1808 he took the degree of MD at Cambridge and in 1809 became a Fellow of the College of Physicians. In January 1811 he was elected Physician to St George's Hospital in London, retaining the position until his death. In 1814 Young retired from the practice of a physician, having been appointed Inspector of Calculations to the Palladium Insurance Company. In the next two years he published several papers dealing with life assurance. Young died on 10 May 1829. Throughout his life he was interested in and contributed to medicine, science, languages, literature and Egyptology.

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The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

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Related Material

University College London Special Collections also holds a letter from Young to David Booth, 1822 (Ref: MS ADD 193).

Correspondence and papers of Thomas Young are also held at the British Library, Manuscript Collections, and at the Royal Society