(1638 – 1678)
Sherley (or Shirley) was the grandson of the adventurer Sir Thomas Shirley [1564-1630?]. He studied medicine in France, before returning to England where he quickly became a success. He became physician in ordinary to Charles II, and in 1675 was imprisioned by the House of Commons for appealing to the House of Lords against a member whom they had declared exempt from lawsuits during session.
Biographical references: Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 995, 232-236; 997, 72. DNB. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8: 5, 384. Sherley, T., The case of Thomas Sherley Esq. one of His Majesties physitians in ordinary, Plaintiff, against Sir John Fagg, Baronet, defendant. ,  p. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI.
1. English, 1672.
A | Philosophical | Essay: | Declaring | The probable Causes, whence | Stones are produced in the | Greater World. | From which occasion is taken to search | into the Origin of all Bodies, discovering | them to proceed from Water, and Seeds. | Being a Prodromus to a Medicinal Tract con- | cerning the Causes, and Cure of the Stone in | the Kidneys, and Bladders of Men. | [rule] | Written | By Dr. Thomas Sherley, Physitian \sic in Ordinary | to His Majesty. | [rule] | London. | Printed for William Cademan, at the Pope's Head, in | the Lower Walk of the New-Exchange. 1672.
4°: A-K4; 80l.; , 1-143,  p.
Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs], Dedication to King George I, signed Tho[mas]. Sherley.; [9 pgs], "To The | Reader."-signed Tho[mas]. Sherley, 27 January 1672.; [1 pg], Errata.; 1-139, Text.; , Blank.; 141-143, "An Advertisement."; [1 pg], Blank.
Rare. Describes the origin and supposed causes of the formation of stones in the earth and in living things. Sherley sets forth and develops at length the thesis that all stones and metals have seeds from which they grow, as in the two other kingdoms of nature like botany and animals. The seed is invisible, but is often present in vapors that rise from the center of the earth. His ideas are based upon ancient traditions, principally Aristotlian philosophy. Sherley speculates that the stones are created from the interaction of water with external pressures and condensed from seeds. All bodies are originally meer water, which by the means of the proper seeds is coagulated, condensed and brought into various forms. The seeds cause the praticles of water to be altered in both texture and shape, corresponding to the figure of the seed.
Facsimile reprint, 1978: A | Philosophical | Essay: | Declaring | The probable Causes, whence | Stones are produced in the | Greater World. | Thomas Sherley | [ornament] | Arno Press | A New York Times Company | New York / 1978. 4°: , 1-143,  p.
[2 pages], Half title page, "A Philosophical Essay," verso "This is a volume in the Arno Press collection | ..."; [2 pages], Title page, verso "... | Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data | ..."; [2 pages], Facsimile reproduction of original title page, verso blank.; [4 pages], Dedication to King George I, signed Tho[mas]. Sherley.; [9 pages], "To The | Reader."-signed Tho[mas]. Sherley, 27 January 1672.; [1 page], Errata.; 1-139, Text.; , Blank.; 141-143, "An Advertisement."; [1 page], Blank.; [2 pages], "History of Geology | An Arno Press Collection."
Bibliographical references: Adams, Birth and Development, 1938: 87-8, 102 & 290. BL [954. a. 12.]. Debus, A.G., "Thomas Sherley's `Philosophical essay' (1672): Helmontian mechanism as the basis of a new philosophy", Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, 27, (1980), 124-35.. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 2, 7. Kiely, R.S., The architect in the alembic: Chemistry, neoplatonism, and religion in 17th century English generation theory. Dissertation at Northwestern University, 1996. [See: Dissertation Abstracts International, 57, (1996), 2646-A. LKG: XIII 7.
2. Latin, 1675 [Latin transl.].
Dissertatio | Philosophica | explicans | Causes Pro- | bailes Lapidum | In Macrocosmo, | Quâ occasione | In Originem Corporum omnium | inquiritur atque oftenditur eam de- | beri Aquæ & Seminibus, | Præmissa Tractatui Medico | De | Causis Et Cura- | tione Calculi tam | Renum Quàm Vesicæ, | Anglice primùm edita | à | Thoma Schirlæo, Doct. | S.R. Maj. Brit. Medico Ordinario, | Nunc in gratiam Philosophorum Latine | reddita. | [rule] | Hamburgi, | Impensis Christiani Guth I, Bibliopolæ, 1675.
8°: -124 p.
Rare. Translation of A Philosophical Essay (London, 1672).
Bibliographical references: BL [990.a.5.]. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 2, 7..