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WOULFE, Peter.

(1727? – 1803)

(Born: Ireland?, 1727?; Died: London, England, 1803) Irish chemist.

Little is know of Woulfe's life before his election in 1767 to the Royal Society, where he was described as a "Gentleman well skilled in Natural Philosophy and particularly Chymistry." (DSB) In December 1775, he was selected to deliver the first Bakerian Lecture at the Society, which occurred on the 20th June 1776. Woulfe was a good friend of Joseph Priestley.

Biographical references: Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 1198, 224-228; II 1854, 312-313. DNB: 63, 63-4 [by P.J Hartog]. DSB: 14, 508-9 [by E.L. Scott]. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 3, 300-1. Poggendorff: 2, cols. 1368-9. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI.

1. English, 1777.
Experiments | made in order to ascertain | The Nature of some Mineral Substances; | and, in particular, | To see how far the Acids of Sea-Salt and Vitriol con- | tribute to Mineralize Metallic and other Substances. | By Peter Woulfe, F.R.S. | Who was nominated by the President and Council | to prosecute Discoveries in Natural History, pursuant to the Will of the late Henry Baker, Esq. F.R.S. | Read at the Royal Society, June 20, 1776. | London: | Printed in the year MDCCLXXVII.

4°: A-B4 C2; 10l.; [1]-19, [1] p. Tailpiece.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; [3]-19, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.

Rare. In this paper, Woulfe describes 25 experiments made to determine how the mineralization by acid of salt (hydrochloric) and acid of vitriol (sulphuric) occurs. He reaches the conclusion that only silver and mercury are the only metals naturally mineralized in this way. Woulfe presented this paper as the first of the Bakerian Lectures (June 20, 1776).

Henry Baker [1698-1774] had bequested an endowment to finance a series of yearly lectures at the Royal Society. Woulfe was nominated in 1775, the first year the Society received the funds. Although this substance of this paper was published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (66 (1776), 605ff.), this printing apparently was separate and not an off-print.

Bibliographical references: BL [B.366.(2.)]. Cole, Chemical Literature, 1988: no. 1389. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 289. NUC: 674, 636 [NW 0461315]. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 4, 40.

2. German, 1778 [German transl.].
Versuch über die innere Mischung einiger Mineralien: um zu bestimmen, in wie fern durch die Kochsalz= und Vitriol=Säure metallische und andre Substanzen vererzet werden können, von Peter Wolfen; aus dem Englischen übersetzt und mit einigen Anmerkungen versehen von J.G. Gehler. Leipzig, 1778.

8°: 31 p.

Rare. Translation by J.G. Gehler of Experiments Made in Order to Ascertain the Nature of some Mineral Substances (London, 1777).

Bibliographical references: Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek: Supplement to vols. 25-36, 1173. Beckmann P.Ö.B.: 9, 89. BL [970.i.4.(1.)]. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 289.