English geologist, naturalist, and antiquarian who founded the Woodwardian Professorship of Geology at Cambridge University.
He studied medicine under Dr. Peter Barwick in London and was appointed Gresham professor of Physic in 1692.
He found that plants in less-pure water grow better than plants in distilled water during his water culture experiment in 1699.
He was born to his family in a village in Derbyshire.
His treatise published in 1713 provoked a satire by poet Alexander Pope on "follies of antiquarianism".