Lot 316

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Robert Hooke
London, July 4, 1670
Robert Hooke 1670 Extraordinarily Rare ADS by "England's Leonardo", Perhaps the Only Hooke Signed Document Regarding the Great Fire of London
HOOKE, ROBERT. Autograph Document Signed, "Rob: Hooke", 1 p., July 4, 1670, London, 7.25" x 11.5". Some portions crossed out, uniform toning, foxing mostly at top, shallow folds, some haloing to text, else Very Good Plus given age.

Robert Hooke signed this document in 1670, arbitrating a property dispute after the "Late dreadfull fire" that destroyed most of London in 1666. Hooke was one of the three surveyors appointed after the Great Fire of London, and this document signed by him is perhaps the only one extant concerning the fire. His autograph concerning any subject is extraordinarily rare, especially considering the extent of his interests as a natural philosopher and polymath, whose 1666 book "Micrographia" was revolutionary in advancing microscopy and cell research. Called "England's Leonardo", Hooke was an early member of the Royal Society, responsible for curating its lab experiments, and corresponded at great length with Isaac Newton regarding gravity. In fact, some believe that Newton actually appropriated Hooke's ideas about gravity as his own.

The document, in full, "We whose names are underwritten, two of the Surveyors of the City of London, by the Directions of the Right hon[ourab]ble the Lord Mayor. and In pursuance of the Additional Act of Par[liamen]t: for Rebuilding the City have viewed the houses of Mr. Will: Sanders Draper & Mr. John Rowly Skinner situate[d] on Ludgate Hill, and being informed by both the said partys that before the Late dreadfull fire the said Rowly had from the 2d story upward the Room of seaventeen foot from North to South and ten foot in bredth from East to West over the passage and part of the shop of the said Sanders. We therefore find that the said Mr. Sanders hath in Rebuilding his said house carryd the Party wall upright and Intire and inclosed the said Rome of Mr. Rowly to his own house. Now to the ends the said Party wall may remain Intire and upright we doe order and award that the said Mr. Saunders shall Injoy all these Roome of 10 foot in bredth & 17 foot in Length wholy to himself and that the said Rowly shall make such Legall conveyances of the same unto him as cou[n]cill Learned in the Law shall advise if it be necessary, and that the said Mr. Sanders shall make the like conveyance to him, the said Rowell [sic], a parcill of Groun[d] lying next behind the house of the said Rowly which said parcell shall contein fourteen foot in bredth from East to West and twelve foot in depth from North to South. In testimony whereof we have herewith set our hands this 4th day of July 1670. / Rob: Hooke : Jo: Oliver".

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


  • 7.25" x 11.5"
  • Artist Name:
  • Robert Hooke
  • Medium:
  • ADS

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