Bryan Higgins

Bryan Higgins (1741 – 1818) was an Irish natural philosopher in chemistry.

He was born in Collooney, County Sligo, Ireland. His father (d. 1777) was also called Dr. Bryan Higgins. Higgins entered the University of Leiden in 1765, whence he qualified as a doctor of physics. He subsequently ran a School of Practical Chemistry at 13 Greek Street, Soho, London during the 1770s, which was patronised by the then Duke of Northumberland amongst others. He was more of a speculator than an experimenter, and published many works on chemistry and related disciplines. Joseph Priestley was an attendee of Higgins's lectures, but the two became enemies following a dispute over experiments on air (Priestley at the time was working on his six-volume tome ''Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air'').

At some point between 1780 and 1790, Higgins visited Saint Petersburg at the favour of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. He returned to London in January 1794 to continue his lectures at the School of Practical Chemistry.

In 1779, Higgins obtained a patent for a cheap and durable cement, "...composed of sand and lime, and a certain proportion of bone-ashes, the lime being slaked with limewater instead of common water, and the mixture made use of as rapidly as possible after being made".

In 1797, Higgins was hired by a public committee in Jamaica for the improvement of the manufacture of muscovado and rum. He resided in Jamaica from 1797 to 1799.

According to Higgins's atomic theory, central particles were surrounded by atmospheres of caloric, a model that was similar to the ideas adopted by John Dalton. It has been argued that Dalton knew of, and was influenced by, Higgins's theories, although Dalton never acknowledged Higgins's anticipation of his caloric model.

Higgins died at his estate in Walford, Staffordshire, England, in 1818. Provided by Wikipedia

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by Higgins, Bryan
Published 1797
Printed by Alexander Aikman, printed to the honourable the assembly