The discovery of phosphorus by Brand, a Hamburg alchemist, in 1669 excited chemists to an unwonted degree; it was also independently prepared by Robert Boyle and J.
Though an alchemist, Boyle, in his Sceptical Chemist (1661), cast doubts on the " experiments whereby vulgar Spagyrists are wont to endeavour to evince their salt, sulphur and mercury to be the true principles of things," and advanced towards the conception of chemical elements as those constituents of matter which cannot be further decomposed.
He sold his share in the property in 1776 for £35,000, and took leave of the stage by playing a round of his favourite characters - Hamlet, Lear, Richard and Benedick, among Shakespearian parts; Lusignan in Zara, Aaron Hill's adaptation of Voltaire's Zaire; and Kitely in his own adaptation of Ben Jonson's Archer in Farquhar's Beaux' Stratagem; Abel Drugger in Ben Jonson's Alchemist; Sir John Brute in Vanbrugh's Provoked Wife; Leon in Fletcher's Rule a Wife and have a Wife.
Regarding all substances as being composed of one primitive matter - the prima materia, and as owing their specific differences to the presence of different qualities imposed upon it, the alchemist hoped, by taking away these qualities, to obtain the prima materia itself, and then to get from it the particular substance he desired by the addition of the appropriate qualities.
The oxide known as white arsenic is mentioned by the Greek alchemist Olympiodorus, who obtained it by roasting arsenic sulphide.
John, called the " Alchemist," who was born in 1403, had been disappointed in his hope of obtaining the vacant electoral duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg in 1423.
ALESSANDRO CAGLIOSTRO, Count (1743-1795), Italian alchemist and impostor, was born at Palermo on the 8th of June 1 743.
There he presented himself to the grand master of the Maltese order as Count Cagliostro, and curried favour with him as a fellow alchemist, for the grand master's tastes lay in the same direction.
KUNKEL (or KUNCKEL) VON LOWENSTJERN, JOHANN (1630-1703), German chemist, was born in 1630 (or 1638), near Rendsburg, his father being alchemist to the court of Holstein.
He himself was an alchemist; and believing the transmutation of metals to be a possibility, he carried out experiments in the hope of effecting it; and he was instrumental in obtaining the repeal, in 1689, of the statute of Henry IV.
For him chemistry was the science of the composition of substances, not merely an adjunct to the arts of the alchemist or the physician.