BornBradley, Yorkshire, England, 30 November 1549
DiedEton, Berkshire, England, 19 February 1622
Henry Savile is known today primarily for his endowment of the Savilian Chair of Geometry and Chair of Astronomy at Oxford; in his day he was also noted for an Oxford series of lectures on the Almagest.
Savile, son of Henry and Elizabeth (née Ramsden) Savile, matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, circa 1561, and in 1565 he became a fellow of Merton College. Savile established his scholarly reputation in the 1570s with a brilliant series of lectures on the Almagest. The lectures are impressive in their use of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance sources – notably including Nicolaus Copernicus – to elucidate the text of Ptolemy’s classic work. Savile was ambivalent about the controversy over the Copernican theory. “Is it not all one,” he famously replied to a colleague who asked about the movement of the Earth, “sitting at dinner whether my table be brought to me, or I goe [sic] to my...
- Carr, William (1921–1922). “Savile, Sir Henry.” In Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Sir Leslie Stephen and Sir Sidney Lee. Vol. 17, pp. 856–859. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Savile, Henry. “ Notes for lectures on the Almagest.” Savile MSS 29, 31, and 32. Bodelian Library, Oxford.Google Scholar