Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lovett, Richard

LOVETT, RICHARD (1692–1780), author of works on electricity, was born at Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, in 1692. On 25 Nov. 1722 he was admitted to a lay clerkship in Worcester Cathedral, and retained this position until his death on 8 June 1780. He studied electrical phenomena, and in September 1758 advertised himself as able to effect cures, especially of sore throat, by the use of electricity. Augustus De Morgan, however, describes him as ‘an ether-philosopher, a mere theorist.’ His published works are:

  1. ‘The Subtile Medium proved … the Qualities of Æther or Elementary Fire of the Ancient Philosophers to be found in Electrical Fire,’ London, 1756; 2nd pt. 1759.
  2. ‘The Reviewers Reviewed, or the Bush Fighters exploded, a reply to Animadversions of the “Monthly Review” on a late Pamphlet entitled “Sir Isaac Newton's Æther realized.” An Appendix on Electricity rendered useful in Medicinal intentions,’ London, 1760.
  3. ‘Philosophical Essays,’ in 3 pts., Worcester, 1766.
  4. ‘The Electrical Philosopher, containing a new System of Physics, founded upon the principle of an Universal Plenum of Elementary Fire,’ Worcester, 1774.

[Athenæum, 1863, ii. 800; Chambers's Worcestershire Biog. pp. 363, 598; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Chapter Records in Worcester Cathedral.]

T. B. S.