Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/The Rev. Francis Henry, eighth earl of Bridgewater
BRIDGEWATER, the Rev. Francis Henry, eighth earl of, was born in 1758 and died on the llth February 1829. He is best known as the originator of the Bridge- water Treatises. By his will he devised the sum of 8000, at the disposal of the president of the Royal Society, to be paid to the author or authors selected by the pre sident to write and publish 1000 copies of a treatise " On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation." Mr Davies Gilbert, who then filled the office, selected eight persons, each to undertake a branch of this subject, and each to receive 1000 as his reward, together with any benefit that might accrue from the sale of his work, according to the will of the testator.
The treatises were published as follows : 1 . The Adaptation of External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Condition of Man, by the Eev. Thomas Chalmers, D.D. 2. The Adaptation of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man, by John Kidd, M.D. 3. Astronomy and General Physics considered with reference to Natural Theology, by the Rev. William WheweE, D.D. 4. The Hand, its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as evincing Design, by Sir Charles Bell. 5. Animal and Vegetable Physiology considered with reference to Natural Theology, by Peter Mark Roget. 6. Geology and Mineralogy considered with reference to Natural Theology, by the Rev. William Buckland, D.D. 7. The EaUts and Instincts of Animals with reference to Natural Theology, by the Rev. William Kirby. 8. Chemistry, Meteorology, and the Fimction of Digestion, considered with, reference, to Natural Theology, by William Prout, M.D. The works are of unequal merit ; several of them took a high rank in apologetic literature.