Lucas, Anthony (DNB00)

LUCAS, ANTHONY (1633–1693), jesuit, a native of the county of Durham, was born in 1633. He studied at St. Omer, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1662. In 1672 he became professor of theology in the college at Liège in Belgium, in 1680 rector of the college at Watten, and on 3 March 1686-1687 rector of the college at Liège. In 1687 he was removed to Rome to become rector of the English College there, and in 1693 was appointed provincial of his order. He died on 3 Oct. 1693. Lucas was involved in a controversy with Sir Isaac Newton respecting the prismatic spectrum. Another Jesuit, Francis Line [q. v.], had endeavoured to confute Newton's theory of light, and when Line died in 1675, a pupil, Gascoigne, sought Lucas's co-operation in continuing the attack on Newton. Lucas made valuable experiments, and published his results, which partly agreed with those of Newton, in the 'Philosophical Transactions' for 1676. Newton commended Lucas's researches.

[Foley's Collections, VII. i. 467; Brewster's Life of Newton, i. 82; Playfair's Works, ed. 1822, ii. 379; Abridg. Phil. Trans. ii. 334.]

W. A. J. A.