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Thomas Robie's Geni Profile

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Thomas Robie

Also Known As: "Thomas M. Roby"
Birthdate: (40)
Birthplace: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Death: August 28, 1729 (40)
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Robie and Elizabeth Robie
Husband of Mehitable Robie
Father of Thomas Robie, Jr. and Elizabeth Bartlett
Brother of Elizabeth Barnard; Mercy Goodwin; William Robie/Roby and Joseph Roby

Occupation: Scientist, physician, minister
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Thomas Robie

William and Elizabeth Robie were inhabitants of Boston as early as 1689, when their son Thomas was born on March 20th of that year. He graduated at Harvard College in 1708, and died in 1729. He was tutor, librarian, and Fellow of the college. Be published an account of a remarkble eclipse of the sun on Nov. 27, 1772, also in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, papers on the Alkaline Salts, and the Venom of Spiders (1720-24). The following extract from the diary of President Leverett shows the estimation in which he was held:

It ought to be remembered that Mr. Robie was no small honor to Harvard College by his mathematica l performances, and by his correspondence there upon with Mr. Durham and other learned persons in those studies abroad."

In mathematics and natural philosophy he was said to have no equal in New England.

Colonial scientist, physician and minister. He graduated from Harvard College in 1708 where he studied Theology and Medicine, then served as the college's librarian from 1712 to 1713. In 1713, he accepted a position as tutor at Cambridge University in England. He returned to Harvard in 1714 and became a Fellow. He taught astronomy and mathematics, and is believed to have introduced calculus to the curriculum. He supported Cotton Mather in his campaign to use innoculation against smallpox during the plague of 1721 in Boston and personally innoculated 11 persons during this time. He left Harvard in 1722 and moved to Salem where he practiced medicine until his death. He was published several times in the Transactions of the Royal Society (bio by: Bob on Gallows Hill) 


  1. Bibliographical Contributions, Volume 4, Issue 52 - Volume 5, Issue 60 (Google eBook) Justin Winsor, William Coolidge Lane. "Librarians of Harvard College.". Page 16.
  2. American National Biography Online: Thomas Robie: Science in American Culture in the Early Days ..."
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Thomas Robie's Timeline

March 20, 1689
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Age 22
Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
August 28, 1729
Age 40
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
Age 39
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
Age 40