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INV-26472 ROBERT HOOKE Autograph Document Signed “Rob: Hooke”, Viewer Report, July 4, 1670, London, England. 1 p., 7⅛ x 11˝ in. 0000-00-00

British polymath Robert Hooke (1635-1703), scientist, architect, astronomer, paleontologist, physicist, geologist and surveyor. Hooke was chief assistant to Christopher Wren overseeing rebuilding in the wake of London’s Great Fire of 1666.

Hooke’s July 4, 1670 report, as one of three City Surveyors, settles a dispute about a property on Ludgate Hill, one of London’s three ancient hills and the site of St. Paul’s Cathedral (constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries, destroyed in the Great Fire, and rebuilt from 1675 to 1711).

Before the fire, skinner and tanner John Rowley occupied the second story of draper and dry goods merchant Will Sanders’ residence and shop. Under new post-fire regulations, Sanders agreed to provide an alternative space for Rowley next to the building. Robert Hooke and fellow surveyor John Oliver approved of this plan, signing at lower right. Hooke’s signatures are scarce, so any document signed by him is valuable, and this relates to one of the most frightening conflagrations of early modern Europe.

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