Christopher Wren

1632-1723. Architect. Son of a clergyman and educated at Westminster School, he went up to Wadham College, Oxford, in 1650, where there was a scientific club (later the Royal Society*). He became a fellow of All Souls, where he developed some of his scientific interests. In 1657 he became professor of astronomy at Gresham College, London, and in 1661, Savillian professor of astronomy at Oxford. He held the latter post until 1673, but well before this date his major interest had moved from natural philosophy to architecture. In the 1660s he designed the new chapel at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford. His fame, however, is associated primarily with the City of London. After the Great Fire of 1666 he laid before Charles II plans for the restoration of the city. Soon afterward he became “surveyor general of the royal works.” He designed St. Paul's Cathedral and some fifty-two churches and other important buildings in London. He died at the great age of ninety-one and was buried under the south aisle of the choir of St. Paul's.