1766 – Born in East Dereham, Norfolk on the 6th of August.
1793 – He obtained a doctorate in medicine from Cambridge University.
1800 – He left medicine and concentrated on pursuing these interests instead of his trained vocation.
1802 – His optical work was important as well, where he is remembered for his observations of dark Fraunhofer lines in the solar spectrum which eventually led to the discovery of the elements in the Sun.
1803 – He discovered the elements palladium and rhodium.
1805 – He used his Bakerian lecture, On the Force of Percussion, to defend Gottfried Leibniz’s principle of vis viva, an early formulation of the conservation of energy.
1807 – He also invented the camera lucida.
1809 – The reflecting goniometer.
1819 – He also served on a royal commission that opposed adoption of the metric system, and one that created the imperial gallon.
1820 – President of Royal Society.
1828 – He was too ill to deliver his final Bakerian and dictated it to Henry Warburton who read it on the 20th of November.
– Died on the 22nd of December.