Higgins, Bryan

Bryan Higgins (1737 - 1818)

Bryan Higgins was born in Collooney Co. Sligo. He was awarded a doctorate by the University of Leyden. After practising as a doctor in London he set up a school of practical chemistry there, where he first taught and was later assisted by his nephew William Higgins. As well as carrying out analyses on water from mineral springs he studied cement, soap, oils and fuels. While the syllabus of his course shows an emphasis on the usefulness of chemistry in manufacturing he was concerned also with theoretical concepts such as chemical affinities, the 'weight' of atoms and molecular structures. His book on cement manufacture was published in 1780. He also explored sugar production in the West Indies as well as its conversion into rum.

Further Reading: Deasmumhan Raghallaigh (ed.)Three Centuries of Irish Chemists pp. 6,7 CorkUniversity Press, Cork 1941.

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