A blast from the past, circa 1688 and thereabouts:
Even as the House of Lords was starting to consider what to do after the departure of James, many sprang to settle old scores and reopen old issues. Legal toleration made the Church of England more defensive and less tolerant of sceptical or heterodox opinions. The Nine Years War from 1688, in which England at first suffered severe reverses at sea, strained the economy and finances of the country almost to breaking. The great silver recoinage of the late 1690s aggravated the problems; Halley was then deputy controller of the country Mint in Chester. He may have suffered from the great disaster of 1693, the loss of many ships of a Levant Company fleet off Lagos. The war lasted for much of the time that Halley was Clerk, and it undoubtedly delayed his project to observe the magnetic variation in the Atlantic. It was an anxious decade, a dangerous decade for anyone holding responsible office; in it [Edmond] Halley had some of his most original and influential ideas.
That is from Alan Cook’s Edmond Halley: Charting the Heavens and the Seas. Halley was a contemporary of Newton, Wren, Pepys, Hooke, Purcell, Locke, and Dryden, among others.
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