Richard Reeve

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Richard Reeve (fl. 1640 – 1680) was an instrument-maker in London in the 17th century. He worked with Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. His son was also Richard Reeve (fl. 1680).

Reeve's "telescopes and microscopes had a worldwide reputation for accuracy. Hooke worked with him in a technical advisory capacity".[1] Richard Reeve, or Reeves, of Long Acre, was the foremost fashioner of optical instruments between 1641 and 1679, and "perspective-glass maker to the King".

He was James Gregory's optician.[2] In August 1664 Pepys purchased a microscope from him, "the best he knows in England, and he makes the best in the world." 5 pounds 10 shillings is "a great price," but Reeve throws in a Scotoscope, "and a curious curiosity it is to [see] objects in a dark room with."[citation needed]


Reeve's son, also an instrument maker[citation needed] was Richard Reeve jnr. (fl. 1680).

"Young" Reeve, in Pepys' entry of 23 March 1659/60, would be Richard's[clarification needed] son John, who took over the family business in 1679 and ran it until c. 1710. [3]


  1. ^ Jardine, Lisa (2000). Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution. Abacus. p. 368. ISBN 978-0349113050. 
  2. ^ Morrison-Low, A.D. (2007). Making scientific instruments in the Industrial Revolution. Ashgate Publishing. p. 139. ISBN 9780754657583. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  3. ^ (Companion entry and Glossary, plus the "Shorter Pepys.")