Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Aikin John

Aikin, John, biographer and popular scientific writer, was born at Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, on January 15th, 1747; was educated at the Warrington Academy, at the University of Edinburgh, and under Dr. William Hunter in London, and graduated M.D. at Leyden, in 1784. Not being very successful as a physician, he devoted himself to literature. In 1780 he had published Biographical Memoirs of Medicine, and between 1792 and 1795, in conjunction with his sister, Mrs. Barbauld, issued six very popular volumes entitled Evenings at Home. From 1796 to 1807 he edited the Monthly Magazine, and from 1807 to 1809 a short-lived Athenaeum. Besides various separate biographies, he published between 1799 and 1815 a Biographical Dictionary in ten volumes. He died at Stoke Newington, 7th December, 1822. There is a memoir of him by his daughter, Lucy Aikin, with an engraved portrait by Englehart, and there is also an engraving of him by Knight, after J. Donaldson, and a silhouette in Kendrick's Warrington Worthies. The genus Aikinia was dedicated to him by Salisbury. His son, Arthur (1773 1854), was secretary to the Society of Arts from 1817 to 1840, and was well-known as a geologist. His daughter, Lucy, mentioned above, was born in 1781, and died in 1864. She was a well-known historical writer, and author of a Life of Addison, Lorimer: a Tale, and other works.