The English theologian and natural philosopher John Wilkins (b. 1614 d. Nov. 19, 1672) was instrumental in the establishment of science in the universities in England and was a founder of the Royal Society of London. Wilkins wrote several popular scientific books including: Discovery of a world in the Moon (1638), the first scientific account of an imaginary journey to the moon and if there be inhabitants on the moon. Mercury; Or the Secret and Swift Messenger (1641) which includes secret conveyance of information, invisible inks, cryptography, signalling as well as methods later used in thought reading acts. Mathematical Magick (1648) describes the six simple machines, automata, flight and perpetual motion. (This book captured the imagination of a young Isaac Newton who was given a copy from Wilkins.) Finally his Essay Towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language (1668) suggests a "conceptual dictionary" in which words are arranged in groups by their meaning - like a modern thesaurus. Wilkins published three popular theological books during his lifetime and eventually became Bishop of Chester and Master of Trinity College.
[Abstract of Stephen Forrester's article "John Wilkins 1614 - 1672" published in James Hagy's Perennial Mystics' #12/ June 1997.]