Christopher Wren (1632 – 1723) England’s first great architect, he was born in Wiltshire and attended Wadham College, Oxford in 1649 as a Gentleman Commoner. At Oxford he joined a group of brilliant scholars, who later formed the core of the Royal Society. As assistant to an eminent anatomist, Wren developed skills as an experimental, scientific thinker. With astronomy as his initial course of study, Wren developed skills in working models, diagrams and charting that proved useful when he entered architecture. Wren became the Gresham Professor of Astronomy in London in 1657, at the age of twenty-five. Four years later he became the Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford. In 1663, Wren’s uncle, the Bishop of Ely, asked him to design a new chapel for Pembroke College, Cambridge. This, his first foray into architecture, was quickly followed by more commissions.London’s Great Fire of 1666 gave Wren a chance to present a scheme to rebuild the city. Utopian in concept, it was only partially realized. In 1669 Charles II appointed Wren Surveyor General of the King’s Works. As Surveyor General he supervised all work on the royal palaces. In 1673 Wren resigned his Oxford professorship because of the work load. He was also knighted in 1673.