Sir Isaac Newton
A brilliant mathematician and scientist, Newton developed the theory of gravity, differential calculus, and principles that resulted in the successful construction of the refracting telescope. His genius was recognized both by his peers and by his Queen, who conferred a knighthood upon him in 1705. In addition to his mathematical skills -- Newton solved many problems designed to thwart Europe's most accomplished mathematicians -- Newton was politically adroit, serving in parliament for Trinity College, Cambridge, and holding positions such as warden of the Mint and master of the Mint. Less well-known is that Newton was a keen student of alchemy and also produced manuscripts on Biblical subjects. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.