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Written by David Singmaster (firstname.lastname@example.org ). Links to relevant external websites are being added occasionally to this gazetteer but the BSHM has no control over the availability or contents of these links. Please inform the BSHM Webster (A.Mann@gre.ac.uk) of any broken links.
[When the gazetteer was edited for serial publication in the BSHM Newsletter, references were omitted since the bibliography was too substantial to be included. Publication on the web permits references to be included for material now being added to the website, but they are still absent from material originally prepared for the Newsletter - TM, August 2002]
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The father of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898) was vicar at All Saints, Daresbury. Carroll was born at the Old Parsonage, Morphany Lane, Newton-by-Daresbury, and lived there until 1843. The house burned down in 1883. Only the gateposts remain. Another source says the site, on Glebe Farm, has a pillar and a plaque. There is a commemorative window in the church, and a 'Wonderland' weathervane, showing the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and Alice, on the local primary school. The Sessions House and adjoining barn are to be restored as an exhibition centre by the Lewis Carroll Birthplace Trust.
William Herschel (1738-1822) visited the home of Sir Ralph Milbanke, Halnaby House, near Darlington, in 1760, and composed two symphonies there. He also gave performances there in 1761. At the time, he was head of the Durham Militia Band.
Long an important naval base; many voyages of exploration began here or stopped here on their outbound voyages, e.g. Captain James Cook (1728-1779) on his way to Australia. Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729) was born here and is commemorated by a street with a plaque; one of his engines may be seen working at the Newcomen Engine House and Visitor Centre, Mayors Avenue (across from The Butterwalk), Dartmouth TQ6 9YY; tel: 01803-834224. (Different sources give the engine's date as c1725 or end of the 18C.
George Parker Bidder (1805-1878) bought Paradise Point, just north of Warfleet Creek, Dartmouth, in 1855 and built a house there over the next few years which he named Ravensbury, after his Mitcham property. He died in this house while waiting to move into a new house at nearby Stoke Fleming The house is still standing and the entrance way leads off the main road to the south of Dartmouth and has name plaques of Ravensbury Lodge and Ravensbury Drive. A bit further south on the main road, just before the entrance to Creekside, is a commemorative plaque on the wall saying he lived here in 1860-1878 mentioning him as the Calculating Boy and famous civil engineer, pioneer of the steam trawler and electric telegraph. On the other side of Warfleet Creek, St. Petrox Church is adjacent to Dartmouth Castle. The east window of the church is a memorial to Bidder, donated by his daughter Bertha.
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William and his sister Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) lived at Datchet in 1782-1785, a house provided by the King when William was appointed Royal Astronomer. Caroline was appointed Assistant Astronomer at a salary of 50 per year, making her the first professional female astronomer. William completed a 20 ft reflector in 1783. In Jun 1785, they moved to Clay Hall, near Old Windsor. In Apr 1786, they moved to Slough.
John Flamsteed (1646-1719) was born in Denby, near Derby, and attended the school here briefly.
George Peacock (1791-1858) was born at Denton, NW of Darlington.
Henry Cavendish (1731-1810) is buried in the family vault in the Cathedral
of All Saints, Derby.
In the Art Gallery, Derby, is one of the fine paintings by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797: A Philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrery of 1766, showing an orrery similar to Thomas Wright's grand orrery.
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In Feb 1762, William Herschel performed at the Town Hall, playing both a violin concerto and an oboe concerto, the latter perhaps one of his own compositions.
George Boole (1815-1864) was an assistant at Mr. Heigham's School, South Parade, Doncaster, from 1831 to 1833, when he was released due to his religious nonconformity. It was here that he first contemplated the symbolic or algebraic expression of logical relations.
The Dorset County Museum, Dorchester, is a typical example of an older local museum with some items of interest to the touring mathematician. I noted the following items: a 13C steelyard weight and a standard bushel of 1601, an 18C pocket scales, along with a number of other weights, measures and scales; a 1719 turret clock, running, and a 1745 town clock; some ivory chessmen from an 18C shipwreck; a horary quadrant (15C??); two straight slide rules, from 1697 and 1820, both for special purposes; a simple adding machine (British Calculator, Model B, probably early 20C); some games material (outdoor darts with spherical bodies about 1" across, quoits, dominoes, china bowls, Halma).
Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) was born at the Rookery, about a mile W of Dorking, on the A25, but his family moved from here in 1768.
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A plaque on Brougham (or Broom) Bridge, where Broombridge Street crosses the Royal Canal, commemorates William Rowan Hamiltons invention of quaternions on the spot on 16 Oct 1843. The plaque is under the bridge, on the towpath, and was unveiled by the Taoiseach, Eamon De Valera, on 13 Nov 1958. The Irish Post Office issued two stamps with Hamilton's portrait on the day. Hamilton (1805-1865) was President of the Royal Irish Academy in 1837-1847 and the Academy has a portrait of him and the only known complete example of his Icosian Game, inscribed to his friend J. T. Graves, the inventor of 'octaves' or octonions. (Hamilton neglected to publish this and so the credit went to Cayley a year later. In early 1996, a second example of the Icosian Game, but of the board only, came to light.)
Hamilton was born in Dominick Street and was baptised in St. Mary's Church, Mary Street. He entered Trinity College in 1823 and was elected as Andrews Professor and Astronomer Royal before completing his BA. He was Astronomer Royal of Ireland in 1827-1865 and hence lived in Dunsink Observatory, Dunsink Lane, to the northwest of the city, north of Phoenix Park, from 1827 until his death. (The Observatory and the Andrews Professorship were abandoned in 1921, but the Observatory was taken over by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies during World War 2.) On 15 Aug 1835, on the occasion of a dinner for the BAAS meeting, the Viceroy of Ireland knighted Hamilton in the Long Room of Trinity Library, the first Irish scientist to be knighted. He is buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Harold's Cross Road, just south of the Grand Canal from the city centre. The 1992 Science and Engineering Library building at Trinity College is named for him.
Trinity College Dublin (TCDoften called Dublin University in older literature), was approved by the City Council in 1590, was given a Royal Charter in 1592 and opened in 1594. Archbishop Laud was Chancellor of the College in 1637. The first professor of mathematics was Miles Symner, an ex-student and a former major in the Parliamentary army who had assisted William Petty in surveying, who was appointed in 1652. After the Restoration, there was some confusion about positions. The Earl of Donegall endoweda Lectureship which was incorporated with the professorship and Symner was appointed to this post.
The Governors of the Erasmus Smith Schools established Erasmus Smith's Professorships of Natural Philosophy (1724) and of Mathematics (1762). Notable Erasmus Smith's Professors of Natural Philosophy have been: Bartholomew Lloyd (1822-1831); Humphrey Lloyd (1831-1843); James McCullagh (1843-1847); George Francis Fitzgerald (1881-1901, of the contraction). Notable Erasmus Smith's Professors of Mathematics have been: Bartholomew Lloyd (1813-1822); James McCullagh (1835-1843); Charles Graves (1843-1862); William Snow Burnside (1879-1914); Heini Halberstam (1962-1964); Gabriel Andrew Dirac (1964-1966).
The will of Provost Francis Andrews established the Andrews Professorship of Astronomy in 1774, including funds for an observatory, which was built at Dunsink. The first Andrews Professor was Henry Ussher, from 1783 until his death in 1790, supposed due to prolonged exposure to the cold night air. He was succeeded by John Brinkley, a Cambridge graduate who had worked at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. From 1792 until 1921, the Andrews Professor was also Astronomer Royal of Ireland. Brinkley received the Copley medal of the Royal Society in 1824 and was President of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1831. Later notable holders have been: William Rowan Hamilton (1827-1865); Robert Stawell Ball (1874-1892); Charles Jasper Joly (1897-1906, who edited Hamilton's Elements of Quaternions); Edmund Taylor Whittaker (1906-1912). Presumably these all resided at Dunsink? The Andrews Chair was left vacant in 1921, but re-established as an honorary chair in 1984.
A University Professorship in Natural Philosophy was established in 1847. Notable holders have been: John Leighton Synge (1925-1930); Albert Joseph McConnell (1930-1952, who became Provost in 1952).
The Old Library was built in 1712-1732. Its upper floor, the Long Room, was long the largest library room in the world, even before its heightening in c1860. The c800 Book of Kells is now displayed on the ground floor. The library includes Usshers collection. The Long Room has a collection of portrait busts, including Aristotle, Locke, Newton, Plato, Socrates, Ussher (see below). In 1992 a William Rowan Hamilton Building opened, containing the Science and Engineering Library and five lecture halls.
James Ussher (1581-1656) was born at 3 Fishamble Street (demolished in 1944). He was a student at TCD from 1593 and was later a fellow. He went into the Church, becoming Archbishop of Armagh. In 1650 he published his famous assertion that Creation had taken place 'upon the entrance of the night preceding' Sunday 23 October, 4004 BC.
William Molyneux was a student in 1671-1674 . His Dioptrica Nova of 1692 includes the first publication of Halley's equation for thin lenses. His son Samuel was also a student here, but went to London.
St. George Ashe (late 17C) was Symner's successor as Donegall Lecturer and was later Provost. He published on Euclid in the Phil. Trans. of the Royal Society of London.
Narcissus Marsh (late 17C) was another Provost. He published on acoustics in the Phil. Trans. He was later Archbishop of Dublin and his library is preserved as Marsh's Library, St. Patrick's Close, built in 1705. It contains some 17C mathematical works. It is perhaps the best example of what a medieval library was like. It still has reader's cages in which readers could be locked in! There is a shelf of books in the original chained style, though the books no longer have their chains.
George Berkeley (1685-1753) entered Trinity College in 1700, age 15; BA, 1704; Junior Fellow, 1707; An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision, 1709; Librarian for some time, including the planning of the 'Old Library' with its famous Long Room; Junior Dean. Ordained in the Church of Ireland, 1709. From about 1713, he was on travelling leave, returning in 1721, when he was Senior Fellow, received BD and DD degrees and was appointed Lecturer in Divinity. In 1724, he became Dean of (London)Derry and resigned from the College.
Bartholomew Lloyd( 1772-1837) was a student, then Erasmus Smith's Professor of Mathematics in 1813-1822, then of Natural Philosophy in 1822-1831, then Provost from 1831. He introduced modern degree courses in mathematics and physics and wrote several standard texts. In Aug 1835, he presided over the first Dublin meeting of the BAAS.
Humphrey Lloyd (1800-1881), son of the above, graduated with a gold medal in science in 1819. He succeeded his father as Erasmus Smith's Professor of Natural Philosophy in 1831-1843 and was Provost from 1867. His work was in optics and magnetism: he found conical refraction according to Hamilton's prediction and established a magnetic observatory, moved to University College Dublin's Belfield campus in the 1970s.
James McCullagh (1809-1847) was Erasmus Smith's Professor of Mathematics in 1835-1843, then of Natural Philosophy in 1845-1847. He was the proponent of the best(?) theory of the ether. He was known to have a great deal of work in manuscript form, but he apparently destroyed it before committing suicide.
There is a statue of George Salmon (1819-1904) in Front Square. His Treatise on Conic Sections of 1848 and Treatise on the Analytic Geometry of Three Dimensions of 1862 were standard works well into the 20C. He became professor of divinity in 1866 and Provost from 1888.
John Joly (1857-1933) was professor of geology, but a noted polymath. FRS in 1892 for work on the specific heat of gases at constant volume. Gave an explanation for the rise of sap in plants. Estimated the age of the earth from the salinity of the oceans, getting 85,000,000 years. Devised a system of colour photography. The Joly Memorial Lectureships were inaugurated in 1935 by Rutherford.
J J Sylvester received his first degree here as an honorary award because English universities would not give degrees to non-Anglicans until 1871. Dionysius Lardner was a student. A. W. Panton was here. John Leighton Synge (1897?-1995) was a student, graduating in 1919, but went to Toronto for 1920-1925. He returned in 1925 and was elected Fellow and University Professor of Natural Philosophy, until 1930 when he went to Toronto again and then the USA. He returned to the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in 1948 until his retirement in 1972. He was the nephew of the playwright J. M. Synge. Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton (1903-1995) (born in Dungarven, County Waterford) was a student and continued with research, but soon went to Cambridge. He returned to the Trinity Physics Department in 1934 and was Erasmus Smith Professor from 1946. Nobel Prize in Physics, with Cockcroft, in 1951.
William Parsons, later third Earl of Rosse, was a student at Trinity College from 1819 and Chancellor from 1862. In 1867, he went to a seaside house in Monkstown, in the south of Dublin, for his health, but died there. Laurence Parsons, later fourth Earl of Rosse, was a student at Trinity to 1864 and Chancellor.
In Oct 1683, William Molyneux (1656-1698) and St. George Ashe organised The Dublin Society for the Improving of Natural Knowledge, Mathematicks and Mechanicks, soon renamed The Dublin Philosophical Society. The first president was Sir William Petty, with Molyneux as secretary and treasurer. Narcissus Marsh was an early member. The Society only ran until 1687 but it was revived briefly in 1693 and in 1707. In 1731, the Royal Dublin Society was founded as the continuation of the Philosophical Society. The Royal Irish Academy was founded in 1785. It is located at 19 Dawson Street.
George Stokes was a student at a school run by a Rev. R. H. Wahl from c1832 to 1835.
William Sealey Gossett (Student) (1876-1937) worked at Guinnesss St. James Gate Brewery from 1899-1935 . It is in Thomas Street, west of the city centre. His application of statistical methods to brewing was so valuable that Guinness required him to use a pseudonym for his publications.
Eamon de Valera (1882-1975) studied mathematics at Blackrock College, then University College, then Trinity College. He taught mathematics at school, college and university levels before going into politics. He participated in the Easter Rising of 1916, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Released in the General Amnesty of Jun 1917, he was re-arrested in May 1918 and escaped from Lincoln Gaol in Feb 1919. He retained a lifelong interest in mathematics, founding the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, and was Chancellor of the National University (an umbrella organization of all the universities in Ireland). He was President of Ireland from 1959 until 1973. He lived at Talbot Lodge, Linden, Blackrock.
Erwin Schrödinger lived at 65 Merrion Square .
William Wilkins, a notable example of a mathematician turned architect, designed Nelson's Pillar, erected in O'Connell Street at the intersection north of the General Post Office, but blown up (or down??) by extremists in 1966, leaving just some fragments .
The National Museum, Kildare Street, has the Hollywood Stone, the British Isles' largest (about 3 ft by 3 ft 9 in) carved stone labyrinth, discovered at Hollywood, Co. Wicklow, in 1908. It was beside St. Kevin's Road, an ancient pilgrim track from Hollywood to Glendalough. Dating ranges from -200 to +500. Sadly it was removed to storage in Apr 1994 about a week before my visit to examine it! In this museum is the splendid 12C Cross of Cong, which James McCullagh purchased and donated. There is also a 10C game board comprising a 7 x 7 pattern of holes.
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The home of Georgiana Whitmore, who married Charles Babbage in 1814. The house is now owned by the National Trust and has a noted garden, where the Babbages courted and later often returned, though Georgiana died young in 1827.
In the Cathedral is a memorial to the Stirling family which mentions James Stirling the Mathematician, commonly called the Venetian [John Fauvel; British Libraries #1: The Leighton Library, Dunblane; BSHM Newsletter 27 (Aut 1994) 37].
Mills Observatory, Dundee, is one of the few (the only?) British observatories open to the public. James Ivory (1765-1842) was born in Dundee and later taught here for three years. His library is in the Dundee Public Library. [Alex Craik; British Libraries #6: The James Ivory Collection; BSHM Newsletter 29 (Summer 1995) 30.]
Critchlow says there are carved stone balls in the Dundee City Museum, but I haven't been to see them.
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Supposedly the birthplace of John Duns Scotus (c1265-1308); a conservative philosopher, whose followers were downright reactionary, eventually called dunces. William of Ockham was one of his students. The DNB says several birthsites have been claimed, but that this Duns, in Berwickshire, seems most likely.
The Venerable Bede (c673-735), now St. Bede, is best known for his histories, but also wrote extensively on the calendar and arithmetic. He was born at Monkwearmouth, Co. Durham. His remains were translated from Jarrow, to Durham Cathedral in the 11C. His tomb is in the Galilee Porch of the Cathedral. St. Cuthbert's College, Durham, had a piece of finger or rib of St. Bede in their Oratory of the Holy Family. In 1979, this was halved with a new St. Bede's Church in La Canada, near Los Angeles.
There is an 1829 meridian line on the floor and wall of the Cathedral [Peter Ransom; Sundial corner no. 8: Meridian lines; BSHM Newsletter 30 (Autumn 1995) 38-40].
A plaque to Percy Heawood (1861-1955) in Durham Castle records his efforts in getting the Castle restored. Heawood was Vice-Chancellor of the University and Mayor of Durham, but is remembered by mathematicians for pointing out a flaw in Kempes attempted proof of the four-colour theorem.
There is a portrait in the Hall of the Castle of Temple Chevallier (1793-1873), who was professor of mathematics from 1835 and also of astronomy from 1841 until 1871.
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Written by David Singmaster. Last updated on 28th February 2003 by TM (A.Mann@gre.ac.uk). Copyright © BSHM and David Singmaster 1998 - 2003. All rights reserved.
The British Society for the History of Mathematics is registered as a company limited by guarantee, no. 3326816, and as a charity, no. 1061229. Its registered office is c/o Andrew Thurburn & Co, 38 Tamworth Road, Croydon, Surrey CR0 1XU, UK.