Benchara Branford [Benchara Bertrand Patrick Branford] (1867-1944), Scottish mathematician, Professor of Mathematics in the University of London [P.G.Tait; James Clerk Maxwell]
Book published in 1911 (Cambridge: at the University Press). Annotations dated by Branford between 1934 and 1943.
4to: x + 379 pp. Frontispiece and plates. Tight copy on aged paper, in worn binding. Annotated throughout, with the endpapers and almost every page of the first 146 in particular crammed with notes by Branford in pencil and pen. On the front free endpaper Branford writes 'Finished (fairly thoroughly) on Feb. 26th 1934', and on the title-page, 'B. B. Sep. 3d. 1943'. On the same page he has added to the title 'and many notes (additional to those in text) on his intimate & great friend James Clerk Maxwell [...] the notes being taken from his Life by Campbell & Garnett'.
Davies Gilbert [ born Davies Giddy ] (1767-1839), mathematician, President of the Royal Society [ Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), naturalist ]
'East Bourn' [ Eastbourne ]. 19 July 1818.
2pp., 4to. In fair condition, on lightly aged paper, with slight damage to a few words along one edge due to removal from album. On his return to Eastbourne he has 'found a note announcing the Commission under the Great Seal for appointing Commissioners to inquire into the best mode of preventing the forgery of Bank Notes', and requiring his attendance the following day.
Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-1892), mathematician and astronomer, Astronomer Royal
Playford [ Suffolk ]. 6 January 1874.
1p., 16mo. In fair condition, on lightly aged and stained paper. In the light of an invitation from Ransome's wife, he proposes to 'drive to Stoke' in the early afternoon of the following day with his daughter Annet ('who has now relieved Hilda'), hoping that it 'will suit Mrs. Ransome's and your convenience'.
Thomas Simpson (1710-1761), English mathematician, eponym of Simpson's Rule
'Sunday May 10.' [ No year or place.]
1p., 4to. In fair condition, neatly mounted on leaf of wove paper. He asks the recipient to 'get 12 more Exercises bound up' for him, 'in ye common way', and also wants 'two Books of Algebra & Hailsham's Philosophy'. A note in another hand at the foot of the page reads: 'Mr Trott will call on Wednesday for the Books.'
Thomas Simpson (1710-1761), English mathematician, eponym of Simpson's Rule [ John Nourse of the Strand, London bookseller ]
Without place or date.
1p., landscape 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged, with central spike hole. Addressed on reverse to 'Mr Nourse | Bookseller | in the Strand.' He is sending '10 Copies of Geometry', and asks him to send 'the Book of Algebra and Mr. Walmsley's Book by the Bearers'.
William Marrat (1772-1852), mathematician and topographer [ Robert Woodhouse (1773-1827), Plumian Professor of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge ]
54 Copperas Hill, Liverpool. 20 July 1822.
3pp., 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, on lightly aged-paper, with small piece torn from second leaf. Addressed, with postmark, on reverse of second leaf, to 'Robt. Woodhouse Esqr. A.M. | Plumian Professor of Astronomy & Experimental Philosophy, | Cambridge'. He writes: 'I have just made out the following demonstration of the Binomial Theorem, & as it is very short, & quite elementary, I shall be extremely obliged if you will condescent [sic] to honour me with your opinion of it before I make it public.' A full two pages of calculations, in a smallish hand, follow.
Robert Simson (1687-1768), Scottish mathematician, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow
Glasgow, 3 May 1736.
1p., 8vo. In poor condition, on aged paper, with wear to extremities causing loss to text, including most of the signature, and with spike hole. Describing arrangements, with reference to 'my good friend Mr Clow', to pay the recipient 'the 49£ 7s for the paper', via 'Mr William Drummond who is to be found at Messrs Bayne and Adams York Street St James's'.
Robert Simson (1687-1768), Scottish mathematician, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow [ John Bevis (1695-1771); James Short (1710-1798); James Bradley (1693-1762), Astronomer Royal]
Glasgow, 1 July 1761.
1p., 4to. In good condition, on aged paper discoloured at the corners, neatly placed in a paper windowpane mount. He asked 'Mr Foulis to pack up Fifty four English Euclids Small paper, for as they had been put up in three bundles of 18 books in each, he thought it should be left to pack up these bundles as they were rather than break one of them to take out four books'. The books have been sent to 'Borroustonness', i.e. Bo'ness (Burrowstounness), Falkirk, and Foulis has given him a receipt from 'Richard G the Master of the Neptune aboard which Ship they are <?> directed to you'.?>
John Hellins (d.1827), English mathematician and astronomer
'Potter's-Pury' [ Potterspury, Northamptonshire ], 23 June 1803.
1p., 4to. On aged paper, with some discoloration and chipping to extremities. He has been hindered by an 'unexpected interruption' from sending, via 'Richd. Scrivener', 'Stewarts Quadrature of Curves', but Scrivener will bring it 'the next time he goes to London'. The middle paragraph concerns 'Langhorne's sermons', which he asks to be sent 'by Coach'. He ends by asking the recipient - if he has received 'the silver medal for me from Mr. Glendinning, in Hatton Garden', to 'wrap it up, & put it into one of the Books'.
'Baron Maseres' [ Francis Maseres ] (1741-1824), English lawyer, Attorney-General of the Province of Quebec
[ London. ] 5 March 1807.
1p., landscape 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged, with central spike hole. Addressed on reverse 'For Mr: Wilks, printer, in Chancery Lane'. Having received a letter from 'Dr: Mackay' he gives instructions regarding copies of the fifth volume of the book, 'which he proposes to be sent to Newcastle and Inverness, and other places in Scotland'. If Wilks has not received copies from the bindery, he should 'take the said six copies back from Mr: Maseres's chambers'. He also asks for a copy to be sent to Dr Aikin.
Sir John Herschel [ Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet ] (1792-1871), English astronomer and mathematician [ Captain Basil Hall (1788-1844), Scottish explorer ]
Place and date not stated.
On 7 x 12.5 cm piece cut from a letter. In fair condition, aged and worn. Clearly acquired for an autograph hunter. Herschel's signature, in a tiny hand, is at the foot of one page: 'So believe me Ever yours | truly J F W Herschel' (with the signature and words 'Every yours' in the bottom left-hand corner, and the rest in the bottom right-hand corner).
Seymour Aubrey Papert (b.1928), MIT mathematician and computer scientist, pioneer of artificial intelligence, inventor of Logo Programming System [ Dona Papert Strauss; Charles Ehresmann (1905-1979) ]
'Faculté des Sciences de Paris | Séminaire de Topologie et de Géométrie Différentielle (C. Ehresmann) | Année 1957 / 58.'
Papert has been described by by Marvin Minsky as 'the greatest living mathematics educator'. At the time of this paper he was studying for a PhD at Cambridge University and living in London, where he was a leading figure in the revolutionary socialist circle centred on the magazine 'Socialist Review'. 9pp., 8vo. On nine leaves stapled together. In fair condition, aged and worn, with creasing to last couple of leaves. Divided into three parts: '1. Propriétés des treillis des ouverts et représentation des treillis comme treillis d'ouverts; | 2.
James Williamson (d. 1795), Professor of Mathematics at the Universtiy of Glasgow, 1761-1795 [Alexander Williamson, Laird of Balgray (fl. 1802)]
'College Glasgow'. 1 June 1792.
2pp., foolscap 8vo. Bifolium. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. The breaking of the seal has resulted in slight loss at the foot of the gutter, affecting two words of text. Verso of second leaf addressed, with two postmarks and red wax seal, to 'Alexander Williamson Esqr | Alisons Square | Edinburgh'.
James Williamson (d. 1795), Professor of Mathematics at the Universtiy of Glasgow, 1761-1795
'At Closeburn Castle'. 18 September 1769.
1p., large quarto. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. With two embossed stamps ('VI PENCE' and 'I SHILLING ADDITIONAL DUTY') and ink stamp ('Nine Pence Quire') on reverse. Folded into the customary packet and docketted: 'Bond £225 | Messrs. James & George Kirkpatricks, James and Alexr. Williamsons | To Mr. William Ewart | 1769'. The document begins: 'We Mr. James Kirkpatrick Advocate George Kirkpatrick one of hte deputy Clerks of Session, Doctor James Williamson Professor of Mathematicks in the University of Glasgow and Alexr. Williamson Secretary to the Rt. Honble.
John B. Inglis [John Bellingham Inglis] (1780-1870), book collector [Isaac Preston Cory (1801/2-1842), Hebrew Lecturer, Caius College, Cambridge, and writer on accountancy; John Rowbotham (1793-1846)]
21 Upper Montagu St; 24 February 1836.
2pp., 12mo. 42 lines. Bifolium. Fair, on aged paper. Addressed on reverse of second leaf to 'I. P. Cory Esq'. The letter begins: 'A friend of mine Mr. Jackson having told Mr. Rowbotham [Ruskin's tutor John Rowbotham] that I had discovered a method of trisecting an angle that gentleman said he had done it himself, which I believe he has, upon the proposition you showed me - he says it was originally published by Professor Leslie'. Inglis considers that 'Mr. R. seems to have hit upon something he does not quite comprehend'.
Olinthus Gregory [Olinthus Gilbert Gregory] (1774-1841), Mathematical Master, Royal Military Academy, Woolwich [Knight Spencer, Secretary, Surrey Insitution; John Mason Good (1764-1827), lecturer]
Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. 26 March .
1p., 4to. Bifolium. Very good, on lightly-aged paper, with slight traces of mount on reverse of second leaf, which is addressed, with three postmarks and docketing by Spencer, to 'Knight Spencer Esq. | Surry [sic] Institution | Blackfriar's Road'. Gregory is pleased to learn 'that there is a probability of Mr. Jones being able to accommodate us with apparatus for our proposed Lectures, upon such terms as are likely to square pretty well with the funds of the Surry Institution'.
R.L. Ellis, English polymath (1817-1859), remembered principally as a mathematician and editor of the works of Francis Bacon.
No place or date.
Three pages, 8vo, good condition. He commences with a mathematical supposition (in formula terms) then proceeds with putting the suppositions of "the master" [Malthus, Ricardo or their like?) in mathematical terms, concluding a fall of price to "3/4d or one quarter", adding that "The suppositions he makes are incompatible with the ratio theory ...", doing sums which he concludes with the an answer he describes as "absurd".
George Sanderson (c.1835-1814), English mathematician [Wilson Lowry (1762-1824), engraver]
17 January 1803; Stanhope Street, London.
8vo, 1 p. Text clear and complete. On aged and creased paper, with chipping to extremities. Thin strip of stub adhering to reverse, which carries the address in Sanderson's hand: 'Mr: Lowry | No: 57 | Tichfield St:'. He asks him to 'send the Books by the Bearer. | I find my self better & am in hopes of goeing out in a Day or two if weather permits'. He concludes by sending his compliments to Lowry's wife and daughters. Docketed in a contemporary hand at foot of page: 'One of the greatest Mathematicians of this country | Originally (and occasionally till his Death) a Taylor'.
The Mathematical Association [founded in England in 1871 as founded in 1871 as the Association for the Improvement of Geometrical Teaching]
January 1939. Printer and place of publication [England] not stated.
8vo, 12 pp. Stapled and in original blue printed wraps. Good, with minor staining to wraps at top of spine. Eight 'Rules' and three 'Regulations', with a separate entry on 'Regulations for the Use of the Library'. Not listed on COPAC.
Ernest de Jonquières (1820-1901), French naval officer and mathematician [Léon Lalanne [Léon Louis Chrétien Lalanne] (1811-1892), French engineer and mathematician]
9 July 1886; Paris.
Written on both sides of the card, dimensions 5.5 x 9 cm. Good, with a little light scuffing on the front. Communication between two leading lights of French nineteenth-century mathematics. Printed text reads 'VICE-AMIRAL DE JONQUIERES | MEMBRE DE L'INSTITUT | AVENUE BUGEAUD, 2'. Asks Lalanne to 'inscrire Monsieur Bonnaffé, lauréat de l'Institut, parmi les lecteurs'.
James McGowan, FIA, formerly Government Actuary to the South African Government [Gambling; Roulette; Monte Carlo; Theory of Probability]
London: Lamley & Co. 1, 3, and 5 Exhibition Road, South Kensington. [Printed at the Oxford University Press by Frederick Hall.]
Small octavo: 31 pages. Unbound and stapled. Very good, in grubby original pink printed wraps. According to one authority McGowan is the 'first fully qualified actuary in South Africa of whom there is record [becoming] Cape Government Actuary of the former Cape Colony in 1890'. COPAC (under mispelt name "MacGowan") only recordds the BL copy.
Without date or place, but printed date December 1948.
Scottish mathematical physicist and philosopher of science (1896-1972), Director of Statistical Enquiries in the Ministry of Supplies, and chairman and managing director of the company which developed the Whittle jet engine. 3 pages, 8vo. Dusty and creased. Page 3 carries a reproduction of a pencil portrait of Goethe, beneath which is a quotation from him in German.