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Achillini, Alessandro

Agricola, Georgius

Alberti, Leone Battista



Babington, John

Baif, Lazare de

Baldi, Bernardino

Baliani, Giovanni Battista

Barocius, Franciscus

Benedetti, Giovanni Battista

Berga, Antonio

Biancani, Giuseppe

Borelli, Giovanni Alfonso

Borro, Girolamo

Boyle, Robert

Branca, Giovanni

Buonamici, Francesco

Buteo, Johannes

Cardano, Girolamo

Casati, Paolo

Castelli, Benedetto

Cataneo, Girolamo

Ceredi, Giuseppe

Ceva, Giovanni

Cicero, M. Tullius

Commandino, Federico

Delfino, Federico

Descartes, Rene



Fabri, Honore

Foscarini, Paolo Antonio

Galilei, Galileo

Gassendi, Pierre

Ghetaldi, Marino

Giphanius, Hubert

Guevara, Giovanni di

Heron Alexandrinus

Heytesbury, William

Hutton, Charles

Jordanus de Nemore

Landi, Bassiano

Lorini, Buonaiuto


Manuzio, Paolo

Marci of Kronland, Johannes Marcus

Mellini, Domenico

Mersenne, Marin

Monantheuil, Henri de

Monte, Guidobaldo del

Morelli, Gregorio

Newton, Isaac

Pacioli, Luca

Pappus Alexandrinus

Salusbury, Thomas

Santbech, Daniel

Schott, Gaspar

Schreck, Johann Terrenz

Stelliola, Niccolò Antonio

Stevin, Simon

Tartaglia, Niccolò

Thomaz, Alvaro


Torricelli, Evangelista

Valerio, Luca

Varro, Michel

Vitruvius Pollio

Wolff, Christian von

Hutton, Charles
born 14.8.1737 in Newcastle-on-Tyne, died 27.1.1823, English mathematician

Although Charles Hutton came from a poor background, his parents managed to send him to school, where he was a very successful pupil and learned Latin and the rudiments of geometry. After working for a short time as a hewer in a coal mine, at the age of eighteen he decided to become a country teacher in a village near Newcastle. During this time he continued his education through intensive private study and by visiting evening classes in Newcastle, where he opened a school for mathematics in 1760. At this school he provided instruction in all areas of mathematics, teaching such subjects as conics and Newton’s fluxion method; at the same time he taught at the Head School in Newcastle. In 1764 he published his first book, The Schoolmasters’ Guide, and also wrote his first articles for the Ladies’ Diary, of which Hutton was editor from 1773 until 1818. Hutton’s reputation as a teacher of mathematics spread quickly and his pupils included a great number of prominent personalities. Hutton also worked as a surveyor and was commissioned by the city of Newcastle to produce an exact map of the city and its environs in 1770. In 1773 Hutton became professor for mathematics at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, where he remained for 34 years, and in 1774 he was elected to membership in the Royal Society, for whose Philosophical Transactions he wrote numerous articles. In the years 1779 through 1783 he held the position of foreign secretary of the Royal Society. When Banks became President of the Royal Society in 1784, he demanded Hutton’s resignation, supposedly because Hutton did not fulfill his duties effectively enough. This led to vigorous protest against Banks within the Royal Society, but as a consequence of these altercations Hutton relinquished his office. In 1807 Hutton gave up his professorship at the Royal Military Academy and moved back to Bedford Row, London, where he enjoyed great distinction and a generous pension until his death.
Hutton wrote a great number of articles on a wide variety of subjects, most of which dealt with practical applications. For his work The Force of Fired Gunpowder and the Velocities of Cannon Balls, published in 1778, he received the Copley Medal of the Royal Society. Once Maskelyne had concluded his observations in Mount Schiehallion, Perthshire, to measure the gravitational attraction between masses, Hutton received the commission to use the resulting data to calculate the mean density of the Earth. His results were published in Philosophical Transactions (vol.XLVIII pt. XI p. 33) in 1778 and recommended that Maskelyne’s experiments be repeated, as they were shortly thereafter. Together with George Shaw and Richard Pearson he published a short version of Philosophical Transactions for the years 1665 through 1680. In 1803 he also published an English translation of Jacob Ozanam’s French book entitled Recreation in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.
He had concerned himself with bridge construction as early as The Principles of Bridges (Newcastle 1772); shortly before his death, after being asked by the London Bridge Committee what the best form for a bridge was, he wrote a treatise about the most beneficial design for bridge arches. He wrote many text books for his pupils in Newcastle and the cadets in Woolwich; his best-known work is the Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary published in 1795, which is still a favorite of historians of mathematics and physics today, as it is a reference work that explains many mathematic concepts which have since fallen out of use and are worthy of only historical interest.

Digital texts (1 texts)



Mathematical and philosophical dictionary