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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

Salusbury, Thomas
born between 1620 and 1630 in Wales, died around 1665 in London, English translator of writings on mathematics and physics

Although the Mathematical Collections and Translations published in London in the years 1661 and 1665 made English translations of a number of important mathematical and physical works accessible for the first time in England, where they apparently were read quite frequently and thus were of importance for the history of mathematics and physics there, its translator Thomas Salusbury has fallen into oblivion. The traces of his life have faded so thoroughly that no indication of his life appears in any contemporary biographical lexicon. When Stillman Drake published a facsimile edition of the Mathematical Collections and Translations in 1967, he put together the few data he was able to track down about the life of Thomas Salusbury in the introduction to this book. This portrayal, parts of which are quite uncertain and speculative due to the precarious state of research, served as the basis for the following remarks on the life of Thomas Salusbury.
Thomas Salusbury was born in Wales, presumably in the years between 1620 and 1630, and appears to have had some kind of connection to the Salusbury family that settled in Lleweny, perhaps through a birth out of wedlock. He probably received his training at Trinity College in Dublin, where he probably received a solid mathematical education from Miles Symner (whom he mentions in the foreword to the Collections and who taught at Trinity College from 1626 where he was appointed as Fellow and Professor for Mathematics in 1652). In the years between 1645 and 1654 Salusbury lived abroad for a time, especially in Italy and France, where he acquired a good knowledge of Italian and French and made the acquaintance of representatives of the new Galilean science. During his stay in France he apparently had connections at the court of Charles II, who lived in exile there. After his return to Wales Thomas Salusbury was apparently the private tutor of John, a younger son of the Salusbury family in Lleweny. It appears that some kind of differences or difficulties arose there; thereafter Salusbury was allowed to go to London, perhaps under the condition that he concealed the fact that he was related to the Welsh Salusbury family in Lleweny. From 1655 or 1656 Thomas Salusbury lived in London and attempted to earn a living there as a writer. He apparently held vehemently anti-Parliamentarian views, which landed him in jail for a period. Once the political conditions in London had changed, Salusbury appears to have held the post of a privy secretary at the revived court in London from 1661 or 1662. In 1659 or early 1660 he married Susanna Birkenhed and took up residence in Highgate. One of his most important activities during this period was apparently translation, not only of literature, but also of scientific works. Through circumstances which remain unclear, he became embroiled in accusations of literary and creative plagiarism, which seriously damaged his reputation and shattered his hope of becoming a member of the Royal Society (which at that time also admitted members from outside the sciences). From 1664 he appears to have lived in extremely difficult financial circumstances and to have died two years later, possibly of the Plague or (more probably) through an accident or suicide.
Only the first part of the second volume of his Mathematical Collections and Translations is known today, as nearly all copies of the second part appear to have burned in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The older literature reports that a copy of this second part is supposed to have been included in the library of William Jones Esq., F.R.S., but this copy has since disappeared. As the sources indicate, this second part was supposed to have contained a biography of Galileo written by Thomas Salusbury, which remains unknown to us through this unfortunate circumstances. The article ”Galileo” in the English edition of P. Bayle’s A General Dictionary, Historical and Critical (London 1737), most probably written by Thomas Birch, is based chiefly on this biography of Galileo by Thomas Salusbury.

Digital texts (1 texts)



Mathematical collections and translations