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Seth Ward was the first that brought mathematical learning into vogue in the university of Cambridge; where he lectured his pupils in the "Clavis Mathematica," a well known work of the celebrated Mr. Oughtred. He was followed by Dr. Barrow, who carried this branch of science to a great height. These able mathematicians were succeeded by Mr. Isaac Newton, who made such discoveries as perhaps no human capacity was ever equal to it but his own. Dr. Ward particularly excelled in astronomy, and was the first that demonstratively proved the elliptical hypothesis, which is more plain and simple, and consequently more suitable to the analogy of nature, than any other. He succeeded Mr. John Greaves, as Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford, and was, a litle before the Restoration, elected president of Trinity college, in that university; but was soon after forced to quit this preferment. He published several books of divinity; but the greatest part of his works are on mathematical subjects. See the "Athenæ Oxoniensis." This very able man, whose character was exemplary as a prelate, died on the 6th of January, 1688-9. He was a close reasoner and an admirable speaker, having, in the house of lords, been esteemed equal, at least, to the earl of Shaftesbury. He was a great benefactor to both his bishoprics, as by his interest, the deanry of Burien, in Cornwall, was annexed to the former, and the chancellorship of the garter to the latter, for ever. He was polite, hospitable, and generous; and, in his life-time, founded the college at Salisbury, for the reception and support of minister's widows; and the sumptuous hospital at Buntingford, in Hetfordshire, the place of his nativity. His intimate friend Dr. Walter Pope, the noted author of "The old Man's Wish," has given us a just and curious account of his life, interspersed with agreeable anecdotes of his friends.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.

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References

  • 1667
  • 1668