Folio B, c1669-c1708
Scope and Contents
- Most of the scientific content of Folio B comes from early in Gregory's career. It includes an index of later letters of John Collins (1625-1683) to James Gregorie (1638-1675), a number of Edinburgh lectures in geometry, mechanics, and optics, and some tables and manuscript pieces of 'Elementa Catoptricae et Dioptricae', the 'Institutes of Astronomy', and the 'Elementa Astronomica'. There are as well several learned papers by other people. These include an extract from a 1669 planetary orbit paper by Cassini, a copy of a 1676 paper by Edmund Halley 1656-1742on the geometry of orbital eccentricities, an outline of a Kepler volume on astronomy, a probability treatise by John Arbuthnot (1667-1735), and some problems in Apollonius, with a Latin translation of this geometer from Arabic by Edward Bernard (1638-1696), along with a fair copy of the same by David Gregory. A paper of Gregory's own is an evaluation of Hipparchus' ancient explanation of the solstice. The rest of the collection is a record of Dr Gregory's wider life as an academic and a government consultant. Six items relate to his woes surrounding the College visitation. Others consist of the 1692 inaugural speech of his brother James (Gregory-not Gregorie), also a mathematician, upon his own appointment to the faculty in Edinburgh, a pair of drafts of job vacancy notices for Glasgow College, an anonymous printed lampoonery of Cassini, and an Oxford book list on horticulture. Traces of his official self remain in some 1697 correspondence between the King of Great Britain and the Senate of Hamburg, regarding trade with the 'Indian' venture of Scotland, and in the acts of three Scots provincial synods; of his personal self there are still a pair of poems from the handful he originally collected in the Folio. A curiosity, penned on the back of item 6, is a short song in English, with its music; it is not in Gregory's hand.
- Gregory, David, 1659-1708 (professor of mathematics, University of Edinburgh, and Savilian Professor of Astronomy, University of Oxford) (Person)
Biographical / Historical
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