Material relating to William Baird, being 'Some principles of Arithmetique'
Scope and Contents
The manuscript includes three parts: mathematics, law and astronomy. The notes and the exlibris inscription suggest that this volume, which is bound in contemporary calf, was the work of William Baird of Dysart - 'Ex libris Gulielmi Baird'.
The first part, titled 'Some principles of arithmetique containing all the parts thereof and the severall ways of working' includes multiplication and division with examples together with 'decimall arithmetique' and 'logarithmeticall arithmetique.
The second part consists of notes on legal matters in Latin.
The third part - consisting of forty-five pages on geometry and astronomy includes such headings as 'the equator', 'the horizone', 'the eclyptick', 'the terrestriall globe', 'longitude terrestriall', 'the celestiall globe', 'the uses of Gunters quadrant', 'the generall horologicall ringe' and 'astronomie'.
There are three folding plates which illustrate the cosmological systems of Copernicus, Tycho Brahe and Ptolemy.
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Biographical / Historical
Dysart is a small town on the River Forth, on the northern shore of its large estuary. Dating from the 13th century, the town established itself in the middle of the 15th century as a trading port, exporting salt and coal to the Low Countries. In the 16th and 17th centuries, trade expanded to the Baltic Countries. It had been towards the end of the 16th century that the first coal pit in the town was sunk - known as Lady Blanche. By the middle of the 17th century when coal began to surpass the salt trade, two new pits followed - Frances and Randolph. Two hundred years later, in 2009, there was no coal trade and no salt trade, and the community was a suburb of Kirkcaldy.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Material relating to William Baird, possibly of Dysart (fl. 1670-1680)
- Language of description
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