# Billingsley, Sir Henry

, an excellent mathematician, and lord-mayor of London in the reign of queen
Elizabeth, was son to Roger Biilingsley of Canterbury. He
spent near three years in his studies at the university of Oxford, during which time he contracted an acquaintance with
an eminent mathematician, whose name was Whitehead, and
who had been an Augustin friar at Oxford, but Biilingsley
being removed from the university, and bound apprentice
to an haberdasher in London, he afterwards raised himself
so considerable a fortune by trade, that he was successively
chosen sheriff, alderman, one of the commissioners of the
customs for the port of London, and at last lord mayor of
that city in 1597, and received the honour of knighthood.
He made a great progress in the mathematics, by the assistance of his friend Mr. Whitehead, who being left destitute upon the dissolution of the monasteries in the reign of
king Henry VIII. was received by Mr. Biilingsley into his
family, and maintained by him in his old age in his house
at London and when he died, he gave our author all the
mathematical observations, which he had made and collected, with his notes upon Euclid’s Elements, which he
had drawn up and digested with prodigious pains. He was
one of the original society of antiquaries. Sir Henry Billingsley died very much advanced in years, Nov. 22, 1606, and
was interred in the church of St. Catherine Coleman, London. He translated the Elements of Euclid into English,
to which he added a great number of explanations, examples, scholia, annotations, and inventions, collected from
the best mathematicians both of the former times, and
those in which he lived, published under the title of “The
Elements of Geometry of the most antient philosopher
Euclid of Megara, faithfully translated into the English
tongue. Whereunto are added certain scholia, annotations,” &c. London, 1570, fol. Dr. John Dee prefixed to
this work a long preface, full of variety of learning relating
to the mathematics. ^{2}

^{2}

Wood’s Athens, vol. I. Gen. Dict. Archaeologia, vol. I. XX,