Brancker, Thomas

, an eminent mathematician of the seventeenth century, son of Thomas Brancker, some time bachelor of artsj,in Exeter college, Oxford, was born in Devonshire in 1636, and was admitted batler (and not butler, as some late biographical compilations blunderingly assert), of the said college, Nov. 8, 1652, in the seventeenth year of his age. In 1655, June 15, he took the degree of bachelor of arts, and was elected probationary fellow the 30th of the same month. In 1658, April 22, he took the degree of master of arts, and became a preacher; but after the restoration, refusing to conform to the ceremonies of the church of England, he quitted his fellowship in 1662, and retired to Chester: but not long after, he became reconciled to the service of the church, took orders from a bishop, and was made a minister of Whitegate. He had, however, for some time, enjoyed great opportunity and leisure for pursuing the bent of his genius in the mathematical sciences; and his skill both in the mathematics and chemistry procured him the favour of lord Brereton, who gave him the rectory of Tilston. He was afterward chosen master of the well-endowed school at Macclesfield, in that county, where he spent the remaining years of his life, which was terminated by a short illness in 1676, at 40 years of age; and he was interred in the church at Macclesfield.

Brancker wrote a piece on the doctrine of the sphere, in Latin, which was published at Oxford in 1662; and in 1668, he published at London, in 4to, a translation of Rhonius’s Algebra, with the title of “An Introduction to Algebra” which treatise having communicated to Dr. John Pell, he received from him some assistance towards improving it which he generously acknowledges in a letter | to Mr. John Collins; with whom, and some other gentlemen, proficients in this science, he continued a correspondence during his life. 1


Gen. Dict. vol. X. p. 543. Martin’s Lives of the Philosophers, —Hutton’s Mathematical Dictionary. —Ath. Ox. vol. II.