# Donn, Abraham

, an ingenious mathematician, was
born Feb. 6, 1718, at Bideford, in Devonshire, where
his father kept a mathematical school, and was reputed
one of the best teachers of arithmetic, navigation, and
dialing, in his time. It appears from some papers in ms.
left by the Rev. Mr. Hervey, author of the “Meditations,”
that the family name was Donne and that Christopher,
the grandfather, was the first that dropped the final e.
The subject of the present article was brought up under
the care of the Rev. Mr. Mudge, of Plymouth, and his
successor White, M. A. with whom he made a very
considerable progress in the Latin and Greek languages.
When he left the grammar-school, as far as his health
would permit, he assisted his father in his mathematical
school; and when he was about fourteen years of age,
being at play with some of his schoolmates, he fell from a
high pile of deals, which, with his soon after going a-swimming in a profuse sweat, laid the foundation for disorders
which continued on him till the time of his death; so that,
from the fourteenth year of his age to his twenty-eighth,
when he died, he can scarcely be said to have had the
blessing of health, even for so short an interval as a month.
^Notwithstanding this severe sickness, he studied the mathematics, and acquired some considerable knowledge in
those sciences; for he solved several questions in the
Diaries. As to astronomy, it seemed to have been his
favourite study; and he left behind him the result of hiss
calculations of the eclipses of the Sun and Moon, with the
transits of Mercury, for more than ten years to come, with
their delineations. He was assistant to Mr. Hervey in his
studying the use of the globes and that pious clergyman
preached his funeral sermon, July 15, 1746. His works
were published by his younger brother, Benjamin Donn,
| who about 1756 opened an academy at Kingston, near
Taunton, in Somersetshire, where he taught with great
success, and where he died in 1798, after publishing some
mathematical treatises. ^{1}

^{1}

Gent. Mag. vol. LXXIV.