Newton, John

, an eminent English mathematician and divine, the grandson of John Newton, of Axmouth, in Devonshire, and the son of Humphrey Newton of Oundle, in Northamptonshire, was born at Oundle in 1622, and was entered a commoner of St. Edmund’s hall, Oxford, in 1637. He took the degree of B. A. in 1641; and the year following, was created master, in precedence to several gentlemen that belonged to the king and court, then residing in the university, on account of his distinguished talents in the higher branches of science. His genius being inclined to astronomy and the mathematics, he made great proficiency in these sciences, which he found of service during the times of the usurpation, when he continued stedfest to his legal sovereign. After the restoration he was created D. D. at Oxford, Sept. 1661, was made one of the king’s chaplains, and rector of Ross, in Herefordshire, in the place of Mr. John Toombes, ejected for non-conformity. He held this living till his death, which happened at Ross, Dec. 25, 1678. Mr. Wood gives him the character of a capricious and humoursome person; but whatever may be in this, his writings are sufficient monuments of his genius and skill in the mathematics. These are, 1. “Astronomia Britannica, &c. in three parts,1656, 4to. 2. “Help to Calculation; with tables of declination, ascension, &c.1657, 4to. 3. “Trigonometria Britannica, in two books,1658, folio one composed by our | author, and the other translated from the Latin of Henry Gellibrand. 4, “Chiliades centum Logarithmorum,” printed with, 5. “Geometrical Trigonometry,1659. 6. “Mathematical Elements, three parts,1660, 4to. 7. “A perpetual Diary, or Almanac,1662. 8. “Description of the use of the Carpenter’s Rule,1667. 9. “Ephemerides, shewing the Interest and Rate of Money at six per cent.” &c. 1667. 10. “Chiliades centum Logarithmorum, et tabula partium proportionalium,1667. 11. “The Rule of Interest, or the case of Decimal Fractions, &c. part II.” 1668, 8vo. 12. “School-Pastime for young Children,” &c. 1669, 8vo. 13. “Art of practical Gauging,” &c. 1669, 14. “Introduction to the art of Rhetoric,1671. 15. “The art of Natural Arithmetic, in whole numbers, and fractions vulgar and decimal,1671, 8vo. 16. “The English Academy,1677, 8vo. 17. “Cosmography.” 18. “Introduction to Astronomy.” 19. “Introduction to Geography,1678, 8vo. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. II.—Martin’s Biog. Phil.