Canterbury, Kent

Several mathematical scholars have been archbishop of Canterbury. The most notable was Thomas Bradwardine (c1290-1349), a leader of the Merton School at Oxford, who is buried in St. Anselm's Chapel; a brass plate marks the spot. He died of the Black Death in 1349. St. Anselm (c1033-1109), known for his ontological 'proof' of the existence of God, was archbishop from 1093. John Pecham (c1230-1292), archbishop in 1279-1292, was a mathematician and student of optics.

William Laud (1573-1645), archbishop from 1633 until his execution at the Tower of London, was a mathematician and taught at St. John's, Oxford, to which he left his collection of mathematical instruments.

Frederick Temple (1821-1902), archbishop from 1896, is, as a mathematician, best known for his earlier erroneous attempt on the Four Colour Theorem. He is buried in the cloister garth.

William Frend (1757 1841) was born in Canterbury. Perhaps best known as Augustus De Morgan's father-in-law, he was a radical Cambridge fellow and a leading opponent of the use of negative numbers in the early 19C. This sounds a bit negative, but a coherent definition did not arise for another generation and the opposition of mathematicians such as Frend was a major driving force in the development of proper foundations.

There are mathematical tiles in Canterbury: see THIS LINK


To see an Ordnance Survey map click at THIS LINK

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An extract from The Mathematical Gazetteer of the British Isles created by David Singmaster

The original site is at THIS LINK