Famous 18th Century British Mathematicians

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage
Famous As: Father of the computer
Birthdate: December 26, 1791
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 18, 1871
Charles Babbage, or the “father of the computer,” invented the prototype of the world’s first mechanical calculator, the Difference Engine. With the help of mathematician Ada Lovelace, he also created the Analytical Engine, the first general-purpose computer and a precursor of the modern computer, with its looping and sequential mechanism.

 2 Edmond Halley

Edmond Halley
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: November 8, 1656
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Haggerston, Shoreditch, London, England
Died: January 14, 1742

Edmond Halley was an English astronomer and mathematician who was mainly concerned with practical applications of science. He abandoned college education to travel to St. Helena. He published catalogue of 341 southern stars with telescopically determined locations. Known for his wide range of interest, he helped Newton to publish his magnum opus,  Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. He used Newton's Law of Motion to compute periodicty of Halley’s Comet.

 3 Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville
Famous As: Mathematician, Linguist, Translator, Astronomer, Scientist
Birthdate: December 26, 1780
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Jedburgh
Died: November 28, 1872

One of the two pioneering female honorary members of the Royal Astronomical Society, Mary Somerville was a 19th-century polymath and science writer. Though she specialized in math and astronomy, she was also well-versed in botany and geology. The Connection of the Physical Sciences remains her most notable work.

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 4 Thomas Bayes

Thomas Bayes
Famous As: Mathematician, Statistician
Birthdate: 1702 AD
Birthplace: London
Died: April 7, 1761

 5 John Herschel

John Herschel
Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: March 7, 1792
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Slough, Buckinghamshire, England
Died: May 11, 1871

The son of renowned astronomer William Herschel, John Herschel was educated at Eton and Cambridge and grew up to be a polymath. Apart from contributing to the field of photography, he was known for cataloguing and naming stars and satellites. He briefly also served as the Master of the Royal Mint.

 6 David Brewster

David Brewster
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: December 11, 1781
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jedburgh, Scotland
Died: February 10, 1868

David Brewster was a British scientist, inventor, and author. He conducted many experiments in physical optics, especially concerned with the study of the polarization of light. Fellow scientist William Whewell dubbed him the "father of modern experimental optics." He was also a pioneer in photography and invented an improved stereoscope. He wrote numerous works of popular science as well. 

 7 William Whewell

William Whewell
Famous As: Economist, Physicist, Historian, Philosopher, Writer, University teacher, Mathematician
Birthdate: May 24, 1794
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lancaster
Died: March 6, 1866

William Whewell was an English polymath, scientist, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. He worked in a wide range of fields, publishing works in the disciplines of physics, mechanics, geology, economics, and astronomy. He also wrote poetry, sermons, and theological tracts. He is credited with coining the terms linguistics, physicist, consilience, scientist, catastrophism, and uniformitarianism.

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 8 Brook Taylor

Brook Taylor
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: August 18, 1685
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Edmonton
Died: December 29, 1731

 9 William Playfair

William Playfair
Famous As: Economist, Mathematician, Engineer, Statistician
Birthdate: September 22, 1759
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dundee
Died: February 11, 1823

Scottish engineer and political economist William Playfair is best-remembered as the inventor of statistical graphs and secret agent for Great Britain during its war with France. He published the first data graphs in his book The Commercial and Political Atlas. He used line, area and bar charts to represent the economy of 18th Century England and introduced the pie chart.

 10 George Green

George Green
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: July 14, 1793
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sneinton, Nottinghamshire, England
Died: May 31, 1841

With one year of formal schooling, George Green was entirely self-taught until the age of forty, when he entered Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. By then, he had published his first book, propagating what are now known as Green’s theorem and Green’s functions. A fellow of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, he also established Green's identities, Green's law, and Green's matrix.

 11 Colin Maclaurin

Colin Maclaurin
Famous As: Edinburgh
Birthdate: February 1, 1698
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Argyll
Died: June 14, 1746

 12 William Jones

William Jones
Famous As: Philologist
Birthdate: September 28, 1746
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 27, 1794

 13 Richard Price

Richard Price
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 23, 1723
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Llangeinor, Wales
Died: April 19, 1791

 14 James Ivory

James Ivory
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: February 17, 1765
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dundee, Scotland
Died: September 21, 1842

 15 Thomas Chalmers

Thomas Chalmers
Famous As: Mathematician, Theologian, Writer, University teacher, Economist
Birthdate: March 17, 1780
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Anstruther
Died: May 30, 1847

Scottish Presbyterian minister and political economist Thomas Chalmers has been immortalized by the town of Port Chalmers in New Zealand, named after him. An ordained minister, he was initially a math lecturer. He later became the Free Church of Scotland’s first moderator. He tried applying Christian ethics to economic problems.

 16 John Arbuthnot

John Arbuthnot
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: April 29, 1667
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kincardineshire
Died: February 27, 1735

 17 Dugald Stewart

Dugald Stewart
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: November 22, 1753
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Edinburgh,Scotland
Died: June 11, 1828

 18 William George Horner

William George Horner
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: June 9, 1786
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: September 22, 1837

 19 William Hopkins

William Hopkins
Famous As: Mathematician, Geologist
Birthdate: February 2, 1793
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kingston on Soar
Died: October 13, 1866

William Hopkins was an English geologist and mathematician. He is remembered for serving as a private tutor of prospective undergraduate Cambridge mathematicians, which earned him the nickname senior-wrangler maker. Hopkins also played first-class cricket and was associated with Cambridge University Cricket Club. He had an unfortunate end to his life as he spent his final years in a lunatic asylum.

 20 John Playfair

John Playfair
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: March 10, 1748
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Angus council, United Kingdom
Died: July 20, 1819

 21 Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope

Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope
Famous As: Statesman
Birthdate: August 3, 1753
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 15, 1816

 22 John Machin

John Machin
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1686 AD
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: June 9, 1751

 23 Peter Barlow

Peter Barlow
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: October 13, 1776
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: March 1, 1862

 24 John Hadley

John Hadley
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 16, 1682
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bloomsbury, London, England
Died: February 14, 1744

 25 Jesse Ramsden

Jesse Ramsden
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: October 6, 1735
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Salterhebble, Halifax, England
Died: November 5, 1800

 26 Edward Waring

Edward Waring
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 1736 AD
Birthplace: Shrewsbury Old Heath, Shropshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 15, 1798

 27 John Keill

John Keill
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: December 1, 1671
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: August 31, 1721

 28 Benjamin Robins

Benjamin Robins
Famous As: Engineer and mathematician
Birthdate: 1707 AD
Birthplace: Bath, England
Died: July 20, 1751

 29 William Wales

William Wales
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: January 31, 1734
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warmfield cum Heath, England
Died: December 29, 1798

 30 Nathaniel Bliss

Nathaniel Bliss
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: November 28, 1700
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bisley, England
Died: September 2, 1764

 31 Eaton Hodgkinson

Eaton Hodgkinson
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: February 26, 1789
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: England
Died: June 18, 1861

 32 Alexander Wilson

Alexander Wilson
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: 1714 AD
Died: October 16, 1786

Apart from being a renowned astronomer, Alexander Wilson was also a qualified surgeon and once co-owned a type-founding business, too. He pioneered the use of kites in meteorological research and also co-founded the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He has a lunar crater named after him.

 33 John Landen

John Landen
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: January 23, 1719
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Peakirk, England
Died: January 15, 1790