Famous 19th Century British Mathematicians

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century British Mathematicians, including George Boole, Ada Lovelace, James Clerk Maxwell, Bertrand Russell and Lewis Carroll.

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 Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace.
27
Famous As: Countess of Lovelace
Birthdate: December 10, 1815
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: November 27, 1852

Ada Lovelace was a mathematician known for her work on the Analytical Engine, a mechanical general-purpose computer proposed by Charles Babbage. Many believe that Lovelace was the first to recognize the potential of computers. It is also believed that she published the first algorithm after realizing that the algorithm could be carried out by a machine like the Analytical Engine.

 2 Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell.
13
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 18, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trellech, Monmouthshire, Wales
Died: February 2, 1970

Bertrand Russell was a British polymath and Nobel laureate. His work, which is spread across various fields, has had a considerable influence on philosophy, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, linguistics, and logic. Russell is also credited with leading the revolt against idealism in Britain and is regarded as one of the founders of analytic philosophy.

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 3 George Boole

George Boole.
11
Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher and Logician
Birthdate: November 2, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lincoln
Died: December 8, 1864

George Boole is remembered for pioneering Boolean algebra, a tool used in digital computer circuits. More of a self-taught mathematician, Boole began teaching at 16 and later grew up to be a math professor at Queen’s College, Cork. His work in differential equations and algebraic logic was groundbreaking.

 4 G. H. Hardy

G. H. Hardy.
13
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: February 7, 1877
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cranleigh, United Kingdom
Died: December 1, 1947

English mathematician G. H. Hardy is best recognised for his work and achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis, and also as mentor of distinguished Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. He is noted for his essay on mathematics titled A Mathematician's Apology. He also made his mark in biology formulating a basic principle of population genetics called Hardy–Weinberg principle.  

 5 Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein.
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 26, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 29, 1951

Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is remembered for his works related to logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of mathematics, and the philosophy of language. He taught at the University of Cambridge for many years. He published only one book during his lifetime. Most of his manuscripts were collected later and published posthumously.

 6 Lord Kelvin

Lord Kelvin.
4
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist
Birthdate: June 26, 1824
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Belfast
Died: December 17, 1907

Lord Kelvin was a British mathematical physicist and engineer. He studied at the Glasgow University and proceeded to teach there as well. Besides his academic career, he also had a career as an electric telegraph engineer and inventor. He received the Royal Society's Copley Medal in 1883. Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honor.

 7 Arthur Eddington

Arthur Eddington.
3
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: December 28, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kendal
Died: November 22, 1944

Arthur Eddington was an English physicist, astronomer, and mathematician. He wrote numerous articles that explained Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity to the English-speaking world. He began his career in academics and eventually shifted to astronomy, becoming the chief assistant to the Astronomer Royal at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. He was a recipient of the Henry Draper Medal. 

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 8 Alfred North Whitehead

Alfred North Whitehead.
9
Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher
Birthdate: February 15, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ramsgate, Kent, England
Died: December 30, 1947

Alfred North Whitehead was a British mathematician and philosopher, best known for his collaboration with his student Bertrand Russell on Principal of Mathematics, a three-volume work on the foundations of mathematics. Also known for his pioneering works on process philosophy and metaphysics, he is credited with developing a comprehensive metaphysical system that differs from most Western philosophies.

 9 Arthur Cayley

Arthur Cayley.
3
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: August 16, 1821
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Richmond, Surrey, UK
Died: January 26, 1895

 10 Ronald Ross

Ronald Ross.
3
Famous As: Medical doctor
Birthdate: May 13, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Almora
Died: September 16, 1932

Nobel Prize-winning British doctor Ronald Ross is best remembered for his pathbreaking work on malaria, which proved that the disease was caused by the Anopheles variant of mosquitoes. After his extensive research in India, he went back to London, where he was knighted. He also wrote poetry and songs.

 11 Karl Pearson

Karl Pearson
3
Famous As: Mathematician, Historian of mathematics, Statistician, Historian, Philosopher, Biographer
Birthdate: March 27, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London
Died: April 27, 1936

One of the greatest statisticians of all time, Karl Pearson established the first university-level statistics department at UCL and also launched the statistics-oriented journal Biometrika. He was also well-versed in law and believed in eugenics. His The Grammar of Science later inspired Albert Einstein and other scientists.

 12 John Edensor Littlewood

John Edensor Littlewood
3
Famous As: Mathematician, University teacher
Birthdate: June 9, 1885
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rochester
Died: September 6, 1977

 13 Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville
6
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.

 14 Oliver Heaviside

Oliver Heaviside
3
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist, Engineer, Telegraphy
Birthdate: May 18, 1850
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Camden Town
Died: February 3, 1925

Oliver Heaviside was an English mathematician and physicist. He invented a new technique for solving differential equations and independently developed vector calculus. He is also credited with rewriting Maxwell's equations in the form commonly used today. He formulated the telegrapher’s equations and invented the Heaviside step function as well. In 1922, he received the Faraday Medal.

 15 John Venn

John Venn.
3
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: August 4, 1834
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kingston upon Hull
Died: April 4, 1923

 16 Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet

Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet.
3
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: August 13, 1819
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Skreen
Died: February 1, 1903

Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet was an Anglo-Irish physicist and mathematician. He studied at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and spent his entire career at the University of Cambridge as the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. As a physicist, he made key contributions to fluid mechanics and physical optics. He received the Royal Society's Copley Medal in 1893.

 17 Alastair Denniston

Alastair Denniston
3
Famous As: Field hockey player, Cryptographer, Mathematician
Birthdate: December 1, 1881
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Greenock
Died: January 1, 1961

Alastair Denniston was a Scottish code breaker and hockey player. He was deputy head of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) from 1919 to 1942. As a member of the Scottish Olympic hockey team in 1908, he won a bronze medal. He worked as a code breaker during the war years. He taught French and Latin following his retirement. 

 18 William Henry Bragg

William Henry Bragg.
3
Famous As: Nobel Prize Winner in Physics
Birthdate: July 2, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wigton
Died: March 10, 1942

William Henry Bragg was an English physicist, chemist, and mathematician. He is best known for sharing the  1915 Nobel Prize in Physics with his son Lawrence Bragg for their work in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays. William Henry Bragg had an illustrious academic career and was elected president of the Royal Society in 1935. 

 19 George Green

George Green
3
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.

 20 William Kingdon Clifford

William Kingdon Clifford
3
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: May 4, 1845
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Exeter, England
Died: March 3, 1879

 21 George Biddell Airy

George Biddell Airy
3
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: July 27, 1801
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Alnwick, England
Died: January 2, 1892
English astronomer George Biddell Airy is best known for locating Greenwich as the prime meridian. He was ripped apart by critics for allegedly failing to help British astronomer John Couch Adams to discover Neptune. The Astronomer Royal was also the first to cure astigmatism by using cylindrical lenses.

 22 James Joseph Sylvester

James Joseph Sylvester
2
Famous As: Mathematician, Actuary, University teacher
Birthdate: September 3, 1814
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London
Died: March 15, 1897

 23 George Darwin

George Darwin
2
Famous As: Barrister
Birthdate: July 9, 1845
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Down House, Downe, Kent, England
Died: December 7, 1912

 24 Lewis Fry Richardson

Lewis Fry Richardson
2
Famous As: Paramedic, Cartographer, Mathematician, Psychologist, Physicist, Meteorologist
Birthdate: October 11, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne
Died: September 30, 1953

British physicist, meteorologist, mathematician, psychologist and pacifist Lewis Fry Richardson was the first to apply modern mathematical techniques of weather forecasting to predict weather accurately. He also pioneered the use of similar methods in studying reasons of wars and the way to stop them. He proposed the iterative method called modified Richardson iteration for solving a system of linear equations.

 25 Francis Ysidro Edgeworth

Francis Ysidro Edgeworth
2
Famous As: Economist, Statistician, Lawyer, Mathematician
Birthdate: February 8, 1845
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: County Longford
Died: February 13, 1926

Francis Ysidro Edgeworth was an Anglo-Irish economist and statistician, known for his significant contributions to the methods of statistics. An autodidact in mathematics and economics, he imaginatively applied mathematics to the fields of economics and statistics, writing several books, including Mathematical Psychics, presenting new ideas on various topics like on the generalized utility function, the indifference curve etc.  .

 26 G. I. Taylor

G. I. Taylor
2
Famous As: Physicist, Engineer, Mathematician, Meteorologist
Birthdate: March 7, 1886
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: England
Died: June 27, 1975

G. I. Taylor was a British physicist and mathematician. He was a key figure in fluid dynamics and wave theory. He worked on the development of supersonic aircraft while serving on the Aeronautical Research Committee. Counted among the most notable scientists of the 20th century, he was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Franklin Medal. 

 27 Mary Everest Boole

Mary Everest Boole
2
Famous As: mathematician, philosopher
Birthdate: 1832 AD
Birthplace: Wickwar
Died: 1916 AD

 28 E. T. Whittaker

E. T. Whittaker
2
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: October 24, 1873
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Southport, England
Died: March 24, 1956

 29 John Couch Adams

John Couch Adams
2
Famous As: Mathematician, Astronomer, University teacher
Birthdate: June 5, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Laneast
Died: January 21, 1892

 30 James Jeans

James Jeans
2
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: September 11, 1877
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 16, 1946

James Jeans was an English physicist, astronomer, and mathematician who made great contributions to the areas of quantum theory, the theory of radiation, and stellar evolution. Along with Arthur Eddington, Jeans is a founder of British cosmology. He spent his academic career at Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Princeton University. He received the Royal Medal in 1919. 

 31 Charles Howard Hinton

Charles Howard Hinton
2
Famous As: Mathematician, writer, science fiction writer
Birthdate: 1853 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: April 30, 1907

 32 Hertha Ayrton

Hertha Ayrton
2
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: April 28, 1854
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Portsea Island, England
Died: August 26, 1923

Hertha Ayrton was a British engineer,  physicist, mathematician, and inventor. She is remembered for her work on electric arcs and ripple marks in sand and water, for which she was awarded the Hughes Medal by the Royal Society. As a woman in the 19th century, she had to face innumerable struggles in her career. She was also a passionate suffragist. 

 33 Eric Temple Bell

Eric Temple Bell
2
Famous As: Mathematician, Historian of mathematics, Novelist, Writer, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: February 7, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Peterhead
Died: December 21, 1960

Born to a Scottish factor, mathematician Eric Temple Bell spent most of his life in the U.S. The Stanford alumnus contributed to the analytic number theory and also taught math at institutes such as Caltech. He also penned sci-fi novels such as The Time Stream as John Taine.

 34 Dugald Stewart

Dugald Stewart
2
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: November 22, 1753
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Edinburgh,Scotland
Died: June 11, 1828

 35 Harold Jeffreys

Harold Jeffreys
2
Famous As: Mathematical statistician
Birthdate: April 22, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fatfield, Washington, England
Died: March 18, 1989

 36 G. S. Carr

G. S. Carr
1
Birthdate: 0000 AD

 37 William George Horner

William George Horner
1
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: June 9, 1786
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: September 22, 1837

 38 Horace Lamb

Horace Lamb
1
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: November 27, 1849
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, England
Died: December 4, 1934

 39 John Playfair

John Playfair
1
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: March 10, 1748
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Angus council, United Kingdom
Died: July 20, 1819

 40 Arthur Schuster

Arthur Schuster
1
Birthdate: 0000 AD

 41 Douglas Hartree

Douglas Hartree
1
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: March 27, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cambridge, England
Died: February 12, 1958

 42 Sydney Chapman

Sydney Chapman
1
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: January 29, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Eccles, England
Died: June 16, 1970

 43 Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope

Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope
1
Famous As: Statesman
Birthdate: August 3, 1753
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 15, 1816

 44 Augustus Edward Hough Love

Augustus Edward Hough Love
1
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 17, 1863
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Weston-super-Mare, England
Died: June 5, 1940

 45 Edward Arthur Milne

Edward Arthur Milne.
1
Famous As: Astrophysicist
Birthdate: February 14, 1896
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kingston upon Hull
Died: September 21, 1950

 46 Alexander John Ellis

Alexander John Ellis
1
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: June 14, 1814
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hoxton, Middlesex, England
Died: October 28, 1890

 47 Udny Yule

Udny Yule
1
Birthdate: 0000 AD

 48 John Colenso

John Colenso
1
Birthdate: January 24, 1814
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: June 20, 1883

 49 Peter Barlow

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

 50 Henry John Stephen Smith

Henry John Stephen Smith
1
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: November 2, 1826
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 9, 1883