Charles Hutton, Coal Hewer to Mathematician

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Discover the life of Newcastle’s Charles Hutton, once a coal hewer in the 1770s, who died a well respected mathematician.

This extract from History, topography, and directory of Northumberland, comprising a general survey of the county, and a history of the town and county of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with separate historical, statistical, and descriptive sketches of the boroughs of Gateshead and Berwick-upon-Tweed, and all the towns … wards, and manors. To which is subjoined a list of the seats of the nobility and gentry, which was published by William Whellan & Co. in 1855, gives us some information on the life of Charles Hutton, born in Newcastle’s Percy Street.

Charles Hutton, L.L.D., F.R.S. was born in Percy-street, Newcastle- upon-Tyne.

Like many others he was entirely a self-taught mathematician.

In the early part of his life he worked as a hewer in Old Long Benton Colliery, but not being able to continue at such laborious employment, he opened a school in Jesmond village, and afterwards removed to Newcastle, where he taught with great success till 1773, when he was appointed by the Board of Ordnance to the professorship of mathematics in the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.

The following year he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.

His publications were very numerous, and for a long period have occupied a very high position as mathematical treatises.

He died at his house in Bedford Row, London, on the 27th January, 1823, in the 86th year of his age.

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