[NEWTON, Isaac (1642-1727)] – Nathaniel HAWES (d.1700)
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[NEWTON, Isaac (1642-1727)] – Nathaniel HAWES (d.1700)

Autograph letter signed to Newton by Nathaniel Hawes, Christ's Hospital, London, 29 May 1694.

Details
[NEWTON, Isaac (1642-1727)] – Nathaniel HAWES (d.1700)
Autograph letter signed to Newton by Nathaniel Hawes, Christ's Hospital, London, 29 May 1694.
In English. Half page, 296 x 187mm. Provenance: With Maggs Bros, London, catalogue 641, Spring 1937, item 167 and catalogue 737, 1944, item 1002.

Praise for the 'candour & ingenuity [of] Mr Newton' in devising a mathematics curriculum for his school. Hawes, treasurer of Christ's Hospital school, writes to thank Newton for drafting a mathematics course for his pupils: 'Your letters and papers both by the Carrier and post are safe come to hand; wherein you have taken soe great paines & care, and express'd soe great Kindnes withal, as could not have bin expected from anybody of les[s] candour & ingenuity then Mr Newton, nor could any thing les[s] then soe great an advantage to our House and the Publique as your advises wil amount to have animated you w[i]th soe much courage & patience'; Hawes's thanks are however 'of very smal & inconsiderable accompt, if compar'd with the Satisfaction of your owne mind to have soe greatly contributed to soe useful & beneficial a science'. Further thanks will follow from the governors of Christ's Hospital as soon as Hawes forwards Newton's paper to them.

Hawes had written to Newton inviting his comments on a new curriculum proposed by Edward Paget for the Royal Mathematical School which had been founded at Christ's Hospital in 1673 in order to teach boys the mathematics necessary for navigation: Newton responded at considerable length in a letter to Hawes of 25 May, followed by another on 26 May, underlining in particular the importance of the study of 'force and motion' (i.e. mechanics, derived from Principia) alongside geometry, and that the time spent studying mathematics should be extended from two years to three, or ideally even four or five. In spite of Hawes's thanks in the present letter, and a later letter of thanks from the governors of the school, his recommendations were in the end not pursued. Hawes had been treasurer of Christ's Hospital since 1683, but was forced to resign in 1699 after being attacked by Samuel Pepys for mismanagement of the Mathematical School.
Special notice

This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Eugenio Donadoni
Eugenio Donadoni Senior Specialist, Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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