Birth: 1662 - Circa

Place or Registered Place of Birth: Not Known

Baptism: Not Known

Place of Baptism: Not Known

Death: Not Known

Place or Registered Place of Death: Not Known

Father: Thomas Paget

Mother: Elizabeth Pepper

Spouse(s): Not Known

Date of Marriage: Not Known

Place or Registered Place of Marriage: Not Known


Autograph letter to Joseph Paget of Ibstock.

1730. 1730 - Simpson, Thomas (1710-61). Autograph letter to Joseph Paget (1700-1787). N.p., n.d. (after 1730). 1 page. 291 x 189 mm. Marginal fraying slightly affecting some words of text, some foxing and browning. Docketed on the verso: "The letter of Simpson the Mathematician to Joseph Paget of Ibstock."An extraordinary letter from the mathematician Thomas Simpson illuminating some of the problems in his marriage and personal life. Simpson, the son of a weaver, developed an interest in mathematics through his studies in astrology. He began teaching the subject in Nuneaton, Warwickshire in 1725, when he was fifteen. He married his landlady, a Nuneaton widow, in 1730; three years later the couple was forced to flee to Derby "after [Simpson] or his assistant had frightened a girl by dressing up as a devil during an astrology session" (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography). By 1736 Simpson had moved to London, where he began contributing mathematical articles to the Ladies' Diary; in 1737 he published his first book, A New Treatise of Fluxions. After this Simpson wrote several other works, including The Doctrine and Application of Fluxions (1750), considered to be the best eighteenth-century work on Newton's version of the calculus, and "On the Advantage of Taking the Mean of a Number of Observations, in Practical Astronomy" (Phil. Trans. 49 [1855]), containing the first attempt at a mathematical proof of the law of large numbers. He was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1745.Charles Hutton's biographical memoir of Simpson, appended to the 1792 edition of Simpson's Select Exercises for Young Proficients in the Mathematicks, hints at difficulties created for Simpson by "the misconduct of his family." Some of this misconduct is alluded to in Simpson's letter. Written to Joseph Paget, a member of the landed gentry in Leicestershire, the letter suggests that Paget may have fathered children on Simpson's wife prior to her marriage to Simpson:"I have once more persum'd to desire to know wheather you will allow any thing with these children or not for I should be very loath to turn them on you if you would alow me any thing like but without some help I am not capable to take care of them and tho you tell me of the goods my wife had when I maried her I dare make oath if occasion was that I had not the worth of 10 shillings with her for all those few goods she had left were made over to her brother at Leicester long enough before she ever troubled you but if she had been worth a 100 pound you cou'd not have forc'd me to keep the children nor have sold the goods unless you had mark'd them before and as for her having mony of you since she was maried if she had it it was not for her nor me nor half sufficient to maintain those who did and will belong to you whom wee might have turned on you the first day if wee had been so minded but whatever ill you may think I have doon you on that account I am bold to tell you if it had not been for me you wou'd not have come off so well as you did or else the 18d or 2s a week which I gave her all this summer whilst I was at Leicester was bestow'd to little purpose." The letter also touches on Simpson's reputation as a master of the occult:". as to your calumnious and insulting speeches of soothsayer conjurer impudent blockhead which you largely bestow'd on me I shall be bold to answer that for conjuring or any unlawful art I am as much a stranger to as you but for either mathematical or philosophical learning I shall dare to answer any in that opposes me."Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain (1871), p. 1042. 40467 [Attributes: Hard Cover]

Joseph Paget