Reference numberMS/210
Title'Notae in Newtoni Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis', Volume 1 of the Gregory Papers
DescriptionOne volume of papers by David Gregory FRS, Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford concerning Sir Isaac Newton's work. The volume is entitled 'Notae in Newtoni Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis' and composed of a detailed commentary on the Principia Mathematica. Gregory's comments were partly incorporated into the second edition of the Principia.
Physical descriptionOne bound album, MS Large. 'Notae in Newtoni' is composed of a main manuscript by David Gregory containing 213 pages, including pasted-in notes and an additional 10 photographs of additional notes by Gregory taken from the Aberdeen University Gregory Papers were inserted. Two other manuscripts in Gregory's hand are added at the end of the volume, respectively 4 and 9 pages long.
ArrangementVolume one contains papers relating to Principia; Volume Two contains papers of the Gregory family members and some papers in Newton's hand.
Finding aidsVolume Two of the Gregory Papers (MS/247) contains a table of contents, and all the items are catalogued in the Archive card catalogue.
Access statusOpen
Administrative historyPapers of the Gregory family, in two volumes. Volume One includes writings by Sir Isaac Newton, friend of David Gregory, Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford. Volume Two also includes some papers of Sir Isaac Newton, as well as papers of ;
A - David Gregory of Kinnairdie (1627-1720), inventor, apprenticed by his father to a mercantile house in Holland. Returned in 1655, and succeeded to the estate of Kinnairdie on the death of an older brother. Highly regarded in medicine, having a large gratuitous practice both among the poor, and people of standing. First man in Aberdeenshire to possess a barometer, and his weather forecasts exposed him to suspicions of witchcraft. Moved to Aberdeen and investigated artillery. With help of an Aberdeen watchmaker constructed an improved model of a cannon, forwarding it to his eldest son David , and to Newton, who held it was 'for the diabolical purpose of increasing carnage', and who urged him to break it up
B - David Gregory (1661-1708, FRS 1692), astronomer, son of David Gregorie (1627-1720). Professor of Mathematics at Edinburgh University in 1683, first professor to lecture publicly on Newtonian philosophy, enthusiastic promoter of Newton's 'Principia'. In 1691 went to Oxford where introduced to Newton, who became an intimate friend and who with Flamsteed influenced his appointment as Savilian Professor of Astronomy in Oxford. His principal work 'Astronomiae Physicae et Geometricae Elementa' in 1702 was the first text book composed on gravitational principles and remodelling astronomy in conformity with physical theory. Approved by Newton, who had included in it his lunar theory, and for which he wrote a preface. Gregory was a skilful mathematician who left manuscript treatises on fluxions, trigonometry, mechanics and hydrostatics, and who was also known for his printing in 1703 of all the writings attributed, with any show of authority, to Euclid.
C - James Gregory (1638-1675, FRS 1668) mathematician and elder brother of David Gregory (1627-1708) His scientific talent was discovered and encouraged by his brother, and in 1663 at age 24 he published his 'Optica Promota' containing the first feasible description of a reflecting telescope, his invention of it dating from 1661, and inspiring Newton to make his own reflecting telescope. Studied mathematics in Padua 1664-1667, publishing 'Vera Circuli et Hyperbolae Quadratura' in 1667, showing how to find the areas of the circle, elipse, and hyoerbole by means of converging series, and applying the same new method to calculation of logarithms. Friendly debate with Newton 1672-1673 as to merits of their respective telescopes. From 1674 first exclusively mathematical professor at Edinburgh.
Related materialMS/247 (volume 2 of the Gregory Papers)
See also Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library, miscellaneous correspondence and papers, 1683-1708; St Andrews University Library, treatise and lecture notes; Christ Church Archives, Oxford University, notes and tables; University of Toronto Library, papers (copies); Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, Cambridge University Library, letters to Sir Isaac Newton 1684-1702; Manuscript Collections, British Library, letters mainly to Sir Hans Sloane, 1695-1704.
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