Graves Lecture Notes (MS ADD 53)

Scope and Content

The text of twelve lectures on Equity, delivered by Graves during his professorship at University College London.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in Dublin, 1806; undergraduate at Trinity College, Dublin; distinguished himself in science and classics; a contemporary and friend of Sir William Rowan Hamilton; researches respecting exponential functions led him to important results, 1826; graduated BA, 1827; printed in the 'Philosophical Transactions' the discovery of two arbitrary and independent integers in the complete expression of an imaginary logarithm, and considered it a solution for various difficulties that had perplexed mathematicians, believing that he had elucidated the subject of the logarithms of negative and imaginary quantities, 1829; removed to Oxford and became an incorporated member of Oriel College, 1830; entered the King's Inns, Dublin, 1830; MA, Oxford, 1831; MA, Dublin, 1832; called to the English bar as member of the Inner Temple, 1831; for a short time went on the western circuit; since his mathematical conclusions were not at first universally accepted by contemporaries such as Sir John Herschel, he communicated to the British Association a defence and explanation of his discovery, supported by Sir William Rowan Hamilton's paper published in the British Association's 'Report', 1834; corresponded for many years with Hamilton, also interested in algebraical science and imaginaries, who communicated his discovery of quaternions to Graves first of all, and acknowledged his debt to his friend for his stimulus in 1843; Graves continued his mathematical investigations; stimulated Sir William Rowan Hamilton in the study of polyhedra, and received from him the first intimation of the discovery of the icosian calculus; contributed various papers on mathematical subjects to the 'Philosophical Magazine', 'London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine' and others, 1836-1856; member of the committee of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge; elected a member of the Royal Society, 1839; subsequently sat on its council; Professor of Jurisprudence, University College London, 1839-1843; elected an examiner in laws in the University of London; twelve lectures on the law of nations were reported in the 'Law Times' from 1845; a member of the Philological Society and of the Royal Society of Literature; appointed an assistant Poor Law Commissioner, 1846; appointed a poor-law inspector of England and Wales, 1847; died, 1870. Publications: articles on Roman law and canon law for the 'Encyclopdia Metropolitana'; articles in Sir William Smith's 'Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography' (3 volumes, London, 1844-1849), including lives of the jurists Cato, Crassus, Drusus, Gaius, and an article on the legislation of Justinian; various scientific papers.

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Related Material

University College London Special Collections also holds lectures by Graves on jurisprudence, delivered during his professorship at University College London (Ref: MS ADD 4); documents relating to his career, 1827-1922 (Ref: MS ADD 116); Appointment Committee Report on Graves regarding the Chair of Jurisprudence, 1839 (Ref: LIB/CA/APPMINSA/012); 23 letters to the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1840-1845 (Ref: SDUK); a letter to Graves from S Maynard, bookseller, 1861 (Ref: MS MISC 1N); a letter from Philip Beecroft to Graves, 1854 (Ref: GRAVES TRACTS A5309); an undated letter to Augustus de Morgan (Ref: S.R.E.810.D2/21b); anagrams on the name Augustus de Morgan (Ref: MS GRAVES 36); letters relating to University College London business, 1839-1849 (Ref: COLLEGE CORRESPONDENCE); letters and manuscripts, 1727-1857 and undated, on scientific subjects collected by Graves (Ref: MS GRAVES 23); and other manuscripts collected by Graves, many on mathematical subjects (Ref: MS GRAVES). University College London also holds the Graves Library, comprising 14,000 volumes on law, classics and mathematics, mainly early works on mathematics and also touching upon the history of physics, chemistry and the biological sciences, and notably including works on Euclid.