Cayley, Arthur

Scope and Content

Nine foolscap pages of handwritten mathematical calculations and notes by Arthur Cayley entitled 'Areal Co-ordinates' (December 1891)

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Cayley, English mathematician, was born at Richmond, in Surrey, on the 16 August 1821, the second son of Henry Cayley, a Russian merchant, and Maria Antonia Doughty. His father, Henry Cayley, retired from business in 1829 and settled in Blackileath, where Arthur was sent to a private school kept by the Rev. G. B. F. Potticary; at the age of fourteen he was transferred to Kings College School, London. He soon showed that he was a boy of great capacity, and in particular that he was possessed of remarkable mathematical ability. On the advice of the school authorities he was entered at Trinity College, Cambridge, as a pensioner. He was there coached by William Hopkins of Peterhouse, was admitted a scholar of the college in May 1840, and graduated as senior wrangler in 1842, and obtained the first Smiths Prize at the next examination. In 1842, also, he was elected a fellow of Trinity, and became a major fellow in 1845, the year in which he proceeded to the M.A. degree. He was assistant tutor of Trinity for three years. In 1846, having decided to adopt the law as a profession, he left Cambridge, entered at Lincoln's Inn, and became a pupil of the conveyancer Mr Christie. He was called to the bar in 1849, and remained at the bar fourteen years, till 1863, when he was elected to the new Sadlerian professorship of pure mathematics at Cambridge University. He settled at Cambridge in the same year, and married Susan, daughter of Robert Moline of Greenwich. He continued to reside in Cambridge and to hold the professorship till his death on the 26 January 1895.


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Access Information

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Discovered in back pocket of Vol I of the work 'Mathematical papers reprinted from various publications' by Arthur Cayley (London, 1847-1894). The ten volumes were donated to the University of London Library by Miss Mary E Ricketts on 20 January 1920.

Other Finding Aids

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Archivist's Note

Separated Material

Other material relating to Arthur Cayley is held at Reading University Library (papers relating to Hansen's lunar theory, 1855 [MS 139]); Cambridge University Archives (album of posthumous newscuttings, photographs and watercolours, 1895-1912 [O.XIV 113]); the Royal Society (correpondence with Sir JFW Herschel); University College London, Manuscripts Room (letters to Thomas Hirst, c1860-1890); Cambridge University Library (letters to Lord Kelvin, 1845-1894 [Add 7342, 7656]); the Royal Astronomical Society Library (letters to the Royal Astronomical Society, 1864-1891) and St John's College Library, University of Cambridge (correpondence with James Sylvester, 1847-1893)

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.