Home » Library » Special collections » Manuscripts » Post-medieval manuscripts

St John's College W.21

Nicholas Sanderson, Lectures on the method of fluxions. English, eighteenth century

Nicholas Sanderson, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in the University of Cambridge (1683-1739): the first part of a work on fluxions and other mathematical treatises, eventually published as the Method of Fluxions applied to a select number of useful problems (London, 1756: SJC 4.18.83). The present contents appear to mirror the printed version, but break off abruptly at p. 124 of that edition. A preliminary note in the main hand explains that 'the right hand pages follow each other in order, and were all transcribed from the author's manuscripts. The opposite pages contain notes and illustrations, some of which were transcribed from loose papers of Dr Sanderson's, others were taken down as he dictated them at lectures, and others seem to be remarks of the transcriber's'. Details of another early eighteenth-century copy of Sanderson's Fluxions have been cut from a Henry Southeran sale catalogue of 'early 1946' and are held with the book.

Supplementary information 

248x195 mm. iii+65 fos (copyist's foliation, excluding the several folded and tipped-in diagrams). The vol. was at one stage owned by William Abbott (1733-1826), Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge (bookplate inside back cover), and on the strength of this association was eventually presented to the College by the Borough Librarian of Newport, Monmouthshire, in June 1946 (donor's letter held with the book). College bookplate (1937) inside front cover.

A single, small, extremely neat hand, with carefully drawn diagrams in the same hand. Paper, plain and watermarked, ruled in pencil with margins. Leather on boards, marbled endpapers, almost certainly contemporary with the writing. Spine title: 'Treatise on Fluxions'.

Groups: