Richard Pendlebury (1847-1902)

Richard Pendlebury entered St John's in 1866 and graduated senior wrangler in 1870. A fellowship followed, and from 1888 he served as University Lecturer in Mathematics. He collected both early mathematical texts and printed music, and was a pioneering Alpine mountaineer.

Pendlebury's bequest to the Library

After his death Pendlebury's collections of music were left to the Fitzwilliam Museum, but his mathematical collections came to St John's. They include many items of interest, in particular eight items of mathematical incunabula. Highlights include:

  • Several early printed editions of Euclid, including the first (1482), containing the oldest printed mathematical diagrams.
  • An early edition of Hyginus's Astronomicon poeticon (1488), with illustrations of the various constellations.
  • Several early works on algebra, arithmetic and the use of the abacus, for example Pietro Borgo's Aritmetica mercantile (1488) and an edition of Heinrich Stromer's Algorithmus linealis (1517).
  • A finely illuminated edition of Bartholomaeus's De proprietatibus rerum (1483).

Provenance markings

All the books which Pendlebury donated have a book label bearing Pendlebury's name. Several also have a gilt monogram stamped on both covers, representing his initials.