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400
years of
MATHEMATICS
by T. D. Spearman
THE
EIGHTEENTH
CENTURY
The dominating influence of Newton had an unfortunate effect in
turning the attention of English and Irish mathematicians away from
the important developments taking place on the Continent. In
consequence the contribution of Trinity mathematicians during the 18th
century was not as distinguished as it otherwise might have been.
There were, nevertheless, some able people such as William Hales, Hugh
Hamilton, Richard Murray and Matthew Young. When Hales' Analysis
Aequationum was published in 1784 the great French
mathematician lagrange wrote of it `La clarté et la précision qui
régnent dans cet ouvrage et la réunion qu'il présent des méthodes
élémentaires et des théories sublimes doivent lui donner un des
premiers rangs parmi ceux de son genre.' Hamilton published
books on conic sections and on natural philosophy, and Young wrote
An enquiry into the principal phenomena of sounds and musical
strings. Murray, who was Professor of Mathematics from 1764
until 1795 when he became Provost, was influential as a teacher,
particularly towards the candidates for Fellowship. The philosopher
George Berkeley, who was a Fellow from 1707 to 1724 was an early
critic of the underlying basis of Newton's calculus.
The establishment of the two Chairs of Natural Philosophy and of
Mathematics was of particular importance for the development of the
mathematical school. Both Chairs were endowed by the Governors of the
Erasmus Smith Schools: that of Natural Philosophy in 1724 and of
Mathematics in 1762. Another professorship of special relevance to
mathematics was that of astronomy which was created by the bequest of
provost Andrews who died in 1774, and based in Dunsink Observatory.
Many of the incumbents of this chair were distinguished
mathematicians: Brinkly, Ball, Whittaker; and the preeminent figure
in Trinity mathematics, William Rowan Hamilton.

George Berkeley; Fellow 1707 to 1724,Bishop of
Cloyne 1734 to 1753. Berkeley was strongly critical of the conceptual
basis of Newton's calculus. He would not accept the concept of
infinitesimal quantities and wrote scathingly of the "evanescent
increments... May we not call them ghosts of departed quantities."
ERASMUS SMITH'S
professors of Mathematics

1762 
John Stokes 
1764 
Richard Murray 
1795 
Thomas Elrington 
1799 
George Hall 
1800 
William Magee 
1813 
Bartholomew Lloyd 
1822 
James Wilson 
1825 
Franc Sandleir 
1835 
James MacCullagh 
1843 
Charles Graves 
1862 
Michael Roberts 
1879 
William Snow Burnside 
1914 
Stephen Barnabas Kelleher 
1917 
Robert Russell 

[Vacant: 19216] 
1926 
Charles Henry Rowe 
1944 
Timothy Stanislaus Broderick 
1962 
Heini Halberstam 
1964 
Gabriel Andrew Dirac 
196689 
Brian Hughes Murdoch 

ERASMUS SMITH'S
professors of Natural and Experimental Philosophy

1724  Richard Helsham 
1738  Caleb Cartwright 
 [Vacant: 17435] 
1745  William Clement 
1759  Hugh Hamilton 
1769  Thomas Wilson 
1786  Matthew Young 
1799  Thomas Erlington 
1807  William Davenport 
1822  Bartholomew Lloyd 
1831  Humphrey Lloyd 
1843  James McCullagh 
1848  Robert Vickers Dixon 
1854  Joseph Allen Galbraith 
1870  John Robert Leslie 
1881  George Francis Fitzgerald 
1901  William Edward Thrift 
1929  Robert William Ditchburn 
1946  Ernest Thomas Swinton Walton 
1974  Brian Henderson 
1984  Denis Lawrence Weaire 

UNIVERSITY
PROFESSORS of Natural Philosophy

1847  John Hewitt Jellett 
1870  John Hewitt Jellett 
1884  Benjamin Williamson 
1890  Francis Alexander Tarlington 
1902  Frederick Purser 
1910  Matthew Wyatt Joseph Fry 
1925  John Lighton Synge 
1930  Albert Joseph McConnell 
 [Vacant: 195762] 
1962  John Stephen Roy Chisholm 
1966  Thomas David Spearman 
ANDREWS
PROFESSORS of Astronomy

1783  Henry Ussher 
1790  John Brinkley 
1827  William Rowan Hamilton 
1865  Franz Friedrich Ernst Brünnow 
1874  Robert Stawell Ball 
1892  Arthur Alcock Rambaut 
1897  Charles Jasper Joly 
1906  Edmund Taylor Whittaker 

The Erasmus Smith Chair of Experimental and Natural Philosophy, from
its
foundation in 1724 until the establishment of the University Chair of
Natural Philosophy in 1847, maintained a theoretical and mathematical
orientation. Several incumbents of the mathematics Chair, including
Bartholomew Lloyd and James Mac Cullagh progressed from it to that of
Natural Philosophy. After 1847 this mathematically inclined
tradition
was continued by the University Chair of Natural Philosophy which was
in effect, and still is today, the Chair of applied mathematics and
theoretical physics, while the Erasmus Smith Chair became the Chair
or experimental physics.
The Andrews Chair of Astronomy, which from 1792 until 1921 also
carried
the title of Royal Astronomer of Ireland, was established in 1783.
It was suspended in 1921 but reestablished as a parttime honorary
chair in 1984. Many of its incumbents were mathematicians.