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ROBERT MURPHY (1806-1843)

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Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 38 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ROBERT MURPHY (1806-1843), British mathematician, the son of a poor shoemaker, was born at Mallow, in Ireland, in 18o6. At the age of thirteen, while working as an apprentice in his father's shop, he became known to certain gentlemen in the neighbourhood as a self-taught mathematician. Through their exertions, after attending a classical school in his native town, he was admitted to Caius College, Cambridge, in 1825. Third wrangler in 1829, he was elected in the same year a fellow of his college. A course of dissipation led him into debt; his fellowship was sequestered for the benefit of his creditors, and he was obliged to leave Cambridge in December 1832. After living for some time with his relations in Ireland, he repaired to London in 1836, a penniless literary adventurer. In 1838 he became examiner in mathematics and physics at London University. He had already contributed several mathematical papers to the Cambridge Philosophical Transactions (1831–1836), Philosophical Magazine (1833–1842), and the Philosophical Transactions (1837), and had published Elementary Principles of the Theories of Electricity (1833). He now wrote for the " Library of Useful Knowledge " a Treatise on the Theory of Algebraical Equations (1839). He died on the 12th of March 1843.
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