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THOMAS SIMPSON (1710-1761)

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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 136 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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THOMAS SIMPSON (1710-1761), English mathematician, was born at Market Bosworth in Leicestershire on the loth of August 1710. His father was a stuff weaver, and, intending to bring his son up to his own business, took little care of the boy's education. Young Simpson was so eager for knowledge that he neglected his weaving, and in consequence of a quarrel was forced to leave his father's house. He settled for a short time at Nuneaton at the house of a Mrs Swinfield, whom he afterwards married, where he met a pedlar who practised fortune-telling. Simpson was induced to cast nativities himself, and soon became the oracle of the neighbourhood; but he became convinced of the imposture of astrology, and he abandoned this calling. After a residence of two or three years at Derby, where be worked as a weaver during the day and taught pupils in the evenings, he went to London. The number of his pupils in-creased; his abilities became more widely known; and he was enabled to publish by subscription his Treatise of Fluxions in 1737. This treatise abounded with errors of the press, and contained several obscurities and defects incidental to the author's want of experience and the disadvantages under which His first play, Crutch and Toothpick, was produced at the Royalty Theatre in April 1879, and was followed by a number of plays of which he was author or part-author. After long runs at west end houses, many of these became stock pieces in suburban and provincial theatres. His most famous melodramas were: The Lights of London (Princess's theatre, September 1881), which ran for nearly a year; In the Ranks (Adelphi, Oct. 1883), written with H. Pettit, which ran for 457 nights; Harbour Lights (1885), which ran for 513 nights; Two Little Vagabonds (Princess's Theatre, 1896–1897). He was part-author with Cecil Raleigh of the burlesque opera, Little Christopher Columbus (1893), and among his musical plays were Blue-eyed Susan (Prince of Wales's, 1892) and The Dandy Fifth (Birmingham, 1898). His early volumes of light verse were very popular, notably The Dagonet Ballads (1882), reprinted from the Referee. How the Poor Live (1883) and his articles on the housing of the poor in the Daily News helped to arouse public opinion on the subject, which was dealt with in the act of 1885.
End of Article: THOMAS SIMPSON (1710-1761)
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