Important People, Terms, and Events
December 25, 1642:
·Birth of Isaac Newton in Woolsthorpe, England
·Hannah Newton remarries and moves away, leaving her
son to be raised by an uncle.
January 30, 1649:
·Charles I beheaded by Cromwell and the Puritans.
·Death of Hannah's second husband; she returns to live
with Isaac, bringing three children with her from her second marriage.
·Newton enrolls in the Grantham Grammar School
September 3, 1658:
·Death of Cromwell.
·Charles II crowned King of England, Restoration begins
·Newton enrolls in Trinity College, Cambridge.
·Founding of the Royal Society
·Newton receives his bachelor of arts from Trinity
·Fire in London. Outbreak of plague drives Newton
to retire to his mother's home in Woolsthorpe. Newton conducts
prism experiments, discovers spectrum of light; works out his system
of "fluxions," precursor of modern calculus; begins to consider
the idea of gravity.
·Newton appointed Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at
Trinity, a position he will hold for the next thirty-four years.
January 11, 1672:
·Newton elected to the Royal Society
·Newton's paper on optics and his prism experiments
sent to the Society. Rivalry with Hooke begins.
·Newton works on the mathematics of gravitation in
his home in Cambridge.
·Hooke writes book in which he suggests existence of
"attractive powers," akin to gravity.
·Death of Hannah Newton
·Hooke discusses principle of inverse squares with
Christopher Wren and Halley
·Halley goes to visit Newton in Cambridge, where they
discuss the principle inverse squares and its relationship with
·Newton completes his calculations on gravity and shares
them with Halley, who urges him to publish.
·Newton sends a brief treatise, Propositiones
de Motu, to the Royal Society, outlining his findings.
·Newton presents the first book of the Principia to
the Royal Society.
·Publication of the complete Principia
·Glorious Revolution in England. James II flees to
France, William and Mary take the throne.
·Newton elected as Cambridge's representative to Parliament.
·Newton's "Black Year." He is plagued by depression
and insomnia, and apparently suffers a nervous breakdown in September.
·Newton appointed warden of the Mint, to oversee the implementation
of a new currency. He leaves Cambridge and moves to London.
·Newton named master of the Mint.
·Death of Hooke; Newton elected President of the Royal
·Publication of Opticks; beginning
of feud with Leibniz.
·Newton knighted by Queen Anne.
·Royal Society commission, under Newton's direction, investigates
the competing claims of Leibniz and Newton to having developed calculus,
and decides in favor of Newton.
·Second edition of the Principia published.
November 14, 1714:
·Death of Leibniz
·Third edition of the Principia published;
all reference to Leibniz has been removed.
March 20, 1727:
·Death of Sir Isaac Newton, in London.