December 25, 1642: ·Birth of Isaac Newton in Woolsthorpe, England
January 1646: ·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.
1653: ·Death of Hannah's second husband; she returns to live
with Isaac, bringing three children with her from her second marriage.
1654: ·Newton enrolls in the Grantham Grammar School
September 3, 1658: ·Death of Cromwell.
1660: ·Charles II crowned King of England, Restoration begins
1661: ·Newton enrolls in Trinity College, Cambridge.
July 1662: ·Founding of the Royal Society
1665: ·Newton receives his bachelor of arts from Trinity
1666: ·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.
1669: ·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
February 1672: ·Newton's paper on optics and his prism experiments
sent to the Society. Rivalry with Hooke begins.
1670s: ·Newton works on the mathematics of gravitation in
his home in Cambridge.
1674: ·Hooke writes book in which he suggests existence of
"attractive powers," akin to gravity.
1679: ·Death of Hannah Newton
January 1684: ·Hooke discusses principle of inverse squares with
Christopher Wren and Halley
August 1684: ·Halley goes to visit Newton in Cambridge, where they
discuss the principle inverse squares and its relationship with
November 1684: ·Newton completes his calculations on gravity and shares
them with Halley, who urges him to publish.
February 1685: ·Newton sends a brief treatise, Propositiones
de Motu, to the Royal Society, outlining his findings.
April 1686: ·Newton presents the first book of the Principia to
the Royal Society.
September 1687: ·Publication of the complete Principia
1688-89: ·Glorious Revolution in England. James II flees to
France, William and Mary take the throne.
1689: ·Newton elected as Cambridge's representative to Parliament.
1693: ·Newton's "Black Year." He is plagued by depression
and insomnia, and apparently suffers a nervous breakdown in September.
1695: ·Newton appointed warden of the Mint, to oversee the implementation
of a new currency. He leaves Cambridge and moves to London.
1699: ·Newton named master of the Mint.
1703: ·Death of Hooke; Newton elected President of the Royal
1704: ·Publication of Opticks; beginning
of feud with Leibniz.
1705: ·Newton knighted by Queen Anne.
1712: ·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.
1713: ·Second edition of the Principia published.
November 14, 1714: ·Death of Leibniz
1726: ·Third edition of the Principia published;
all reference to Leibniz has been removed.
March 20, 1727: ·Death of Sir Isaac Newton, in London.