Recorde, Robert

Recorde, Robert

▪ French mathematician
born c. 1510, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales
died June 1558, London, England

      physician, mathematician, and author of introductory mathematics textbooks.

      Recorde was educated at the University of Oxford (Oxford, University of) (B.A., 1531) and the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, University of) (M.D., 1545), and he taught mathematics at both universities before moving to London in 1547 to practice medicine. In January 1549 Recorde was appointed comptroller of the Bristol Mint, but his refusal in October to divert monies to English troops suppressing a rebellion in southwestern Britain led to an accusation of treason by William Herbert (Pembroke, William Herbert, 1st earl of, Baron Herbert of Cardiff) (1st earl of Pembroke after 1551). Recorde was confined at court for 60 days while the mint shut down. Although he survived this clash, he had made a powerful enemy. In 1551 Recorde became surveyor of the mines and monies in Ireland, but he failed to show a profit and was dismissed in 1553. In 1556 Recorde accused Herbert of malfeasance as commissioner of the mints—a reckless accusation to level against a favoured member of the nobility. Recorde died in debtor's prison, to which he was committed after being unable to pay the large fine that Herbert won in his libel suit.

      Recorde's writings were all in the vernacular and assumed the form of a dialogue between teacher and pupil. He appears to have envisaged a publishing enterprise that would introduce each branch of mathematics. His first publication was The Ground of Artes (1543, enlarged 2nd ed. 1552), an effective treatise on elementary arithmetic, with a section for merchants on using the abacus. In 1551 there appeared Recorde's textbook on elementary geometry, Pathwaie to Knowledge, a reworking of the first four books of Euclid's Elements. The Gate of Knowledge, which dealt with measurement and use of the quadrant, is known only through references in later books. Then followed The Castle of Knowledge (1556), a treatise on the sphere and Ptolemaic astronomy (Ptolemaic system)—though it also made favourable mention of the heliocentric theory (heliocentric system) of Nicolaus Copernicus (Copernicus, Nicolaus) (1473–1543), promising to deal with the subject at greater length in a subsequent work. His last work, The Whetstone of Witte (1557), was an advanced treatise on arithmetic as well as an introduction to algebra and used his new symbol for equality (=).

      Death prevented Recorde from publishing not only a more advanced astronomy textbook but also a series on applied mathematics, including surveying, cosmography, and the art of navigation. Recorde's books endured lasting success and were often reprinted. They made a major contribution to the diffusion of mathematics in England and helped bridge the gap between theory and application.

Mordechai Feingold

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • RECORDE, ROBERT —    mathematician, born in Pembroke; a physician by profession, and physician to Edward VI. and Queen Mary; his works on arithmetic, algebra, &c., were written in the form of question and answer; died in the debtors prison (1500 1558) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Recorde — Robert Recorde Robert Recorde (* 1510 in Tenby bei Pembroke; † 1558 in London Borough of Southwark) war ein englischer Mediziner und Mathematiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Recorde — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Robert Recorde Robert Recorde (c. 1510 1558) fue un médico y matemático galés que utilizó por primera vez el signo igual (=) en el año 1557. Miembro de una respetable familia de Dinbych y Pysgod, Gales, entró en la… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Robert Recorde — (* 1510 in Tenby bei Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales; † 1558 in London Borough of Southwark) war ein englischer Mediziner und Mathematiker. Inhaltsver …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Recorde — (env. 1510 1558), mathématicien et physicien gallois, est supposé être l inventeur du signe égal (=). Parmi ses écrits figure le premier ouvrage sur l algèbre en langue anglaise : The Whetstone of Witte, which is the second part of… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Robert Recorde — Infobox Scientist box width = 300px name = Robert Recorde image size = 120px caption = Robert Recorde (1510–1558) birth date = c. 1510 birth place = Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales death date = 1558 death place = London, England residence =… …   Wikipedia

  • Recorde —   [rɪ kɔːd], Robert, englischer Mathematiker, * Tenby (bei Pembroke) um 1510, ✝ London 1558; wirkte ab 1547 als Arzt in London; schrieb als Erster englischsprachige Mathematikbücher, bemühte sich um eine Weiterentwicklung der mathematischen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Рекорд, Роберт — Роберт Рекорд Robert Recorde Роберт Рекорд (1510–1558) Дата рождения: 1510 год(1510) Место рождения …   Википедия

  • Liste der Biografien/Rec — Biografien: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • = — Satzzeichen , –, , ―  . ,  , ,  ; ,  : ,  … ,  ·  ¿, ?, !, ¡, ‽, ؟ „…“, »…« … …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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