Portrait of Oughtred
Oughtred, William (1575-1660)
Trigonometrie. London, Joseph Moxon, 1657. 40 pp. with portrait of Oughtred by Faithorne. Octavo, leather.
Hand-lettered inscriptions: From J.H. and Sallie H. Carlisle, 1909 on flyleaf.
An English mathematician, William Oughtred attended Eton and King’s College, Cambridge. Though ordained, he concerned himself less with theology than with formulae. Taking occasional pupils, he instructed a son of Sir William Backhouse, to whom he dedicated Trigonometrie. Oughtred introduced the symbols “x” for multiplication and “::” for in proportion. Boyle and Newton warmly commended him. (DNB)
Joseph Moxon (1627-1691) was a partner in his father’s printing shop until the age of 23. He began in 1650 his studies of globe and map-making, hydrography and making mathematical instruments. Charles II assigned him to the post of Royal Hydrographer in 1662, and he entered the Royal Society in 1678. A type-founder of repute in an age of professional laxity, he issued his first specimen sheet in 1668 or 1669. The first number of Mechanick Exercises appeared in 1678, and Mechanick Exercises on the Whole Art of Printing was published in 1683. (AP)