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Five autograph letters signed
Woolwich, 1816. Gregory, Olinthus Gilbert (1774-1841). Five autograph letters signed, three to Robert Baldwin, of the publishing firm Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, and two to an unidentified officer of the Woolwich Institution for the Advancement of Literary, Scientific and Technical Knowledge. Woolwich, Sept. 28, 1816 - July 16, 1838. 11pp. total. Various sizes (the largest 251 x 203 mm.). One letter mounted with some fraying of the front edge (slightly affecting a few words), another with a small paper flaw, light soiling, but very good.From British mathematician and writer Olinthus Gregory, professor of mathematics at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, author of works on mathematics, astronomy, mechanics, etc., and editor of both the Gentleman's Diary and Ladies' Diary. Gregory played a role in the controversy surrounding the Trigonometrical Survey of Great Britain, later known as the Ordnance Survey. The survey, which had begun in 1791, was opposed for political reasons by Royal Society President Sir Joseph Banks, who in 1812 published in the Philosophical Transactions a memoir by Don Jos?odriguez attacking the survey and its leader, Col. William Mudge. Gregory exposed Banks's machinations in a paper published in the Philosophical Magazine, which was later collected in Dissertations and Letters, by Don Joseph Rodriguez, the Chevalier Delambre, Baron de Zach, Dr. Thomas Thomson, Dr. Olinthus Gregory, and Others . . . Tending Either to Impugn or to Defend the Trigonometrical Survey of England and Wales (1815). Gregory's 1817 letter to Baldwin, one of the publishers of the Annals of Philosophy, discusses this controversy, noting that its effect had been to produce "a strong current in Col. Mudge's favour among all the men of science in Europe . . . the French Institute has made Col. Mudge a member, expressly on account of his survey: and immediately after this, the Royal Society, or I should rather say Sir Jos. Banks's party, who had for years been doing every thing to sink his reputation, change their conduct, flatter and fawn upon him, elect them into their councils . . ."Gregory's remaining letters to Baldwin discuss literary matters, including his "account of Biot's new work [Traité de physique (1816)] for the next no. of the British review." His later letters, written to an unnamed official at Woolwich Institution for the Advancement of Literary, Scientific and Technical Knowledge, include a long discussion as to why the Institution's reading room should not provide daily newspapers for its largely working-class clientele!
      [Bookseller: Jeremy Norman's Historyofscience.com ]
Last Found On: 2013-03-23           Check availability:      ABAA    

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