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NEWTON: SCIENTIST AND MAN

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ISAAC NEWTON was born on Christmas Day, 1642 ; he died on March 20, 1727. His life extended over one of the most significant and exciting periods in British history. When he attended the small village schools near Woolsthorpe in south-.west Lincolnshire, Parliament gained its victory over King Charles I. When, as a boy of fifteen, he disappointed his mother's desire that he should administer the modest paternal farm, Cromwell died. When he returned to the Grantham School in order to prepare to go to Cambridge, and was passing through what was his only and unsuccessful romantic episode, the merry monarch King Charles II was restored. The Royal Society was founded when he was a young Fellow of Trinity, When at the age of forty-four his “Principia” was going through the press, he represented the University of Cambridge in its struggle against King James II. He refused to entertain any question of compromise, and approved of the revolution of 1688, for he represented the University as a Whig in the Convention Parliament of 1691. Although he took no part in the debates, for he was a very indifferent speaker and easily embarrassed when expected to make any statement unprepared, he played a considerable part in adjusting the relations between his University and King William III and Queen Mary. It was in the days of Queen Anne that he became the acknowledged representative of English science and received a knighthood. His death in 1727 was followed by the death of King George I, the first of that series of monarchs under whom British democracy was established.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/150698a0

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