About

1642 December 25    Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is born at Woolsthorpe. Premature and posthumous, his survival is in question for some time; tradition has it he was born small enough to fit into a quart pot.

1646 January 27    Marriage of Hannah (Ayscough) Newton to 63-year old Barnabas Smith (1582-1653), rector from nearby North Witham. Hannah leaves Woolsthorpe to live with her new husband; young Isaac is entrusted to Hannah’s mother for over seven years.

1653 August    Barnabas Smith dies; Hannah returns to Woolsthorpe. The inheritance from her husband leaves Hannah financially comfortable.

1655 Attends Grammar School at Grantham, boarding with the Apothecary Mr. Clarke near the George Inn.

1661 June 5    Matriculates at Trinity College, Cambridge.

1664 April 28    Elected a scholar, and begins to engage in mathematical research.

1665 January    Earns his Bachelor’s Degree.

August    Leaves Cambridge due to the Plague, moving back to Woolsthorpe. His work at Woolsthorpe over the next 18 months is to become legendary, and the years 1664-1666 will be dubbed his ‘anni mirabiles.’

1666 March 20    Returns to Cambridge, staying until June.

1668 March 16    Elected Fellow of Trinity College.

July 7    Earns his Master’s Degree.

October 29    Elected Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.

1670 January    Gives his first Optical Lectures.

1671 December    Sends his reflecting (‘Newtonian’) telescope to the Royal Society of London.

1672 January 11    Elected Fellow of the Royal Society.

February 19    Publishes his theory on light and colours in the Philosophical Transactions; it is, arguably, the first ‘scientific article.’

December 10    Sends letter to John Collins on method of tangents.

1675 December 9-16    Newton’s hypothesis explaining the properties of light is presented to the Royal Society.

1676 June 13    Sends the “Epistola Prior,” intended for Leibniz, to Oldenburg.

October 20    Sends the “Epistola Posterior,” intended for Leibniz, to Oldenburg.

1679 November 24    Exchanges first of a series of letters with Robert Hooke, a philosophical correspondence on the problem of planetary motion.

1680 December 12    Begins to observe the comet of 1680-81.

1682 December    Observes what came to be known as ‘Halley’s comet.’

1684 August    Edmond Halley (1656-1742) visits Cambridge to consult Newton about the path of a planet moving in relation to an inverse-square law. Newton later begins work on his Principia.

1687 July 5    The Principia appears in print.

1688 January    Elected Member of Parliament.

1690 November 14    Sends John Locke “Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture.”

1692 December 10    Writes first letter to theologian and classical scholar Richard Bentley on natural theology and the design of the universe.

1696 March 19    Offered and accepts appointment as Warden of the Mint.

1700 February 3    Appointed Master of the Mint.

1701 November 26    Elected to Parliament by Cambridge Senate.

December 10    Resigns his position as Lucasian chair of mathematics.

1703 November 30    Elected President of Royal Society.

1704 February    Publishes first edition of his Opticks.

April 16     Knighted by Queen Anne in Cambridge, and is henceforth referred to as Sir Isaac Newton.

1706 First Latin edition of the Opticks published with added Queries.

1707 Publishes Arithmetica universalis.

1711 Publishes Analysis per quantitatum.

1712 March 6    Committee is established by the Royal Society to examine the priority dispute between Newton and Leibniz.

1713 January    Publishes Commercium epistolicum.

July 11    Second edition of Principia.

1715 November    Leibniz-Clarke correspondence begins.

1717 Second English edition of the Opticks, with eight new queries.

1719 Second Latin edition of Opticks.

1720 First English edition of Universal Arithmetic.

1721 Third English edition of Opticks.

1722 Second edition of Commercium epistolicum.

1726 March 31    Third edition of Principia.

1727 March 20    Dies at Kensington.

April 4    Buried at Westminster Abbey.

1728 Publication of Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended, Short Chronicle, De mundi systemate (published in English as System of the World).

1729 Publication of Lectiones opticae, and Motte’s English translation of the Principia.

1731 Unveiling of Newton’s monument at Westminster Abbey.

1733 Publication of Observations upon the Prophecies.