Person: Hayes, Charles
Charles Hayes was an English mathematician and chronologist, who wrote an early book on the method of fluxions.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- The Royal African Company played a large role in Hayes' life and we shall return to discuss his involvement in a moment.
- One of the big problems of Hayes' time was the problem of finding a method to calculate longitude, particularly on board a ship.
- Hayes' contribution was the publication "New and easy Method to find out the Longitude" which appeared in 1710.
- He was not seeking the large prize offered by the government, for this prize was only announced four years after Hayes' publication.
- Clearly Hayes is trying to present both sides of the argument, but he believes the moon must have its own light because of God's revealed truth.
- We noted above that Hayes dedicated his calculus text to the Director of the Royal African Company.
- Hayes had an excellent reputation as a geographer and had made a voyage to Africa, spending some time there before returning to England.
- Hayes was seventy-four years old when the Company was dissolved and he retired to a new home he had purchased in Downe, Kent.
- Hayes found himself exonerated from that burden, which, though he had long supported it, yet was not altogether suitable to his inclinations.
- Looking at Hayes with 21st century eyes, we might find it strange to understand how a deeply devout Christian could spend his life running a company dealing in slaves.
- However, it is worth noting that during Hayes' time the practice was not seen as immoral, indeed the Royal African Company played a significant role in creating wealth for England which Hayes would have seen as highly laudable.
Born 1678, England. Died 18 December 1760, London, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive