Person: Terrot, Charles Hughes
Charles Terrot was an amateur mathematician who became Bishop of Edinburgh. He wrote an early paper on complex numbers.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Young Terrot was placed under the care of the Revd John Fawcett of Carlisle and was educated at Carlisle Grammar School.
- It was at Cambridge that Terrot earned a reputation for scholarship, particularly in mathematics.
- Fortunately for Terrot, he had had ample opportunity outwith the Tripos examinations to prove his abilities and on this basis he was elected a Fellow of Trinity College in 1813.
- Terrot's move to Edinburgh took place in 1817: he was to assist the Revd James Walker at St Peter's in Roxburgh Place.
- In 1833 Terrot joined two other clergy at St Paul's in York Place.
- Understandably, Terrot sought relief from the heavy burden of his responsibilities.
- His passion for the science was strong enough to take possession of his mind, and soothing enough to settle it down to repose." The extent of Terrot's reliance on mathematics and its implications, both beneficial and otherwise, were discussed by the Revd Walker -- whom Terrot had assisted at St Peter's -- in his biographical work, Three Churchmen (1893).
- Readers will probably take very different views of Bishop Terrot's occasionally ardent devotion to mathematical study.
- Apart from mathematics, Terrot spent time writing poetry and much of his leisure time while at Haddington was devoted to it.
- Terrot was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1840, proposed for fellowship by J D Forbes.
- Terrot served as a Councillor for the Society (1841-1844) and as their Vice-President between 1844 and 1860.
- Bishop Terrot, Vice-President, in the Chair'.
- Terrot delighted in good conversation and, according to the Revd Walker, in Edinburgh he had developed a 'very high reputation as a talker of the Johnsonian type'.
- The 1847 paper, in which Terrot gives an early account of the theory of complex numbers, attracted the attention of P G Tait while still a schoolboy at the Edinburgh Academy.
- While Warren should be credited with having established the fundamentals, Terrot surely deserves some recognition: he seems to have had a sound grasp of the mathematics involved, which he was able to apply in valid and novel ways, and it is through his paper that Tait had his first introduction to a relatively new mathematical discovery of huge import.
- Terrot accordingly must be considered as one of the pioneers of the science.
- Dr. Terrot, afterwards Bishop of Edinburgh.
- It seems unlikely, therefore, that Terrot was ever a member of staff at the Academy.
- Perhaps the obituarist had misinterpreted Terrot's influence on young Thomson.
- Charles Hughes Terrot, D.D., elected in 1857 'Primus' of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and whose quaint little figure, with shovel-hat and knee-breeches, was long familiar in the streets of Edinburgh.
- Few men were more esteemed and respected by others than Dr. Terrot of the Episcopal Church.
- It is possible that Terrot provided Thomson with private tuition in mathematics.
- From the time of his fellowship at Trinity, Terrot had supplemented his income by taking on pupils for private tuition.
- Terrot was known to have had a close association with Archdeacon William's successor as Rector of the Edinburgh Academy, Dr John Hannah (1818-1888) who was a former Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford.
- The two men lived near to each other and Dr. Hannah took great pleasure in familiarizing Terrot with 'Oxford forms of thought' at a time when the philosopher, Sir William Hamilton was promoting communication between Edinburgh and Oxford.
- The two were also connected through the RSE: Hannah was elected a Fellow in March 1848, having been proposed by Terrot in the January.
- Terrot died at Stockbridge in Edinburgh on 2 April 1872, aged eighty-two.
Born 19 September 1790, Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India. Died 2 April 1872, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin India, Physics
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive