Person: Hymers, John
John Hymers wrote many excellent textbooks. He organised the painting of a portrait of William Wordsworth for St John's College, Cambridge. He left a considerable sum of money for the founding and endowment of Hymers' College in Hull.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Thomas Hymers, was baptised on 20 March 1762 in St Cuthbert's Church, Ormesby, and became a tenant farmer.
- Thomas Hymers' farm, White House Farm, was on land owned by Sir William Henry Pennyman who lived in Ormesby Hall, a little distance from the village.
- Hymers attended the school of the Rev George Newby in Witton-le-Wear.
- Leaving Witton-le-Wear Grammar School, Hymers entered Sedbergh School in August 1821.
- These were all to be held at St John's College, Cambridge, by scholars chosen "only of Sedbergh School and no other." From this date the close, almost parental, relation, in which the College has, until quite recently, stood to the School.
- Hymers was admitted to St John's College, Cambridge on 22 October 1821.
- He studied the mathematical tripos along with fellow students Henry Moseley and John Hallowes Miller (1801-1880) who were also at St John's College.
- Thomas Turton (1780-1864) was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics having been appointed in the 1822, the year Hymers matriculated.
- Hymers attended lectures given by George Peacock and William Whewell, among others.
- Both Hymers' fellow students at St John's, Henry Moseley and John Hallowes Miller, were also Wranglers.
- In 1827 Hymers was appointed as a fellow of St John's College and in 1832 he became a tutor.
- In 1838 he became a senior fellow of St John's College and in the same year was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London.
- President, John Hymers; ...
- Tutor, John Hymers; ...
- Head Lecturer, John Hymers.
- Between 1830 and 1841 Hymers published a whole series of textbooks.
- Among Hymers students we should mention John Colenso, John Couch Adams and James Joseph Sylvester.
- However, he slowly became disillusioned with the incursion of the university into the independent life of the colleges and in 1852 he left St John's for the rich college living of Brandesburton in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
- He tried to return soon after but St John's refused him his old post with the result that he spent the rest of his life in an isolated Yorkshire parish.
- Hymers was friendly with the poet and, in 1831, he arranged for a portrait of Wordsworth to be painted for St John's College.
- Hymers then set about organising the funding of the portrait by collecting subscriptions from fellows of the College.
- In 1886 Hymers presented a sonnet to the College Library which Wordsworth had addressed to the portrait.
- In the 1850s Esther Jane Jackson, Hymers' niece, became his housekeeper.
- Rather strangely, Hymers became more famous after he died than he had been in his lifetime for reasons we will describe below.
- However, Hymers had drawn up his will without consulting his solicitor James Mills, and it was declared invalid because of the words "found and endow".
- Hymers' will required the purchase of land to "found" a school so the will was declared invalid.
- After much correspondence about the will involving Hymers' solicitor James Mills, Robert Hymers offered £40,000 to Hull Corporation to build a school.
Born 20 July 1803, Ormesby, Yorkshire, England. Died 7 April 1887, Brandesburton, Holderness, Yorkshire, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive