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Colin Maclaurin, 1698 - 1746. Mathematician

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Colin Maclaurin, 1698 - 1746. Mathematician

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Colin Maclaurin was a Scottish mathematician who published and extended Newton's work in calculus, geometry, and gravitation. Born in the parish of Kilmodan in Argyll, Maclaurin lost both parents in childhood. He graduated from the University of Glasgow, aged only fourteen, with a thesis on the power of gravity. In 1717 he became professor of mathematics at Marischal College in Aberdeen. His work came to the attention of Sir Isaac Newton, who became something of a patron. In 1725 Maclaurin was appointed deputy professor at the University of Edinburgh. When the University struggled to fund the post, Newton contributed to Maclaurin’s salary. In Edinburgh, Maclaurin met and tutored the young astronomer James Ferguson, whose portrait of Maclaurin formed the basis for this drawing by the Earl of Buchan.


  • Acc. No. PG 1643
  • Medium Pencil and chalk on paper
  • Size 31.10 x 26.50 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by W.F. Watson 1886