Sir Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton was born at Woolsthorpe Manor on Christmas Day, 1642, (England was on the Julian calendar until 1752 when it changed to the Gregorian calendar, on which his birth date would have been 4 January 1643). After having become proficient in the classics at the King's grammar school in Grantham, he was taken home by his widowed mother Hannah to assist in the management of the family estate. The love of books, encouraged by his stepfather Barnabas Smith the elderly Rector of North Witham, and study occasioned his farming concerns to be neglected, and in 1660, he was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge.
In 1665 the plague was close to Cambridge, and he retreated to Woolsthorpe, where he laid the foundation of his universal system of gravitation, the first hint of which he received from seeing an apple fall from a tree in the orchard; and subsequent reasoning induced him to conclude, that the same force which brought down the apple might extend to the moon, and retain her in orbit. He afterwards extended the doctrine to all bodies in the solar system, and demonstrated, in the most evident manner, the laws which Kepler had discovered, that the planets move in elliptical orbits, describe equal areas in equal times, and that the square of their periodical times are as the cubes of their distances.
In 1667, Newton was chosen Fellow of his College, and took the degree of MA. Two years afterwards, his friend, Dr Barrow, resigned to him the mathematical chair. He became a Member of Parliament in 1688, and was appointed Master of the Mint in 1699. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1671, and became president of that institution in 1703; and filled that office during the remainder of his life, with no less an honour to himself than benefit to the interests of science. Queen Anne conferred on him the honour of knighthood in 1705. He died March 20th, 1727, aged 85 years. After lying in state at the Jerusalem Chamber till the 28th, he was buried in Westminster Abbey, where a stately monument is erected in his memory.
He died worth £32,000, and left £3 for repairs to the floor of Colsterworth Church. After his death Woolsthorpe Manor was acquired by the Turnor family. Great care is taken for the preservation of the house in which he was born; and when it was repaired, in 1798, a tablet of white marble, commemorating his birth, was put up in the room where he was born.
Pope says, in his monumental inscription, -
"Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
God said, 'Let Newton be! - and all was light"
'I Newton' inscribed by young Isaac on a
window sill at King's School, Grantham
Sir Isaac Newton's monument in Westminster Abbey and his sundial in the Church of Saint John The Baptist, Colsterworth