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Document number: 3201
Date: 11 Jan 1836
Postmark: 11 Jan 1836
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: LUBBOCK John William
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA36-4
Last updated: 26th January 2013

Mitcham Grove <1>
11th Jan. 1836

My dear Sir,

I have received your paper <2> safely, the date of my Letter will account for your not getting an answer from London by return of post. Your methods are very remarkable and, as it does not take from their originality that Abel & Poisson <3> have arrived at theorems of a nature somewhat similar, will I think be read with much interest although I doubt whether there are not more points of contact between your methods & theirs than you seem to admit.

I had a long letter from Hamilton <4> a short time since about Mr Jerrard’s solution, <5> he does not seem to have been able yet to make up his mind on the subject. I doubt if in this case much good can be done by arithmetical calculations for various reasons & amongst the rest because Mr Jerrard’s solution is like Cardan’s <6> of the cubic presenting real roots under an imaginary form.

I shall return to Town in about a week and shall be very glad to see you.

Yours very truly
J W Lubbock

H. F. Talbot Esqr
Lacock Abbey


1. A house in Mitcham, Surrey.

2. WHFT, ‘Researches in the Integral Calculus, Part One’ Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, v. 126 part 1, 1836, pp. 177–215.

3. Niels Henrik Abel (1802–1829), mathematician, and Siméon Denis Poisson (1781–1840) both mathematicians, contributed numerous papers on the subject of integral calculus.

4. Sir William Rowan Hamilton (1805–1865), Irish mathematician.

5. George Jerrard (1804–1863), mathematician, generalized Erland Bring’s 1786 reduction of a quintic equation to show that a transformation could be applied to an equation of a degree of n to remove several of the terms. It is believed that he knew nothing of Bring’s reduction, and the removal of terms was not considered to be an adequate solution of the problem of equations above the quadratic.

6. Girolamo Cardano (1501–1576), mathematician, was also known as Jerome Cardan.

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