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Grantham, Lincolnshire

In 1655, Newton left Woolsthorpe Manor for the King Edward VI grammar school in Grantham. He stayed there until he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, apart from a year long break in 1659-60. The main purpose of the school was to teach Latin, not only to read the classical authors but also to communicate with other educated Europeans as Latin was still the international language. Even in his later years, Newton could hold a conversation or give an impromptu speech in Latin. Some Greek was taught and there was also a large amount of Bible reading. With this foundation, Newton was able to quickly assimilate the Latin works of previous physicists and mathematician when he began their study in Cambridge.

Statue of Newton Modern day Grantham promotes itself with the gaudy ``Isaac Newton Shopping Centre'' and as the birthplace of Margaret Thatcher (probably the most unpopular British prime minister of this century.) Inside the shopping centre is a good model of the reflecting telescope and an enormous apple, several feet in diameter, surrounded by lightbulbs. This photograph shows the back of the 1858 statue of Newton, forever facing his more modern memorial. The statue is by William Theed and was paid for by public subscription. The Grantham Museum has several relevant exhibits, including a life size reconstruction of Newton performing an optical experiment.

© 1994-2001 Andrew McNab. Back to