A knighthood for science?

On 16th April 1705 Queen Anne surprised the audience at her visit to Cambridge University by knighting the ex-Lucasian Professor of Mathematics Isaac Newton. This dubbing was as much of a surprise to Newton as it was to everybody else. Now popular accounts of the life and work of Britain’s premier mathematician and physicist make much of this Royal award presenting it as the highest of the many honours heap upon Isaac’s deserving head for his many and great scientific achievements. There is often talk of his being the first to be so honoured for those contributions to science. Now it would be nice to think of the humble yeoman’s son from Lincolnshire being awarded a knighthood for his indisputable services to science but unfortunately it isn’t true. The knighthood was a gambit out of the dirty electioneering tricks cabinet of Newton’s patron and benefactor Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax. [for the rest of the story go here]

About thonyc

Aging freak who fell in love with the history of science and now resides mostly in the 16th century.
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