**Arthur Cayley Fact Sheet:** Who was
Arthur Cayley? The following short biography
and fact sheet provides interesting facts
about the life, times and history of Arthur
Cayley.
**Arthur Cayley Fact File Biography:**
Lifespan: 1821 - 1895 *** Full Name: Arthur
Cayley *** Occupation: British Mathematician
*** Date of Birth: Arthur Cayley was born on
August 16th 1821 *** Place of Birth: Arthur
Cayley was born in Richmond, London, England
*** Family background: His father was Henry
Cayley and he was a distant cousin of Sir
George Cayley and his mother was Maria
Antonia Doughty. He had a brother, Charles
Bagot Cayley, who was a linguist *** Early
life and childhood: He grew up in St
Petersburg in Russia until he was eight
years old although he had been born in
England *** Education: Arthur Cayley
attended private schools as a child until he
reached fourteen when he was sent to attend
King’s College School ***
**Arthur Cayley Fact 1:**
Arthur Cayley was born on August
16th 1821 and during the 19th
century period in history when
slavery would largely become
abolished during this century with
salve revolts in Britain, Haiti and
France. In particular in America the
Civil War of 1861 to 1864 saw the
abolition of slavery and in England
the Slavery Abolition Act saw the
British Royal Navy put an end to the
global slave trade.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 2:**
While attending King's College it
was noted by the school’s master
that Arthur was giving indications
of being a mathematics genius. He
strongly advised George Cayley to
educate his son for further
education and not for follow in his
father’s footsteps.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 3:**
At seventeen years he went to
Trinity College, Cambridge.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 4:** Gregory
and Robert Leslie Ellis and created
the Cambridge Mathematical Journal
and at just twenty years old Arthur
had contributed three papers to the
publication.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 5:**
While attending Cambridge his
private coach was William Hopkins
and his tutor was George Peacock. He
completed his undergraduate course
and won the place of Senior Wrangler
as well as the first Smith’s prize.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 6:** To
follow that he needed to earn his
M.A. degree and he won a Fellowship
by competitive examinations.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 7:**
For four years he would reside at
Cambridge University and while he
was there he occasionally took on
pupils but largely he concentrated
on preparing the memoirs to the
Mathematical Journal.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 8:**
Due to the restricted tenure of his
fellowship he still had to decide on
a career and his chose law. He
entered Lincoln’s Inn in London when
he was twenty five years old and
would specialize in Conveyancing.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 9:**
During the time he was at the bar as
a pupil that he travelled to Dublin
and heard Hamilton’s lectures on
quaternions.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 10:** Five
years his senior, J.J. Sylvester,
with who he had attended Cambridge
and who at that time was an actuary,
often walked together around the
courts at Lincoln’s Inn and talked
extensively about the theory of
invariants and covariants.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 11:** It was
also during this period of time
which spanned fourteen years that he
produced upwards of three hundred
papers.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 12:**
Lucasian was the denomination of
pure mathematics that was prevalent
at Cambridge University and a
professorship that had been held by
Isaac Newton. However, in 1860 Lady
Sadleir had bequeathed a sum of
money to the University but because
the original purpose was no longer
available, the money was put towards
another professorship for pure
mathematics and this would be called
Sadleirian. The professor taking on
this role would be required “to
explain and teach the principles of
pure mathematics and to apply
himself to the advancement of that
science.”.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 13:** This
was the position Cayley was offered
when he was forty two years old
having given up a profitable legal
practice for a very modestly paid
professorship but it was not a
difficult choice considering his
passion for mathematics.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 14:**
He married and moved with his wife
to Cambridge to take up his
professorship and he was very
happily married.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 15:**
His mathematics lectures were only
attended by relatively small numbers
of people.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 16:**
In 1872 he was given the honor of an
honorary fellow of Trinity College,
Cambridge in Cambridge and followed
three years later by being made an
ordinary fellow which included a
stipend.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 17:** By
1883 he was made the President of
the British Association for the
Advancement of Science.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 18:**
The Cambridge University Press
requested that he put together his
papers for publication which he did
in 1889.
**Arthur Cayley Fact 19:** Arthur
Cayley died on January 26th 1895 at
the age of seventy four years. His
body was laid to rest in the Mill
Road Cemetery in Cambridge.
**Influence & Legacy:**
His legacy is in the numerous
mathematical terms named in his
honour which are in common use
today.
**List of Awards given to Arthur
Cayley:** Smith’s Prize
(1842) *** De Morgan Medal (1884)
*** Royal Medal (1859) *** Copley
Medal (1852) *** |