William Whewell


Biography of William Whewell

William Whewell (24 May 1794 – 6 March 1866) was an English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Whewell was born in Lancaster. His father, a carpenter, wished him to follow his trade, but his success in mathematics at Lancaster and Heversham grammar schools won him an exhibition (a type of scholarship) at Trinity College, Cambridge (1812). In 1814 he was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal for poetry. He was Second Wrangler in 1816, President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1817, became fellow and tutor of his college, and, in 1841, succeeded Dr Christopher Wordsworth as master. He was professor of mineralogy from 1828 to 1832 and Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy (then called "moral theology and casuistical divinity") from 1838 to 1855.

Whewell died in Cambridge in 1866 as a result of a fall from his horse. He is buried in the Mill Road cemetery, Cambridge, together with his first and second wives: Cordelia Whewell and Everina Frances, Lady Affleck.

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