By Tim Lambert

Isaac Newton was born at Woolsthorpe near Grantham on 4 January 1643. His father died before he was born and in 1645 his mother marred a clergyman from North Welham in Leicestershire. She went to live with him while Isaac Newton lived with his grandmother. When her second husband died in 1656 Isaac’s mother returned to Woolsthorpe and Isaac Newton went to live with her again.

From the age of 12 to 14 Isaac Newton went to Grantham Grammar School. During this time he lodged with an apothecary and his family. Then in 1659 Isaac had to leave to help his mother on the family farm. Isaac Newton was not in the slightest bit interested in running a farm and in 1660 he went to the grammar school again. In 1661 he went to Trinity College Cambridge. Isaac Newton obtained a BA in 1665. In 1666 Isaac Newton was forced to flee Cambridge because of an outbreak of the plague and he returned temporarily to Woolsthorpe. He returned to university in 1667.

In 1667 Isaac Newton was elected a fellow of Trinity College. The same year he was elected a member of the Royal Society. In February 1672 a paper he wrote about light and colours was read to the society. In 1669 Isaac Newton became Lucasian professor of mathematics. In the meantime, in 1668, he invented a reflecting telescope.

In 1689-1690 Isaac Newton was MP for Cambridge University (in those days Cambridge University had its own MPs). He became an MP again in 1701-1702 but he did not take an active part in politics.

Isaac Newton published his masterpiece Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica in 1687. It set out his theory of gravity and his laws of motion.

In 1695 Isaac Newton was made Ward of the mint and in 1699 Master of the mint. He resigned his fellowship and professorship at Cambridge in 1701.

In 1703 Isaac Newton became president of the Royal Society. He was knighted in 1705. Meanwhile in 1704 Isaac Newton published another great work about light.

Isaac Newton died at the age of 84 on 20 March 1727.

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