Robert Recorde

Tudor Polymath, Expositor and Practitioner of Computation

  • Jack Williams

Part of the History of Computing book series (HC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. ‘Profite and Commoditie’: The Practitioners

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Jack Williams
      Pages 1-9
  3. 'Profite and Commoditie': The Practitioners

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Jack Williams
      Pages 13-14
    3. Jack Williams
      Pages 35-52
    4. Jack Williams
      Pages 53-64
  4. Intrinsic Worth

  5. Finale

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 229-229
    2. Jack Williams
      Pages 231-253
    3. Jack Williams
      Pages 255-259
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 261-265

About this book


The 16th-Century intellectual Robert Recorde is chiefly remembered for introducing the equals sign into algebra, yet the greater significance and broader scope of his work is often overlooked.

Robert Recorde: Tudor Polymath, Expositor and Practitioner of Computation presents an authoritative and in-depth analysis of the man, his achievements and his historical importance. This scholarly yet accessible work examines the latest evidence on all aspects of Recorde’s life, throwing new light on a character deserving of greater recognition.

Topics and features:

  • Presents a concise chronology of Recorde’s life
  • Examines his published works; The Grounde of Artes, The Pathway to Knowledge, The Castle of Knowledge, and The Whetstone of Witte
  • Describes Recorde’s professional activities in the minting of money and the mining of silver, as well as his dispute with William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke
  • Investigates Recorde’s work as a physician, his linguistic and antiquarian interests, and his religious beliefs
  • Discusses the influence of Recorde’s publisher, Reyner Wolfe, in his life
  • Reviews his legacy to 17th-Century science, and to modern computer science and mathematics

This fascinating insight into a much under-appreciated figure is a must-read for researchers interested in the history of computer science and mathematics, and for scholars of renaissance studies, as well as for the general reader.

Authors and affiliations

  • Jack Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.OxfordUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, London
  • eBook Packages Computer Science Computer Science (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-0-85729-861-4
  • Online ISBN 978-0-85729-862-1
  • Series Print ISSN 2190-6831
  • Series Online ISSN 2190-684X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site