Horæ Mathematicæ Vacuæ: or, a Treatise of the Golden and Ecliptick Numbers

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Author: Arthur Bedford (1668-1745)

Year: 1743

Publisher: Printed for J. Clarke

Place: London


[8]+80 pages with figures and tables. Octavo (8 1/4" x 5 1/4") bound in grey boards with red label to spine in gilt lettering. (ESTC T109509. Arthur Bedford, 1668) First and only edition.

Arthur Bedford was born at Tidenham in Gloucestershire. At the age of 16 he went to Brasenose College, Oxford, graduating B.A. in 1688, and M.A. in 1691. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1688. After acting as curate to Dr. Read of St. Nicholas Church, Bristol, he was presented by the town corporation to the Temple Church in 1692. He remained there for eight years, and was presented by Joseph Langton to the private living of Newton St. Loe in Somerset.

Soon after moving to Newton, Bedford projected a work on chronology, taking up a suggestion in the preface to James Ussher's Annals that astronomy might simplify ancient chronology. He held back on hearing that Isaac Newton promised a work on the same subject, and then publishing in 1728 Animadversions on Sir I. Newton's book entitled "The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms amended", in reply to The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms. He returned to the subject in 1741 Scripture Chronology demonstrated by Astronomical Considerations. These theories were discussed in the Republick of Letters (ii., iii., vi.); and the topic was aired further in the New Analysis of Chronology of William Hales.

Throughout his career Bedford published sermons on doctrinal questions. He was also an oriental scholar, assisting in preparing the Arabic psalter and New Testament for the Christians in Asia (there is a letter about this work from Bedford to Sir Hans Sloane, preserved in the Sloane manuscript No. 4037). Another production was the Horæ Mathematicæ Vacuæ, a treatise on Golden and Ecliptic Numbers (1743), written as a pastime during an attack of sciatica; the manuscript of this work was preserved in Sion College Library.


Occasional spotting, label lightly rubbed, later boards, book plate to front paste down else very good.