He devised a Braille notation when he was overtaken by blindness in 1894, when engaged in the preparation of an edition of Euclid for the Cambridge University Press. By means of his ingenious and well thought out Braille notation he was enabled to transcribe many advanced scientific and mathematical works, and in 1917, with the assistance of Mr. Emblen, a blind member of the staff of the National Institute for the Blind, he perfected it. It was recognised as so comprehensive that it was soon adopted as the standard mathematical and chemical notation, and is universally used by English-speaking people.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in Jun 1898. His candidacy citation read that he was "Barrister-at-Law. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Ex-Tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge. Third Wrangler and Second Smith's Prizeman in 1865. Author of papers in the Mathematical Messenger, as follows: - Vol iii, p 189, Geometrical Explanation of the Equations for the Longitude of the Node and the Inclination of the Orbit'; vol v, p 1, 1876, 'On the Generation of Developable Surface through Two given Curves'; vol vii, p 22, 1877, 'On Certain Series in Trigonometry'; vol vii, p 145, 1877, 'On the Porism of the Ring of Circles touching Two Circles'; vol xi, p 177, 'On a Six-point Circle connected with a Triangle'; vol xiii, p 145, 'On a Cubic Surface'; vol xvi, p 39, 'On a Geometrical Interpretation of the Algebraic Expression which, equated to Zero, represents a Curve or a Surface'; vol xvi, p 143, 'Extension of an Inversion Property.' In the Proceedings, London Mathematical Society: - Vol v, p 105, 1874, 'Inversion, with Special Reference to the Inversion of an Anchor Ring or Torus'; vol xiii, p 102, 'A Geometrical Theorem concerning the Division of a 'p-gons' (with R C Rowe); vol xv, p 122, 'The Relations of the Intersections of a Circle with a Triangle'; vol xx, p 422, a Geometrical note 'On the Developable Surface through Two Coics Inscribed (or Escribed) in Two of the Faces of a Tetrahedron.' In the Quarterly Journal of Mathematics: - Vol xxiv, p 55, 'On the Centre of an Algebrical Curve'; vol xxvi, p 148, 'Orthogonal Conics'; vol xxvi, p 214, 'Orthogonal Quadrics.' In the Philosophical Magazine: - Vol 1, p 221, 1876, 'On the Relative Values of the Pieces in Chess.' Philosophical Transactions, vol clxxxv, pp 37–69, 1894, 'On a Special Form of the General Equation of a Cubic Surface'; and 'On a Diagram representing the Twenty-seven Lines on the Surface.' Writer of the article on Geometrical Conics in the last-edition of Encyclopædia Britannica. Editor of 'Elements of Euclid' for the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press. Author of two treatises - 'On Great-circle Sailing'; 'On a Method by which a Steamer's Lights might Shew her Course.'"