Bartholomew Price

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bartholomew Price - Pembroke College.jpg

Reverend Bartholomew Price (1818 – 29 December 1898) was an English mathematician, clergyman and educator.


He was born at Coln St Denis, Gloucestershire, in 1818. He was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, of which college (after taking a first class in mathematics in 1840 and gaining the university mathematical scholarship in 1842) he became fellow in 1844 and tutor and mathematical lecturer in 1845. He at once took a leading position in the mathematical teaching of the university, and published treatises on the Differential calculus (in 1848) and the Infinitesimal calculus (4 vols., 1852–1860), which for long were the recognized textbooks there. This latter work included the differential and integral calculus, the calculus of variations, the theory of attractions, and analytical mechanics.[1]

In 1853, he was appointed Sedleian professor of natural philosophy, resigning it in June 1898. His chief public activity at Oxford was in connection with the Hebdomadal Council, and with the Clarendon Press, of which he was for many years secretary. He was also a curator of the Bodleian Library, an honorary fellow of the Queen's College, a governor of Winchester College and a visitor of Greenwich Observatory. In 1891, he was elected Master of Pembroke College, which dignity carried with it a canonry of Gloucester Cathedral.[1] He also seems to have donated an interesting astronomical clock to Gloucester cathedral.

In 1889 he was one of the shareholders in Silver's factory in Silvertown, East London, an immensely profitable rubber company. That year saw a major strike by Silver's workers for higher pay but after 12 weeks the strikers were forced back to work by hunger. Bartholomew Price was the shareholder who moved the motion of thanks in the Managing Director at the shareholders meeting in February 1890.[2]

He was on the governing body of Abingdon School from c.1895 until his death in December 1898.[3]

He died in December 1898 with the title of Reverend and was buried in Holywell Cemetery, Oxford.[4]

Nowadays, Professor Price is best remembered as one of the teachers of Lewis Carroll. There is a reference to his nickname of 'the bat' in the Mad Hatter's song "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat", a parody of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.



  1. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Price, Bartholomew". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 313–314.
  2. ^ Tully, John (2014). Silvertown: The Lost Story of a Strike that Shook London and Helped Launch the Modern Labor Movement. New York: Monthly Review Press. ISBN 9781907103995.
  3. ^ "School Notes" (PDF). The Abingdonian.
  4. ^ Monthly Notices, Royal Astronomical Society (1899).
Academic offices
Preceded by
Evan Evans
Master of Pembroke College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Bishop John Mitchinson