Frances Hardcastle

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Frances Hardcastle
Born(1866-08-13)13 August 1866
Writtle, Essex, England, UK[1]
Died26 December 1941(1941-12-26) (aged 75)
Stocksfield-on-Tyne, Northumberland, England, UK[2]
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Scientific career

Frances Hardcastle (13 August 1866 – 26 December 1941)[2] was an English mathematician and one of the founding members of the American Mathematical Society in 1894.[3] Her work included contributions to the theory of point groups.[4]


Her father was Henry Hardcastle, a barrister,[5] and her maternal grandfather was the astronomer, mathematician and chemist John Herschel.[4]

Born in Writtle, just outside Chelmsford in Essex, she was educated at Girton College (Tripos Part I 1891 & Part II 1892), and obtained a Certificate in Mathematics.[4]

In 1892 she went to the University of Chicago for a year as an honorary fellow, then spent another year at Bryn Mawr College studying under Charlotte Scott. While at Bryn Mawr she was president of the Graduate Club, and translated Klein's book On Riemann's Theory of Algebraic functions and Integrals. In 1895 she recommenced postgraduate studies at Cambridge, and within a few years published several papers on point-groups. She earned a BA degree from the University of London in 1903.[4] Trinity College Dublin awarded her an (ad eundem) MA in 1905.

Hardcastle was one of 156 British women who publicly supported the aims of the International Congress of Women, held in The Hague in April 1915. These aims were, "1. To demand that international disputes shall in future shall in future be settled by some other means than war," and "2. To claim that women shall have a voice in the affairs of nations."[6] Until 1909, she was an Honorary Secretary of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).[7]

Hardcastle was the lifelong companion of Dr Ethel Williams, a physician, Justice of the Peace, feminist and social reformer.[8]

Notable publications[edit]

  • "Observations on the Modern Theory of Point-Groups" (c. 1897) American Mathematical Society Bulletin (4)[4]
  • "Theorem Concerning the Special Systems of Point-Groups on a Particular type of Base-Curve" (1898) Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society (29)[4]
  • "Present State of the Theory of Point Groups" (1902) British Association Report 1900[4]


  1. ^ "Frances Hardcastle" in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ a b Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society. Society. 1942. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  3. ^ Patricia C. Kenschaft (2005). Change Is Possible: Stories of Women And Minorities in Mathematics. American Mathematical Society. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-8218-3748-1. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g M. Ogilvie (6 July 2000). The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: Pioneering Lives From Ancient Times to the Mid-20th Century. Taylor & Francis US. p. 555. ISBN 978-0-415-92038-4. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  5. ^ Creese, Mary R. S.; Creese, Thomas M. (January 1998). Ladies in the laboratory?: American and British women in science, 1800–1900 : a survey of their contributions to research. Scarecrow Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-8108-3287-9. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  6. ^ Oldfield, Sybil (7 January 1994). "England's Cassandras in World War One". This Working-Day World: Women's Lives And Culture(s) In Britain, 1914–1945. Taylor & Francis. pp. 92–94. ISBN 978-0-7484-0107-9. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  7. ^ Elizab Crawford (22 January 2001). "National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies". Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928. Routledge. pp. 436–442. ISBN 978-0-415-23926-4. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  8. ^ Oldfield, Sybil (2 August 2001). Women humanitarians: a biographical dictionary of British women active between 1900 and 1950 : 'doers of the word'. Continuum. pp. 276–278. ISBN 978-0-8264-4962-7. Retrieved 19 October 2012.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]