Patrick Mortimore - Patricio Mortimorer [Isaac Newton]
A document of the Irish diaspora: a physics manuscript, with strong Newtonian content, written by an Irishman obliged to attend university - the… Read more
Published in 1772 by Unpublished.

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IRISH COLLEGE MANUSCRIPT Pars Secunda Physicae by Patrick Mortimore - Patricio Mortimorer [Isaac Newton]

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A document of the Irish diaspora: a physics manuscript, with strong Newtonian content, written by an Irishman obliged to attend university - the Irish College - in France in the 1770s.

Bound in dyed Irish green vellum with the remnants of an inscription in black ink to the upper cover and an old spine label. Splitting along outer hinges does not affect the soundness of the binding. To the first flyleaf the inscription: ‘This Book was bestowed to me by the Right Rev.d O Connor Bishop of Achonry’ with an oval stamp of the ‘Professor’s Library St Mary’s College Galway’ below. Soiling to flyleaves, text otherwise clean, horizontal chainlines to laid paper. Thomas O’Connor (1750-1803) Bishop of Achonry has written his initials on the first leaf of text. On the final leaf is a partially crossed out ownership inscription probably by the writer of the manuscript which seems to read: ‘Patricio Mortimore die Quinta Februarii 1775’. A few comical lines scrawled in French on the final leaf after the text finishes likely identify the probable country of origin of both Patricio and this manuscript: ‘Le puant fait des vers il va descendre aux Saturnales - ‘The stink makes worms which will descend to the Saturnalia’ although there is also an early nineteenth century English jotted poem to the blank page 439, ‘O happy mortal, happiest of thy kind/ Who has embraced the object of thy mind....’ The first leaf of the text records that this was the ‘Finis Physico Generalis dirigissima Februarii 1772’ - the end of the general physics course which took up the first 312 pages of a previous volume before this one starts on 313, continuing for 405 pages to page 719 where it finishes.

The writer of this late eighteenth century Latin treatise begins with Astronomy dealing with fixed stars, planets, ‘De Regula Kepleri’, ‘De Cometis’, noting individual sightings of comets in 1682 and on other occasion. Rival cosmological systems are considered in ‘De Systema Tichonico’ and then ‘De Systemate Copernicano’ together with De Cartesii Systemate’ and at page 502 ‘De systemate Newtoniano’ which begins ‘Isaac Newtonus eques amatus, immortale physiconem decus, vir supra humanum...’. The manuscript continues with mechanics - De Motu corporis in circulo’, ‘De legibus attractionis in... Distantis’ and finally a‘Tractatus de Optica’ on the nature of light, lenses etc. Each section is divided into chapters, propositions, definitions, propositions and their corollariesy with around 20 little diagrams scattered through the text, most concentrated in the section on astronomy. An interesting document which seems likely to derive from a French university course.

Full details

Added under Manuscript
Publisher Unpublished
Date published 1772
Subject 1 Manuscript
First edition Yes
Signed Yes
Product code 7621

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