Mathematician:John Pell

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English mathematician, astronomer and foreign diplomat most famous for what is now known as Pell's Equation.




  • Born: 1 March 1611, Southwick, Sussex, England
  • Educated at Steyning Grammar School
  • 1624: Entered Trinity College, Cambridge
  • 1628: Received B.A.
  • 1630: Received M.A.
  • 1630: Started teaching at Collyer's School, Horsham, and then Chichester Academy
  • 3rd July 1632: Married Ithumaria Reginolles, sister of Bathsua Reginolles Makin
  • 1638: Started teaching in London
  • 1643: Professor of Mathematics at the Gymnasium Illustre in Amsterdam
  • 1646: Professor of Mathematics at the University of Breda
  • 1652: Returned to England, appointed by Oliver Cromwell to a post teaching mathematics in London.
  • 1654 - 1658: Government post in Zurich
  • 1658: Returned to England, tried but failed to make contact with Cromwell, who shortly after died
  • 1661: Ordained a deacon, then a priest, became vicar at Fobbing in Essex
  • 20 May 1663: Elected to the Royal Society
  • 1663: Became vicar of Laindon and Basildon in Essex
  • Summer 1665: Left plague-ridden London to live with William Brereton at Brereton Hall in Cheshire
  • 1675: Elected vice-president of Royal Society
  • 3rd March 1680: Death of William Brereton
  • 1680: Returned to London, spent some time in a debtor's prison
  • Died: 12 Dec 1685, Westminster, London, England

Theorems and Definitions

Results named for John Pell can be found here.

Definitions of concepts named for John Pell can be found here.


  • 1634: Astronomical History of Observations of Heavenly Motions and Appearances
  • 1634: Ecliptica prognostica
  • 1638: An Idea of Mathematicks
  • 1644: Controversy with Longomontanus concerning the Quadrature of the Circle
  • 1672: A Table of Ten Thousand Square Numbers