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University College London

Graves Anagrams


Reference code(s): GB 0103 MS GRAVES 36

Held at: University College London

Title: Graves Anagrams

Date(s): 19th century

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 1 volume containing 46 leaves

Name of creator(s): Graves | John Thomas | 1806-1870 | jurist and mathematician


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in Dublin, 1806; undergraduate at Trinity College, Dublin; distinguished himself in science and classics; a contemporary and friend of Sir William Rowan Hamilton; researches respecting exponential functions led him to important results, 1826; graduated BA, 1827; printed in the Philosophical Transactions the discovery of two arbitrary and independent integers in the complete expression of an imaginary logarithm, and considered it a solution for various difficulties that had perplexed mathematicians, believing that he had elucidated the subject of the logarithms of negative and imaginary quantities, 1829; removed to Oxford and became an incorporated member of Oriel College, 1830; entered the King's Inns, Dublin, 1830; MA, Oxford, 1831; MA, Dublin, 1832; called to the English bar as member of the Inner Temple, 1831; for a short time went on the western circuit; since his mathematical conclusions were not at first universally accepted by contemporaries such as Sir John Herschel, he communicated to the British Association a defence and explanation of his discovery, supported by Sir William Rowan Hamilton's paper published in the British Association's Report, 1834; corresponded for many years with Hamilton, also interested in algebraical science and imaginaries, who communicated his discovery of quaternions to Graves first of all, and acknowledged his debt to his friend for his stimulus in 1843; Graves continued his mathematical investigations; stimulated Sir William Rowan Hamilton in the study of polyhedra, and received from him the first intimation of the discovery of the icosian calculus; contributed various papers on mathematical subjects to the Philosophical Magazine, London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine and others, 1836-1856; member of the committee of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge; elected a member of the Royal Society, 1839; subsequently sat on its council; Professor of Jurisprudence, University College London, 1839-1843; elected an examiner in laws in the University of London; twelve lectures on the law of nations were reported in the Law Times from 1845; a member of the Philological Society and of the Royal Society of Literature; appointed an assistant Poor Law Commissioner, 1846; appointed a poor-law inspector of England and Wales, 1847; died, 1870. Publications: articles on Roman law and canon law for the Encyclopędia Metropolitana; articles in Sir William Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography (3 volumes, London, 1844-1849), including lives of the jurists Cato, Crassus, Drusus, Gaius, and an article on the legislation of Justinian; various scientific papers.


Scope and content/abstract:

Approximately 2,860 anagrams on the name of Augustus De Morgan by John Thomas Graves. Undated.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Physical characteristics:

Paper manuscript in paper binding. 32cm.

Finding aids:

Dorothy K Coveney, A Descriptive Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library of University College London (London, 1935); handlist at University College London Special Collections.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented to University College London by A P Graves in 1919.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

University College London Special Collections also holds lectures by Graves on jurisprudence and equity, delivered during his Professorship at University College London (Ref: MSS ADD 4, 53); documents relating to his career, 1827-1922 (Ref: MS ADD 116); Appointment Committee Report on Graves regarding the Chair of Jurisprudence, 1839 (Ref: LIB/CA/APPMINSA/012); 23 letters to the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1840-1845 (Ref: SDUK); a letter to Graves from S Maynard, bookseller, 1861 (Ref: MS MISC 1N); a letter from Philip Beecroft to Graves, 1854 (Ref: GRAVES TRACTS A5309); an undated letter to Augustus de Morgan (Ref: S.R.E.810.D2/21b); letters relating to University College London business, 1839-1849 (Ref: COLLEGE CORRESPONDENCE); letters and manuscripts, 1727-1857 and undated, on scientific subjects collected by Graves (Ref: MS GRAVES 23); and other manuscripts collected by Graves, many on mathematical subjects (Ref: MS GRAVES). University College London also holds the Graves Library, comprising 14,000 volumes on law, classics and mathematics, mainly early works on mathematics and also touching upon the history of physics, chemistry and the biological sciences, and notably including works on Euclid.

British Library, Manuscript Collections, holds ten letters from Graves to Charles Babbage, 1836-1844 (Ref: Add MSS 37189-200 passim). Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, holds correspondence with Sir Thomas Phillipps, 1844-1870 (Ref: MSS Phillipps-Robinson). Trinity College Dublin holds correspondence and papers, 1822-1860 (Ref: MS 10047), and c100 letters to Sir W R Hamilton, 1825-1859 (Ref: MS 1492).

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: Dictionary of National Biography; National Register of Archives; University College London website. Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Aug 2001

Anagrams | Linguistics
Mathematicians | Scientists | Scientific personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Spelling | Linguistics

Personal names
Graves | John Thomas | 1806-1870 | jurist and mathematician
Morgan | Augustus De | 1806-1871 | mathematician and historian x De Morgan | Augustus

Corporate names