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John Keill (1 December 1671 – 31 August 1721) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was primarily a mathematician and important disciple of Isaac Newton. He studied at Edinburgh University, under David Gregory, and obtained his bachelors degree in 1692 with a distinction in physics and mathematics. Keill then attended Balliol College, Oxford obtaining an MA on 2 February 1694.

Keill claimed that Leibniz plagiarized Newton's invention of calculus and he served as Newton's chief defender. However, Newton himself eventually grew tired of Keill as he stirred up too much trouble.

In 1715, Keill published a book on trigonometry and logarithms, Euclides Elementorum Libri Priores Sex. He also wrote on forces between particles and on theories of the origin of the universe. His lectures were published in Leiden, 1725, in a book called Introductio ad Veram Astronomiam.

In 1717, he married Mary Clements, a woman 25 years his junior. The marriage created great scandal at the time as she was from a lower class.

External links

* Keill's MacTutor biography
* "Keill, John". Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900​. London: Smith, Elder & Co.


1. ^ Isis, 2003, 94: 435–455


Mathematics Encyclopedia

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