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Collins corresponded with Newton and with many of the leading English and foreign mathematicians of the day, drafting mathematical notes on behalf of the Society.When Jones applied for the mastership of Christ's Hospital Mathematical School in 1709 he carried with him testimonials from Edmund Halley and Newton. However Jones's former pupil, Philip Yorke, had by now embarked on his legal career and introduced his tutor to Sir Thomas Parker (1667-1732), a successful lawyer who was on his way to becoming the next lord chief justice in the following year.(the quantity which, when the diameter is multiplied by it, yields the circumference).
On his return to London he had earned his living as a teacher and an accountant.
He held several increasingly lucrative posts and was adept at disentangling intricate accounts.
In fact it was first used in print in its modern sense in 1706 a year before Euler's birth by a self-taught mathematics teacher William Jones (1675-1749) in his second book based on his teaching notes.
Before the appearance of the symbol π, approximations such as 22/7 and 355/113 had also been used to express the ratio, which may have given the impression that it was a rational number.
The son of an impoverished minister, Collins was apprenticed to a bookseller.
Essentially self-taught like Jones, he had also gone to sea and learned navigation.While the victorious seamen went ashore in search of silver and the spoils of war, for Jones, according to an 1807 memoir by Baron Teignmouth, '...literary treasures were the sole plunder that he coveted.' On his return to England Jones left the Navy and began to teach mathematics in London, probably initially in coffee houses where for a small fee customers could listen to a lecture. Not long after this Jones became tutor to Philip Yorke, later 1st Earl of Hardwicke (1690-1764), who became lord chancellor and provided an invaluable source of introductions for his tutor.On Oughtred's death in 1660 some books and papers from his fine mathematical library were acquired by the mathematician John Collins (1625-83), from whom they would eventually pass to Jones.The irrationality of π was not proved until 1761 by Johann Lambert (1728-77), then in 1882 Ferdinand Lindemann (1852-1939) proved that π was a non-algebraic irrational number, a transcendental number (one which is not a solution of an algebraic equation, of any degree, with rational coefficients).For this Jones recognised that only a pure platonic symbol would suffice.The symbol π had been used in the previous century in a significantly different way by the rector and mathematician, William Oughtred (c.Later he sailed to the West Indies and became interested in navigation; he then went on to be a mathematics master on a man-of-war.He was present at the battle of Vigo in October 1702 when the English successfully intercepted the Spanish treasure fleet as it was returning to the port in north-west Spain under French escort.He was also responsible for developing one of the greatest scientific libraries and mathematical archives in the country which remained in the hands of the Macclesfield family, his patrons, for nearly 300 years.Though Jones ended his life as part of the mathematical establishment, his origins were modest.