Charles Cavendish

(c. 1591—1654) mathematician

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Charles Cavendish was born and died in Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire. The Welbeck Cavendishes were cousins of the earls of Devonshire, the family within which Thomas Hobbes was employed as tutor. It was through this family connection that Sir Charles and his brother William Cavendish came to know Hobbes. Charles travelled abroad with Sir Henry Wotton in 1612 and was knighted in 1619. He represented Nottingham in the Parliaments of 1624, 1628 and 1640. During the English civil war he fought for the Royalist cause. In 1644, he went into exile, first in Hamburg and then in France. His letters from this period testify to his interest in scientific and philosophical developments in France at this time: in addition to Descartes, he knew the work of Roberval, Fermat and Gassendi. He returned to England in 1650 in order to try to reclaim some of his family's fortunes in the aftermath of the civil war.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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