Robert Richard Anstice

Born: 9 April 1813 in Madeley, Shropshire, England
Died: 17 Dec 1853 in Wigginton (near Tring), Hertfordshire, England

Show birthplace location

Previous (Chronologically) Next Biographies Index
Previous (Alphabetically) Next Welcome page

Anstice entered Christ Church, Oxford in 1831 graduating with a BA in 1835 and an MA in 1837. He was ordained in 1846 and the following year he became rector of Wigginton, near Tring, in the diocese of St Albans. He died after only six years as a Church of England parish minister, the parish records describing him as

a fine philosophical preacher, and greatly mourned when he died.

Anstice wrote three mathematical papers in his six years in the parish. The first was On the motion of a free pendulum while the other two are both on combinatorics both being entitled On a problem in combinations.

The two papers on combinatorics deal with Kirkman triple systems. Anstice gives an infinite family of cyclic Steiner triple systems 40 years before Netto. He also gives Room squares a century before the paper by T G Room from which they were named.

Anstice gave examples of 2-rotational Kirkman triple systems which remained the only ones known until 1971.

His remarkable results seem to have been little noticed. Anstice, however, also appears to have failed to realise the importance of his work as he end one paper with the comment

But too much space has been already devoted to such a trifle.

Reference (One book/article)

Previous (Chronologically) Next Biographies Index
Previous (Alphabetically) Next Welcome page
History Topics Index Famous curves index
Chronologies Birthplace Maps
Mathematicians of the day Anniversaries for the year
Search Form Simple Search Form Search Suggestions

JOC/EFR December 1996