[r-t] bobs-only Grandsire Triples

Andrew Johnson andrew_johnson at uk.ibm.com
Fri Feb 3 15:40:22 UTC 2017

Alexander Holroyd (3 February) also says
I thought Thompson was the senior wrangler at Cambridge?  That wouldn't 
square too well with the assertion that he was "not a mathematician".

Roy Dyckhoff says:
lists the Senior Wranglers from 1748-1909; I don't see Thompson's name. I 
cannot vouch for the accuracy of this list; see 
for discussions thereon. However, many distinguished mathematicians did 
the Tripos but were not Senior Wranglers. 

I have no information or strong opinion on whether or not Thompson was a 
mathematician (e.g. in the sense of having a mathematics degree) or was 
aware of group-theoretic tools.  His name does not appear in 
http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Indexes/T.html.  I am aware of many 
tools that I choose not to use, or that I use only for discovery rather 
than for public presentation.

The title page says (in all caps.):

A Note
Grandsire Triples,

Showing that the construction of a peal of
Grandsire Triples by means of plain leads
and common bob leads only is impossible.

W. H. Thompson, M.A.
Sometime of the Bengal Civil Service, and formerly scholar
of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Macmillan and Bowes

[All Rights reserved]

I've done some research and found Thompson's Christian names here
University Library Bulletin - Volume 3 - Page 347
THOMPSON (WILLIAM HENRY) A note on Grandsire
Triples 8vo. Cambridge, 1886.

which distinguishes him from William Hepworth Thompson, Master of 
Trinity.College, Cambridge.

With a full name I found this:

Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, 
Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the 
Earliest Times to 1900, Volume 2
John Venn
Cambridge University Press, 15 Sep 2011 
gives the following information:

July 8, 1858. S. of Frederick Elijah (and Mary Ann). B. 
[Sept 26] 1840 in St Marylebone, London. Bapt. Oct 17,
1841. Schools, King's College, London and Rugby. Did not
reside. Adm. pens. at Caius, May 25 1859. Matric. Lent,
1860; B.A. (23rd Wrangler) 1863; M.A. 1869. Joined the
I.C.S., 1863; Assistant Magistrate and Collector at Dacca;
Called to the Bar, Jan 26, 1872; practiced in the Punjab.
Author, On Grandsire Triples; Diagram of a System of Peals of
Union Triples.  Lived latterly at Brighton, where he died
July 10, 1934. Brother of John E. (1850) and Springall
(1840). (Venn, II. 344; Law Lists; C.S. Lists; Inns of Court;
Foster, Men at the Bar; The Times, July 12 1934.)

and then:

Biographical History of Gonville and Caius College 1349-1897
CUP Archive

Thompson, William, Henry: son of late Frederick Elijah Thompson, of 
Born in the parish of Marylebone, Sep. 26, 1840. At King's College School,
and at Rugby. Admitted pensioner, May 25 1859.
  B.A. 1863 (23rd wrangler): M.A. 1869. Scholar, L Day 1860 ro L Day
1866. Entered the Indian Civil Service, 1863. Assistant Magistrate and
Collector at Dacca. Retired 1868. Called to the bar, Inner Temple, 1872:
practised for some time as a barrister in the Punjaub. Author: On 
Triples, 1886. Diagram of a system of peals of Union Triples, 1893. 
Address, 1898, Sillwood St. Brighton.

I hope this is of interest.

Andrew Johnson

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