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Lot #6042
Isaac Newton Handwritten Manuscript on Family Tree — "Newton" Written 25 Times!

Remarkable family tree manuscript by Isaac Newton, with "Newton" written 25 times!

Estimate: $40000+
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Remarkable family tree manuscript by Isaac Newton, with "Newton" written 25 times!

English physicist, mathematician, and astronomer (1643-1727), widely regarded as the most influential figure in the history of science, whose ideas and discoveries, including calculus, the laws of gravitation and motion, and observations on the nature of light and optics, earned him a place among the most profound geniuses in the history of mankind. Marvelous autograph notes by Isaac Newton about his family tree, unsigned but incorporating his surname, "Newton," twenty-five times throughout the text, one page both sides, 7.75 x 6.25, no date but circa 1700. This significant document contains Newton’s notes about his ancestral family on both of his parents' sides—desirably penning his surname, “Newton,” some 25 times within the approximately 500-word manuscript.

He writes of his father’s side of the family in beginning with Mary Newton (1520-1565), and of his mother’s side beginning with his grandmother Margery Ayscough. The notes about his father’s and mother’s family are each written on distinct sides of the sheet of paper (with the notes being written in opposite directions on the two sides of the page). The notes about his maternal grandmother record Isaac Newton’s memories of a conversion he had with her “about 54 or 55 years ago” (i.e. circa 1635) relating to legal matters of inheritance (and “heirs at law”). Newton has rewritten these notes several times, each time with variations in the wording—a practice he was known to engage in when seeking to polish a statement. Newton has written these notes in the third person, referring to himself as “the Deponent,” and it is perhaps the case that Newton is here preparing to make a formal declaration of his family history in context of his receiving Knighthood from Queen Anne. In very good to fine condition, with staining to the lower half of the sheet, not adversely affecting readability.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Remarkable Rarities
  • Dates: #669 - Ended September 23, 2023

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