The Tudor Society

A mathematician, Call Me Risley, and a scapegoat

In this second part of This week in Tudor history, historian Claire Ridgway introduces mathematician and inventor William Oughtred, tells you about the life of Thomas Wriothesley, the man known as “Call me Risley” in Hilary Mantel’s novels, and shares about Germaine Gardiner, a bishop’s nephew who was executed as a scapegoat.

5th March 1575 - Baptism of mathematician William Oughtred at Eton College. Oughtred is responsible for developing a straight slide-rule, a gauging rod and various sundials. He also introduced the "×" symbol for multiplication and the abbreviations "sin" and "cos" for the sine and cosine functions.

6th March 1547 - Former Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton, lost the Great Seal of his Lord Chancellorship and was confined to his home at Ely Place for abusing his authority.

7th March 1544 - Germaine Gardiner and priest John Larke were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch believes that Germaine was a scapegoat for the actions of his uncle and master, Bishop Stephen Gardiner.

The American Oughtred Society -

Other Tudor history events for 5th, 6th and 7th March:

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A mathematician, Call Me Risley, and a scapegoat