Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



In his 1859 obituary of George Peacock (Royal Society of London, 1859),the nineteenth century mathematician and Dean of Ely Cathedral, his friend and long-time colleague J. F. W. Herschel not only lists Peacock's accomplishments as an educator, a churchman, and a mathematician, but also describes a man who embodies warmth and wisdom, the kind of person you would enjoy knowing and having as a colleague. Writing about Peacock in the Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society, Augustus DeMorgan echoes these sentiments when he says that "Whenever a man of safe judgment was wanted, who united kindness and courtesy to a clear view of duty and firm purpose, the government, the clergy, and the university knew where to find him." (Royal Astronomical Society, 1859). We can add one more characteristic to this list of flattering comments. Peacock was a reformer-throughout his life he exhibited a powerful ability to bring about needed change.


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