Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Baines, John

BAINES, JOHN (1787–1838), mathematician, was born at Westfield farmhouse in the parish of Horbury, Yorkshire, in 1787. From his boyhood he gave proofs of a strong mathematical bias, and in his latter years was a well-known correspondent of the 'Ladies' Diary,' the 'Gentleman's Diary,' the 'York Miscellany,' and other similar periodicals, which in those days were noted for their geometrical and algebraic problems. He died at Thornhill, near Wakefield, Yorkshire, on 1 May 1838, where for nine years he had been master of the grammar school.

Besides many mathematical contributions to the above-named periodicals, nearly all of which evince considerable talent, we find on p. 24 of the 'Ladies' Diary' for 1833 an article of Baines on Cuvier's 'Theory of the Earth,' written to prove that it is a confirmation of the Mosaic account. From the Latin inscription on his tombstone in Horbury churchyard he appears to have been also skilled in Latin, Greek, and natural science, especially botany, 'in herbis decernendis peritus.'

[Private information; Gentleman's Diary for 1835, pp. 33-46, 1836, p. 48, 1837, &c., and previous volumes; Ladies' Diary for 1833, p. 24, 1836, p. 35, 1837, pp. 15-47.]

R. E. A.