Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hodgson, James

HODGSON, JAMES (1672–1755), mathematical teacher and writer, was born in 1672. In 1703 he was elected fellow, and in 1733 one of the council, of the Royal Society. For many years before his death he was master of the Royal School of Mathematics at Christ's Hospital. Hodgson was a friend of John Flamsteed [q. v.], married his niece, and took part in the controversies in which Flamsteed was engaged. When Flamsteed died Hodgson assisted his widow in the publication of her husband's works, and he appears as co-editor of the ‘Atlas Cœlestis,’ published in 1729. The share, however, which Joseph Crosthwaite had in preparing Flamsteed's posthumous works for the press was never acknowledged. Hodgson died on 25 June 1755, leaving a widow and several children. His portrait by T. Gibson was engraved in mezzotint by G. White. He wrote, besides papers in the ‘Philosophical Transactions’ (vols. xxxvii–xlix.), 1. ‘The Theory of Navigation,’ 1706, 4to. 2. ‘The Laws of Stereographick Projection …,’ printed in ‘Miscellanea Curiosa,’ vol. ii., 1708, 8vo. 3. ‘A System of the Mathematics,’ 1723. 4. ‘The Doctrine of Fluxions founded on Sir Isaac Newton's Method …,’ 1736, 4to. 5. ‘An Introduction to Chronology,’ 1747, 8vo. 6. ‘A Treatise on Annuities,’ 1747. 7. ‘The Theory of Jupiter's Satellites,’ 1750. He also prefixed a short treatise on ‘The Theory of Perspective’ to the English translation of the French jesuit's work on perspective, a fourth edition of which was published in 1765.

[Gent. Mag. 1755, p. 284; Life of Flamsteed in this Dict.; Baily's Account of the Rev. John Flamsteed; Thomson's Hist. of Roy. Soc.; Roy. Soc. Lists; Noble's Granger, iii. 359; Bromley's Cat. of British Portraits.]

W. A. J. A.