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MARRAT, WILLIAM (1772–1852), mathematician and topographer, born at Sibsey, Lincolnshire, on 6 April 1772, was for fifty years a contributor to mathematical serials, such as the ‘Ladies' and Gentlemen's Diary,’ the ‘Receptacle,’ the ‘Student,’ and the ‘Leeds Correspondent.’ He was self-taught, had an extensive acquaintance with literature and science, and was a good German and French scholar. While residing at Boston, Lincolnshire, he for some years followed the trade of a printer and publisher. At other times he was a teacher of mathematics not only in Lincolnshire, but in New York, where he lived from 1817 to 1820, and at Liverpool, where he settled in 1821. His first work was ‘An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Mechanics,’ Boston, 1810, 8vo, pp. 468. In 1811–12 he, in conjunction with P. Thompson, conducted ‘The Enquirer, or Literary, Mathematical, and Philosophical Repository,’ Boston. During 1814–16 he wrote ‘The History of Lincolnshire,’ which came out in parts, and after three volumes, 12mo, had been published, it was stopped, as Marrat alleged, through Sir Joseph Banks's refusal to allow access to his papers. In 1816 his ‘Historical Description of Stamford,’ 12mo, was published at Lincoln. ‘The Scientific Journal,’ edited by him, came out with the imprint ‘Perth Amboy, N. J. and New York,’ 1818, nine numbers, 8vo. An anonymous ‘Geometrical System of Conic Sections,’ Cambridge, 1822, is ascribed to Marrat in the catalogue of the Liverpool Free Library. He compiled ‘Lunar Tables,’ Liverpool, 1823, and wrote ‘The Elements of Mechanical Philosophy,’ 1825, 8vo. About this time he compiled the ‘Liverpool Tide Table,’ and was a contributor to ‘Blackwood's Magazine.’ From 1833 to 1836 he was mathematical tutor in a school at Exeter, but on the death of his wife he returned to Liverpool.

He died suddenly at Liverpool on 26 March 1852, and was buried at the necropolis near that city. His son, Frederick P. Marrat, is an accomplished conchologist and zoologist.

[Ladies' and Gentlemen's Diary, 1853, p. 75; Historic Soc. of Lancashire and Cheshire, xiv. 35; Notes and Queries, 1868, 4th ser. i. 365, 489; Brit. Museum and Liverpool Free Library Catalogues; Smithsonian Institution Cat. of Scientific Periodicals, 1885, p. 521; Smithers's Liverpool, p. 442; Glazebrook's Southport, 1826; communications from Messrs. F. P. Marrat (Liverpool), Robert Roberts (Boston), Morgan Brierley, and F. Espinasse.]

C. W. S.