Mole, John (1743-1827) (DNB00)


MOLE, JOHN (1743–1827), mathematician, the son of an agricultural labourer, was born at Old Newton, near Stowmarket, Suffolk, 10 March 1743 (O.S.) His mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Martin, taught him to read, but he received no school education. He obtained employment as a farmer's servant, and at the age of twenty-seven displayed extraordinary powers of mental calculation, and subsequently acquired, without tuition, an intimate knowledge of algebra. In 1773 he opened a school at Nacton, near Ipswich. His 'Elements of Algebra, to which is prefixed a choice collection of Arithmetical Questions, with their Solutions, including some New Improvements worthy the attention of Mathematicians,' London, 1788, 8vo, was highly commended by the reviews. In April 1788 the author paid a visit to London, and was introduced to Dr. Tomline [q. v.], bishop of Lincoln, and Lord Walpole. He was an occasional contributor of pieces in prose and verse to the 'Ipswich Magazine' (1799–1800). In 1793 he relinquished his school at Nacton, and removed to Witnesham, a village on the other side of Ipswich, where he again commenced the drudgery of tuition. While there he published 'A Treatise on Algebra,' Ipswich, 1809, 8vo. In 1811 he returned to Nacton, where he died on 20 Sept. 1827. He was twice married, but left no issue.

[Addit. MSS. 19167 f. 162, 19170 f. 145; De Morgan's Arithmetical Books, p. 117; Gent. Mag. 1788 p. 410, February 1828 p. 185; Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. vi. 887-91.]

T. C.