Mathematical culture in Restoration England: the life and letters of John Collins
The second half of the seventeenth century witnessed a remarkable growth in the mathematical sciences in England, culminating in the publication of Newton's Principia in 1687. This progress was reflected not only in the newly established Royal Society, but also in an increasingly sophisticated level of practical mathematics in accountancy, commerce, navigation, and instrument making. New mathematical learning permeated workshops, warehouses, dockyards, coffee houses, and taverns, and was disseminated by means of printed books, journals, and letters. The most prominent facilitator of mathematical exchanges in Restoration England, and perceived as such by eminent contemporaries, was undoubtedly John Collins (1625-83), whose primary goal was 'the promotion of mathematick learning'.