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Cuthbert Tunstall

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Hackforth, Yorkshire, England

18 Dec 1559

Lambeth, London, England

Cuthbert Tunstall was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, then left because of the plague to go to King's Hall, Cambridge. When Henry VIII founded Trinity College 50 years later, King's Hall became part of Trinity.

Between 1499 and 1505 Tunstall studied Canon and Roman law at Padua. On his return to England he entered the Church, obtaining the parish of Barmston in Yorkshire. After being rector of a number of different parishes, holding several at one time, he became Bishop of London in 1522, then becoming Bishop of Durham in 1530.

A conservative during the Reformation he was imprisoned in 1552 and deprived of his bishopric.

Reinstated the following year by Mary Tudor, Tunstall was deprived again in 1559 after refusing to swear the oath of supremacy under Elizabeth.

Tunstall wrote the first printed work published in England devoted exclusively to mathematics. It was an arithmetic book De arte supputandi libri quattuor (1522) based on Pacioli 's Suma. It makes no claim to originality.

Tunstall also has the distinction of having the Grynaeus's edition, being the first printed edition, of Euclid 's Elements in Greek dedicated to him.

Source:School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland