% LaTeX source for Notes and Queries on Bayes




  {\Large Readers' Queries}
THE REV.\ THOMAS BAYES, F.R.S.---Can any reader mention a source of 
biographical information about this man, whose celebrated and 
much-discussed contribution to the theory of probability was 
communicated posthumously to the Royal Society by Dr.\ Richard Price 
in 1763?
  G.\ J.\ L.\phantom{\ H.}


[From \textit{Notes and Queries} \textbf{180} (1941), March 29, p.\ 225.]


  {\Large Replies}
THE REV.\ THOMAS BAYES, F.R.S.\ (clxxx.\ 225)---Most of the biographical
dictionaries ignore this eminent person, but a brief account of him
occurs in the `Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography', three
volumes, Glasgow, William Mackenzie (1865).  The notice is as follows:


\textsc{Bayes}, Thomas, a presbyterian minister, for some time
assistant to his father, Joshua Bayes, but afterwards settled as pastor
of a congregation in Tunbridge Wells, where he died, April 17th, 1761. 
He was \textsc{f.r.s.}\ and distinguished as a mathematician.  He took
part in the controversy on fluxions against Bishop Berkeley, by
publishing an anonymous pamphlet, entitled ``An Introduction to the
Doctrine of Fluxions, and Defence of the Mathematicians against the
Author of the Analyst,'' London 1736, 8vo.  He is the author of two
mathematical papers in the Philosophical Transactions.  An anonymous
tract by him, under the title of ``Divine Benevolence,'' in reply to one
on Divine Rectitude, by John Balguy, likewise anonymous, attracted much


It is signed T.\ F., but these initials are not identified in the list
of contributors.  It is possible that further information may be found
about him in the records of the Presbyterian Church, or in histories of
Tunbridge Wells.  

Your correspondent is probably aware that the two papers published in
the \textit{Philosophical Transactions} of the Royal Society of 1763
have recently been republished in facsimile by the Graduate School of
the U,S.\ Dept.\ of Agriculture, Washington, with commentaries by Edward
C.\ Molina and W.\ Edwards Deming (\textit{vide Nature}, vol.\ cxlvii,
March 29, 1941, Supplement, p.\ iv).

A simple notice of death, ``The Rev.\ Mr Bayes of Tunbridge Wells', is
given in the \textit{Gentleman's Magazine}, vol.\ xxxi., p.\ 188, and
the date there given is April 7 not April 17.
  A.\ J.\ H.\phantom{\ H.}
  \quad Wigan.


\noindent [From \textit{Notes and Queries} \textbf{180} (1941), April
19, pp.\ 282--283.]