Elmton, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Jedediah Buxton (1702-1772) was born at Elmton, and died there. He was the first recorded example of a mental calculator of limited intelligence. He had the intelligence of a ten-year old. His calculating abilities were first recorded when he was about 50 years old. He was a slow calculator and barely knew the multiplication table, but could work on a problem for weeks or months. He multiplied two 3-digit numbers in two minutes. A contemporary account asked him to find the volume of a box of dimension 23,145,789 by 5,642,732 by 54,965 yards in units of cubic eighths of an inch. This took him five hours, during which he worked in the fields. He once squared a number of 39 digits in his head, taking 2 months.

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Gazetteer Index Main MacTutor index

An extract from The Mathematical Gazetteer of the British Isles created by David Singmaster

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