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People Born in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth
Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth in People's Lives
Isaac Newton: I was born here in 1642, on Christmas Day. I was born prematurely, and was thus very small. My mother famously said that at the time, I fit in a quart mug. My father, who had been a successful farmer, had died three months before I was born. I was born at Woolsthorpe Manor here. When I was three years old, in 1645, my mother married a reverend, and we went to live at his home. I was mainly cared for after that by my grandmother, and I grew up resenting my stepfather. I would later confess that I once threatened to burn the house down on top of him and my mother. At the age of 12, in 1654, I was sent to attend a prestigious boy's school in nearby Grantham. When my stepfather died in 1658, leaving my mother widowed for a second time, she decided to remove me from school - where I was thriving as the top-ranked student - only a few months before my studies were to be completed. She had apparently taken up a rather foolish notion that I would move back to our family's estate here and support her, and the land, by becoming a farmer. I was disgusted, and hated farming passionately. Thankfully, one of my professors convinced my mother to let me return to school to finish my studies, which I did. After studying with success at Trinity College at Cambridge for years afterward, I had to return here in 1665, due to the university being shut down due to the spread of the Black Plague. Though out of school, I kept to my studies, making much progress on developing calculus, optics, and the theory of gravity. I returned to Cambridge two years later, in 1667.