Harrison, Robert (1715-1802) (DNB00)

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HARRISON, ROBERT (1715–1802), mathematician, was appointed master of the Trinity House School in Newcastle on 14 Jan. 1757. For several years previously he had become well known from the part he took in the courses of lectures established in the town in 1739 by Isaac Thomson, printer. Harrison lectured on elementary physics, mechanics, and dynamics, and in conjunction with Thomson published ‘A Short Account of a Course of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, comprehending Mechanics, Hydrostatics, and Pneumatics, with the Elements of Optics and Astronomy’ (Newcastle, 1757). Among the private pupils of Harrison were John Scott and his brother (afterwards Lord Eldon and Lord Stowell). Besides his mathematical acquirements Harrison attained a great reputation as a linguist, and according to Richardson (Local Historian, iii. 21) was ‘acquainted with almost every known language.’ After resigning his mastership in the Trinity House School, he retired to Durham, and lived there during the rest of his life. In both towns he was generally known as Philosopher Harrison. In November 1802 he died at Durham, in the eighty-eighth year of his age.

[Richardson's Local Historian's Table Book, ii. 242, iii. 21.]

R. E. A.