Seth Ward

From Book Owners Online

Seth WARD 1617-1689

Biographical Note

Born at Buntingford, Hertfordshire, son of John Ward, attorney. BA Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge 1637, MA 1640, lecturer in mathematics 1643. Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford 1650, President of Trinity College, Oxford 1659. In 1660 he moved to London as vicar of St Lawrence Jewry, and became a founding Fellow of the Royal Society; he was made a prebendary of Exeter in the same year, Dean of Exeter in 1661, and Bishop of Exeter in 1662. He was translated to Salisbury in 1667. While the latter half of his career was dominated by ecclesiastical administration, he is also remembered for his mathematical and scientific writings and his interest in the development of a universal language.


Ward bequeathed ca.300 volumes to Salisbury Cathedral Library, where most of the books remain today. John Aubrey recorded rescuing "some of Seth Ward's scattered papers from being used by the cook to put under pies".

Characteristic Markings

Ward's books at Salisbury are not generally inscribed or marked in any readily recognisable way.