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Robert Recorde, M.D. was the physician of two Tudor Sovereigns, the author of the first English work on arithmetic, the originator of the sign of equality (=) “the first English writer on algebra, and also the first English writer on astronomy and geometry,” says Evelyn Lewes in the “Welsh Outlook.” “It would indeed be interesting to know more of the mother of this famous scholar and to hear how it came about that the daughter of Thomas Jones Esq, of Machynlleth in the latter years of the reign of Henry VIII, met and married Thomas Recorde Esq, of Tenby. But beyond their names and the fact that they were people if good position, nothing of importance seems to be known concerning the parents of this, “Fellow of All Souls, Oxford,” of whom we find written in “Fuller’s Worthies of Wales.”

Court Physician

Whether he eventually went to London to be nearer the Court, or Royalty after he was established in London, is difficult to discover, but no doubt the death of Henry VIII marked an epoch in his fortunes, for he was presently appointed physician to the boy-king Edward VI. In 1548, either in the character of a man of singularly keen judgement likely to detect a fraud, or as a distinguished doctor certain to recognise a case of insanity, he was directed by the Privy Council to interview a person called Allen, who was confined in the Tower as one who claimed to be a prophet.

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