Thomas Wright Hill
24 April 1763–Tottenham
, 13 June 1851) was a mathematician and schoolmaster. He is credited as inventing the single transferable vote
in 1819. His son, Rowland Hill
, famous as the originator of the modern postal system, introduced STV in 1840 into the world's first public election, for the Adelaide City Council
, in which the principle of proportional representation was applied.
In 1791, Thomas Wright Hill courageously tried to save the apparatus of Dr Joseph Priestley
from a mob in the Birmingham 'Church and King' riots
of 1791 — the offer was declined.
He was interested in astronomy, being a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and in computers, as is shown by a letter of his to Charles Babbage
, dated March 23, 1836, among the Babbage manuscripts at the British Library, returning some logarithm tables that he had borrowed and adding "How happy I shall be when I can see such a work verified and enlarged by your divine machine".
Hill and education
He started work as a brassfounder, but was more interested in intellectual pursuits, so in 1802 he bought a boys' school on Lionel Street, Birmingham
moving it to Hill Top, Gough Street. In 1819, it moved again to a new purpose-built school designed by Rowland at Hazelbrook called Hazelwood
on Hagley Road in Edgbaston
.Colin G. Hey, Rowland Hill: Victorian genius and benefactor
, Quiller Press, 1989. ISBN 1 870948 32 7
From the start the school... Read More