Thomas Wright Hill

Thomas Wright Hill

Thomas Wright Hill

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Thomas Wright Hill (Kidderminster 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...
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