Statement: Through his early life experiences and with the knowledge left by his
predecessors, Sir Isaac Newton was able to develop calculus, natural forces, and
birth to early childhood, Isaac Newton overcame many personal, social, and
mental hardships. It is through these experiences that helped create the person
society knows him as in this day and age. The beginning of these obstacles
started at birth for Newton. Isaac was born premature on Christmas Day 1642, in
the manor house of Woolsthorpe, 7 miles south of Grantham in Lincolnshire. It is
said that “Because Galileo, . . . had died that year, a significance attaches
itself to 1642″ (Westfall 1). Though his father had died before Isaac was
born, he was given his fathers name. He was born into a farming family that
had worked their way slowly up the “social ladder”. The Newtons were one
of the few families to prosper in Lincolnshire (Westfall 1). At the age of three
Isaacs life would take a drastic turn. When Isaac was three his mother,
Hannah Ayscough, remarried to the Reverend Barnabas Smith (Internet-newtonia).
Isaac and the Reverend never got along and the Reverend would not have a child
that was not his living with him. Isaac stayed with his grandparents when his
mother went to live with the Reverend in North Witham. His maternal grandmother
raised Isaac until he was ten. It is believed that his mothers second
marriage and her leaving caused many problems for Isaac as a child. While living
with his grandparents he attended day school nearby in Skillington and Stoke.
Isaac was surrounded by many cousins and other family members in the surrounding
area though, “He formed no bond with any of his numerous relatives that can be
traced later in his life” (Westfall 11). In 1653 his mother returned after her
second husband died. With her she brought one half brother and two half sisters.
Although it is not known, bitterness may have inflicted Isaac when his three new
siblings arrived. Never the less, two years later at the age of twelve he was
sent to Grantham to attend grammar school. While attending grammar school Isaac
lived with the apothecary Mr. Clark (Westfall 12). Mr. Clark had three
stepchildren from the first marriage of his wife, Miss Storer, who were also
living in his house. In school and at home Isaac was apparently different and
did not get along with any other boys. He was often in fights and remembered
only one nice boy from school, Chrichloe. All the other boys seemed to hate him.
He was more comfortable in the company of girls. He made doll furniture for Mr.
Clarks daughter. From this Isaacs first and last romantic experience
developed. “Indeed, as the two grew older, something of a romance apparently
developed between him and Miss Storer” (Westfall 13). From doll furniture
Newton moved on to other little machines. He used all the money his mother sent
him to buy tools and filled his room with the machines. He fell in love with Mr.
Clarks library and would read as often as possible. At times he would spend
so much time on projects that he would fall behind in school. When he realized
he was falling behind all Isaac had to do was pick up his textbook and would
immediately be caught up. Through his machines Newton became proficient in
drawing and his inventions steadily became more elaborate. At the age of
seventeen in 1659, Newton left Mr. Clark and had another life changing
experience. When Newton was seventeen his mother took him out of school and
brought him back to the family farm. Trying to teach him how to run the farm and
manage the estate was a failure. Newton would always bribe a hired hand to do
the work he was supposed to. When he was supposed to be in town selling produce
he would go to his old room in Mr. Clarks house and read or play with his
machines. In all of his spare time he returned to inventing and building
machines. Newtons uncle and old schoolmaster saw that he was in the wrong
trade and urged his mother to prepare him to attend the University (Westfall
17). In 1660 he returned to Grantham to finish grammar school and prepare for
the university. In June of 1661 Newton entered Trinity College, Cambridge
(Internet-groups). While at Cambridge Newton studied mathematics (Internet-newtonia).
This is when Newton first started to delve into the many discoveries he would
soon be making.