Salmon, George

George Salmon (1819-1904)             

George Salmon was born in either Cork or Dublin.  Currently, opinion seems to lean towards Dublin as biographies published before his death cite Dublin as his place of birth.  His father was a linen merchant from Cork.

George Salmon was educated at Trinity College Dublin.  While he was an ordained member of the Church of Ireland and a University Administrator of note, Salmon did research in algebra, matrices and group theory.  Salmon wrote four textbooks on mathematics; Conic Sections (remained in use until recently), Higher Plane Curves, Lessons Introductory to the Modern Higher Algebra and Geometry of Three Dimensions

George Salmon was a respected New Testament Scholar and his book The infallibility of the Church was a criticism of Papal Infallibility.  Salmon played a central role in the reorganisation of the Church of Ireland following Disestablishment in 1870.

George Salmon accrued many honours during his lifetime. He was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1843 and was awarded the Cunningham Medal of the RIA in 1858.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1863 and received the Copley Medal of the Royal Society in 1889.  He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1902.  He was an Honorary Member of the Academies of Berlin, Copenhagen and Göttingen and he was awarded Honorary Degrees from the universities of Cambridge, Christiania, Edinburgh and Oxford.  He was appointed Provost of Trinity College in 1888 and he remained in that office until he died.  A statue to commemorate George Salmon was erected in the grounds of Trinity College.

George Salmon died in the Provost’s House in Trinity College in Dublin in 1904 and is buried in Mount Jerome Cemetry.


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