James Inman

James Inman (1776-1859) was an English mathematician, professor of mathematics at the
Royal Naval College, Portsmouth.

He was born at Tod Hole in Garsdale, the younger son of Richard Inman and Jane Hutchinson. He was educated at Sedbergh Grammar School and St John's College, Cambridge, graduating as Senior Wrangler in 1800.

He was Astronomer on HMS Investigator under Captain Matthew Flinders charting Australian waters in 1803-4, was ordained in 1805 when he gained his MA, and was appointed Professor of Nautical Mathematics at the Royal Naval College in 1808. In 1821 he published "Navigation and Nautical Astronomy for Seamen"; these nautical tables remained in use for many years. In the third edition (1835) he introduced a new table of haversines to simplify the calculation of distances between two points on the surface of the earth using spherical trigonometry. (for details of the calculation, see Haversine_formula)

At his suggestion, the Admiralty established a School of Naval Architecture in 1810, and Inman was appointed Principal. At the same time as teaching in the school and publishing mathematical texts for the use of his pupils, he translated a French text on the architecture of shipbuilding, and continued his own studies, gaining his doctorate in Divinity in 1820.
He retired in 1839, but continued living in Portsmouth until his death twenty years later.

His wife Mary, daughter of Richard Williams, vicar of Oakham, Rutland, was a direct descendant of Hannah Ayscough, the mother of Sir Isaac Newton.


# 'Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry' 1810
# 'A Treatise on Shipbuilding, with Explanations and Demonstrations respecting the Architectura Navalis Mercatoria, by Frederick Henry de Chapman, . . . translated into English, with explanatory notes, and a few Remarks on the Construction of Ships of War'
# 'The Scriptural Doctrine of Divine Grace: a Sermon preached before the University' Cambridge, 8vo, 1820
# 'Navigation and Nautical Astronomy for the use of British Seamen' 1821 (Third edition with haversine logarithms 1835-6)
# 'An Introduction to Naval Gunnery' 1826
# 'Plane and Spherical Trigonometry' 1826
# 'Formulæ and Rules for making Calculations on Plans of Ships' London, 8vo, 1849

External links

* [http://www.royalnavalmuseum.org/info_sheets_james_inman.htm Royal Naval Museum biography]
* [http://www.memorials.inportsmouth.co.uk/churches/st_anns/inman.htm Memorial, St Ann's, Portsmouth]
* [http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/DefenceEstateandEnvironment/MODArtCollection/MinistryOfDefenceArtCollectionTheReverendJamesInman17761859.htm Painting of James Inman at MOD art collection]


# Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
# Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2nd ed. 1989. Cites coinage of term "Haversine" by Prof. Jas. Inman, D. D., in his Navigation and Nautical Astronomy, 3rd ed. (1835).

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