William Leslie Thomson


Born: 14 February 1868 in Selkirk, Scotland
Died: 3 October 1951 in Edinburgh, Scotland

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William Leslie Thomson's father was Thomas Thomson (born in Lauder, Berwick about 1843) who was a butcher. His mother was Margaret Thomson (born Edinburgh about 1843). He had several younger siblings: Margaret (born about 1870), Beatrice (born about 1872), Thomas (born about 1874), James (born about 1877), Isabella (born about 1879) and Robert (born about 1880).

William Thomson attended school in Penicuik, then at St Andrew's School, Perth. After training at the Church of Scotland Training College in Edinburgh, he entered the University of Edinburgh to study mathematics and physics, graduating in 1891. He then was awarded a scholarship to allow him to study mathematics at Caius College, Cambridge. He was a Wrangler in the Mathematical Tripos of 1894.

He married Jessie Thomson. Their daughter Lizzie was born about 1898.

Thomson became a school teacher, teaching mathematics first in in Kirkwall, then at Kilmarnock Academy. In 1899 J W Butters left George Heriot's School in Edinburgh to become Rector at the Academy in Ardrossan. Thomson was appointed to George Heriot's School to fill the vacancy and he taught there until he retired in 1928.

His obituary in the Edinburgh Mathematical Notes is at THIS LINK

Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson

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A Reference (One book/article)

Mathematicians born in the same country

Additional Material in MacTutor

  1. Papers in the Proceedings and Notes of the EMS
  2. Obituary: EMS Notes

Honours awarded to William Leslie Thomson
(Click below for those honoured in this way)
1. Lecturer at the EMS 
2. EMS President 1904


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JOC/EFR July 2007
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School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of St Andrews, Scotland

The URL of this page is:
http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Thomson_W_L.html