18th Century Maths

Have a go at these old numeracy exercises from around 1750.

These questions were taken from the mathematical exercise book of Robert Ellis of Welton (see ‘A Number Of Questions‘) and date back to around 1750, when there were no calculators!

Do you think you can solve them without a calculator?! Send your answers to archives.service@eastriding.gov.uk . If you’re first to answer correctly, we’ll publish your name, and all the answers will be revealed later.

 “ A snail in getting up a Maypole, only 20 feet high, was observed to climb 8 feet every day, but every night it would come down again 4 feet.

In what time by this method did it reach the top?

“A certain man intending to go a journey of 336 miles, and wants to complete the same in 12 days,

it is required how many miles he must travel each day?

“A certain island contains 52 counties, every county contains 42 parishes, every parish 246 houses, and every house 10 persons

I demand how many parishes, houses, and persons there are in the whole island?

How many times doth the wheel of a carriage, which is 18 ½ feet in circumference turn round between Elloughton and Hull being a distance of 11 miles?”

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