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Mather

Mather

[math-er, math-]
Brown, Mather, 1761-1831, American portrait and historical painter, b. Boston. He studied under Benjamin West in London and continued to work in England. His portraits include those of George IV (Buckingham Palace, London), Queen Charlotte, Sir William Pepperrell, Cornwallis, and Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson; a self-portrait belongs to the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass. Marquis Cornwallis Receiving as Hostages the Sons of Tippo Sahib is his best-known historical work.
Mather, Cotton, 1663-1728, American Puritan clergyman and writer, b. Boston, grad. Harvard (B.A., 1678; M.A., 1681); son of Increase Mather and grandson of Richard Mather and of John Cotton. He was ordained (1685) and became a colleague of his father at North Church, Boston, serving as pastor in his father's absences and after his father's death (1723). It was principally by his indefatigable writing that he became one of the most celebrated of all New England Puritan ministers. He was a scholar of parts, working industriously to gather a library and volubly setting forth what he learned. Thus his Magnalia Christi Americana (1702) is a miscellany of materials on the ecclesiastical history of New England, vaguely intended to show how the history of Massachusetts demonstrated the working of God's will. His theological writings, now largely forgotten, had great influence in his time. He was a power in the state as well as in the church, was a leader in the revolt against the rule of Sir Edmund Andros and an adviser in Sir William Phips's government. Today he is generally pictured unsympathetically as the archetype of the narrow, intolerant, severe Puritan, and his part in the Salem witch trials in 1692 is often recalled. Although he did not approve of all the trials, he had helped to stir up the wave of hysterical fear by his Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcraft and Possessions (1689). Later he further pursued his inquiries into satanic possession with Wonders of the Invisible World (1693, new ed. 1956), which was sharply answered by Robert Calef. Even Mather's benevolence—expressed in his actions and reflected in his writings, as in Essays to Do Good (1710)—had a core of smugness. Yet he helped to forward learning and education and to make New England a cultural center. He was disappointed in his hopes of being president of Harvard but was one of the moving spirits in the founding of Yale. He was deeply interested in science and was the first native-born American to be a fellow of the Royal Society. He persuaded Zabdiel Boylston to inoculate against smallpox and supported the unpopular inoculation even when his life was threatened.

See biographies by B. Wendell (1891, repr. 1963), R. P. Boas and L. Boas (1928, repr. 1964), and K. Silverman (1985); studies by R. Middlekauff (1971) and J. P. Wood (1971); bibliography by T. J. Holmes (3 vol., 1940).

Mather, Frank Jewett, Jr., 1868-1953, American art critic and teacher, b. Deep River, Conn., grad. Williams, 1889, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins, 1892. He taught (1893-1900) at Williams and was professor (1910-33) of art and archaeology at Princeton. Art critic of the New York Evening Post and other papers, he also wrote many books.
Mather, Increase, 1639-1723, American Puritan clergyman, b. Dorchester, Mass.; son of Richard Mather. After graduation (1656) from Harvard, he studied at Trinity College, Dublin (M.A., 1658), and preached in England and Guernsey until the Restoration. After returning to Massachusetts (1661), he became (1664) pastor of North Church, Boston, and retained that position through his life. Cotton Mather, his son and colleague, cooperated with him in many of the affairs that occupied their busy lives. They were outstanding upholders of the old Puritan theocracy and of the established order in church and state. This conservatism led to trouble with the government during the Restoration period, and Increase Mather was a particularly bitter opponent of Edward Randolph and Sir Edmund Andros over the withdrawal of the Massachusetts charter and the conduct of the royal government. In 1688 he went to England to present the grievances of Massachusetts, and, after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the subsequent revolt in Massachusetts against Andros, he obtained a new charter that united Plymouth Colony with Massachusetts Bay Colony. Increase Mather looked with favor on the government of Sir William Phips. After 1692 his influence declined somewhat, but he remained powerful to the end. He was president of Harvard College (1685-1701), but he was inactive and spent little time in Cambridge. His writing reflected the concerns of his career. Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits (1693), appearing soon after the Salem witch furor, denounced "spectral evidence" in witch trials. He also wrote a biography of his father (1670); A History of the War with the Indians (1676), written just after King Philip's War; and Remarkable Providences (1684), based on an earlier work by other writers.

See biography by K. B. Murdock (1925, repr. 1966); study by R. Middlekauff (1971); bibliography by T. J. Holmes (1931).

Mather, John Cromwell, 1946-, American astrophysicist, b. Roanoke, Va., Ph.D. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1974. He has been a researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., since 1976. Mather and George Smoot shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery and characterization of small temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background radiation. Their measurements, made with the assistance of NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, provided support for the Big Bang theory of the birth of the universe and shed new light on the origin of galaxies and stars (see cosmology). Mather led the development of the COBE project proposal and was chief investigator for one of the COBE instruments responsible for the discovery. He is currently senior project scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope.
Mather, Richard, 1596-1669, British Puritan clergyman in North America, b. Lancashire, England. He studied at Oxford, began preaching, and was ordained in 1620. His Puritan beliefs led him into difficulties, and he fled to Massachusetts (1635), where he was pastor of Dorchester until his death. He helped to draw up the Cambridge Platform and, with John Eliot and Thomas Welde, prepared the Bay Psalm Book.

See T. J. Holmes, The Minor Mathers (1940); R. Middlekauff, The Mathers (1971).

Byles, Mather, 1707-88, American clergyman and poet, b. Boston. Famous minister of the Hollis St. Congregational Church, Boston, from 1732, he was dismissed for his Tory sympathies after the British evacuation of Boston. From his uncle, Cotton Mather, he inherited a valuable library, to which he added his own unique collection. His poetry, imitative but witty, appeared in Poems on Several Occasions (1744) and other volumes; his prose includes sermons and The Flourish of Annual Spring (1741).

See A. W. H. Eaton, The Famous Mather Byles (1914, repr. 1972).

(born June 21, 1639, Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay Colony—died Aug. 23, 1723, Boston) American Puritan leader. The son of a Puritan cleric, he was educated at Harvard College and at Trinity College, Dublin. He returned to New England and served as minister of Boston's North Church (1661–1723). He and his son Cotton Mather lobbied successfully for the removal of the hated governor of Massachusetts, Edmund Andros, and obtained a new charter for the colony in 1691. He served as president of Harvard College (1685–1701). His writings include Case of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits Personating Men (1693), which helped end the Salem witch trials. Seealso Puritanism.

Learn more about Mather, Increase with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Cotton Mather, portrait by Peter Pelham; in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, elipsis

(born Feb. 12, 1663, Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony—died Feb. 13, 1728, Boston) American Puritan leader. The son of Increase Mather, he earned a master's degree from Harvard College and was ordained a Congregational minister in 1685, after which he assisted his father at Boston's North Church (1685–1723). He helped work for the ouster of the unpopular British governor of Massachusetts, Edmund Andros (1689). Though his writings on witchcraft fed the hysteria that resulted in the Salem witch trials, he disapproved of the trials and argued against the use of “spectral evidence.” His best-known writings include Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), a church history of New England, and his Diary (1711–12). His Curiosa Americana (1712–24) won him membership in the Royal Society of London. He was an early supporter of smallpox inoculation. Seealso Congregationalism; Puritanism.

Learn more about Mather, Cotton with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born June 21, 1639, Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay Colony—died Aug. 23, 1723, Boston) American Puritan leader. The son of a Puritan cleric, he was educated at Harvard College and at Trinity College, Dublin. He returned to New England and served as minister of Boston's North Church (1661–1723). He and his son Cotton Mather lobbied successfully for the removal of the hated governor of Massachusetts, Edmund Andros, and obtained a new charter for the colony in 1691. He served as president of Harvard College (1685–1701). His writings include Case of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits Personating Men (1693), which helped end the Salem witch trials. Seealso Puritanism.

Learn more about Mather, Increase with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Cotton Mather, portrait by Peter Pelham; in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, elipsis

(born Feb. 12, 1663, Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony—died Feb. 13, 1728, Boston) American Puritan leader. The son of Increase Mather, he earned a master's degree from Harvard College and was ordained a Congregational minister in 1685, after which he assisted his father at Boston's North Church (1685–1723). He helped work for the ouster of the unpopular British governor of Massachusetts, Edmund Andros (1689). Though his writings on witchcraft fed the hysteria that resulted in the Salem witch trials, he disapproved of the trials and argued against the use of “spectral evidence.” His best-known writings include Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), a church history of New England, and his Diary (1711–12). His Curiosa Americana (1712–24) won him membership in the Royal Society of London. He was an early supporter of smallpox inoculation. Seealso Congregationalism; Puritanism.

Learn more about Mather, Cotton with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Mather, Dixon and Company was a Locomotive manufacturer in Liverpool, England.

Established in 1826 at the Bath Street Foundry, the first engine was a small four-coupled tank locomotive in 1827, in addition to a steam traverser and two mobile cranes. These were for their own use, their main business being marine and stationary engines.

They received contracts from Edward Bury and Company for three engines for the Petersburg Railroad. Two were four coupled and the other was a four-wheeled single, completed in 1833. The following year a number of orders were fulfilled for tank engines among other equipment.

In 1836 they had four designs for six wheeled engines: 2-2-2, 0-4-2, 0-6-0 and 0-4-2, which they built initially for display purposes.

Between 1836 and 1839 they supplied engines for the London and Birmingham Railway, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway among others. These were all "Bury" types. some two dozen in all. However they also built broad gauge engines for the Great Western Railway with seven and eight foot drivers.

In 1839 the company moved to the North Foundry, in William Street, Bootle. In 1842 John Grantham joined the company, which was renamed Mather, Dixon and Grantham. After 1840, however, trade had declined and, although six engines had been built for stock, the firm closed down in 1843, having built seventy five locomotives in all.

References

  • Lowe, J.W., (1989) British Steam Locomotive Builders, Guild Publishing
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