Newton in a 1702 portrait by Godfrey Kneller
Isaac Newton (Bolton,Sarah K. Famous Men of Science. NY: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1889)
From the age of about twelve until he was seventeen, Newton was educated at The King's School, Grantham (where his signature can stillbe seen upon a library window sill). He was removed from school, and by October 1659, he was to be found at Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, where his mother, widowed by now for a second time, attemptedto make a farmer of him. He hated farming. Henry Stokes, master at the King's School, persuaded his mother to send him back to school so that he might complete his education. Motivated partly by adesire for revenge against a schoolyard bully, he became the top-ranked student.
In June 1661, he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge as a sizar--a sort of work-study role. At that time, thecollege's teachings were based on those of Aristotle, but Newton preferred to read the more advanced ideas of modern philosophers such as Descartes and astronomers such as Copernicus, Galileo, and...