Mathesis Nov. 1703 - Page 5

the childhood of john wallis

Born in Ashford, November 22nd, 1616 to Reverend John Wallis and Joanna Chapman, Wallis was the third of five children. His was an educated family, and Wallis showed a keen interest in mathematics as well as deciphering codes.

At the age of fifteen years, Wallis borrowed an arithmatic textbook from his older brother in order to decipher a code. Within a week, not only did he crack it, he was able to master all the material within the textbook.