The Sins Of Isaac Newton


In 1662, a 19 year old Isaac Newton wrote a list of all the sins he believed that he’d committed ‘before and after Whitsunday of that year’. They included:

Making pies on Sunday night

Threatning my father and mother Smith to burne them and the house over them.

Making a feather while on Thy day.

Denying that I made it.

Putting a pin in Iohn Keys hat on Thy day to pick him.

Striving to cheat with a brass halfe crowne.

Having uncleane thoughts words and actions and dreamese.

Striking many

Wishing death and hoping it to some

Denying my chamberfellow of the knowledge of him that took him for a sot.

MORE: The Newton Project

(Pic: portrait of Isaac Newton by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1689)


15 thoughts on “The Sins Of Isaac Newton

    1. Jibjob

      I assume that Newton listed the sins in some kind of order of importance.

      Making a pie on a Sunday is obviously more sinful than threatening to set one’s parents on fire.

  1. scottser

    is it really a sin to deny your chamberfellow of the common knowledge that he is a sot? cos if i had to tell every gobsh1te I know what others thought of them i’d get nothing done..

  2. Jibjob

    How did he “make a feather”?

    Was his interest in the law of gravity related to an ability at flying?

    I, of course, do not ask out of any interest in making feathers myself, for that would clearly be sinful, at least on a Sunday.

  3. Snippity

    Maybe making a feather was slang for farting or some such vileness not to be done on Thy day?

    He was particularly fond of defacing Thy day; he also contrived of the chimes, made a mousetrap, swam in a kimnel…

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