Edward Collingwood

Sir Edward Collingwood

Born Edward Foyle Collingwood
(1900-01-17)17 January 1900
Lilburn Tower[1]
Died 25 October 1970(1970-10-25) (aged 70)[1]
Lilburn Tower[1]
Institutions University of Cambridge
Aberystwyth University
Durham University
University of Paris
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
Thesis Contributions to the Theory of Integral Functions[2] (1929)
Academic advisors John Edensor Littlewood[2]
Doctoral students Archibald James MacIntyre[2]
Notable awards Fellow of the Royal Society (1965)[1]
Knight Bachelor (1962)

Sir Edward Foyle Collingwood CBE FRS FRSE DL LLD (17 January 1900 – 25 October 1970) was an English mathematician and scientist. He was a member of the Eglingham branch of a prominent Northumbrian family, the son of Col. Cuthbert Collingwood of the Lancashire Fusiliers, whose family seat was at Lilburn Tower, near Wooler, Northumberland. His great grandfather was a brother of Admiral Lord Collingwood.[2][3][4]


Collingwood was born at his family home, Lilburn Tower, near Wooler in Northumberland, the son of Col. Cuthbert George Collingwood and his wife, Dorothy Fawcett.[5]

Collingwood was educated at the Royal Naval College at Osborne, Isle of Wight and at Dartmouth Royal Naval College and joined the Royal Navy. By arrangement his first service was aboard HMS Collingwood but his naval career was cut short when in 1916 he was invalided out of the Navy following an accidental injury.

In 1918 he enrolled to study mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge. His early academic results were not special and in 1922 he moved to Aberystwyth University where he became interested in complex analysis and published a paper relating to Nevanlinnas theory. He was awarded the Rayleigh Prize in 1923 and following the award of the Rouse Ball travelling scholarship in 1925 he spent a year at the University of Paris.

Collingwood returned to Cambridge and was in 1929 awarded a doctorate for a thesis entitled Contributions to the theory of integral functions.[2] Collingwood left Cambridge in 1937 when he was appointed High Sheriff of Northumberland for that year. He was later appointed Deputy Lieutenant of his home county.

During World War II he served in the RNVR with the rank of Captain and was employed as a naval scientist. In 1945 he was appointed Chief Scientist in the Mine Design department of the Admiralty. For his service he was awarded the CBE.

Collingwood returned to mathematics after the war and continued his interest in meromorphic function and in 1949 published his research on the theory of cluster sets.

Awards and honours

Collingwood was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1954 and of the Royal Society of London in 1965. He held several professional and civic appointments including President of the London Mathematical Society 1969-70, Chairman of the Council of Durham University from 1953, Chairman of the Newcastle Hospital Board 1953-1968, Vice President of the International Hospital Federation 1959-1967 and Treasurer of the Medical Research Council.

He was knighted in 1962.[3]


Collingwood did not marry.[6]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Cartwright, D. M. L.; Hayman, W. K. (1971). "Edward Foyle Collingwood 1900-1970". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 17: 139. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1971.0005.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Edward Collingwood at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. 1 2 O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Edward Collingwood", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
  4. "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32502.
  5. https://www.royalsoced.org.uk/cms/files/fellows/biographical_index/fells_indexp1.pdf
  6. Hayman, W. K. (1972), "Edward Foyle Collingwood", Bulletin of the London Mathematical Society, 4 (1): 55–65, doi:10.1112/blms/4.1.55. [p. 57]: "The fact that he held no paid post for most of his life, and that he was unmarried, enabled him to know a large number of people from many different circles which do not usually intersect."
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