Robert Forsyth Scott

Sir Robert Forsyth Scott (28 July 1849 18 November 1933) was a mathematician, barrister and Master of St John's College, Cambridge


Scott was born in Leith, near Edinburgh, the eldest son of Reverend George Scott, a Minister in the church at Dairsie and Mary Forsyth, daughter of the Edinburgh advocate Robert Forsyth.[1]

Scott was educated at the High School, Edinburgh, then in Stuttgart before becoming a student at University College, London. In 1870, while a student at University College, London, he was awarded a Whitworth Exhibition. He went on to read mathematics at St John's College, where he was fourth wrangler in the Tripos in 1875 and was elected to a fellowship in 1877.[2][3]

After publishing The Theory of Determinants and Their Applications in 1880, Scott turned his attention to the law, become a barrister in 1883, and to institutional history, including histories of St. John's College, Cambridge, published between 1882 and 1907.[1][3] In 1908 he was appointed as the Master of St John's College, a position he held until his death in Cambridge in 1933, and from 1910 to 1912 he served as Vice-chancellor of the University. On his death he left the library of St John's one of the largest collection of Burmese manuscripts in Europe.[3]



Academic offices
Preceded by
Charles Taylor
Master of St John's College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Ernest Alfred Benians
Preceded by
Arthur James Mason
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
Succeeded by
Stuart Alexander Donaldson
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