Mrs Christian Kerr Her Arithmetic Book


The arithmetic book kept between 1716 – 1730 by Mrs. Christian Kerr, of Chatto and Sunlaws, in the Scottish border county of Roxburghshire. The notebook contains Lady Kerr’s sums, household accounts, notes on arithmetic and tables of weights and measures.


Along the way, Lady Kerr veers off into a list of the books she bought in Edinburgh in 1724, including titles such as History of the Buccaneers, Farquhar’s plays, and Cooke on forest trees. On the facing page, Kerr lists the books she possessed in March of 1725.


The notebook also contains poems addressed to Kerr on her birthday, and to her husband on his 71st birthday. Below are her arithmetic exercises on “double fellowship,” facing the calligraphy exercises often found joined with the study of mathematics in early modern women’s notebooks. Beinecke call number: Osborn c102

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