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Thomas Bayes

b. c. 1702 London, England
d. 17 April 1761 Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England

Little is known of the life of Thomas Bayes. He spent his life serving as a Nonconformist minister at Tunbridge Wells. In 1742 he was elected to the Royal Society.

An anonymous tract "An Introduction to the Doctrine of Fluxions, and a Defence of the Mathematicans against the objections of the Author of the Analyst, in so far as they are designed to affect the general method of reasoning" has been credited to Bayes. Another paper ``A letter from the late Reverend Mr. Thomas Bayes, F.R.S. to John Canton, M.A. and F.R.S.," published in the Philosophical Transactions (pp. 269-271) in 1763 on semi-convergent asymptotic series was authored by him.

Bayes is known today solely for "An Essay towards solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances." This was communicated to the Royal Society in a letter dated 10 November 1763 by Richard Price and read 23 December. Following this is ``A Demonstration of the Second Rule in the Essay towards the Solution of a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances, published in the Philosophical Transactions, Vo. VIII. Communicated by the Rev. Mr. Richard Price, in a Letter to Mr. John Canton, M.A. F.R.S." These two papers in more readable format are here: Essay and Demonstration.

These materials as well as others may be found at the University of York site.