RAS Library - Newton's Log
Log from Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree
Presented by Charles William Walker, Esq.
Portion of the Apple Tree from Sir Isaac Newtons Garden at Woolsthorpe
Extract from Mr. Walker's letter of 1912, Jan 19:
The little log of wood which I am today sending to the Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society, is a piece of an apple tree at Woolsthorpe, the home of Sir Isaac Newton.....
The history of this piece of wood and the way in which I came to have it is as follows: My Father, Richard Walker, was born at Bradmore, Nottinghamshire, at the Manor Farm there, in 1807. He went to school when he was 10 or 12 years of age to the clergyman of Stoke, Lincolnshire, named Pearson.
My father told me that while he was at school there, there was a very severe storm of wind one night, and that in the morning news came that Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree had been blown down at Woolsthorpe. The schoolmaster, Mr. Pearson, and several of the boys at once set off for Woolsthorpe, where Sir Isaac's house was, and which was not far from Stoke, and just on the Lincolnshire side of Belvior Castle. When they arrived there they saw the old apple tree lying on the ground. It had been propped up all round for very many years, and every effort had been made to preserve it. My father said it lay there, having been, by the force of the wind, blown over its props. He said he did not know by what authority Mr. Pearson acted, but that he obtained a saw from somewhere and sawed a good many logs of wood from the branches. My father got one of these pieces, which he always kept as being a most interesting relic. Various friends and other people often tried to iduce my father to part with this, but he always refused, as he prized it very much indeed.
My father often showed the piece of wood to me, repeating the circumstances under which he got it. There cannot be the least doubt of its coming into his possession in the way I have said.
All images © Copyright 2003 Royal Astronomical Society