Jonas Moore

Laws of Sine and Cosine

By: Rachel Bruijns


On February 8th, 1617 at Higher Whitelee in Pendle, Lancashire, Sir Jonas Moore was born. Jonas, though inclined to mathematics as a young boy, does not have a record of an education. Most likely he attended Burnley Grammar School, located three miles from his farmhouse. Jonas lived alongside his yeoman father on their humble farm until 1637, when Thomas Burwell appointed Jonas his clerk. In 1638 Moore married Eleanor Wren in Durham, he later became a father to two daughters and a son.

The events leading to the English Civil War flattened any hope left for Moore to attain a job in parliament. But Moore’s luck changed in 1646 when Charles I sent for him and granted him employment tutoring the Duke of York. Moore published his first book, Moores Arithmetick, as an established math teacher by 1650. Later that year Moore was appointed the Surveyor Earl of Bedford the 5th’s Fen drainage company where he worked for seven years draining the Fenland landscape of East Anglia. Moore later produced a 16 sheet map of the Great Level of the Fens. Providing a visual display of the company’s efforts and achievements to modify the Fenland landscape.

Moore being appointed Assistant Surveyor of the Ordnance 1665 became Surveyor General after the death of Nicholls 1669. Due to Jonas Moore’s growing wealth and influence as Surveyor General he became patron of the new Royal Observatory in Greenwich. During the third Dutch War many burdens were placed upon the office, and by meeting these requests Moore earned the privilege of knighthood in 1673. Moore later founded the Royal Society in 1675 alongside many other influential men. After being made governor of Christ’s Hospital in 1676, Moore subsequently became involved with the management of the Royal Mathematical School. After many fever fits during a land survey, Sir Jonas Moore died a leading mathematician, surveyor, cartographer, Ordnance Officer, courtier and patron of astronomy at the age of sixty-two in 1679.

  • Moore founded cos, the abbreviation for cosine and sin, the abbreviation for sine.
  • Moore can also be connected to the following equations:
\begin{align} \frac{sinA}{a} = \frac{sinB}{b} = \frac{sinC}{c} a^2 = b^2 + c^2 -2(b)(c)cosA \end{align}

Websites Used:

Corken, C (2001, December 10). Laws of Sines and Cosines. Retrieved February 24, 2008, from Math Modeling Web site:

(2008). Trigonometry - Arbitrary Triangle. Retrieved February 24, 2008, from Equation Sheet . com Web site:

Bregman, A (2005, July, 1). Alligation Alternate and the Composition of Medicines: Arithmetic and Medicine in Early Modern England. Medical History, 49 (3), Retrieved Feb 25, 2008, from

Wikamedia Foundation, (2008, Ferbraury 25). Laws of Cosines. Retrieved February 25, 2008, from Wikipedia Web site:

Wikamedia Foundation, (2008, Ferbraury 14). Jonas Moore. Retrieved February 25, 2008, from Wikipedia Web site:

Aubrey, J (1982). Jonas Moore. Retrieved February 25, 2008, from Brief Lives Web site:

WGheatley, (1893). Moore, Jonas. Retrieved February 25, 2008, from The Diary of Samuel Pepys Web site:

Willmoth, F (2004, July). Moore, Sir Jonas (1617-1679). Retrieved February 25, 2008, from Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Web site:

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