Attending a grammar school in England, I excelled, learning Greek and Latin but no mathematics...then was pulled out of school at age 14 by my dad to work in his office.
At age 21, tired of working in an office, I defied my father and entered Trinity College in Dublin where I studied mathematics, philosophy, classics and science....then served as a rector in an isolated village for 52 years.
I am known as the mathematician whom "history was not kind to"...because I created triple systems before Steiner and circuits on a polhedron before Hamilton...yet never received any credit.
I published my first mathematical results at age 40+, contributing to the areas of combinatorics, hypercomplex numbers, group theory, and knot theory (first paper published at age 78)...but again, no one remembers that!
The only thing I am remembered for is my "schoolgirls problem" as published in 1850 in the Lady's and Gentleman's Diary: Fifteen young ladies in a school walk out three abreast for seven days in succession: it is required to arrange them daily so that no two shall walk twice abreast"....which was solved by my nemesis Arthur Cayley.
I investigated mathematical notions until age 89, sending both questions and solutions to the Educational Times up to my death.
Answer:
Thomas Penyngton Kirkman (18061895)
