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Born in Sussex, England, I was an orphan by age 6 and entered college at age 13.

In 1650, I served as Oliver Cromwell's political envoy to Switzerland, but failed in his mission.

For a unfortunate length of time, I was confined as a debtor in King Charles II's prison.

I am best know for my work in algebra and number theory, especially Diophantine analysis and the indeterminate equation ax2 + 1 = y2 where a is a non-square integer.

Though the previous equation now bears my name, it was actually posed by Pierre de Fermat...all I did was publish John Wallis' solution to it as an addendum in someone else's algebra book.

Answer: John Pell (1611-1685)