1689 – Robert Smith, English mathematician, was born probably at Lea near Gainsborough. He was the founder of the Smith’s prizes at Cambridge, having by his will left 350o South Sea stock to the university, a portion of the interest from which was to be divided yearly between the two junior B.A.’s who had made the greatest progress in mathematics and natural philosophy.
1708 – Attended Leicester grammar school he entered Trinity College, Cambridge.
1714 – Became minor fellow.
1715 – Became major fellow.
1716 – 1760 – He was Plumian professor of astronomy.
1738 – He published A Compleat System of Opticks.
1739 – Became a senior fellow.
1742 – He was chosen master, in succession to Richard Bentley.
1749 – Gained him the sobriquet of "Old Focus," and Harmonics, or the Philosophy of Musical Sounds.
1768 – He died in the master’s lodge at Trinity on the 2nd of February.