Cheeky doodles discovered in 18th Century maths book work of boy,13

Cheeky doodles found in the margins of an 18th century maths book that have been branded ‘truly wonderful’ by author JK Rowling are revealed as the work of a mischievous 13-year-old schoolboy

  • Doodles were found as museum researcher was archiving 18th Century diaries
  • Scribblings by the schoolboy included one of his family dog chasing a rabbit
  • Drawings believed to be made by Richard Beale who grew up on a farm in Kent

Doodles in the margins of an 18th century maths book have been revealed as the work of a mischievous 13-year-old schoolboy – and they have been branded ‘truly wonderful’ by author JK Rowling.

A researcher from the Museum of English Rural Life found the unexpected additions whilst archiving a collection of 18th century diaries from Kent.

Alongside the beautifully laid out mathematical equations, the scribblings by the bored schoolboy include a chicken wearing trousers and his family dog chasing a rabbit.

Several pages have been embellished with the elaborate ink drawings and are believed to be the work of teenager Richard Beale, who grew up on a farm in Biddenden, Kent

A researcher from the Museum of English Rural Life found doodles in the margins of an 18th century maths book, which are the work of a mischievous 13-year-old schoolboy. Pictured, buildings the boy drew in the book

The scribblings by the bored schoolboy included one of his family dog 

The diary was donated to the museum in a box of 18th century farm diaries from Kent. Pictured an archive trolley at the museum

One of the more bizarre doodles in the maths book shows a chicken wearing trousers

Several pages have been embellished with the elaborate ink drawings and are believed to be the work of teenager Richard Beale, who grew up on a farm in Biddenden, Kent.

In a series of tweets, the museum said: ‘Ok, we found something amazing and we demand you to come on a journey with us.

‘A lot of our offices are like this. The usual depressing office furniture, the utilitarian bookshelves, the archive trolleys which we *definitely* don’t ride down the corridors and**boxes with eighteenth century diaries from Kent.

‘Just normal archive stuff. Except this isn’t your normal farm diary.

‘It’s not even a diary. It’s a Mathematics book owned by someone called Richard Beale, from a farm in Biddenden, Kent.

‘Every generation of the Beale family had a Richard, and we think the one who owned this book was 13 years old in 1784.

‘He used the book for writing out mathematical equations and problems. If Richard was indeed the 13-year-old, he had a beautiful hand.

‘His mathematics are laid out like a dream. But, like every teenager, mathematics couldn’t fill the void of Richard’s heart.

‘Richard doodled.’


The museum in Reading, Berkshire, also houses England’s oldest farm wagon and a pair of wellingtons that once belonged to Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis 

Photographs of the book capture how Richard illustrated his mathematical equations by working out distance and angles through doodles of ships and street scenes 


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The drawings have been shared thousands of times since they were posted by the museum on Twitter

Photographs of the book capture how Richard illustrated his mathematical equations by working out distance and angles through doodles of ships and street scenes.

The drawings have been shared thousands of times since they were posted by the museum on Twitter.

Author JK Rowling even shared the photographs, saying: ‘This thread is truly wonderful.’

In response, the museum asked the author to make her ‘next series of novels track the adventures of a chicken who wears trousers’.

Jokingly, the Harry Potter author replied: ‘Way ahead of you. He’s best friends with a duck in a balaclava.’

The diary was donated to the museum in a box of farm diaries from Kent.

Amid the maths equations is a picture of the boy’s dog chasing a rabbit

Author JK Rowling even shared the photographs, adding: ‘This thread is truly wonderful.’ The picture shows ships the boy drew in the maths book

A spokeswoman for the museum said: ‘The amazing thing about the drawings is that they are no different from what we would get up to today.’

The museum in Reading, Berkshire, also houses England’s oldest farm wagon and a pair of wellingtons that once belonged to Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis. 

 

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