Thomas Bayes

Thomas Bayes [ beɪz ] (* around 1701 in London, † April 7, 1761 in Tunbridge Wells ) was an English mathematician and Presbyterian minister. According to him, the Bayes' Theorem is named, in the theory of probability is of great importance.


Bayes was the son of Presbyterian minister Joshua Bayes (1671-1746) and studied from 1719 at the University of Edinburgh theology and logic (since he was not Anglican, he was not allowed to study at Cambridge or Oxford). In 1727 he was ordained, then he assisted his father in Hatton Garden, Holborn. 1731, he was a Presbyterian minister in Tunbridge Wells southeast of London. In 1752 he retired.

As he came to his employment with probability theory is controversial, perhaps by reading Abraham de Moivre, of which he had been taught as a teenager may privately in London. In 1742 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society, possibly because of his polemic against George Berkeley in defense of analysis.


His most important work, to which he owes his present fame, was posthumously published in 1764 in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: ' An essay towards solving a problem in the doctrine of chances. This essay includes a special case of the theorem of Bayes. Furthermore, the following works are attributed to them:

  • Divine Benevolence, or to Attempt to Prove That the Principal End of the Divine Providence and Government is the Happiness of His Creatures, published anonymously in 1731.
  • An Introduction to the Doctrine of Fluxions, and a Defence of the Mathematicians Against the Objections of the Author of the Analyst, a polemic against the philosophical critics of Newton Bishop George Berkeley, published anonymously in 1736.