Boole - Ancestors & Descendants

Boole Memorial Window at University College, Cork, Ireland

Window position in the Aula Maxima (Great Hall)


Panels 6 to 10  Image courtesy of University College, Cork.

The Boole memorial window was erected in 1860’s in memory of George Boole (1815-1864), who was the first professor of mathematics at Queen’s College, Cork ( now called University College, Cork) and   is situated on the east facing window of the Aula Maxima (Great Hall)


At a meeting of the Professors of the Queen's College, Cork, held on the 18th December 1864, that is ten days after Dr. Boole's death, it was resolved to found a mathematical scholarship to be called the Boole Scholarship and to erect a memorial to him within the College. There is no evidence in the College archives to indicate whether the Boole Scholarship was founded or not but extracts from the "Cork Examiner" of 5th December 1866 show that the memorial window was in place before the second anniversary of his death.

This window is in the Examination Hall. At the centre of the head of the window are the Royal Arms flanked by two panels, one containing the lion and the other the unicorn. To the left and right and a little lower are two further panels, that on the left containing the Cross of St. George on a shield surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves; that on the right containing the Irish harp on a shield surrounded by a wreath of shamrocks. Between these last are two panels containing the crowned rose and the crowned shamrock. The main portion of the window is made up of ten panels in two tiers of five each. In the top tier from left to right

Panel 1 represents Religion and Music and depicts St. Augustine, St Stephen and King David

Panel 2 represents Navigation in the persons of Columbus and Vasco di Gama, third figure is unnamed.

Panel 3 has a seated female figure wearing a wreath of bay leaves. She has four attendant trumpeters. This is Fame and she holds three wreaths of bay leaves, which she is about to bestow.

Panel 4 represents Medicine in the persons of Harvey and Hippocrates and Galen.

Panel 5 represents Engineering and Architecture in the persons of Archimedes and Phidias. There are two other unnamed figures, one of whom may be Leonardo da Vinci and the other Dositheos to whom Archimedes wrote letters, but who is otherwise unknown.

Panel 6 represents Astronomy in the persons of Copernicus, Hipparchus and Galileo.

Panel 7 represents Mathematics in the persons of Bacon, Napier and Newton.

Panel 8 represents Mathematical Logic in the persons of Aristotle, Euclid and Boole. Aristotle and Euclid are shown standing behind Boole who is seated at a desk writing. (The likeness of Dr. Boole, though not sufficient to satisfy his intimate friends, is generally considered good, or at least as could be expected from the material on which it is executed)

Panel 9 represents Philosophy in the persons of Pascal, Leibnitz and Descartes.

Panel 10 represents Geography in the persons of Strabo and Ptolemy. A third figure is unnamed.

Panels shown above are panel 6 at left to panel 10 at right

Running right across the base of the window is the following inscription, so arranged that Boole's name comes directly under his likeness:

In memoriam viri sancti pii docti ingenio plane singulari Georgii Boole,

Jur. Civ. Doct. Mathematiciam in hoc Collegio primus profitebatur.


Detailed views of Panel 8

Images courtesy of University College, Cork.