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Exercise book

Exercise book

  • Place of origin:

    Derby (made)

  • Date:

    17 June 1813 (made)
    1813 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hood, Francis, born 1800 - died 1863 (author)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Barbara Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This book of beautifully illuminated mathematics exercises was completed by Francis Hood (born 1799) in the summer of 1813. Throughout the book, he has indulged his love of swirling arabesques, elaborate calligraphy and minute detail; each heading is painstakingly inscribed with red and black ink.
In between these bursts of enjoyment, the business of learning geometry continues apace. Francis, who grew up to be a tailor in Derby, was learning the essential skills of calculating distance, area and volume.

Physical description

Hard backed book with red leather spine.
On the first page there is an elaborate hand-drawn frontispiece, with the words 'Francis Hood's Book, Derby June 17 1813' inside a cartouche of swirling arabesques, all in black ink. The rest of the book comprises mathematics theory and exercises, mostly geometry. Each title is written in block capitals which are filled with

The first page is ebulliently entitled 'Mesuration of Superficies' (sic), in a gothic style, with an introduction to the topic. Then follows a number of 'Problems', each with an illuminated title and a number of examples, both abstract and practical.
Problem I - to find the area of a parallelogram
Problem II - to find the area of a triangle
Problem III - to find the side of a right angle triangle having the other two sides given
Problem IV - to find the area of a trapeziod
Problem V - to find the area of a trapezium
Problem VI - to find the area of an irregular polygon
Problem VII - to find the area of a regular polygon
Problem VIII - to find the diameter and circumference of a circle
Problem IX - to find the length of any arc of a circle
Problem X - to find the area of a circle
Problem XI - to find the area of the sector of a circle
Problem XII - to find the area of a segment of a circle
Problem XIII - to find the area of a circular ring
Problem XIV - to measure long irregular figure

The second section of the book is entitled 'Mensuration of Solids'. Then follows definitions and diagrams of a prism, cube, parallelopipedon, cylinder, pyramid, cone and sphere.
Problem I - to find the solidity of a cube
Problem II - to find the solidity of a parallelopipedon
Problem III - to find the solidity of any prism

Place of Origin

Derby (made)


17 June 1813 (made)
1813 (made)


Hood, Francis, born 1800 - died 1863 (author)

Materials and Techniques

Ink on paper


Height: 23 cm, Width: 19.3 cm

Object history note

This collection of books belonged to Derby tailor Francis Hood and his children.

Francis was born in Ashbourne, Derby, in 1800. In 1823 he married Susanna Wilson, and they had five children. All their names, apart from the youngest, Susanna, appear on the exercise and copy books. Francis was a successful tailor, and the enterprise grew to be a flourishing family business.

George (born 1827) was a tailor with his father by the age of 14. He died aged only 24.

Elizabeth (born 1830) became a milliner and dressmaker. She married Scottish draper John Train, but was soon widowed, and thereafter is listed is woollen goods trader as well as dressmaker.

Francis (born 1832) moved to Australia, possibly before his twentieth birthday, where he stayed the rest of his life.

Henry (born 1836) was an apprentice in 1851. Ten years later, at the age of 25, he inherited the family business, and by 1881 was employing 6 men and 2 boys. He was married to Elizabeth from Somerset, and they had six children. He was able to retire in his mid-sixties and move to a country house on the proceeds of the business. Soon after, Elizabeth died, but Henry remarried at the age of 72 to a woman 31 years his junior. His second son George (born 1868) continued the Hood dynasty from the 1890s, though the shop in St John Street, Ashbourne, remained ‘Henry Hood & Son’ in 1900.

Susanna (born 1838) never married, and lived with Elizabeth. She was also a dressmaker.

The books were passed down through Henry’s children to the donor’s husband.

Descriptive line

Buff hard cover with red spine, containing maths exercises, by Francis Hood, Derby, 1813


Paper; Card; Material; Ink




Children & Childhood; Education & Learning

Production Type



Museum of Childhood

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