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Brattle, Thomas (20 June 1658–18 May 1713), astronomer and architect, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Thomas Brattle, a merchant, and Elizabeth Tyng. The oldest son in one of Boston’s wealthiest families, Thomas early devoted himself to mathematics and science. Harvard College, where he earned an A.B. in 1676, was in disarray because of war and bad leadership during his undergraduate years, so Brattle pursued higher education largely on his own. He wrote to Britain’s royal astronomer, John Flamsteed, in 1703 and 1705 that no one was able to teach him much mathematics at Harvard, and he had relied on whatever books were available. Young Brattle also worked with and learned from scientifically inclined locals, such as the printer-mathematician John Foster and Dr. William Avery....