Arthur Cayley

"to explain and teach the principles of pure mathematics and to apply himself to the advancement of that science."

At first the teaching duty of the Sadleirian professorship was limited to a course of lectures extending over one of the terms of the academic year; but when the University was reformed about 1886, and part of the college funds applied to the better endowment of the University professors, the lectures were extended over two terms. For many years the attendance was small, and came almost entirely from those who had finished their career of preparation for competitive examinations; after the reform the attendance numbered about fifteen. The subject lectured on was generally that of the memoir on which the professor was for the time engaged.

The other duty of the chair — the advancement of mathematical science — was discharged in a handsome manner by the long series of memoirs that he published, ranging over every department of pure mathematics. But it was also discharged in a much less obtrusive way; he became the standing referee on the merits of mathematical papers to many societies both at home and abroad.