Alexander John Thompson was the author/computer the nine-volume Logarithmetica Britannica published between 1924 and 1952. He was born in Plaistow, Essex, England, in 1885. He was still a member of the Mathematical Tables Committee of the BAAS in 1965.

Does anybody have a date of death?

Thanks for any insight.

Cheers, Scott

  • $\begingroup$ maybe he's still alive! $\endgroup$ Nov 24, 2011 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ Usually if you look in your library catalogue they give the date of death of an author. $\endgroup$
    – Igor Rivin
    Nov 24, 2011 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ Plaistow is now in Greater London (not far from where I live). For some not enormously helpful advice on finding records see www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/birthmarriagedeathenglandwales.htm $\endgroup$ May 18, 2013 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


I accessed a copy of the 1968 official full death certificate and the occupation of this Alexander John Thompson is stated as retired 'Statistical Officer' at the 'General Register Office' which was his occupation according to the LOCOMAT article referenced. So this confirms the death details as follows.

June 17th 1968 at 36 Link Lane, Wallington, (in county of Surrey at time of death, now in London Borough of Sutton).

regards David

A note on the source as requested. In the UK to obtain a death certificate copy (or birth, marriage) an application with payment of £9.25 has to be made to the UK General Register Office (GRO) online or local register office.


Ancestry sites like www.findmypast.co.uk with a paid for small credit give the registry index details and these details are used to order.

Because of the cost(!) it’s a service I only use very occasionally but does potentially provide a firm answer to a query that the ancestry sites may not unambiguously resolve.

I can send a certificate scan via email for personal use to anyone if interested which has more info’.

I think the sort of citation for a formal reference would be:

Alexander John Thompson, certified copy of death certificate (age at death 83), General Register Office, UK. Entry – Sutton, Surrey, 1968, Apr-Jun, vol. 05E, p.192.

  • $\begingroup$ I think many of the history followers on MO appreciate this answer. What would put the cherry on top would be a brief reference or description of how you got access to a copy of the certificate (e.g. did you have to pay money? Was it an online resource?). $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2013 at 16:40

Neither the British Library nor his publisher Cambridge University Press know the date of death of the late Alexander John Thompson. From Cambridge University Press I got the following notice:

As strange as it may sound one of the reasons that his date of death does not appear on Wikipedia is that no one is entirely certain of the precise date that he died, and even our records do not contain this fact. The best any one can guess is that he died sometime between 1968 and 1975. Unfortunately I can not be more precise than that.

So the narrowest interval is a guess by Denis Roegel (2012): "A reconstruction of the tables of Thompson’s Logarithmetica Britannica (1952)" "He possibly died in 1968 or 1973."


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