John Venn

Drypool Bridge

Drypool Bridge, Alfred Gelder Street, HU1 1EW. Grid F2; also Venn Building, University of Hull, Cottingham Road, HU6 7RX

John Venn was born in Hull in 1834, into a family of strict church evangelicals. He went to school in London, eventually achieving a first class degree in mathematics at Cambridge University in 1857. He was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1859, returning to Cambridge in 1862 to lecture in moral science. There, John studied and taught logic and probability theory, this work leading to him developing Venn diagrams. These are diagrams which depict mathematical (logical) sets as circles or curves, and where they overlap is where elements of the set are common. John resigned from the priesthood in 1883, because Anglicanism was incompatible with his philosophical beliefs. He died in 1923. In 2017, Hull became the UK City of Culture, and as part of this, Drypool Bridge was painted with Venn diagrams. There is also a University of Hull building named after Venn.

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