Born at Woolsthorpe Manor, near Colsterworth, on Christmas day 1642, Isaac Newton never knew his father. He had already died.
From the age of two, Isaac lived with his grandparents.
His mother Hannah, nee Ayscough, remarried and went to live with the rector of North Witham, Barnabus Smith.
In 1653 Newton left home to lodge with Mr Clark the apothecary, next to the George Inn, High Street, Grantham, so he could attend the Free Grammar School.
School reports described Newton as lazy although stories say he had a talent for making models of machines, particularly clocks and windmills.
His room at Mr Clark’s was said to be full of tools and contraptions, including a mouse-operated mill and an early go-kart. One model, a sundial, can be seen at St John the Baptist Church, Colsterworth.
He is also credited with inventing the cat-flap.
Accounts also tell of how he flew candle-lit lantern kites over the town at night, scaring the residents.
Newton left school in 1659 to manage his Woolsthorpe farm but showing no talent for it, and returned to Grantham in 1660 to prepare for university. , This time he lodged with headmaster Mr Stokes in Church Street.
He studied law at Cambridge but his interest in mathematics began in 1663 when, according to historians, he bought an astrology book. Unable to understand the mathematics in it, began to teach himself.
Newton went on to devise his own theories but it was not until the plague forced Cambridge to close in 1665 and Newton returned home that he began to make revolutionary advances in science and mathematics.
It is the gardens at Woolsthorpe Manor where Newton is said to have watched an apple fall to the ground which sparked his investigation into the laws of gravity.
Newton’s first major study was on optics where he found, by passing a beam of sunlight through a glass prism, it produced a spectrum of colours.
He constructed a reflective telescope to illustrate this but did not publish his book on optics until 1704 as at the time he was accused of stealing ideas from a fellow scientist.
Newton published Principia in 1687 which covered new physics and analysed orbits, projectiles, pendulums, free fall and phenomena such as tides and the motion of the moon.
Yet his passion was for alchemy and breaking down what he believed was the mathematical code contained in the bible.
In 1689 he was elected a member of Parliament after defending Cambridge in James II’s reign at a time when the monarch would only appoint Roman Catholics to take up positions at the university
However, he suffered a nervous breakdown in 1669 and retired from research to be Warden of the Royal Mint and later, Master of the Mint.
In 1703 he was elected president of the Royal Society and in 1705 was the first scientist to be knighted.
He died on March 20th 1727.