William Montgomery Coates (1857-1912), Fellow and Bursar of Queens’ College

William was born in Midleton, County Cork, on 2 June 1857. He was one of at least three children born to William Coates senior. He was educated at Midleton School before attending Trinity College, Dublin between 1876 and 1879 where he won prizes for mathematics and experimental physics. William obtained a Foundation scholarship to Queens’ College, Cambridge and arrived there in January 1884. Whilst a student he won the second gold medal for mathematics and in 1886 he became Third Wrangler [i.e. the third-highest scoring candidate in the Mathematical Tripos].

On graduation he was elected to a college fellowship in 1887. In 1889 he was elected mathematical lecturer and Bursar. In the same year, he married Susan Webb in Dublin, Ireland. The couple had three children: twin daughters ‒ Aileen Montgomery (1890‒1891) and Kathleen Montgomery (1890‒1958) and Basil Montgomery (1893‒1915). The family lived on Station Road and then 15 Selwyn Gardens, Cambridge but appear to have had a second home at Cahirmore, Holway Road, Sheringham, Norfolk. William died unexpectedly on 16 January 1912 at his home, 15 Selwyn Gardens, Cambridge. He had been an elected member of the London Mathematical Society since 13 December 1894.

William Montgomery Coates obituary

Coates grave
Coates monument



Lat Lon : 52.202199, 0.13619308 – click here for location

Parish : St Paul

See family grave page for more information




The Dial Lent Term 1912, pp. 5-9; Michaelmas Term 1915, pp. 7-8

By Jonathan Holmes, Emma Easterbrook and Ian Bent

William Montgomery Coates