File:Thomas Bayes.gif

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English: Portrait of an unknown 19th-century Presbyterian clergyman.

Identified as Thomas Bayes (d. 1761) in Terence O'Donnell, History of Life Insurance in Its Formative Years (Chicago: American Conservation Co:, 1936), p. 335 (caption "Rev. T. Bayes: Improver of the Columnar Method developed by Barrett.")

Again reprinted in Stephen M. Stigler, Springer Statistics Calendar 1981 (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1980).

A challenge "Who Is this gentleman? When and where was he born?" was published in IMS Bulletin, Vol. 17, No. 1, January/February 1988, page 49. The results were published in IMS Bulletin, Vol. 17 (1988), No. 3, pp. 276–278.[1]

David R. Bellhouse of University of Western Ontario in a reply argued that the man depicted being Thomas Bayes is unlikely, as

"The first thing to note in this picture is the apparent absence of a wig, or if a wig is present, it is definitely the wrong style for the period. [...] The second thing to note is that Bayes appears to be wearing a clerical gown like his father or a larger frock coat with a high collar [...] the gown is not in style for Bayes's generation and the frock coat with a large collar is definitely anachronistic. [...] For reference, I have used C. Willett Cunnington and P. Cunnington, Handbook of English Costume in the Eighteenth Century, pub. Faber & Faber, London, 1964."

Bellhouse compared pictures of other nonconformist ministers, that of Thomas Bayes' father Joshua Bayes (d. 1746), and that of Richard Price (1776).

Compare File:Philip Doddridge.jpg for the portrait of a nonconformist minister of Thomas Bayes' generation (dated 1751).

Stephen M. Stigler of University of Chicago, USA, wrote that it is possible that O'Donnell (1936) "got the picture from some (perhaps 19th century) source where it was identified as Bayes. The question would then be: 'What is that source, and what was that source’s source?' So little is said of Bayes in O’Donnell’s book that it is extremely implausible that he would choose him (and Thomas Simpson, who is also depicted in a similar style) as the subject for an invented picture."
Date 19th century(?), reprinted 1936, 1981, 1988.
Source [2][3]
Author Unknown


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  • 2008-08-09 04:33 Bletchley 304×326× (55771 bytes) Description: Portrait of Bayes Rationale: Artist died >100yrs ago Source: {{PD-old}}

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current17:20, 9 March 2011Thumbnail for version as of 17:20, 9 March 2011304 × 326 (54 KB)Limojoe (talk | contribs)== Summary == Description: Portrait of Bayes Rationale: Artist died >100yrs ago Source: {{PD-old-100}} == Licensing: == {{GFDL|migration=relicense}}
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