Thomas Bayes (1702-1761)

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Also see:

T. Bayes. An Essay Towards Solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Soc. of London, 53, pp.370-418, 1763.

For our [MML] purposes:
Pr(H&D) = Pr(H).Pr(D|H) = Pr(D).Pr(H|D)
Pr(H|D) = Pr(H).Pr(D|H) / Pr(D)
for hypothesis H and data D.
Pr(H) prior probability of H.
Pr(H|D) posterior probability of H.
Pr(D|H) likelihood.

The Tomb of Thomas Bayes

From owner-bayes-news at Sat May 11 03:05:09 1996
From: Professor A O'Hagan
Date: Fri, 10 May 96 17:28:30 BST
To: allstat at, bayes-news at
Subject: Bayes and Bunhill Fields
All good Bayesians know that the tomb of Thomas Bayes is in Bunhill Fields in London, near the new RSS premises. I visited there yesterday, as I often do to pay homage :-) For the first time in years I found the attendant's hut occupied, and I was able to buy a copy of "The Official Guide to Bunhill Fields". Many years ago there was a flimsy leaflet which did not mention Bayes, and around 1987 when I arranged for the tomb to be cleaned I had some correspondence with the Corporation of London (who are responsible for Bunhill Fields) about Bayes. They promised to show his tomb on the big display map in Bunhill Fields itself, which they have done - the tomb has been clearly marked in this way for several years now. They also promised that some information about him would be included when they next printed the leaflet. At last I have got a copy of the smart new booklet, printed in 1991.

It is a very nice piece of work, most informative and interesting, and Bayes gets a good mention. I can recommend it to any "fellow travellers". But don't wait to catch the attendant - like me you could wait years. Here is the information about the booklet, so you can get it through a bookseller.

The Official Guide to Bunhill Fields, published by the Corporation of London, 1991. ISBN 0-85203-033-9. I paid (pounds) 1.50 for it.

You can probably also get it from either

The Printing and Stationery Department
The Corporation of London
London EC2P 2EJ
or perhaps
The Superintendent
Parks and Gardens
West Ham Park
Upton Lane
London E7 9PU

Tony O'Hagan

Bunhill Fields, off City Rd. -- "primarily a dissenters' burial ground (it was never consecrated)" -- Paul Lay, The Independent, Reviews, p.31, 30 July 2004.

Open: 7.30am-7pm Mon-Fri April-Sept, 7.30am-4pm Mon-Fri Oct-March, 9.30-4pm Sat-Sun, ... To view a grave which is in the enclosed area[?] please contact the attendant on duty (Mon-Fri times as above) or tel:020-8472-3584 to make an appt. -- [][10/2004]











On Portraits of Thomas Bayes

This from [the NASA Ames Bayes group] web page:

Press, S. James. Bayesian Statistics: Principles, Models, and Applications. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1989.
The likeness of Rev. Bayes is from the frontispiece of this book.

I have looked thru the book, which has several historical references, but I was unable to determine exactly which of the books cited was the source of the likeness of Rev. Bayes.

- Will Taylor [11/'96]

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