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Although Babbage is said to have come from Totnes, Devon he in fact went to school in Alphington, a village near Exeter at the time and now incorporated into the city. Babbage wrote:
"Having suffered in health at the age of five years, and again at that of ten by violent fevers, from which I was with difficulty saved, I was sent into Devonshire and placed under the care of a clergyman who kept a school at Alphington, near Exeter, with instructions to attend to my health; but, not to press too much knowledge upon me: a mission which he faithfully accomplished."
The clergyman obviously did not succeed in his instructions to restrict knowledge from the young Charles. Babbage went on to create the 'difference engine' a huge, mechanical calculating machine. Using his plans, the Science Museum recently rebuilt his machine and found that it worked.
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