When he was 15, Dalton joined his older brother Jonathan in running a Quaker school in Kendal, Westmorland, about 45 miles (72 km) from his home. Around the age of 23 Dalton may have considered studying law or medicine, but his relatives did not encourage him, perhaps because being a Dissenter, he was barred from attending English universities. He acquired much scientific knowledge from informal instruction by John Gough, a blind philosopher who was gifted in the sciences and arts. At the age of 27 he was appointed teacher of mathematics and natural philosophy at the "New College" in Manchester, a dissenting academy (the lineal predecessor, following a number of changes of location, of Harris Manchester College, Oxford). He remained there until the age of 34, when the college's worsening financial situation led him to resign his post and begin a new career as a private tutor in mathematics and natural philosophy.
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