James Jeans' father was William Tullock Jeans. William Jeans was a parliamentary journalist of Scottish descent who wrote two books on the lives of scientists. The name Hopgood was James mother's maiden name; she came from the north of England. It was a very religious Christian family with James the eldest of the three children and the only boy. James' family moved to Brighton when he was eighteen months old then, when he was three years old, they moved to London.Jeans was educated in Merchant Taylor's School in London which he entered in 1890. The first topic which interested him was classics but soon his interests turned towards mathematics. An excellent mathematics teacher at the school encouraged Jeans' interest in the subject but from the time he was a young child he had shown a fascination with numbers.