1. David, FN (1962, 1998) Gods, Games and Gambling: a History of Probability and Statistical Ideas. Mineola, N.Y., Dover Publications, inc
A historical account from the dawn of civilization up to the the work of De Moivre. A classic as well as a charming book that is in part based on earlier publications in Biometrika. See errors, addenda and remarks
Droesbeke, J-J, Tassi, Ph (1990, 1997) Histoire de la Statistique, deuxieme edition corrigee, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, Que sais-je? nr. 2527
An information packed, comprehensive account up to the 70-ties in just 126 pages. The only thing lacking is an index. See errors, addenda and remarks
Hald, A (1990) A History of Probability and Statistics and their Applications before 1750 Wiley, New York
Probability has a dual aspect: on the one hand the probability or likelihood of hypotheses given the evidence for them, and on the other hand the behavior of stochastic processessuch as the throwing of dice or coins. The study of the former is historically older in, for example, the law of evidence, while the mathematical treatment of dice began with the work of Pascal and Fermat in the 1650s.
Probability is distinguished from statistics. While statistics deals with data and inferences from it, stochastic probability deals with the stochastic random processes which lie behind data or outcomes.
I describe the origin of the notions of randomness and subjective or logical
probability in antiquity, discuss how laymen comprehended the main notions
of the theory of probability, dwell on the birth of political arithmetic and study
the history of the theory proper. I also trace the development of statistics and
its penetration into natural sciences as well as the history of the mathematical
treatment of observations (Ptolemy, Al-Biruni, Kepler, the classical error
theory). I stop at the axiomatization of probability and at the birth of the real...