BSHM Gazetteer -- LONDON People D-G

Main Gazetteer A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | London | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Bibliography & Acknowledgements


Written by David Singmaster (zingmast@sbu.ac.uk ). Links to relevant external websites are being added occasionally to this gazetteer but the BSHM has no control over the availability or contents of these links. Please inform the BSHM Webster (A.Mann@gre.ac.uk) of any broken links.

[When the gazetteer was edited for serial publication in the BSHM Newsletter, references were omitted since the bibliography was too substantial to be included. Publication on the web permits references to be included for material now being added to the website, but they are still absent from material originally prepared for the Newsletter - TM, August 2002]

Because of its size, the London section of the Gazetteer is divided into eight pages: the main index page; scientific institutions and societies; the British Museum, British Library and Science Museum; other institutions and places; and mathematical people: A - C, D - G (this page), H - M, N - R and S - Z. Inevitably these categories are somewhat arbitrary so use of the index page and / or the Search facility is recommended.

Contents of this page

D

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F

G

 


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Sir George Howard Darwin (1845-1912) was born in the Darwin home, Down House, in Downe, Kent, part of the London Borough of Bromley on the southeast outskirts of London. This is now a museum to his more famous father. Sir Horace Darwin (1851-1928), the civil engineer and designer of scientific instruments, was probably also born at Down House.


Donald Watts Davies (1924-2000) was a student at Imperial College, getting a first in physics at age 19, then a first in mathematics in 1947. He heard Turing lecture on the ACE at IC and joined NPL in 1947 to work with Turing. He remained until retirement in 1984. In 1965, he conceived of packet switching - cf NPL under Teddington below.


Augustus De Morgan (1806-1871), lived at 25 Hatton Garden about 1827, then at 5 Upper Gower Street 1831-1837, then at 69 Gower Street 1837-1844, then at 6 Merton Road (=? 41 Chalcot Villas), Adelaide Road, Chalk Farm, where he died. University College London now covers the site of 69 Gower Street. (I am told that this is not true with the present numbering of Gower St.) In 1831, he was writing from 90 Guilford-street. One of De Morgan's sons, George C. De Morgan, was a founder of the London Mathematical Society, but died young. Another son was the noted potter and novelist, William Frend De Morgan (1839‑1917), whose pots and tiles can be seen in many places - there is a memorial to him in Chelsea Old Church. His books, papers and a bust are in the University Library, Senate House. See also entry for University College, London.


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John Dee (1527-1608) was born in London. An original fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1546-1548. Left England in 1548-1551 to study and partly because of suspicions of being a magician. Became tutor to the family of the Lord Protector, the Duke(?) of Northumberland, whose son Robert Dudley was later Earl of Leicester. Astrologer to Mary, but jailed on suspicion of trying to poison her, though he managed to accommodate himself to Bishop Bonner to the extent of becoming Bonner's chaplain. Freed in 1555. In 1556, he pleaded for a national library and began collecting the old manuscripts that were being dispersed. Court Astrologer to Elizabeth, providing a date for her coronation in 1559. In 1547, he had brought back continental books on navigation, etc., an example of the recently invented cross staff as improved by his teacher Gemma Frisius and a globe made by Gemma Frisius. He taught or advised on navigation and mathematics to many students who advanced English navigation to the first rank - he was teacher to the Muscovy Company (formerly the Merchant Adventurers) for thirty years and even taught the Lord High Admiral and his Chief Pilot as well as advising such explorers as Gilbert and Frobisher. Published The Perfect Arte of Navigation in 1577. In 1583, the English government consulted him about reforming the calendar in view of Gregory's reform of 1582 and he produced a scheme for it, but the Protestant English decided not to have any truck with a Catholic reform. He wrote a notable foreword to Henry Billingsley's first translation of Euclid into English in 1570. He may have been the model for Prospero in Shakespeare's Tempest - see also Harriot below - and probably he and Kelley were the models for Jonson's The Alchemist.

The British Museum (Room 46, Case 6) has his 'Magic Mirror' (a piece of Aztec obsidian (or polished cannel coal [Holmyard, p.202]), supposedly brought to him by angels, and later owned by Horace Walpole), a crystal ball, an amulet and three inscribed wax discs which supported his magic table. It also has his own catalogue of his library of 4000 books, perhaps the finest scientific library in Europe at the time, certainly larger than in the English universities. In 1605, the fame of Dee's Magic Mirror was so great that it was popularly supposed to have revealed the Gunpowder Plot. The Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, has a facsimile of his Holy Table. [Greenwood (2), pp.172-173] An 1869 biography of Dee calls him Chancellor of St. Paul's [quoted in: Raymond Toole Stott, A Bibliography of British Conjuring 1581-1876, published by the author, Derby, vol. 2, 1978, p.93],, while [Griffinhoofe, p.36] says he was made a Prebendary of St. Paul's by Elizabeth.

Dee lived at his mother's house in Mortlake from the 1560s and continued after her death in 1579. Here he had an observatory and laboratory and added numerous rooms for his laboratories and library. The house was on the north side of Mortlake High Street, across from and a bit to the west of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin. The space between the High Street and the river is narrow and houses there generally had gardens on the other side of the road - Dee's garden will be discussed below. The Barnes & Mortlake History Society has published a number of booklets which describe this area and give old pictures, but none of the pictures seems to be Dee's house - see the items mentioned below and [Glimpses of Old Barnes and Mortlake, Leslie Freeman; Going to the Parish Mortlake and the Parish Church of St Mary The Virgin, Barnes and Mortlake History Society, 1993] and also [Loobey (2)]. Almost directly across from the church was a passage to the river, variously known as Queen's Head Court or Tapestry Alley [Hailstone, p.52]. [Barnes & Mortlake History Society, Publications Committee, Vanished Houses of Barnes, Mortlake and East Sheen, Barnes and Mortlake History Society, (1964), new ed., 1978, p.11] says that Dee's land stretched on both sides of the passageway. Dee's house was on the east side of the passageway. In 1886, [Anderson, p.26] stated "there is now a stone let into the wall up the court marking the site of the house."

In about 1619, Dee's entire estate was purchased for the Mortlake Tapestry Works [Barnes & Mortlake History Society, op.cit. above, p.11].It's not clear whether they used Dee's house or built new buildings - [Anderson, p.30] records that the house was standing in 1817 - this seems unlikely to me. [Hailstone, pp.24 & 51-52] says the Works were to the east of Tapestry Alley as far as Chitton Alley, opposite Avondale Road, and that Tapestry Alley was broadened into an open space in 1951 and 1980. Maisie Brown, of the Barnes & Mortlake History Society sent a picture of the stone, which was a plaque commemorating Mortlake Tapestry House, restored 1877, and she says the stone was removed to the Council Depot in 1951 and vanished.

The Queen's Head was on the west side of the passage, at the river bank and it closed in 1952. It is shown in a number of pictures of the area, with the Tapestry Works being identified as the next building.

On a visit in 1997, I found an open space with a memorial stone by the river saying it marked the site of the Tapestry Works - Maisie Brown says the Barnes & Mortlake History Society recently promoted this as a replacement for the vanished stone. This open space is not signposted, but is clearly the present version of Tapestry Alley / Queen's Head Court. The building presently standing on the west of this open space is named Tapestry House.

The area around Mortlake Church is an uncommon maze of old alleys and paths preserving much of the medieval field layout, to the point that there is a book on them![Hailstone] The council flats building west of the Church on the south side of Mortlake High Street is called John Dee House and [Jones, p.10] says Dee's house was a large rambling house opposite this. This John Dee House covers much of Dee's garden [Hailstone, pp.13, 20, 26]. The east wall of this garden is apparently extant as the wall between the grounds of John Dee House and the churchyard [Hailstone, p.60; confirmed by Maisie Brown]. There was a gateway in the part of Vineyard Path known as Bones Alley which formerly led into Dee's garden; it was pulled down in 1957 but there is a photo in [Hailstone, p.21]. Between the wars, a large stone globe was discovered in the back garden of 94 Mortlake High Street, where John Dee House now stands. When broken open, it revealed glittering crystal. It may have had some connection with Dee, but has been lost. [Hailstone, p.26.]

Elizabeth visited him in Mortlake several times (at least twice, according to [Freeman, above, p.34]), once to see his famous scrying stone [Hailstone, p.26]. About 1582, Edward Kelley (or Kelly) (1553-1595) came to Mortlake as 'scryer', i.e. medium or viewer of the crystal ball. By this time, Dee was convinced that the spirits could be contacted and much of his later life can only be described as deluded and even defrauded. Dee and Kelley went abroad in late 1583, taking some 500 books from Dee's library. It has long been said that a mob ransacked his house, destroying the library of some 4000 books, but many of the books have been traced and it seems clear that two associates of Dee had each stolen several hundred books [Jones, p.22]. (21 books from Dee's library are in the Royal College of Physicians.) Dee returned in 1589, but Kelley never came back to England. Dee bought additional land to extend his property in Mortlake. Dee went to Manchester in 1595 (or Feb 1596) but returned here in 1604 and died here. Reputedly buried in the Mortlake Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, but there is no trace of him there. [Anderson, pp. 28-29] reports that in the late 17C, John Aubrey was shown a stone with no inscription, but known as Dr. Dee's stone and claimed to be part of his tomb. Anderson relates further that an 1817 search produced no memorial and that he searched the parish records, but could find no record of such a burial in the church and that no register of burials was kept for the relevant year. [Jones, p.24] confirms that the parish registers for this year and the stone and brass grave markers are all missing. The churchyard was restored in the 1980s and there is now a information plaque showing notable tombs, but Dee is not mentioned.


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Stephen Charles Triboudet Demainbray (1710-1782) was a student at Westminster School, lodging with Desaguliers. In about 1749, he began itinerant lecturing on natural philosophy, travelling throughout Britain and Europe. In 1754, he settled in London with premises in Panton Street. In 1754 or 1755, he became tutor in mathematics and science to the Prince of Wales, later George III. The demand for scientific lectures declined and he was appointed Superintendent of the King's Observatory (or King's Astronomer) at Kew. He organized the Observatory and arranged for George III to see the transit of Venus on 3 Jun 1769. His instruments were combined with the King's collection and were given to KCL and then to the Science Museum in 1927 where they are now well displayed. [Chew. A. Q. Morton, with silhouette on p.44.]


Stephen Demainbray (1759-1854) was King's Astronomer at Kew for 58 years. His nephew Peter Rigaud was appointed co-observer in 1814. Lived at 21 Richmond Green in 1827-1837. [Richmond: Notes on Local History, No. 37]


John Theophilius Desaguliers (1683‑1744) was born in France, studied at Oxford and became Curator of Experiments at the RS. From 1713, he gave scientific lectures and demonstrations at Westminster and to George I in 1717. [Chew] Possibly assisted by Whiston. Most of the early/mid 18C lecturers on science studied with him. In 1715, he published the first history of the telescope as an appendix to the second edition of David Gregory's Catoptrice et Dioptrice Sphaericae Elementa of 1695. One of his students was Willem 's Gravesande who later produced a standard text which Desaguliers translated from Latin as Mathematical Elements of Natural Philosophy. The descriptions of instruments were used by George Adams to build the items now in the George III collection at the Science Museum. Desaguliers had a house and lecture theatre in Channel Row, which was demolished for London Bridge (?). He then lived over the Bedford Coffee House in Covent Garden until his death there. Copley Medal RS, 1734, 1736 & 1741. [A. Q. Morton, p.23, with portrait on p.24.]


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John Dollond (1706-1761) patented the two-piece achromatic lens in 1758, though the idea had been suggested by Chester Moor Hall in 1729 (or 1733). His son Peter devised the triple objective lens in 1765.[Gunther (4), pp.83-84.] The optical firm of Dollond & Aitchison descends from him.[Harper, p.79] says John Dollond started his firm in 1758 at the sign of Sir Isaac Newton and Two Pairs of Golden Spectacles and that the firm was in Ludgate Hill in 1923. I can't decide if he means that the original firm was on the same site.


Henry Ernest Dudeney lived at 6 South Square, Gray's Inn, from some time in the 1870s to 1884, when he married at St. Andrew's, Holborn. He then lived in Great James St., Holborn. He played the organ and trained the choir at St. Alban's, Holborn. [Newing.]


Thomas Earnshaw (1749-1829) was 'The creator of the modern marine chronometer.' He developed Harrison's chronometer into an item which could be produced in quantity. Examples are in the Royal Observatory (qv). Invented the cylindrical balance spring and the detached detent escapement (1782). The latter is still the standard escapement for chronometers. [F. A. B. Ward (2), p.80] His premises were at 119 High Holborn from 1806 until his death (Blue Plaque). [Dakers, p. 81]


Sir Arthur Eddington (1882-1944) lived at 4 Bennett Park, Blackheath, in southeast London, where there is a Blue Plaque.


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Francis Ysidro Edgeworth (1845-1926) was Professor of Political Economy at King's College London in 1888-1891. [K. C. Bailey, pp.243-244]


Joseph Edwards, the well-known author of calculus texts, was Professor of Mathematics at Queen's College, and then Principal in 1918-1931.


Sir George Everest (1790-1866), the Indian engineer and surveyor, was baptised in Greenwich and may have been born there. See also under Hove and Crickhowell.


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Michael Faraday (1791-1867) was born on 22 Sep 1791 in lodgings somewhere near Elephant and Castle. There is a Southwark plaque on the south side of the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, near the Butts pub, but almost concealed by a large billboard just above it [Southwark; DBS]. He was baptised at St. Mary Newington, now vanished, but its churchyard remains as a green space in Newington Butts adjacent to the roundabout. The church was at the northeast of the present green and the walls there may be part of the church??

From 1796 to 1804, he lived in Charles Street, near Manchester Square, Westminster [Eastman, p.249]. He was apprenticed to a stationer, bookseller and bookbinder, Mr. Riebau, at 48 Blandford St., 1805-1812 (or 1804-1812) (Blue Plaque). A customer gave him tickets for four lectures by Davy. Faraday sat in the gallery above the clock. He wrote up these lectures and sent them to Davy. In 1813, Davy employed him as laboratory assistant at the RI. He lived in the RI from then until 1858. [Dakers, p.87. Low, pp.87-88.]

1821 - Superintendent of the RI.
1821, Christmas Day - produces first electric motor.
1824 - founder Secretary of the Athenaeum club.
1825 - finds two different hydrocarbons of the same composition, leading to the idea of isomerism.
1825 - Director of the RI; initiates Friday Evening Discourses.
1826 - initiates Christmas Lectures.
1831 - discovers electromagnetic induction in the following steps. 29 Aug - discovers transformer. 17 & 28 Oct - invents dynamo.
1832-34 - discovers laws of electrolysis and creates its terminology. With assistance of Whewell, he coins the words: electrode, anode, cathode, anion, cation, electrolyte.
1832 & 1834 - Copley Medals RS.
1846 Faraday gives a Friday lecture when Wheatstone could not come. He conjectures that magnetism is propagated by transverse waves - see: ['Thoughts on ray-vibrations', Phil. Mag. 28 (1846) 345-350]. Maxwell later elaborates this into the wave theory of light.
1857 - declines PRS.
1864 - declines Presidency of RI.

Lived in Faraday House, Hampton Court Green (a grace and favour house), from 1858 till his death. This was presented by Queen Victoria, along with a pension of 300 per year. When Faraday baulked at the cost of maintaining such a large house, the Crown said it would bear any such costs.(??Plaque?) In November 1993, this house was up for sale at only 325,000, but there were so many inquiries that we couldn't even get a viewing. One children's book asserts this house was built by Christopher Wren, but this is clearly a confusion of the fact that Wren lived nearby - the advertisement for the house doesn't mention Wren, nor a specific date of construction (Pevsner is quoted as "an exceptional fine group of houses ... late 17th or early 18th centuries."). The same book also says Faraday planted an apple tree in the garden, but again the advertisement makes no mention of this. [Montizambert, p.21.]

Faraday was a member of the Sandemanians, an independent Presbyterian sect. He worshipped at the Sandemanian Chapel, Pocock's Fields, Islington. He was an Elder in 1840-1844 and 1860-1864. Zwart says that behind Pentonville Prison, "at the corner of Bride Street and Barnsbury Grove" was the Sandemanian Chapel where Faraday worshipped from 1862 to 1867. It became the North Telephone Exchange, 7 Barnsbury Grove, in 1906, and a plaque was unveiled in the Exchange by Lord Kelvin in 1906. Zwart says there are two memorial plaques, one on the wall beside the platform from which he preached and one on the floor where his pew was. [Zwart, p.163.] Just to the north are Faraday Close and Davey [sic!] Close - actually this part of Barnsbury Grove is now named Faraday Close.

1867 - dies at the house at Hampton Court Green. Buried with his wife in Highgate West Cemetery [Barker & Gay, p.40 & photo 45].

He is commemorated on the current 20 note (no pun intended!).

[Hackmann, p.50.]


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Henry Fawcett (1833-1884) was a student at King's College School and KCL. After starting in mathematics at Cambridge, he shifted to political economy, becoming Professor of Political Economy in 1863, despite having been blinded by his father in a hunting accident in 1858. MP for Brighton in 1865, later for Hackney. Postmaster General in 1880, introducing the parcel post and savings stamps. FRS, 1882. Medallion on the side of a drinking fountain in Embankment Gardens, commemorating his efforts for women's rights. Memorial in Westminster Abbey. Had a London house at 51 The Lawn, Lambeth. The house site is now part of Vauxhall Park, so The Lawn may have been the present Lawn Lane on the north edge of the Park. In 1893, a statue of Fawcett was put in the Park, but it has been demolished.


Philippa Garrett Fawcett (1868-1948) was the only child of Henry and Millicent Fawcett. Attended Clapham Middle School, on the north side of Clapham Common, and Clapham High School. At times, she lived with her parents at 51 The Lawn, Lambeth (cf above). Attended Bedford College and UCL in 1885-1887. Scholarship to attend Newnham. In 1890, she was the first woman to be placed 'above the Senior Wrangler' in the mathematics Tripos, an event extensively noted throughout the world. After 10 years teaching at Newnham and three in South Africa, she was appointed Principal Assistant to the Director of Education in the new LCC, without the formality of an interview, and, much to the LCC's credit, at the same salary as a man. She was the first professional woman on the LCC staff. She endowed the Fawcett Scholarships at Bedford College in 1919. She became Assistant Education Officer in 1920. She was instrumental in founding Avery Hill and Furzedown teachers' colleges and temporarily served as Principal of Avery Hill (Avery Hill College merged with Thames Polytechnic (now the University of Greenwich) in 1985 [Hinde] - TM). Much involved with the London Day Training College, which became, under her supervision, the Institute of Education. Most of this period, she lived with her mother and aunt at 2 Gower Street (Blue Plaque). Some time after her retirement in 1934, she moved to Lyttleton Court, Hampstead Garden Suburb. A descendent of Clapham High School was named Philippa Fawcett College in 1953.[Siklos.]


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Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher (1890-1962) was born in London and lived at Heath House, Hampstead. He attended a school in Hampstead before going to Harrow. [Gower].


John Flamsteed lived briefly in the Tower of London before becoming first Astronomer Royal in 1675. During 1665-1670, he determined the 'equation of time' which states how much apparent time differs from mean time through the year, and is used to correct sundial time to mean time. See under (Old) Royal Observatory. Determined the accurate positions of some 3000 stars. FRS, 1676. Flamsteed's salary was so low (100 per year, which had to cover costs of instruments and assistants) that he had to take in pupils and to serve as deputy for Walter Pope, Gresham Professor of Astronomy, from 1681, and to be rector of St. Bartholomew's, Burstow, Surrey, in 1684-1719. (Burstow is close to Gatwick Airport, at the border with West Sussex, some 23 miles from Greenwich). Flamsteed's widow removed the instruments, leaving Halley with none. There is a Flamsteed Road in SE7.


The crystallographer H. T. Flather, who built the "very beautiful set of miniature models of all the fifty‑nine [stellations of the icosahedron]" [Coxeter, Du Val, Flather & Petrie, p.8] lived in Shooters Hill, Greenwich?, just after WW2 and exhibited his models at a MA meeting at Goldsmiths' College.


Andrew Russell Forsyth (1858-1942) came to Imperial College in 1913 and died in London.


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Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), who once devised some remarkable magic squares and circles, lived some seventeen years in London. As a young man in 1724-1726, he worked at Palmer's Printing House, located in the Lady Chapel of St. Bartholomew-the-Great, Smithfield. (A press from this shop is in the Science Museum.) [Harper, pp.153-154] says his composing stick is in Stationers' Hall, but [Montizambert, p.67] says it is in the V&A. [Eastman, pp.250-252] says he first lodged with James Ralph in Little Britain Street, but in 1725, they fell out over Franklin pursuing Ralph's mistress. Franklin moved lodgings to the west side of Sardinia Street and moved jobs to Watts' Printing House, on the south side of Wild Court. [Montizambert, p.65] says he lived in Bartholomew Close.

About 1750, he devised some remarkable magic squares and circles. The squares are of order 8 and 16, but are only semi-magic, and the circle has 8 rings and 8 radii. Franklin said he could make these squares as fast as he could write down the numbers!

It was in this period that he made his investigations into electricity, promoting the single fluid theory. At that time electricity was produced by rubbing solids with fabric and two kinds were observed. Franklin's view was that these were positive and negative of the same phenomenon, not two difference phenomena as advocated by others. He gave the names 'positive' and 'negative' long before it was found that electricity is the movement of negative particles and hence goes from negative to positive. Copley Medal RS, 1753, for his electrical researches. Though he had not applied, he was elected FRS in 1756 and excused from the usual payments.

The only surviving house, anywhere, that he resided in, is at 36 Craven Street, beside Charing Cross Station, and has a Blue Plaque. He was here 1757-1762 and 1764-1772. During his first residence here, he flew metal-tipped kites over the Thames during thunderstorms (a potentially fatal occupation!) - he had done this earlier in 1750. He correctly decided that electricity came in two forms - positive and negative. During his time in England, he also invented bifocal glasses, watertight bulkheads for ships, the glass harmonica and the Franklin stove (one of which he installed here). The building houses the British Society for International Understanding. Presently The Friends of Benjamin Franklin House (c/o Royal Society of Arts, 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ) are appealing for funds to restore it. [Joanna Gibbon; Appeals; The Independent (8 Jan 1994) 11] In 1784, he was the first to propose daylight saving time, eventually adopted in 1916 in the UK.

In 1766, Joseph Priestley met Franklin in London and was encouraged to develop his interests in science.

In about 1770, Franklin visiting Christopher Baldwin, at Clapham Common West Side, when he conducted his experiments on 'oil on troubled waters' and thereby first recognised that molecules had thickness. It is sometimes said that he actually computed this thickness but he didn't do so. An account of his study was read to the Royal Society and published in the Phil. Trans., but no one carried out the calculation until Agnes Pockels and Lord Rayleigh in the 1890s when they found that Franklin's observations would give an answer about ? of what they computed with current data. The experiment was probably done on the Mount Pond, at the intersection of Windmill Drive with The Avenue. [E. E. F. Smith, p.50. Charles Tanford, Ben Franklin Stilled the Waves: An Informal History of Pouring Oil on Water with Reflections on the Ups and Downs of Scientific Life in General, Duke Univ. Press, Durham, NC, 1989. A 1995 booklet, The Story of Clapham Common, by the Clapham Society, definitely asserts it was the Mount Pond.] [Timbs (2), p.26] describes mid-19C tests of whether oil stilled troubled waters: a Dutch committee found no effect in 1844, but two other cases showed the effect.

In 1772, the Stephensons and Franklin moved to another, nonextant, house in Craven St. Franklin left in 1775 - Priestley visited him here on his last day in London. [B. N. Morton, pp.78-81.]

An example of his glass harmonica is in the Donaldson Museum of the Royal College of Music [Montizambert, p.66].


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William Frend (1757-1841) came to London after his banning from Cambridge in 1793 (see under Cambridge). His The Principles of Algebra, which denied the existence of negative numbers, appeared in 1796 & 1799. His opposition to negatives may seem a bit crankish and was indeed a bit extreme, but the negatives had not been clearly defined and it was the opposition of Frend and Maseres and their followers which forced the development of proper foundations for number systems, algebra and the axiomatic approach - a very positive result from such a negative attitude. He became actuary to the Rock Insurance Company, 1806-1826. He lived and died in Tavistock Square.


There is a Blue Plaque on the house at 42 Rutland Gate where Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911), the statistician and eugenicist, lived in 1858-1911. He studied medicine at King's College London. Helped set up Meteorological Office and NPL. His book Meteorographica is the first attempt to map the weather on a large scale and is the foundation of meteorology. He originated the ideas of correlation and regression. In 1872, he published "Statistical inquiries into the efficacy of prayer". Despite numerous daily prayers for their health, English sovereigns do not live significantly longer and eminent clergymen have somewhat shorter lives than the average gentry. He also noted that missionaries have shorter lives than average and that churches are as likely as other buildings to be struck by lightning, burned down or destroyed by earthquakes. He created the word 'eugenics', founded the Eugenics Society and set up the Eugenics Laboratory at UCL (presumably that which is now called the Galton Laboratory) in 1904. His will established the Chair of Eugenics at UCL, with Karl Pearson to be the first holder. He also invented the ultrasonic dog whistle and developed fingerprinting into a practical method. He had studied at King's College Medical School. [Low, pp.115-118]


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William Garnett (1850-1932) was a student at City of London School and head boy in mathematics. He returned to London as secretary to the new Technical Education Board in 1893 and spend the rest of his working life, to 1915, in developing technical education at both tertiary and secondary levels, working with Sidney Webb, etc. The University of London Act of 1898, the development of the polytechnics, the Cockerton case - a long lawsuit about the legality of some of the School Board's activities - and the resulting Education Act of 1902 were just some of his activities at this time. Garnett College [which merged with Thames Polytechnic (now the University of Greenwich) in 1987 [Hinde] - TM)] is named for him. He lived in West Kensington, near St. Paul's School which his sons were attending, then in Hampstead. He built a house, 'The Wabe', at 66 Redington Road, west of Hampstead Heath. He later lived at 'The Chestnuts', Branch Hill, but moved to Seaview, Isle of Wight in 1919. His daughter Dorothy married L. F. Richardson.[B. M. Allen, pp.52-139.]


William Gilbert (1540-1603) came to London in 1573 and lived at St. Peter's Hill. His De Magnete, of 1600, was the first major scientific work published in England. He coined the word 'electricity', based on the Greek 'elektron' meaning amber. [Low, p.1]. Robert Boyle later used this in an English work in 1675.


Harry Golombek (1911-1995), British chess champion, major writer on chess and a wartime codebreaker at Bletchley Park (see Section 6-A), was born in London, attended Wilson's Grammar School and studied philology at King's College London. Chess correspondent for The Times from 1945 to 1985. After the war, he lived in Chalfont St. Giles. OBE in 1966, the first such for services to chess. [Leonard Barden, 'Master of the board' [obituary], The Guardian (11 Jan 1995) 21; Jon Speelman, 'Code breaker of chess board', The Observer (15 Jan 1995).]


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Benjamin Gompertz (1779-1865) was actuary to the Alliance Assurance Company when he formulated the Gompertz Curve for human mortality. He was the last President of the Spitalfields Mathematical Society, c1846, and its only member to join the London Mathematical Society, in 1865, but he died within the year.


William Sealey Gosset ("Student") (1876-1937) spent a period at the Galton Laboratory of UCL in 1906 leading to his famous 't-test' of 1908. In 1935-1937, he was in charge of Guinness's new brewery in Park Royal Road, NW10. [Sandon]


George Graham (1673-1751) was the leading clockmaker of his time, becoming FRS. He started working for Thomas Tompion (1639-1713), 'the father of English watchmaking', married his niece and became his partner and successor. Their shop was at 67 Fleet Street (corner of Whitefriars St.), then Graham was at 148 Fleet Street from 1720. He made the first version of an orrery, by 1715, for Prince Eugen [Gunther (4), p.29]. Graham invented the 'dead-beat' escapement in 1715, allowing clocks to be accurate to a few seconds per week. This was the best method for nearly two centuries. [Tremayne, pp. 6-7. F.A.B. Ward, p.25.] Graham made the first temperature compensating pendulum in 1721, attaching a small vessel of mercury to a pendulum [F.A.B. Ward, p.24]. In 1725, he invented the cylinder escapement for balance spring watches [F.A.B. Ward, p.29]. In the summer of 1730, Halley suggested that John Harrison discuss his plans with Graham and Harrison came to Graham's house. There was some hesitancy at first, but they soon hit it off and spent ten hours discussing clocks. Graham invited Harrison for dinner and give him great encouragement and a substantial loan which enabled him to build H1. Graham and Tompion are buried in the same grave in Westminster Abbey.


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John Graunt (1620‑1674), the pioneer student of the bills of mortality, was born in Birchin Lane "at the Sign of the Seven Stars" and is buried in St. Dunstan's Church [Newman]. His Natural and Political Observations Mentioned in a Following Index, and Made Upon the Bills of Mortality, ... was presented to the RS in 1662. Petty produced the 5th edition in 1676. An original FRS.


John Thomas Graves (1806-1870), first inventor of Octonions and brother of R. p.Graves (William Rowan Hamilton's colleague and biographer), was Professor of Jurisprudence at UCL in 1839-1843. See under UCL for more about him and his mathematical library.


Thomas Gresham (1513-1579) - see under Gresham College. He is buried in St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, close to the site of his house, later the site of Gresham College. Cambridge had some hopes but was disappointed when Gresham left his money to found Gresham College in London rather than in Cambridge, though [Griffinhoofe, p.32] says considerable pressure was exerted to prevent Gresham College being a full university. Statue on Holborn Viaduct [City of London - Monuments and Statues]. Statue at the Royal Exchange [City of London - Monuments and Statues] on the Campanile. His grasshopper crest forms the weathervane. [M. Baker, p.59.] Built Osterley Park House c1575, but little of the original fabric remains. His steelyard is in the London Museum.


Edmund Gunter (1581‑1626) was the first to put logarithms on a scale, the inventor of the terms cosine, cotangent, cosecant(?) and the first publisher of logs of trigonometric functions. He devised many mathematical instruments, including the surveyor's chain, and improved the cross-staff - The Description and Use of the Sector, the Crosse-Staffe and other Instruments, 1623. Observed the variation of the compass. He was rector at St. George the Martyr from 1615 to 1627 (cf Cocker, above) and is on the list of rectors in the church. He was Gresham Professor of Astronomy from 1619 till his death in the College. He, and his successor Henry Gellibrand (1597‑1636), were buried in St. Peter le Poor, which was in Broad St. In 1788, it was rebuilt on the site of its churchyard and it was demolished in 1896. (City plaque on the site.)



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Written by David Singmaster. Last updated on 28th February 2003 by TM (A.Mann@gre.ac.uk). Copyright © BSHM and David Singmaster 1998 - 2003. All rights reserved.


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