This page is all about Britain and England in particular, England. the country I was born in and one I am proud to be part of. Britain has a wide a varied history which, if left to 'Microsoft' would cease to have any history.
There are many reasons to be proud of Great Britain - The Castles, the Stately Homes, The Highlands of Scotland, the Rolling Hills of the Yorkshire Dales, The Lake District, The Moorland, the Coastline and the History.
And did those feet in ancient time
And did the Countenance Divine
Bring me my bow of burning gold:
I will not cease from mental fight,
-- William Blake
There are numerous different Encyclopaedia's which when written by Americans, seem to be a little vague about the facts such as:
Alexander Graham Bell, who is always quoted as being
American. Bell was born on March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh, Scotland He went to Canada in 1870
- That doesn't make him American.
It's not just the British that the Americans like to steal their history.
15th-century Italian artist, engineer, and architect Leonardo da Vinci first drew designs for the helicopter. German engineer Heinrich Focke succesfully flew a helicopter in 1936 but the Americans will tell you that the American aeronautical engineer Igor Sikorsky invented it, although he was actually Russian
If you care to read an American Encyclopaedia and look up all the american inventors - take a look at where they were born, you won't be surprised to find how many weren't born in America.
Microsoft will tell you that an American (Mr Otis) invented the 'Elevator' or 'Lift' although lifts operated by human and animal power or by water wheels were in use as early as the 3rd century BC. Traction Lifts were being used in Britain by 1835 but Mr Otis introduced his designed lift in New York, in 1856 after adding a safety feature, six years after electrically powered lifts had first been installed in New York.
They will also tell you that the submarine was an American invention. However, the first successful underwater craft was a leather-encased wooden rowboat, built in England in the 1620s
The first submarine to be used as an instrument of war was in the 1770s which brings me on to some of the things the Americans did invent:
What does that tell you ?
It's not only our history that the yanks would like to
take from us !
Lewis landed 348 of 613 punches for a connection rate of
|This royal throne of
kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm,
- SHAKESPEARE (Richard 11)
British mathematician and inventor, who designed and built mechanical computing machines on principles that anticipated the modern electronic computer. Babbage was born in Teignmouth, Devonshire, and was educated at the University of Cambridge. He became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1816 and was active in the founding of the Analytical, the Royal Astronomical, and the Statistical societies.
In the 1820s Babbage began developing his Difference Engine, a mechanical device that can perform simple mathematical calculations. Babbage started to build his Difference Engine, but was unable to complete it because of a lack of funding. However, in 1991 British scientists, following Babbage's detailed drawings and specifications, constructed the Difference Engine. The machine works flawlessly, calculating up to a precision of 31 digits, proving that Babbage's design was sound. In the 1830s Babbage began developing his Analytical Engine, which was designed to carry out more complicated calculations, but this device was never built. Babbage's book Economy of Machines and Manufactures (1832) initiated the field of study known today as operational research.
Sir Francis Bacon
John Logie Baird is remembered as the inventor of mechanical television, radar and fiber optics. Born in 1888 in Helensburgh, Scotland, Baird learned a Calvinist work ethic from his father, a Presbyterian minister. He successfully tested in a laboratory in late 1925 and unveiled with much fanfare in London in early 1926, mechanical television technology was quickly usurped by electronic television, the basis of modern video technology. Nonetheless, Baird's achievements, including making the first trans-Atlantic television transmission, were singular and critical scientific accomplishments. Baird created a host of television technologies. Among them, phonovision, a forerunner of the video recorder, noctovision, an infra-red spotting system for "seeing" in the dark; open-air television, a theater-projection system; stereoscopic color TV; and the first high definition color TV.
Bannister was the first person to run a mile in under four minutes. He
achieved this feat at Oxford, England, on 6 May 1954, in a time of 3 min 59.4 sec.
Trevor Baylis O.B.E.
In 1993, he watched a program about the spread of AIDS in Africa, which observed that in many regions radio was the only available media, but the need for batteries or electricity made them too expensive or too difficult to access. There was a need for an educational tool that did not rely on electricity. By 1996 Trevor Baylis was receiving numerous awards for his 'Clockwork Radio' which was powered by the occasional turn of a handle.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
British corporation director and automobile racer, born in Chislehurst, Kent, England, and educated in Uppingham and abroad. He was prominent in the business world of England as a director and officer in a number of corporations, but he is known in the United States chiefly for the world speed records he set, beginning in the 1920s, in his specially constructed racing cars on the flat sands in Daytona Beach, Florida, and on the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. He was knighted in 1931. Campbell is the author of Speed (1931), The Romance of Motor-Racing (1936), The Roads and the Problem of Their Safety (1937), and Drifting to War (1937).
First English printer, born probably in Tenterden, Kent. He opened his own textile business and also translated into English a popular French romance, which he printed in Brugge as The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye. It is famous as the first book printed in English. Caxton set up a printing press at Westminster Abbey. During his career Caxton printed nearly 100 publications, about 20 of which he also translated from French and Dutch. Among the more notable books from his press are The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde by the English poet Goeffrey Chaucer and Confessio Amantis by the English poet John Gower. Caxton also wrote prefaces and epilogues to many of the works he published, notably the preface to the prose epic Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
English film actor, director, producer, and composer, one of the most creative artists in film history, who first achieved worldwide fame through his performances in silent films. His full name was Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin.
Born in London, as a child Chaplin appeared in music hall and pantomime performances. In 1910 he toured the United States with a pantomime troupe and decided to remain in the country. Chaplin first appeared on the screen in 1914 with the Keystone Film Company of American director Mack Sennett. In Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914), wearing baggy pants, enormous shoes, and a bowler hat and carrying a bamboo cane, he originated his world-famous character, the Tramp. He played this classic role in more than 70 films during his career. He was associated later with the Essanay Film Company, the Mutual Film Company, and the First National Film Company. In 1918 his own studio in Hollywood, California, was completed. During these years Chaplin gradually developed the tramp character from a jaunty, slapstick stereotype into the compassionate human figure that came to be loved by audiences throughout the world. In 1919 he helped found the United Artists Corporation, with which he was associated until 1952. He also composed background music for most of his films.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s Chaplin was criticized for his leftist political views. As a result, he left the United States in 1952 and established permanent residence in Switzerland. In 1972 he briefly returned to the United States to receive several tributes, among them a special Academy Award for his contributions to the film industry. He was knighted in 1975.
Chaplin perfected an individual style of performing, derived from the circus clown and the mime, combining acrobatic elegance, expressive gesture, facial eloquence, and impeccable timing. His portrayal of the little tramp, a universally recognized symbol of indestructible individuality triumphing over adversity and persecution, both human and mechanical, won him critical renown as a tragicomedian
The son of a prosperous London wine merchant and one of the greatest English poets, whose masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, was one of the most important influences on the development of English literature. Chaucer greatly increased the prestige of English as a literary language and extended the range of its poetic vocabulary. His life is known primarily through records pertaining to his career as a courtier and civil servant under the English kings Edward III and Richard II.
After his death, he was buried in Westminster Abbey (an honor for a commoner), in what has since become the Poets' Corner.
Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, the elder son of Lord Randolph Churchill. Educated at Harrow and Sandhurst, he joined the army in 1895. In the dual role of soldier and military correspondent he served in the Spanish-American War in Cuba, and then in India, Egypt, and South Africa, where he made a dramatic escape from imprisonment in Pretoria.
A British Conservative politician, prime minister from 1940-45 and 1951-55. In Parliament from 1900, as a Liberal until 1923, he held a number of ministerial offices, including First Lord of the Admiralty, 1911-15 and chancellor of the Exchequer, 1924-29. Absent from the cabinet in the 1930's, he returned in Sept 1939 to lead a coalition government from 1940-45, negotiating with Allied leaders in World War II to achieve the unconditional surrender of Germany in 1945; he led a Conservative government from 1951-55. Churchill received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. He was a member of Parliament for more than 60 years and tried to prevent the dissolution of the British Empire, but his fierce opposition to the ambitions of Nazi Germany transformed him into a war leader, who personified resistance to tyranny. Churchill played a considerable role in the eventual allied victory over Germany.
Christopher Sydney Cockerell was born in 1910 at Cherry Hinton near
Cambridge, the son of Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell, sometime private secretary to Sir
William Morris and from 1908 to 1937 Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The
Cockerells were a talented family. The sons of Sydney John Cockerell, a London coal
merchant, and Alice nee Bennett, the daughter of a City Watchmaker, Sir Sydneys
elder brother, Theodore, was a biologist, his younger brother, Douglas, and eminent
bookbinder; while Douglass son Sydney Maurice, two years Christophers senior
and also a bookbinder, was a celebrated and innovative designer of marbled papers.
English painter, who was a master of landscape painting in the romantic style. His works, done directly from nature, influenced French painters of the Barbizon School and the impressionist movement.
Constable was born June 11, 1776, in East Bergholt, Suffolk. He worked in his father's flour mill before going to London in 1799 to study at the Royal Academy schools. He exhibited his first landscape paintings in 1802 and thereafter studied painting and English rural life on his own, developing a distinctly individual style. His paintings, executed entirely in the open air rather than in a studio, as was customary, were an innovation in English art.
He became a member of the Royal Academy in 1829.
Captain James Cook
Renowned British chemist, best known for his experiments in electrochemistry and for his invention of a miner's safety lamp.
Davy was born on December 17, 1778, in Penzance, Cornwall, England. In 1798 he began experiments on the medicinal properties of gases, during which he discovered the anesthetic effects of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Davy was appointed assistant lecturer in chemistry at the newly founded Royal Institution in London in 1801 and the following year became professor of chemistry there.
During his early years at the Royal Institution, Davy started his investigations of the effects of electricity on chemical compounds. In 1807 he received the Napoleon Prize from the Institut de France for the theoretical and practical work begun the year before. He then constructed the largest battery ever built, with over 250 cells, and passed a strong electric current through solutions of various compounds suspected of containing undiscovered elements. Davy quickly isolated the elements, potassium and sodium by this electrolytic method. He also prepared calcium by the same method. In later, unrelated experiments, he discovered boron and proved that the diamond is composed of carbon. Davy also showed that the so-called rare earths are oxides of metals rather than elements. His experiments with acids indicated that hydrogen, not oxygen, causes the characteristics of acids. Davy also made notable discoveries in heat.
In the field of applied science, Davy invented a safety lamp for miners in 1815. For this and for related research, he received the gold and the silver Rumford medals from the Royal Society. In 1823 he suggested a method of preventing the corrosion of the copper bottoms of ships by means of zinc and iron sheathing. He was knighted in 1812 and raised to a baronetcy in 1818. In 1820 he became president of the Royal Society. Davy died on May 29, 1829, in Geneva.
Among his writings are Elements of Chemical Philosophy (1812) and Elements of Agricultural Chemistry (1813).
Sir Geoffrey de Havilland
English novelist and one of the most popular writers in the history of literature. In his enormous body of works, Dickens combined masterly storytelling, humor, pathos, and irony with sharp social criticism and acute observation of people and places, both real and imagined.
Dickens was born February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth and spent most of his childhood in London and Kent, both of which appear frequently in his novels. He started school at the age of nine, but his education was interrupted when his father, an amiable but careless minor civil servant, was imprisoned for debt in 1824. The boy was then forced to support himself by working in a shoe-polish factory. A resulting sense of humiliation and abandonment haunted him for life, and he later described this experience, only slightly altered, in his novel David Copperfield. From 1824 to 1826, Dickens again attended school. For the most part, however, he was self-educated.
The success of his first novel made Dickens famous. At the same time it influenced the publishing industry in Great Britain, being issued in a rather unusual form, that of inexpensive monthly installments; this method of publication quickly became popular among Dickens's contemporaries.
Dickens subsequently maintained his fame with a constant stream of novels. A man of enormous energy and wide talents, he also engaged in many other activities. In 1843 he published A Christmas Carol, an ever-popular children's story. As Dickens matured artistically, his novels developed from comic tales based on the adventures of a central character, like The Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby (1837-1838), to works of great social relevance, psychological insight, and narrative and symbolic complexity. Among his fine works are Bleak House (1852-1853), Little Dorritt (1855-1857), Great Expectations (1860-1861), and Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865). Dickens's major writings include Oliver Twist (1837-1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841), Barnaby Rudge (1841), Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-1844), Dombey and Son (1846-1848), Hard Times (1854), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (unfinished, 1870).
Born near Tavistock. He served an apprenticeship as a mariner, and in 1567 he was given his first command. In 1570 and 1571 Drake made two profitable trading voyages to the West Indies. In 1572 he commanded two vessels in a marauding expedition against Spanish ports in the Caribbean Sea. During this voyage, Drake first saw the Pacific Ocean; he captured the port of Nombre de Díos on the Isthmus of Panama and destroyed the nearby town of Portobelo. He returned to England with a cargo of Spanish silver and a reputation as a brilliant privateer.
On July 23, 1579, Drake set sail again and was hailed as the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world. Seven months later he was knighted aboard the Golden Hind by Queen Elizabeth. He became mayor of Plymouth in 1581 and served as a member of Parliament in 1584 and 1585.
Later in 1585 Drake sailed again with a large fleet for the West Indies. Drake introduced tobacco to England as a result of his visits to North America.
In 1587 war with Spain was recognized as imminent, and Drake was dispatched by the queen to destroy the fleet being assembled by the Spanish in the harbor of Cádiz. He accomplished most of his purpose and in the following year served as vice admiral of the English fleet that defeated the rebuilt Spanish Armada.
He is admired by many for his English spirit, when told that the Spanish Armada had been sighted in 1588, he completed his game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe before setting sail to defeat them.
The first modern English composer to write important choral and orchestral music.
Elgar was born June 2, 1857, near Worcester. As a young man he filled several musical posts before succeeding his father as organist at Saint George's Roman Catholic Church, Worcester, in 1885. In 1889 he married and resigned his position to devote himself to composing. The 1890 performance of his overture Froissart brought Elgar some recognition, but he did not become well known until 1899, when the Hungarian conductor Hans Richter performed Elgar's Variations on an Original Theme in London. That composition, better known as the Enigma Variations because the central theme is suggested but never overtly stated, is one of his most highly regarded and popular works. The Dreams of Gerontius, based on a poem by the British churchman John Henry Newman, and generally considered Elgar's masterpiece, firmly established the reputation of the composer. Elgar's work, a late example of romanticism, is notable for its wit, lyrical beauty, and distinctive form. Elgar also wrote the cantatas The Black Knight (1893) and Caractacus (1898); the oratorios The Apostles (1903) and The Kingdom (1906); a concerto for violin (1910) and one for cello (1919); and the five popular Pomp and Circumstance marches (1901-7, 1930). His orchestral works include the overture Cockaigne (1902); the symphonic study Falstaff (1913); and two symphonies, in A-flat (1908) and in E-flat (1911).
British physicist and chemist, best known for his discoveries of
electromagnetic induction and of the laws of electrolysis.
British bacteriologist and Nobel laureate, best known for his discovery
of penicillin. Born near Darvel, Scotland, and educated at Saint Mary's Hospital Medical
School of the University of London, he served as professor of bacteriology at St. Mary's
Hospital Medical School from 1928 to 1948, when he became professor emeritus.
Sir Norman Foster
Harrison made the first chronometers that were accurate enough to allow
the precise determination of longitude at sea, and so permit reliable (and safe)
navigation over long distances.
Hawking was born in Oxford, studied at Oxford and Cambridge, and became professor of mathematics at Cambridge in 1979. He is confined to a wheelchair because of a rare and progressive neuromotor disease. His work in general relativity - particularly gravitational field theory - led to a search for a quantum theory of gravity to explain black holes and the Big Bang, singularities that classical relativity theory does not adequately explain. His book A Brief History of Time 1988 gives a popular account of cosmology and became an international bestseller. Hawking's objective of producing an overall synthesis of quantum mechanics and relativity theory began around the time of the publication in 1973 of his seminal book The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, written with G F R Ellis. His most remarkable result, published in 1974, was that black holes could in fact emit particles in the form of thermal radiation - the so-called Hawking radiation.
Dr Johnson was a brilliant conversationalist and the dominant figure in 18th-century London literary society. His Dictionary, published 1755, remained authoritative for over a century, and is still remarkable for the vigour of its definitions. In 1764 he founded the Literary Club, whose members included the painter Joshua Reynolds, the political philosopher Edmund Burke, the dramatist Oliver Goldsmith, the actor David Garrick, and James Boswell, Johnson's biographer.
Born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, the son of a bookseller, Johnson was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he distinguished himself but was prevented by lack of money from taking a degree. He is buried in Westminster Abbey and his house in Gough Square, London, is preserved as a museum.
Actually born in Bombay whilst India was under British rule, Kipling was educated at the United Services College at Westward Ho!, Devon, England. Plain Tales from the Hills 1888, about Anglo-Indian society, contains the earliest of his masterly short stories. His books for children, including The Jungle Book 1894-95, Just So Stories 1902, Puck of Pook's Hill 1906, and the picaresque novel Kim 1901, reveal his imaginative identification with the exotic. Poems such as `Danny Deever´, `Gunga Din´, and `If-´ express an empathy with common experience, which contributed to his great popularity, together with a vivid sense of `Englishness´. His work is increasingly valued for its complex characterisation and subtle moral viewpoints. Kipling won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.
In 1926 he was awarded the gold medal of the Royal Society of Literature; he received many other honours, including associate membership of the French Académie des Sciences et Politiques. Kipling was well travelled and lived in many countries until finally settling in Sussex, South East England. He is buried in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.
Locke was born in Wrington, Somerset, SW England. He studied at Oxford,
and in 1667 he became am adviser to Lord Ashley, later first Earl of Shaftesbury. He
retired to France, but after Shaftesbury's death in 1683 he fled to Holland, returning to
England in 1689, where he became commissioner of appeals until 1704.
The son of Hanley's famous boxing-barber, Jack Matthews, Stan was the greatest footballer the world has ever seen. Born in Hanley, on leaving school he did general office work, while also on the ground staff at the Victoria Ground. He turned professional on his 17th birthday, having represented England at schoolboy level in 1929. He made his League debut for Stoke on March 19, 1932. Occupying the right-wing position throughout his career both as a club player and England international, he won the first of his 54 full England caps in September 1934 (Wales), scoring in the 4-0 win at Cardiff. During World War Two, Matthews appeared in 24 wartime and five Victory internationals, and also represented the Football League, the Football League XI and the FA XI. His first stay at Stoke ended in 1947, when, aged 32, he moved to Blackpool for £11,500. There he helped them to with the FA Cup in 1953, and scored 17 goals in 379 appearances for the Seasiders before returning to Stoke City in October, 1961, for a fee of £2,500. Matthews was 46 years old at the time, yet he still went on to play for a further four years for The Potters. Promotion was gained back into the First Division in 1963 and two years later on February 6, 1965, just five days after his 50th birthday, he retired from competitive football with well over 800 games under his belt, 701 in the Football League (332 with Stoke and 369 for Blackpool). His record at Stoke is 355 senior appearances and 62 goals. He is the oldest player ever to win a full England cap, aged 42 years, 103 days. He was knighted in 1965, having received the CBE nine years earlier). After leaving Stoke, Matthews toured the world, coaching in many countries including the Far East. In 1967-68 he returned to manage Port Vale, before going to live in Malta, where he took charge of Hibernians. He later lived in Canada before returning to the Potteries in the late 1980s to live. In 1989 he was appointed president of Stoke City Football Club. He was presented with the Midlands Sports Personality of the Year in 1994.
Milton was born in London on December 9, 1608, and educated at Saint Paul's School and Christ's College, University of Cambridge. He intended to become a clergyman in the Church of England, but growing dissatisfaction with the state of the Anglican clergy together with his own developing poetic interests led him to abandon this purpose.
He became totally blind in about 1652 and thereafter carried on his literary work helped by an assistant; with the aid also of the poet Andrew Marvell.
John Milton's work is marked by cosmic themes and lofty religious idealism; it reveals an astonishing breadth of learning and command of the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew classics. His blank verse is of remarkable variety and richness, so skillfully modulated and flexible that it has been compared to organ tones.
Paradise Lost is considered Milton's masterpiece and one of the greatest poems in world literature. In its 12 cantos he tells the story of the fall of Adam in a context of cosmic drama and profound speculations. The poet's announced aim was to "justify the ways of God to men." The poem was written with soaring imagination and far-ranging intellectual grasp in his most forceful and exalted style. Paradise Regained, which tells of human salvation through Christ, is a shorter and lesser work, although still one of great richness and strength. Milton is often considered the greatest English poet after Shakespeare.
Nelson was born in Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, on September 29, 1758
Nelson's services to the British nation were contributed in the course of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Nelson was made a commodore in 1796. During the Battle of the Nile, on August 1-2, 1798, he destroyed most of the French vessels; the victory cut Napoleon's line of communication with France and eventually was responsible for his withdrawal from the Middle East in spite of his military victories there. In 1801 Nelson became a vice
Nelson was in England at the time of the Treaty of Amiens (1802-03), which temporarily ended the fighting between England and France. When war broke out again in 1803 he was appointed commander of the British Mediterranean fleet. In the Battle of Trafalgar, on October 21, 1805, Nelson overwhelmingly defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets, leading the attack himself in his flagship Victory. The British victory put an end to Napoleon's plans for invading England.
Nelson is regarded as the most famous of all British naval leaders and as one of the most noteworthy in world history. He was buried in Saint Paul's Cathedral. In November 1805, in recognition of his services, his brother William Nelson was made Earl Nelson of Trafalgar. In 1849 a monument known as the Nelson Column was erected to Admiral Nelson in Trafalgar Square, London.
Sir Isaac Newton
Florence Nightingale's parents were horrified. Their daughter had just
announced her intention to be a nurse, and nursing was among the lowest of occupations,
engaged in by the dirtiest and least-educated women.
Born at Hayes Barton in Devonshire, Raleigh attended the University of Oxford. for a time and later studied law in London, where he became familiar with both court life and the intellectual community.
In 1578 Raleigh sailed to America with his half brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, a voyage that may have stimulated his plan to found an English empire there. In 1585, Raleigh sponsored the first English colony in America on Roanoke Island in present-day North Carolina. He was knighted, and became one of the most powerful figures in England.
The Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls
Sir (Frederick) Henry Royce
In 1910 Scott embarked on a second Antarctic expedition, with the aim of being the first man to reach the South Pole. He again landed at McMurdo Sound and with four companions began a trek of 2964 km (1842 mi), the longest continuous sledge journey ever made in the polar regions. Scott reached the South Pole on January 18, 1912, only to find the tent and flag of the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who had achieved the goal 5 weeks earlier. The return journey ended in the loss of the entire party. Petty Officer Edgar Evans died from a fall; Captain Lawrence Oates sacrificed his life, hoping thus to save his comrades; Henry R. Bowers, Dr. Edward Wilson, and Scott perished of starvation and exposure on March 29, 1912, within 18 km (11 mi) of a supply depot. Their bodies, along with valuable documents and specimens left by Scott in his tent, were found by a search party almost eight months later. His diaries and other documents were published as Scott's Last Expedition (1913). He is also the author of The Voyage of the Discovery (1905).
George Bernard Shaw
British inventor and engineer, who built the first practical railroad locomotive. Stephenson was born in Wylam, near Newcastle. During his youth he worked as a fireman and later as an engineer in the coal mines of Newcastle. He devised one of the first miner's safety lamps but shared credit for this invention with the British inventor Sir Humphry Davy, who developed a similar lamp at about the same time. Stephenson's early efforts in locomotive design were confined to constructing locomotives to haul loads in coal mines, and in 1823 he established a factory at Newcastle for their manufacture. In 1829 he designed a locomotive known as the Rocket, which hauled both freight and passengers at a greater speed than had any locomotive constructed up to that time. The success of the Rocket greatly stimulated the subsequent construction of locomotives and the laying of railroad lines.
Thomas Telford, the son of a shepherd, was born in Westerkirk, Scotland
in 1757. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a stonemason. He worked for a time in
Edinburgh and in 1792 he moved to London where he was involved in building additions to
Somerset House. Two years later he found work at Portsmouth dockyard.
British mechanical engineer and inventor, and one of the pioneers of railroad locomotion. Trevithick was born in Illogan, near Camborne-Redruth. In 1796 he exhibited models of high-pressure, noncondensing steam engines, which were an improvement on the low-pressure engines developed by the Scottish inventor James Watt. On Christmas Eve, 1801, Trevithick put into operation the first steam-propelled vehicle ever to carry passengers. In 1804 he made the first application of steam to the hauling of loads on a railway when his steam locomotive carried ten tons of iron about 15 km (about 9.5 mi), from Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon. His success led to the construction of further steam locomotives operating on rails. He is considered by many the real inventor of the locomotive steam engine.
English potter, whose works are among the finest examples of ceramic art. Wedgwood was born in Burslem, Staffordshire, into a family with a long tradition as potters. At the age of nine, after the death of his father, he worked in his family's pottery business. In 1759 he set up his own pottery works in Burslem. There he produced highly durable cream-coloured earthenware that so pleased Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of George III of Great Britain, that in 1762 she appointed him royal supplier of dinnerware. From the public sale of what has become known as queensware, Wedgwood was able, in 1768, to build near Stoke-on-Trent a village, which he named Etruria, and a second factory equipped with tools and ovens of his own design. At first only ornamental pottery was made in Etruria, but by 1773 Wedgwood had concentrated all his production facilities there. Etruria Hall is now a museum to Wedgwood and is surrounded by commercial redevelopment following the National Garden Festival.
During his long career Wedgwood developed revolutionary ceramic materials, notably basalt and jasperware. Wedgwood's basalta hard, black, stonelike material known also as Egyptian ware or basaltes warewas used for vases, candlesticks, and realistic busts of historical figures. Jasperware, his most successful innovation, was a durable unglazed porcelain most characteristically blue with fine white cameo figures inspired by the ancient Roman Portland Vase. Many of the finest designs in Jasperware were the neoclassical work of British artist John Flaxman.
Wedgwood was one of the first potters to market his wares not only to the European aristocracy, but also to middle-class society. The enormous popularity of his wares severely affected the competing porcelain and faience industries. Other innovations by Wedgwood include a device for measuring high oven temperatures, an improved green glaze, and efficient factory distribution methods. After Wedgwood's death in Etruria, his descendants carried on the business, which still produces many of his designs. Wedgwood was the grandfather of British naturalist Charles Darwin.
Wellesley was born in Dublin, Ireland on May 1, 1769. He was commissioned as ensign in the British army in 1787 and was elected to the Irish parliament in 1790. In 1796 Wellesley, now holding the rank of colonel in the army, went to India, where he subsequently received his first independent command. Arthur took part in several military campaigns; in the Battle of Assaye in 1803, he subdued the Marathas, then the dominant people of India. Returning to England in 1805 he was rewarded with a knighthood and with election to the British Parliament.
Wellesley was involved in the struggle against Napoleon. He took part in
military campaigns against France and its allies in Hannover (1805-6) and in Denmark
(1807). In 1808 he was given command of the British expeditionary forces in Portugal,
where in 1810 he first made use of his famous military tactic known as the scorched-earth
policy, laying waste to the countryside behind him as he and his troops moved on. In the
ensuing Peninsular War (1808-14), which resulted in the expulsion of Napoleon's armies
from Portugal and Spain, Wellesley's troops won a series of victories, especially at
Talavera de la Reina (1809), Salamanca (1812), Vitoria (1813), and Toulouse (1814). His
success in Spain won him many honors and large estates and cash awards. In 1814 he was
created 1st duke of Wellington.
On June 18, 1815, Wellington decisively defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.
English author and political philosopher, most famous for his science-fantasy novels with their prophetic depictions of the triumphs of technology as well as the horrors of 20th-century warfare.
Wells was born September 21, 1866, in Bromley, Kent, and educated at the Normal School of Science in London, to which he won a scholarship. He worked as a draper's apprentice, bookkeeper, tutor, and journalist until 1895, when he became a full-time writer. His novel The Time Machine (1895) mingled science, adventure, and political comment. Later works in this genre are The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), and The Shape of Things to Come (1933); each of these fantasies was made into a film.
Wells also wrote novels devoted to character delineation. Among these are Kipps (1905) and The History of Mr. Polly (1910), which depict members of the lower middle class and their aspirations. After World War I (1914-1918) Wells wrote an immensely popular historical work, The Outline of History (2 volumes, 1920).
Throughout his long life Wells was deeply concerned with and wrote voluminously about the survival of contemporary society. For a time he was a member of the Fabian Society. He envisioned a utopia in which the vast and frightening material forces available to modern men and women would be rationally controlled for progress and for the equal good of all.
Inventor of the Jet Engine
British aeronautical engineer, aviator, and inventor of the jet engine.
Whittle was born in Earlsdon, Coventry, England, at a time when powered flight was still
in it's infancy. He was educated at Leamington College and the University of Cambridge. In
1926 he entered the Royal Air Force College in Cranwell as a flight cadet. While attending
the college, Whittle became interested in jet propulsion for aircraft; by 1930 he had
developed the concept of a turbojet engine and filed his first patent. In 1936 he
organized a privately financed company, Power Jets, Ltd., for the development of his
English poet, one of the most accomplished and influential of England's romantic poets, whose theories and style created a new tradition in poetry.
Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770, in Cockermouth, Cumberland, and educated at Saint John's College, University of Cambridge. He developed a keen love of nature as a youth, and during school vacation periods he frequently visited places noted for their scenic beauty. Although Wordsworth had begun to write poetry while still a schoolboy, none of his poems was published until 1793, when An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches appeared. These works, although fresh and original in content, reflect the influence of the formal style of 18th-century English poetry.
His work is generally taken to mark the beginning of the romantic movement in English poetry.
In 1813 Wordsworth obtained a sinecure as distributor of stamps for Westmorland.
Much of Wordsworth's easy flow of conversational blank verse has true lyrical power and grace, and his finest work is permeated by a sense of the human relationship to external nature that is religious in its scope and intensity.
Wren was born in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, on October 20, 1632, the son of a clergyman. He was a precocious child with remarkable talent for science and mathematics and had already invented numerous scientific devices before the age of 14, when he was admitted to Wadham College, University of Oxford. While still a student, he made several original contributions in mathematics, winning immediate acclaim. In 1657, after serving as a fellow of All Souls College at Oxford, he was appointed professor of astronomy at Gresham College in London. Three years later he returned to Oxford to accept the post of Savilian professor of astronomy.
Already famous as a scientist and mathematician, Wren started his career as an architect at the age of 29. Until then he had displayed no practical interest in architecture, but his reputation brought him an unsolicited court appointment as assistant to the surveyor general in charge of the repair and upkeep of public buildings. Thereafter Wren devoted himself to the study of architecture with increasing enthusiasm. His earliest work included designs for several new structures at Oxford and at Cambridge.
The fire of 1666 burned the oldest part of London. Within a few days Wren submitted a brilliant plan for rebuilding the area. The plan anticipated many of the features of modern city planning, but it was rejected because of property disputes. In 1667 he was appointed deputy surveyor general for the reconstruction of Saint Paul's Cathedral, numerous parish churches, and other buildings destroyed by the fire. Two years later he received the coveted post of surveyor of the royal works, a position that gave him control of all government building in Britain. He held this position for the following 50 years.
Wren's designs for St. Paul's Cathedral were accepted in 1675, and he superintended the building of the vast baroque structure until its completion in 1710. It ranks as one of the world's most imposing domed edifices. He also designed more than 50 churches, many of them, such as Saint Mary-le-Bow (1671-77) in London, famous for their towers and graceful spires. They include Saint Stephen's, Walbrook; Saint Clement Dane's, the Strand; and Saint James's, Picadilly. Among his secular buildings still in existence are the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford (1664-69), the Trinity College library at Cambridge (1677-92), and the facade for Hampton Court Palace (1689-94). He also built the Chelsea Hospital (1682), the Greenwich Observatory (1675), and the Greenwich Hospital (1696).
Wren's architectural achievements have obscured his extraordinary contributions in science. Among his inventions were a weather clock comparable to the modern barometer and new methods of engraving and etching. His biological experiments, in which he injected fluids into the veins of animals, were important in developing blood transfusion.
Wren was knighted in 1673; he subsequently served for many years as a member of Parliament. One of the founders of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, he became its president in 1680. He died in London, on February 25, 1723, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. Near his tomb is a tablet inscribed with his epitaph, which ends with the following famous words: Si monumentum requiris, circumspice ("If you seek his monument, look about you").He is considered Englands foremost architect. His work, in a simple version of the baroque style, displayed great inventiveness in design and engineering. The Wren style strongly influenced English architecture in the Georgian period and its colonial version in America.