Without accurate measurement of time, navigators found the calculation of longitude impossible.The measurement of Longitude was made possible by the development of an accurate maritime chronometer by the Lincolnshire-based watchmaker, John Harrison of Barrow on Humber, 1693–1776.
- John Harrison - (1693–1776) – an original essay by Heather and Mervyn Hobden, authors of John Harrison and the Problem of Longitude, published by The Cosmic Elk, ISBN 1 871443 28 3 (7th edition) price £10. [On sale at Jews Court, Steep Hill, Lincoln]
- The Website of the Royal Observatory. In Lincolnshire, the Greenwich Meridian runs through Holbeach, Boston, Louth and Cleethorpes, passing through Snipe Dales nature reserve near Spilsby.
Sir Thomas Little Heath
1861 – 1940
Born: 5th October. Barnetby le Wold, Lincoln, England.
Died: 16th March. Ashtead, Surrey, England.
1593 – 1633
Poet and Theologian.
On July 5th, 1626 installed (by proxy!) as a Canon of Lincoln Cathedral with the prebend of Leighton Ecclesia.
"The itch of disputing is the scab of the church."
1811 – 1860
Newspaper proprietor and politician.
1688 – 1755
Born: Ayscoughfee Hall, Spalding.
Martin Lister FRS
1639 – 1712
Physician, naturalist and friend of John Ray.
Sometime of Burwell near Louth.
- Martin Lister – A short essay written for this website by John Redshaw.
1820 – 1883
Church Lane, Horncastle.
Sir Isaac Newton
1642 – 1727
Born: Woolsthorpe Manor, near Colsterworth.
It was here, while staying to escape the plague of 1665 in Cambridge, that he carried out his ground-breaking work on the laws of gravity, differential calculus, and the refraction of light.
1737 – 1809
Revolutionary and journalist.
Apprentice in Grantham 1762, Exciseman in Alford 8th August 1764 to 29th August 1765!
Thomas Paine, professional revolutionary, was one of the first to use media as a powerful weapon against an entrenched array of monarchies, feudal lords, dictators, and repressive social structures. He invented contemporary political journalism, creating almost by himself a mass reading-public aware for the first time of its right to encounter controversial opinions and to participate in politics.
c.1743 – 1805
Subdean of Lincoln.
English theologian, born Peterborough 1743; died Lincoln May 25, 1805.
He was given the subdeanery of Lincoln in 1795 and transferred his residence to Lincoln shortly before his death. His "Divine Watchmaker" concept of a complex, perfected organism dropping suddenly amidst foreign surroundings, stimulated the counter hypotheses of natural selection, adaptation to environment and the theory of evolution as a whole.
1726 – 1798
Welsh naturalist and antiquary.
Elected a member of Spalding Gentlemens' Society in 1768.
Information provided by John Redshaw with help from David Robinson.
Pennant was 41 (nearly 42) and already an FRS when he was elected a member of SGS. Banks, incidentally was elected a member at the same meeting. Banks and Pennant were both, separately, in Scotland in 1767. They were both in London at the time of their election, but they were at Revesby for a fortnight in May 1768 (not 1769) and that was when they visited The Deeps in the East Fen and recorded a wonderful variety of birds.
John Redshaw adds: I have checked The Nat Hist of Selbourne. Pennant visited Revesby again in 1769 (probably staying with Banks' sister) and during his stay shot a warbler that Gilbert White subsequently identifed as a sedge warbler. It is now accepted, at SGS, that Joseph Banks, Esq, in 1768 was the same as the later Sir Joseph Banks.
1827 – 1913
Born: 15th December. Horncastle, Lincolnshire, England.
Died: London, England.
Sir William Robert Robertson
1860 – 1933
Field Marshall. 1st Baronet of Beaconsfield.
Born Welboun, Lincolnshire.
Memorial in Lincoln Cathedral.
The only man to rise From Private to Field Marshall and not to be confused with the Scot of the same name.
The school at Leadenham is named after him.
Charlotte Angas Scott
1858 – 1931
Born: 8th June. Lincoln, Lincolnshire.
Died: 10th November. Cambridge, England.
Miss Scott was a geometer who whenever possible brought to analytical geometry the full resources of pure geometrical reasoning. Scott continued research at Girton on algebraic geometry under Cayley's supervision receiving her doctorate in 1885. In this year Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, United States opened. On Cayley's recommendation Scott was appointed there and became the first head of their mathematics department.
1579 – 1631
English navigator and colonizer.
Born: Willoughby, Lincolnshire.
He made three expeditions to Virginia, founded Jamestown which became the chief town of the colony and had numerous encounters with the Indians. In one of these he was taken prisoner and would have been killed but for the intervention of Pocahontas, the daughter of a tribal chief. In 1608 he led expeditions up the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers and explored the Chesapeake Bay. In 1614 he was the man who named "New England". He became a legendary figure through his many adventures.
1687 – 1765
Born: Holbeach, Lincolnshire.
Stukeley gave modern archaeologists the first written understanding of the true use of Stonehenge when he plotted key points of reference indicating the summer and winter solstice, as well as other key markers.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
1809 – 1883
Poet, Theologian, and rather less well known as an enthusiastic amateur astronomer. [Information from Paul Money, Sept 2010].
Born in Lincolnshire.
A statue of Tennyson stands to the northeast of Lincoln Cathedral adjacent to the Chapter House and Medieval Library.
Hereward the Wake
Anti-Norman dissident, freedom fighter and hero!
- Hereward the Wake – The real Hereward (as recorded in Domesday Book and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) seems to have been a south-Lincolnshire squire, holding lands from the abbeys of Crowland and Peterborough.
- Hereward the Wake – on English Monarchs website.
- Open Domesday – The first free online copy of Domesday Book.
Sir Barnes Wallis
1809 – 1883.
Inventor, designer and engineer.
Linked to the county through his work for 617 Squadron.
Francis Willis (physician)
1809 – 1883
Physician. Pioneer in the treatment of psychiatric conditions.
Physician to King George III.
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