Skip to main content

Thomson, Sir William, 1824-1907 (1st Baron Kelvin | mathematical physicist and Professor of Natural Philosophy, University of Glasgow 1846-1899)



Sir William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824-1907) was an eminent mathematical physicist and scholar, accredited with establishing an absolute scale of temperature, known as the Kelvin Scale. He specialised in research in mechanical energy and heat, resulting in the invention of the Kelvin Compass, the sounding machine, and his work on the Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable. He was the first British scientist to be awarded a peerage and to sit in the House of Lords, becoming Baron Kelvin of Largs in 1892. He was president of The Royal Society (1890-1895), and was hailed as a "Prince of Science" on an American tour (Editorial, The Sun, New York, April 20 1902) for his innovations. Knighted in 1866, Thomson became the first scientist to be elevated to the peerage when he was created Baron Kelvin of Largs in 1892. He died at his home in Ayrshire and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 23 December 1907.

Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:

Archibald Geikie, correpondence

Identifier: Coll-1815/2
Scope and Contents Letters to Sir Archibald Geike from: Hicks, Henry (25 Oct. 1887); Hooker, Joseph Dalton (Sir) (May 1890); Horne, John (5 Jun. 1898); Huxley, Thomas Henry (17 May 1862); Kidston, Robert (3 Aug. 1883); Lapworth, Charles (Sir) (16 Nov. 1898); Lyell, Charles (Sir) (31 Mar. 1860); Marcou, Jules (5 Jan. 1871); Marcon, Jules (30 Apr. 1878); Milne, John (15 Aug. 1895); Peach, Benjamin Neve (19 Oct. 1898); Prestwich, Joseph (Sir) (15 May 1892?); Scrope, G. Poulett (1866?); Sorby, Henry...
Dates: Majority of material found within 1840s-1940s

Correspondence: GA Le Bel to G De Lorenzo, 1869-1914

Identifier: Coll-74/12/12
Scope and Contents

The Correspondence: Albert Auguste de Lapparent to Charles Lapworth sub-series consists of:

  1. 36 letters, alphabetically arranged (1869-1914)
Dates: 1869-1914

Correspondence: Sir John Stuart Keltie to Herbert Kynaston, 1867-1916

Identifier: Coll-74/12/9
Scope and Contents

The Correspondence: Sir John Stuart Keltie to Herbert Kynaston sub-series consists of:

  1. 24 letters, alphabetically arranged (1867-1916)
Dates: 1867-1916

Notebook No.254, August 1868-1 March 1869

 Item — Box Lyell-temp-box 9: Series Coll-203/A1
Identifier: Coll-203/A1/254
Scope and Contents This dark red Notebook starts in London with Mary and Leonard Lyell, and documents travels in Pembrokeshire, Wales, with an index created by Arabella Buckley. Lyell studies submerged forests, beaches, caves and iron works making notes and sketches, and referencing experts as well as local guides. Several meetings 'with Darwin'. Final pages relate to Grindle Pit, Bury St Edmunds, with sections written by Buckley that appear to be dictated by Lyell. ...
Dates: August 1868-1 March 1869