Davy, Sir Humphrey

(1778-1829)
   Chemist and man of letters, s. of a wood-carver, was b. at Penzance. He early showed an enthusiasm for natural science, and continued to pursue his studies when apprenticed in 1795 to a surgeon. He became specially interested in chemistry, to which in 1797 he began more exclusively to devote himself. Thereafter he assisted Dr. Beddoes in his laboratory at Bristol, and entered upon his brilliant course of chemical discovery. His Researches, Chemical, and Philosophical (1799), led to his appointment as Director of the Chemical Laboratory at the Royal Institution, where he also delivered courses of scientific lectures with extraordinary popularity. Thereafter his life was a succession of scientific triumphs and honours. His great discovery was that of the metallic bases of the earths and alkalis. He also discovered various metals, including sodium, calcium, and magnesium. In 1812 he was knighted, and m. a wealthy widow. Thereafter he investigated volcanic action and fire-damp, and invented the safety lamp. In 1818 he was cr. a baronet, and in 1820 became Pres. of the Royal Society, to which he communicated his discoveries in electro-magnetism. In addition to his scientific writings, which include Elements of Agricultural Chemistry (1813), and Chemical Agencies of Electricity, he wrote Salmonia, or Days of Fly Fishing (1828), somewhat modelled upon Walton, and Consolations in Travel (1830), dialogues on ethical and religious questions. D. sustained an apoplectic seizure in 1826, after which his health was much impaired, and after twice wintering in Italy, he d. at Geneva, where he received a public funeral. Though not attached to any Church, D. was a sincerely religious man, strongly opposed to materialism and scepticism. He holds a foremost place among scientific discoverers.

Short biographical dictionary of English literature . . 2011.

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  • Sir Humphrey Davy — noun English chemist who was a pioneer in electrochemistry and who used it to isolate elements sodium and potassium and barium and boron and calcium and magnesium and chlorine (1778 1829) • Syn: ↑Davy, ↑Humphrey Davy • Instance Hypernyms:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Davy, Sir Humphry —  (1778–1829) Not Humphrey. English chemist …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Humphrey Davy — noun English chemist who was a pioneer in electrochemistry and who used it to isolate elements sodium and potassium and barium and boron and calcium and magnesium and chlorine (1778 1829) • Syn: ↑Davy, ↑Sir Humphrey Davy • Instance Hypernyms:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Davy Lamp — Sir Humphrey Davy Abominated gravy. He lived in the odium Of having discovered sodium.    This was the first clerihew written by Edmund Bentley. And although there s no record of Sir Humphrey Davy s dislike of gravy, it is true that he discovered …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • Davy Medal — Sir Humphrey Davy Abominated gravy. He lived in the odium Of having discovered sodium.    This was the first clerihew written by Edmund Bentley. And although there s no record of Sir Humphrey Davy s dislike of gravy, it is true that he discovered …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • sir — /serr/, n. 1. a respectful or formal term of address used to a man: No, sir. 2. (cap.) the distinctive title of a knight or baronet: Sir Walter Scott. 3. (cap.) a title of respect for some notable personage of ancient times: Sir Pandarus of Troy …   Universalium

  • sir — (Voz inglesa.) ► sustantivo masculino Tratamiento honorífico empleado por los británicos. * * * sir (ingl.; pronunc. [ser]) m. *Tratamiento de respeto usado en Inglaterra delante de un nombre de hombre o para dirigirse a la persona de que se… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sir Norman Moore, 1st Baronet — FRCP (8 January 1847 – 30 November 1922) was a British doctor and historian of medicine. Contents 1 Early life 2 Influences and connections 3 Medical and writing career 4 …   Wikipedia

  • Humphry Davy — Sir Humphry Davy, Bt Portrait by Henry Howard, 1803 Born …   Wikipedia

  • Humphry Davy — Sir Humphry Davy (mitunter falsch Humphrey geschrieben) (* 17. Dezember 1778 in Penzance, Cornwall, England; † 29. Mai 1829 in Genf, Schweiz) war ein englischer Chemiker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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