Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 68

Cambridge Encyclopedia

Silchester - Location, Local government, School education

An ancient British town situated SW of Reading, S England, UK. Silchester's ancient name was Calleva Atrebatum. One of the three main Belgic towns (oppida) of pre-Roman Britain, it was also a prosperous place in Roman times until its mysterious abandonment at an unknown date. Silchester is a village and civil parish in Hampshire, UK. Silchester is located ten miles south-west of…

less than 1 minute read

silent film - History, Intertitles, Live music and sound, Acting techniques, Projection speed, Lost films

Before the use of sound film, motion pictures which relied entirely on visual performance, the words of any spoken dialogue appearing on the screen only as occasional subtitles between picture scenes. Silent films were often presented with musical accompaniment performed live, ranging from a large orchestra in major theatres down to continuous piano in smaller halls. Silent films featured extensiv…

less than 1 minute read

Silesia - Administration, History, Natural resources, Demographics, Cities in Silesia, Other essential reading

Region of EC Europe on both banks of the R Oder in SW Poland, N Czech Republic, and SE Germany; bounded S by Sudetes Mts; disputed area between Austria and Prussia, 17th–18th-c; divided into Upper and Lower Silesia, 1919; greater part granted to Poland, 1945; a largely industrial region, including the coal-mining and metal industries of Katowice and nearby cities. Silesia (Czech: Slezsko; …

less than 1 minute read

silicate minerals - Sorosilicates, Phyllosilicates, Tectosilicates, References and external links

A group of minerals constituting about 95% of the Earth's crust, and containing silicon and oxygen combined with one or more other elements. Structurally they are all based on SiO4, the tetrahedron, and most are complex polymeric structures of tetrahedra. They are classified according to the degree of polymerization, from silicates containing isolated SiO4 groups (eg olivines, garnets) to rings (e…

less than 1 minute read

silicon - Purification, Different forms of silicon, Compounds

Si, element 14, melting point 1410°C. A grey solid non-metal, the second most common element in the crust of the Earth, 26% by weight. It is the second element in the carbon group, and like carbon it forms mainly covalent compounds, with a valence of 4. It does not occur uncombined in nature. In addition to a large number of minerals which are essentially SiO2, it occurs in many alumino-silicates…

less than 1 minute read

silicon carbide - Production, Discovery, Properties, Uses, Patents and trademarks

SiC. A compound produced by fusing a mixture of carbon and silica; also known as carborundum. It has several crystalline modifications, all of which are high-melting and hard, and is used mainly as an abrasive. Silicon carbide (SiC) is a ceramic compound of silicon and carbon. The word moissanite is a trade name given to silicon carbide for use in the gem business. M…

less than 1 minute read

silicon chip - Introduction, Advances in integrated circuits, Popularity of ICs, Classification, Manufacture, History, origins and generations

A very small slice of silicon, a few millimetres square, on which many electronic circuits containing many components are built; also called an integrated circuit. Silicon chips are reliable and cheap to produce in large numbers (although the manufacturing process is very complex), and they are now used in computers, calculators, many modern programmed household appliances, and in most electronic …

less than 1 minute read

Silicon Valley - Origin of the term, History, Notable companies, Universities, Cities, Trivia, Further reading

Santa Clara County, W California, USA, between Palo Alto and San José; a world centre since the 1970s for electronics, computing, and database systems. Silicon Valley is the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California in the United States. The term originally referred to the region's large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers, but eventually came…

less than 1 minute read

silicone - Chemical terminology, Safety, Firestops, Sealants in building construction and maintenance, Cooking Applications, Electronic Components

An open-chain or cyclic polymer containing the repeating unit –SiR2–O–, where R– is an alkyl group. Odourless, colourless, insoluble in and unreactive with water, and having high flashpoints, silicones are used in high-temperature lubricants, hydraulic fluids, and varnishes. Silicone is often mistakenly referred to as "silicon". Although silicones contain silicon atoms, they are not mad…

less than 1 minute read

silicosis - Silica, Pathology, Prevalence, Symptoms, Types of Silicosis, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

An industrial disease of occupations such as coal mining, stone dressing, and sand blasting, and of the ceramics industry. It is caused by inhalation of fine particles of silica which induce scarring of the lungs. Silicosis (also known as Grinder's disease) is a form of pneumoconiosis caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust, and is marked by inflammation and scarring in forms of …

less than 1 minute read

Silius Italicus

Roman poet and politician. He became a prominent orator in the Roman courts, was made consul in 68, and then proconsul in Asia (77), after which time he lived in retirement on his rich estates near Naples, and became a patron of literature and the arts. He was the author of the longest surviving Latin poem, Punica, an epic in 17 books on the 2nd Punic War (218–201 BC). Having contracted an incura…

less than 1 minute read

silk - Early history, Silk trade, Wild silks and other types of silk, Europe, India, World War II

A very fine fibre obtained from the cocoons of silkworms. Japan and China provide most of the high-quality cultivated silk. The fabrics are renowned for their lustre, drape, and handle. The rearing of silkworms (sericulture) originated in China before 1100 BC; major finds have been uncovered in 2nd-c BC tombs. The secret of silk manufacture passed to Japan at an early date, but not to Europe until…

less than 1 minute read

Silk Road - Origins, Hellenistic conquests, Chinese exploration of Central Asia, Mongol era

Ancient trade route from E China to C Asia and Europe. From the 2nd-c AD, the best-known route ran from Xian through the Hexi Corridor to the E Mediterranean coast. During the Sui dynasty (581–618), a route further N ended at Istanbul. In exchange for silk, China received grapes, cotton, chestnuts, lucerne, and pomegranates; Chinese techniques for silkworm breeding, iron-smelting, paper-making, a…

less than 1 minute read

silt - Grain size criteria, Source, Environmental impacts

The aggregate of fine mineral particles produced by the erosion and weathering of rock, ranging in size from 0·0625–0·002 mm (0·0025–0·00008 in), a size range intermediate between that of clay and sand. Silt deposits are laid down by water, and may consolidate to form the sedimentary rock, siltstone. Silt is soil or rock derived granular material of a specific grain size. …

less than 1 minute read

silver

Ag (Lat argentum), element 47, melting point 961°C. A lustrous transition metal, relatively rare, but occurring uncombined in nature, known and used since ancient times. It also occurs as a sulphide (Ag2S), particularly along with those of other elements; a major source is the sludge from copper refinement. Of all elements, it is the best conductor of electricity. Long used extensively in coinage…

less than 1 minute read

silver birch

A slender, elegant, short-lived species of birch (Betula pendula) reaching 15–18 m/50–60 ft, with distinctive silvery-white bark. Native to Europe, usually in colder regions, it is often planted for ornament. (Family: Betulaceae.) …

less than 1 minute read

silver fir

An evergreen conifer native to the temperate N hemisphere; foliage often silvery or bluish; needles leathery, leaving distinctive circular scars when shed; cones breaking up to release seeds when ripe. Widely grown for timber and as ornamentals; its resin yields Canada balsam. It is sensitive to polluted air, and does not thrive in or near industrial areas. (Genus: Abies, 50 species. Family: Pinac…

less than 1 minute read

silverfish - Diet

A tapering, primitively wingless insect covered with silvery white scales; tail 3-pronged; commonly found in houses; active at night, moves swiftly; feeds on a variety of plant and animal matter. (Order: Thysanura. Family: Lepismatidae.) Lepisma saccharina (commonly called the fishmoth, urban silverfish or just the silverfish) is a small, wingless insect. The favorite food of si…

less than 1 minute read

silverpoint

A technique used by artists for drawing on paper, popular in the Renaissance, but afterwards superseded by the invention of the graphite pencil. The paper is coated with Chinese white paint and the drawing made with a slim metal point (silver, gold, copper, or lead). Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael made beautiful silverpoint drawings. Silverpoint predates the use of graphite as a drawing medi…

less than 1 minute read

silverweed

A creeping, rooting perennial (Potentilla answerina) native more or less throughout temperate regions; distinctive, pinnate leaves, densely clothed with silky, silvery hairs; flowers with an epicalyx and calyx, 5-petalled, yellow. (Family: Rosaceae.) Silverweed is a flowering perennial plant in the rose family Rosaceae. …

less than 1 minute read

Silves

37°11N 8°26W, pop (2000e) 10 500. Town in the Algarve, S Portugal; on R Arade, 23 km/14 mi NE of Lagos; former Moorish capital; Moorish castle, cathedral (12th–13th-c), Church of the Misericordia. The town was occupied by the Moors in 713 and became part of the Ummayad kingdom of Córdoba under the Arabic name of Shilb شلب. Silves became an independent taifa in 1027 under the rule…

less than 1 minute read

Silvia

Queen of Sweden (1976– ), born in Heidelberg, SWC Germany, the daughter of a West German businessman and his Brazilian wife. She studied at the Interpreters' School in Munich, graduating in 1969 as an interpreter in Spanish. In 1971 she was appointed chief hostess in the Organization Committee for the Olympic Games in Munich (1972), where she met Carl Gustaf, then heir to the Swedish throne. They…

less than 1 minute read

Silvio Berlusconi - Family background and private life, Business career, Political career, Policies, Legislative actions, Controversies

Italian politician, prime minister (1994, 2001–6), and entrepreneur, born in Milan, Lombardy, N Italy. After building a thriving property business, he expanded his activities to include, in his Fininvest group of companies, media, publishing, sport (he owns AC Milan Football Club), and finance. In 1993 he entered politics, founding the right-wing party Forza Italia, which was successful at the 19…

less than 1 minute read

Silvio Pellico - Biography

Patriot and writer, born in Saluzzo, Piedmont, N Italy. A member of the Carboneria secret society, he was involved in the anti-Austrian review Il Conciliatore. In 1820 he was arrested and given the death penalty, which was then commuted to 20 years in the notorious Spilberk jail. Pardoned in 1830, his memoirs Le mie prigioni (1832) became a great success and one of the Risorgimento classics. Among…

less than 1 minute read

Sima Guang

Chinese statesman-historian, opponent of the reformer Wang Anshi. His Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government gives not only complete dynastic coverage of Chinese history 403 BC–AD 959, but also details on ordinary lifestyles. Written 1066–84, its 600-character first draft filled two rooms of his house. A later (1189) abridgement by the philosopher Zhu Xi was widely used in China until modern…

less than 1 minute read

Sima Qian - Early life and education, Historian, Literary figure, Astrologer, Books about Sima Qian in English

Historian, born in Lung-men, EC China. He succeeded his father Ssu-ma T'an (?–110 BC) in 110 BC as grand historian, but incurred the emperor's wrath for taking the part of a friend who, in command of a military expedition, had surrendered to the enemy. Imprisoned and destined for execution, he was castrated instead, perhaps to enable him to complete his work. He is chiefly remembered for the Shih…

less than 1 minute read

Simbirsk

54°19N 48°22E, pop (2000e) 665 000. River-port in WC European Russia; founded as a fortress, 1648; airfield; railway; machinery, metalworking, leatherwork, footwear, vodka; birthplace of Lenin; renamed after his family name, Ulyanov; Palace of Books (1847). …

less than 1 minute read

Simeon North

Engineer and manufacturer, born in Berlin, Connecticut, USA. During 1799–1813 he pioneered the manufacture of pistols with interchangeable parts, mostly under government contract. From 1828 to his death he continued to produce rifles. Simeon North (1763 - 1852) was a Middletown, Connecticut gun manufacturer, who developed America's first milling machine in 1818. {{North is now …

less than 1 minute read

Simon (Arthur No - Biography, Novels, Drama

Novelist, playwright, and journalist, born in Leicester, Leicestershire, C England, UK. He studied at King's College, Cambridge, served in the army, then turned to writing, producing his first novel, The Feathers of Death, in 1959. His most notable work is Alms for Oblivion (1964–76), a series of novels portraying the mid-20th-c English upper classes, and this was followed by another sequence, Th…

less than 1 minute read

Simon (James Holliday) Gray - Works

Playwright, director, and novelist, born on Hayling Island, Hampshire, S England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and became lecturer in English literature at Queen Mary College, London (1965–85). Many of his plays are set in the world of academics, depicting lonely alienated men rejected by society. His first play, Wise Child, was produced in 1967. Later plays include Otherwise Engaged (1975), Quar…

less than 1 minute read

Simon (Smith) Kuznets - His work and its impact on Economics

Economist and statistician, born in Kharkov, E Ukraine. He emigrated to the USA in 1922, studied at Columbia, and investigated business cycles for the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1927. He was professor of economics at Pennsylvania (1930–54), Johns Hopkins (1954–60), and Harvard (1960–71). In his work he combined a concern for facts and measurement with creative and original ideas …

less than 1 minute read

Simon bar Kokhba - Second Jewish revolt, Bar Kokhba in the arts, The Bar Kokhba game

Jewish leader in Palestine. With the rabbi Akiba ben Joseph, he led a rebellion of Jews in Judaea from 132 in response to the founding of a Roman colony (Aelia Capitolina) in Jerusalem. It was suppressed by Hadrian with ruthless severity, and he was killed at the Battle of Bethar. In 1960 some of his letters were found in caves near the Dead Sea. Simon bar Kokhba (Hebrew: שמעון בר כ…

less than 1 minute read

Sim - Articles from The Liberator

The national hero of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, born in Caracas. Having travelled in Europe, he played the most prominent part in the wars of independence in N South America. In 1819, he was proclaimed and became president of the vast Republic of Colombia (modern Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador), which was finally liberated in 1822. He then took charge of the last campaigns …

less than 1 minute read

Simon Callow - Selected filmography

Actor, director, and writer, born in London, UK. He made his London debut in The Plumber's Progress (1975), and joined Joint Stock in 1977, later playing major roles at the Bristol Old Vic and the National Theatre. Notable among his films are Amadeus (1984), in which he played Schikaneder, A Room With a View (1986), Postcards from the Edge (1990), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), and Shakespear…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Cameron

Businessman and politician, born in Lancaster Co, Pennsylvania, USA. Orphaned at age nine and largely self-educated, he began as a manager of newspapers, then bought the Harrisburg, PA Republican (1824). This gained him influence in politics, which in turn brought lucrative contracts as the state printer, and he also branched out into other businesses including railroads and banking. He served Pen…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Cowell - Biography, Trivia

Record producer and manager, born in Brighton, East Sussex, SE England, UK. He left school at age 16 and worked as an office boy for EMI (1979), working his way up to become a record producer and starting his own label, Fanfare Records. He then joined BMG Records, signed a number of successful pop acts, and subsequently set up his own label again, S Records. The company has gone on to achieve sale…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Flexner

Microbiologist and medical administrator, born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, the brother of Abraham Flexner. After researching and teaching as a pathologist at Johns Hopkins (1890–9), he went to the University of Pennsylvania (1899–1903), and during this period took time away to isolate a strain of the dysentery bacillus in the Philippines (1899) and to investigate the bubonic plague in San Fran…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Foucher - Reference

Philosopher, sceptic, and critic, born in Dijon, E France. He studied at the Sorbonne, was a friend of Liebniz, and became one of the principal critics of Descartes and Malebranche. His major work was Dissertation sur la recherche de la vérité (1673). Simon Foucher (1 March 1644 - 27 April 1696) was a French philosopher born in Dijon. For some years he held the position of honorary canon …

less than 1 minute read

Simon Fraser

Fur trader, born in Bennington, Vermont, USA. He moved to Canada in 1784. He worked as a clerk in the North-West Co, was promoted to partner in 1801, and was sent in 1805 to establish the first trading posts in the Rocky Mountains. Following Mackenzie's route, he opened up a vast area which he called New Caledonia between the plains and the Pacific, and in 1808 followed the Fraser R, named after h…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Girty - In literature

American soldier, born near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. Illiterate and brutal, he deserted the Continental army in 1778 to fight with the British and their Indian allies in the Northwest Territory. Known as ‘the great renegade’, he had many atrocities charged to him, including the burning at the stake of a captured American officer. He fled to Canada after the war, from where he continued to …

less than 1 minute read

Simon Greenleaf - Early life and legal career, Royal professor of law, Contributions to Christian Apologetics

Lawyer and professor, born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, USA. He read and practised law in Maine from 1806, and when Maine became a state he was appointed reporter to its supreme judicial court (1820–32). He then became a professor of law at Harvard (1833–48). Always deliberate and thorough, as seen in his widely hailed Treatise on the Law of Evidence (3 vols, 1842–53), he is regarded, along w…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Lake - Web site

Engineer and inventor, born in Pleasantville, New Jersey, USA. Interested in designing underwater vessels, he competed with John Holland's design in 1893, and launched his gasoline-engine-powered Argonaut, which became the first submarine to successfully operate in the open sea (1898). He established the Lake Torpedo Boat Co in Bridgeport, CT (1900), and the US government bought his submarine Seal…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Magus - Christian legends, Conflicting points of view

Practitioner of magic arts, who appears in Samaria c.37, well known for his sorceries. With Peter's condemnation of his offer to buy the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Simon's submission, the narrative of Acts (8.9–24) leaves him. Later Christian authors bring him to Rome and make him the author of heresies. The term simony derives from his name. Simon Magus, also known as Simon the Sorcerer …

less than 1 minute read

Simon Marius

Astronomer, born in Gunzenhausen, SC Germany. A pupil of Tycho Brahe, in 1609 he claimed to have discovered the four satellites of Jupiter independently of Galileo. He named them Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, but other astronomers merely numbered them, as they did not recognize his claim to discovery. He was one of the earliest users of a telescope, and the first to observe by this means the…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Newcomb - Life, Quotes, Publications

Astronomer and mathematician, born in Wallace, Nova Scotia, Canada. Born to New England parents who had moved to Nova Scotia, he immigrated to the USA in his teens. Eventually finding work at the office of the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac then located at Harvard College, he took a degree from the college's Lawrence Scientific School (1858). Appointed a professor of mathematics by the US…

1 minute read

Simon Ramo - Further reading

Engineer and aerospace executive, born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. He developed microwave technology at General Electric and made Hughes Aircraft a major defence contractor before co-founding the Los Angeles-based Ramo-Wooldridge Corp (later TRW) and Bunker Ramo. As chief scientist of the US intercontinental ballistic missile programme (1954–8) he helped to develop the Atlas, Titan, and Minutem…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Rodia

Tile setter and craftsman, born in Italy. An immigrant handyman, in 1924 he began his life work, the 99 ft high ‘Watts Towers’ in Los Angeles. He worked on the triple spire of steel rods, chicken wire, and concrete intermittently until 1954, when he declared the job finished. Critics take the towers seriously as a work of sculpture, and they were designated a national landmark in 1991. S…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Stevin - Biography, Discoveries and inventions, Publications, Further reading, Trivia

Mathematician and engineer, born in Bruges, NW Belgium. He held offices under Prince Maurice of Orange, wrote on fortification, book-keeping and decimals, and invented a system of sluices to be used for defence by flooding certain areas, and a carriage propelled by sails. He was responsible for introducing the use of decimals, which were soon generally adopted. Simon Stevin (1548/49 – 162…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Vestdijk - Bibliography (selection)

Novelist, poet, essayist, and scholar, born in Harlingen, N Netherlands. After studying medicine and working as a ship's doctor for some years, he fully engaged in writing to become one of the most prolific Dutch writers of the 20th-c with a production of 52 novels, seven volumes of short stories, 21 volumes of poetry, 18collections of essays and criticism, and many translations. In addition, he a…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Vinkenoog - Bibliography

Poet, born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. As an exponent of the Movement of Fifty, he brought their poetry to the public's attention with the anthology Atonaal (1951, Atonal). During the 1960s he was the driving force behind the so-called ‘happenings’ where poets like Deelder and van Doorn made their debuts as performing poets. Vinkenoog's autobiographical prose, which covers almost five decades…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Vouet

Baroque painter, born in Paris, France. He spent 14 years in Italy (1614–27), and on his return to Paris became first painter to the king and began a career which would make him the most influential painter in France. He taught Lebrun and Le Sueur and was a contemporary of Poussin, who criticized him but who was not a serious rival during his lifetime. His paintings with religious and allegorical…

less than 1 minute read

Simon Wiesenthal - Early life and World War II, Nazi hunter, Wiesenthal Center, Criticism, Dramatic portrayals, Documentary, Miscellaneous

Austrian Jewish survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, born in Buczacz, W Ukraine (formerly Poland). He dedicated his life to tracking down and prosecuting former Nazis who had organized the persecution of the Jews during World War 2. He directed the Jewish Documentation Centre in Linz (1947–54) and Vienna (from 1961), and founded the Simon Wiesenthal Centres in Los Angeles and Jerusalem. His …

less than 1 minute read

Simon Willard - Willard family, Grafton farmhouse, The clocks, Roxbury's pioneer American industry, Renowned work, Inventions, Marriages

Clockmaker, born in Grafton, Massachusetts, USA. Establishing his clock factory in Roxbury, MA (c.1778), he had produced over 5000 timepieces by his retirement (1839). He patented the Willard patent timepiece (1802), still familiar as the banjo wall clock, and an alarm clock (1819). His clocks were widely used and admired in public places. Simon Willard (April 3, 1753, Grafton, Massachusett…

less than 1 minute read

Simone (-Annie) Veil

Administrator and public official, born in Nice, SE France. At the age of 13, she was deported to Auschwitz. She studied law, and worked for the French Ministry of Justice (1957–65), later becoming minister of health (1974–9), and minister of social affairs (1993–5). A popular campaigner for women's rights, she was elected the first president of the European Parliament (1979–82). Simone…

less than 1 minute read

Simone Boccanegra

The first doge of Genoa. A merchant elected by the common people in 1339, he barred the Guelphs from public office and the aristocracy from the dogate. For this he was opposed by the aristocracy and exiled in 1344. He regained power in 1356 but was poisoned seven years later. Simone Boccanegra (died 1363) was the first of the doges of Genoa. Elected in September 24, 1339, as dog…

less than 1 minute read

Simone de Beauvoir - Early years, Later years, Bibliography

Existentialist writer and novelist, born in Paris, France. She studied philosophy with Sartre at the Sorbonne, where she became professor (1941–3). Closely associated with his literary activities after World War 2, she remained his companion until his death (1980). Her own works provide existentialism with an essentially feminine sensibility, notably Le Deuxième sexe (1949, The Second Sex) on wo…

less than 1 minute read

Simone Martini

Painter, born in Siena, C Italy. A pupil of Duccio, he was the most important artist of the 14th-c Sienese school, notable for his grace of line and exquisite colour. He worked in Assisi (1333–9), and at the papal court at Avignon (1339–44). His ‘Annunciation’ is in the Uffizi Gallery. Simone was doubtlessly apprenticed from an early age, as would have been the normal practice. A copy o…

less than 1 minute read

Simone Signoret - Life and career, Filmography, as actress, includes, Awards and Nominations

Actress, born in Wiesbaden, WC Germany, and raised by French parents in Paris. She left her job as a typist to become a film extra in Le Prince Charmant (1942), and soon graduated to leading roles. Frequently cast as a prostitute or courtesan, her warmth and sensuality found international favour in such films as La Ronde (1950), Casque d'Or (1952), and Les Diaboliques (1954). She won British and A…

less than 1 minute read

Simone Weil - Life, Philosophy, Works, Further reading

Philosophical writer and mystic, born in Paris, France, the sister of André Weil. She taught philosophy in several schools, interspersing this with periods of manual labour to experience the working-class life. In 1936 she served in the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. In 1941 she settled in Marseille, where she developed a deep mystical feeling for the Catholic faith, yet a profound r…

less than 1 minute read

Simone Young

Conductor, born in Sydney, New South Wales, SE Australia. She studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, joining the Australian Opera in 1982. In 1987 she was engaged by Cologne State Opera, first as repetiteur then as assistant conductor, and became the first woman to conduct the Vienna Volksoper, the Vienna Staatsoper, and the Paris Opera. In 1994 she made her British debut at the Royal Oper…

less than 1 minute read

Simonides of Ceos - Biography, Poetry, Ethics, Translations

Poet, born in Iulis on the island of Ceos. He travelled extensively, and lived many years in Athens. When Persia invaded Greece he devoted his powers to celebrating the heroes and the battles of that struggle in elegies, epigrams, odes, and dirges, and is noted for his famous epitaph on the three hundred who fell at Thermopylae. He was believed to be the first Greek poet who wrote for fees. …

less than 1 minute read

simony

The practice of giving or acquiring some sacred object, spiritual gift, or religious office for money, or carrying on a trade in such matters. The practice was most notorious in the mediaeval trade in indulgences. Simony is the ecclesiastical crime and personal sin of paying for offices or positions in the hierarchy of a church, named after Simon Magus, who appears in the Acts of the Apostl…

less than 1 minute read

simple harmonic motion - Realizations

A periodic motion in which the restoring influence acting towards the rest position is proportional to the displacement from rest, as in a pendulum undergoing small swings. Simple harmonic motion is much easier to analyse than general periodic motion; the latter can be broken down into simple harmonic components. Simple harmonic motion is the motion of a simple harmonic oscillator, a motion…

less than 1 minute read

Simplon Pass

Mountain pass between Brig, Switzerland, and Domodossola, Italy, over the S Bernese Alps; height, 2006 m/6581 ft; built on the orders of Napoleon, 1801–5; opening of the rail tunnel (20 km/12 mi) in 1906 has made the road route less important. Simplon Pass (Italian: Sempione) is a mountain pass at 2,008 m (6,589 ft) in the Lepontine Alps between Switzerland and Italy. The S…

less than 1 minute read

Simpson Desert

Desert in SE Northern Territory and SW Queensland, C Australia; mostly scrubland and sand dunes; area c.77 000 km²/30 000 sq mi; first crossed in 1939 by Cecil Madigan; Queensland region contains a national park (c.5550 km²/2150 sq mi). The Simpson Desert is a desert covering approximately 170,000 square kilometres in central Australia, occupying an area bounded on the west by the…

less than 1 minute read

sin - Etymology, Buddhist views of sin, Jewish views of sin, Christian views of sin

A religious term signifying purposeful disobedience to the known will of God or an action offensive to God. It is a factor in many religions, though it is represented in a wide variety of ways. The Hebrew Bible represents sin as a constant element in the experience of Israel. There is an emphasis upon human responsibility for sin, and this is carried over into Christian doctrine, where it is joine…

less than 1 minute read

sinfonietta - Selected Recordings

An orchestral piece, usually in several movements but on a smaller scale, and normally for smaller forces, than a symphony; a well-known example is Janá?ek's Sinfonietta (1926). The term is also used for a chamber orchestra, such as the London Sinfonietta (founded 1968). The Sinfonietta (subtitled 'Military Sinfonietta' or 'Sokol Festival') is a late work for large orchestra by the Moravia…

less than 1 minute read

Singapore - History, Politics and government, Geography, Economy, Military, Architecture, Demographics, Culture, Education, Transport

Official name Republic of Singapore Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore (Malay: Republik Singapura; The site of several ancient port cities and a possession of several empires in its history, Singapore was a Malay fishing village when it was colonised by the United Kingdom in the 19th century. When Singapore acquired independence, having few natural resources, …

less than 1 minute read

singing - Techniques

One of the oldest of human activities, which, in the sense of inflected pitch, may well have preceded speech as a form of human communication. In Western art music, it has usually been allied to words (especially poetry), but this is by no means the case in many ethnic communities, or even in some Western folk traditions (eg Irish keening). The training of choirs was important in the mediaeval and…

less than 1 minute read

sintering - Ceramic sintering

One of the techniques of powder metallurgy. Metal parts are made by forming a shape in metal powder and then holding it for several hours just below the melting point of the metal, or (if an alloy) at that of the higher melting component. It is an economical process for making small parts, and is necessary for metal which has so high a melting point that it cannot easily be cast. It can produce po…

less than 1 minute read

Sintra - Parishes, Town twinning, Gallery

38°48N 9°22W, pop (2000e) 20 600. Small resort town in Lisbon district, C Portugal, 10 km/6 mi N of Estoril; former summer residence of the Portuguese royal family; railway; agricultural centre, tourism; National Palace (14th–15th-c), Moorish castle, Pena palace; São Pedro fair (Jun). Sintra (pron. …

less than 1 minute read

sinus - Anatomy

In anatomy, a space within the head or elsewhere in the body. The air-filled paranasal sinuses all communicate with the nasal cavity, at the front of the face, and are lined with respiratory epithelium. Their purpose is to lighten the skull and also act as resonance chambers in the production of sounds. (A change in the quality of the voice during a cold results from these sinuses becoming infecte…

less than 1 minute read

sinusitis - Classification, Diagnosis, Treatment

Infection of the lining of one or more sinuses around the nose and in the bones of the face, which sometimes arises from infection of the upper respiratory passages (eg common cold). It results in severe pain over the sinus, headache, and fever. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which may or may not be as a result of infection, from bacterial, fungal, viral, allergic or…

less than 1 minute read

Siobhan Davies

Dancer and choreographer, born in London, UK. She studied art and then modern dance at the London Contemporary Dance School, and joined the company in 1969, later becoming joint director and resident choreographer. She started her own company in 1981, joined with Ian Spink and Richard Alston to found Second Stride, and launched her own company again in 1988. Her works include Relay (1972), Plainso…

less than 1 minute read

Sion (Switzerland)

46°14N 7°22E, pop (2000e) 26 500. Capital town of Valais canton, SW Switzerland, 80 km/50 mi S of Bern; bishopric since the 6th-c; railway; market town for wine, fruit, and vegetables of the Rhône valley; brewing; former cathedral (10th–13th-c), 17th-c town hall, Church of Notre-Dame (12th–13th-c), bishop's fortress (1294); Internal Music Festival (Jul–Aug). Sion may refer to: …

less than 1 minute read

Sioux

A cluster of Siouan-speaking North American Indian groups belonging to the Plains Indian culture. Having moved from further N into present-day N and S Dakota, they acquired horses, fought wars against other Indian groups, and hunted the buffalo. They were later involved in clashes with advancing white settlers and prospectors, and were finally defeated at Wounded Knee (1890). They now number c.108…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Alan) Charles (MacLaurin) Mackerras - Life and career, Recordings, Reference

Conductor, born in Schenectady, New York, USA. He played oboe with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (1943–6), studied at the Prague Academy (1947–8), was a staff conductor at Sadler's Wells Opera (1949–53), and returned there in 1970 as musical director, having established an international reputation. Subsequent conducting posts have included the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, …

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Albert Hubert) Roy Fedden

Aero-engine designer, born in Bristol, SW England, UK. He established the engine building department of the Bristol Aeroplane Co in 1920, where he was chief engineer until 1942. Initiating a famous range of piston engines, including the Pegasus and Hercules, he was also notable for his unique development of the sleeve-valve engine. He held a variety of governmental and international posts until 19…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Alfred Charles) Bernard Lovell - Bibliography

Astronomer, born in Oldland Common, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. He studied at Bristol, and became professor of radio astronomy at Manchester (1951–81, then emeritus), and director of Jodrell Bank experimental station (now the Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories). He gave the BBC Reith Lectures in 1958, taking for his subject The Individual and the Universe. He has written several books on…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Arthur) John Gielgud - Life and Work, Other interests

Actor and director, born in London, UK. Educated in London, he made his debut in 1921 at the Old Vic Theatre, and established a reputation as Hamlet (1929) and in The Good Companions (1931). He became a leading Shakespearean actor, directing several of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre productions. His many film appearances include his role as Disraeli in The Prime Minister (1940), Arthur (1970, Os…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Charles) Hubert (Hastings) Parry

Composer, born in Bournemouth, Dorset, S England, UK. He studied at Oxford, was professor at the Royal College of Music (1883), and in 1895 became its director. He composed three oratorios, an opera, five symphonies, and many other works, but is best known for his unison chorus ‘Jerusalem’ (1916), words by William Blake, sung as an unofficial anthem at the end of each season of Promenade Concert…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Charles) Leonard Woolley - Books

Archaeologist, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and carried out excavations at Carchemish, al-Ubaid, and Tell el-Amarna. He subsequently directed the important excavations (1922–34) at Ur in Mesopotamia, revealing in 1926 spectacular discoveries of gold and lapis lazuli in the royal tombs. He was knighted in 1935, and wrote several popular accounts of his work, notably Digging Up the Pas…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Cyril) James Anderton

Police officer, born in Wigan, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. Educated in Manchester, he joined the local police force in 1953, becoming chief inspector in 1967, and chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police Force (1976–91). He was known for his outspoken and sometimes controversial opinions. He was knighted in 1991. Sir James Cyril Anderton (born May 24, 1932) is a former Brit…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Edward Montague) Compton Mackenzie - Bibliography

Writer, born in West Hartlepool, Co Durham, NE England, UK, the brother of Fay Compton. He studied at Oxford, and began on the stage, but turned to literature, publishing his first novel in 1911. He served at Gallipoli in World War 1, and in 1917 became director of the Aegean Intelligence Service in Syria. He wrote a large number of novels, notably Sinister Street (1913–14) and Whisky Galore (194…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Emil Herbert) Peter Abeles - Life

Industrialist, born in Vienna, Austria. He studied in Budapest, then went to Sydney in 1949. The following year he founded Alltrans, which in 1967 merged with Thomas Nationwide Transport (TNT). Under his leadership TNT expanded into all forms of road transport, air courier services, and containerized and bulk shipping. In 1979 TNT and Rupert Murdoch's News Limited gained control of Ansett Airlines…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Francis) Osbert (Sacheverell) Sitwell - Life, Writing career, Death

Writer, born in London, UK, the brother of Edith and Sacheverell Sitwell. He was educated at Eton, served in World War 1, began writing poetry, and acquired notoriety with his satirical novel of the Scarborough social scene, Before the Bombardment (1927). He is best known for his five-volume autobiographical series, beginning with Left Hand: Right Hand (1944). Other collections of essays include P…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Frank) Macfarlane Burnet - Early life, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Public health and policy, Later life, Honours and legacy

Physician and virologist, born in Traralgon, Victoria, SE Australia. Director of the Institute for Medical Research, Melbourne, he became a world authority on viral diseases, perfecting the technique of cultivating viruses in living chick embryos. He shared the 1960 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for researches on immunological intolerance in relation to skin and organ grafting. He was kni…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Frederick) Henry Royce

Engineer, born in Alwalton, Cambridgeshire, EC England, UK. He began as a railway apprentice, but became interested in electricity and motor engineering, founding the firm of Royce Ltd in Manchester (1884). He made his first car in 1904, and his meeting with C S Rolls in that year led to the formation of Rolls–Royce, Ltd (1906). He was created a baronet in 1930. Sir Henry Royce (March 27, …

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Frederick) William Herschel - Biography, Other astronomical work, Discovery of infrared radiation, Named after Herschel

Astronomer, born in Hanover, NC Germany. He moved to England to escape the French occupation of Hanover (1757), became a music teacher (1766), then took up astronomy and the construction of ever more powerful reflecting telescopes. He discovered the planet Uranus in 1781, and became famous overnight, being appointed private astronomer to George III. He continued his research at Slough, S England, …

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Harold) Malcolm (Watts) Sargent - Life and Career, Recordings

Conductor, born in Ashford, Kent, SE England, UK. Originally an organist, he first appeared as a conductor when his Impression on a Windy Day was performed at a Promenade Concert in 1921. He conducted the Royal Choral Society from 1928, the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (1942–8), and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (1950–7). From 1948 he was in charge of the London Promenade Concerts. His sense of…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Henry) Roy (Forbes) Harrod - List of works, External Web Sites

Economist, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford and, apart from a break (1940–2) for service in World War 2, and as adviser to the International Monetary Fund (1952–3), remained there throughout his career (1922–67). He wrote widely as a biographer and on philosophy and logic, as well as economics. His major contributions to economic theory were developed at the same time and independently …

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Herbert) Hamilton Harty

Composer, conductor, and pianist, born in Hillsborough, Lisburn, Co Antrim, NE Northern Ireland, UK. He conducted the Hallé (1920–33) and other orchestras. His compositions include an Irish Symphony, and many songs, and he made well-known arrangements of Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks and Water Music suites. Sir (Herbert) Hamilton Harty, conductor, composer and accompanist, was bo…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Herbert) Nigel Gresley - Innovations, Locomotives designed by Gresley

Locomotive engineer, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. For 30 years from 1911 he was the foremost British locomotive designer of such classic trains as the streamlined ‘Silver Jubilee’ and ‘Coronation’ in the mid-1930s. His A4 class Pacific 4–6–2 ‘Mallard’ achieved a world record speed for a steam locomotive of 126 mph in July 1938 which has never been exceeded. Sir Herbert Nigel…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (James) Alfred Ewing - Life

Engineer and physicist, born in Dundee, E Scotland, UK. He was professor of engineering at Tokyo (1878–83) and Dundee (1883–90), of mechanism and applied mechanics at Cambridge (1890–1903), director of naval education (1903–16), and Principal of Edinburgh University (1916–29). He discovered and explained magnetic hysteresis (1890). Sir James Alfred Ewing (March 27, 1855 - January 7, 19…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (James) Paul McCartney - Early years: 1942-1957, 1957-1960: The Quarrymen and The Silver Beetles

Musician, songwriter, and composer, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. The Beatles' bass guitarist, vocalist, and member of the Lennon–McCartney songwriting team, he made his debut as a soloist with the album McCartney (1970), heralding the break-up of the group. In 1971 he formed the band Wings (disbanded in 1981) with his wife Linda (1942–98). ‘Mull of Kintyre’ (1977) became the …

less than 1 minute read

Sir (John) Frank Kermode - Works

Literary critic, born in the Isle of Man, UK. He studied at Liverpool University, served in the navy during World War 2, then taught at Durham and Reading universities, before holding professorial posts at Manchester (1958–65), Bristol (1965–7), University College London (1967–74), and Cambridge (1974–82), where he was a fellow of King's College (to 1987). His works (which negotiate the bounda…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Joseph) Austen Chamberlain - Early life and career, Years of crisis and the First World War

British statesman, born in Birmingham, West Midlands, C England, UK, the eldest son of Joseph Chamberlain. He studied at Cambridge, was elected a Liberal Unionist MP (1892), and sat as a Conservative MP until his death. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer (1903–6, 1919–21), secretary for India (1915–17), Unionist leader (1921–2), foreign secretary (1924–9), and First Lord of the Admiralty (193…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Judson) Graham Day

Business executive, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, SE Canada. He studied in Canada, and spent eight years in private practice as a lawyer before joining Canadian Pacific in 1964. In 1975 he went to British Shipbuilders as deputy chairman and chief executive designate, but left in 1977 to take a chair at Dalhousie University. In 1983 he returned to British Shipbuilders as chairman and chief executiv…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Leslie) Patrick Abercrombie

Architect and pioneer of town planning in Britain, born in Ashton-upon-Mersey, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. The brother of Lascelles Abercrombie, he was professor of town planning at Liverpool (1915–35) and University College London (1935–46). His major work was the replanning of London, as seen in the County of London Plan (1943) and the Greater London Plan (1944). Sir Leslie Patr…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Philip) Anthony Hopkins - Background, Acting style, Hannibal Lecter, Other work, Selected filmography, Trivia

Actor and director, born in Port Talbot, SC Wales, UK. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, and made his stage debut in The Quare Fellow (1960) at Manchester. A member of the National Theatre, he appeared there in numerous plays, including Pravda (1985), King Lear (1986), and Antony and Cleopatra (1987). He made his film debut in 1967, and appeared in The Lion in Winter (1968),…

1 minute read

Sir (Reginald Stephen) Garfield Todd - Background, Government, Subsequent political career, In Zimbabwe

Rhodesian missionary, statesman, and prime minister (1953–8), born in Otago, New Zealand. A Church of Christ minister, he went to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where he was superintendent of the Dadaya Mission (1934–53). He became an MP (1948), and rose to become prime minister. He was later detained by the Smith regime for supporting the Zimbabwe nationalist movement (1972–6). He was knigh…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Richard) Stafford Cripps - Early career, World War II, After the war

British statesman, born in London, UK. He studied at London University, was called to the bar in 1913, and made a fortune in patent and compensation cases. In 1930 he was appointed solicitor general in the second Labour government, and became an MP in 1931. During the 1930s he was associated with several extreme left-wing movements, and was expelled from the Labour Party in 1939 for his ‘popular …

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Robert Eric) Mortimer Wheeler - Family, Works

Archaeologist, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. He studied at London University, and became director of the National Museum of Wales (1920), and keeper of the London Museum (1926–44). He carried out notable excavations in Britain at Verulamium (St Albans) and Maiden Castle, and was director-general of archaeology in India (1944–7), working to particular effect at Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. He the…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Thomas) Henry Cotton - Quotes

Golfer, born in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, NW England, UK. Educated at Alleyn's School, he became a professional golfer, and won the British Open Championship (1934, 1937, and 1948). He played in the Ryder Cup against America four times between 1929 and 1953. In his latter years he ran a golf complex in Portugal, and was much in demand as a teacher and consultant. Sir Henry Thomas Cotton (26 …

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Thomas) Stamford Raffles - Biography, Coat of Arms, Legacy

Colonial adminstrator, born at sea, off Port Morant, Jamaica. He had limited formal schooling, became a clerk in the East India Company, and after studying by himself gained a position as assistant secretary in Penang. He quickly rose to become Lieutenant-Governor of Java (1811–16), where he completely reformed the administration. In 1815 he visited the Borobudur Temple and ordered the excavation…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Walter) Baldwin Spencer

Anthropologist and biologist, born in Stretford, Lancashire, NW England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became professor of biology at the University of Melbourne (1887). In 1894 he joined Horn's expedition to C Australia where, with Francis James Gillen, he began a collaborative study of the local Aboriginal tribes, resulting in The Native Tribes of Central Australia (1899), the popular account Wa…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Wilhelm Ernst) Hans (Franz) Heysen - Wynne Prize

Landscape painter, born in Hamburg, N Germany. He emigrated to Australia with his parents in 1884. He was sponsored by local businessmen for his tuition at the Adelaide School of Design, and his trip to Europe in 1899, where he studied in Paris and painted in Italy, The Netherlands, and the UK. Primarily a water-colourist, his first important exhibition was in Melbourne, in 1908, and his success g…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (William Matthew) Flinders Petrie - Life, Legacy, Publications

Archaeologist and Egyptologist, born in Charlton, Kent, SE England, UK. He surveyed Stonehenge (1874–7), but turned entirely to Egyptology from 1881, beginning by surveying the pyramids and temples of Giza and excavating the mounds of Tanis and Naucratis. The author of more than 100 books, renowned for his energy and spartan tastes, he became the first Edwards professor of archaeology at London (…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (William) Alexander Bustamante

Jamaican politician and prime minister (1962–7), born near Kingston. He was adopted at the age of 15 by a Spanish seaman, and spent an adventurous youth abroad before returning to become a trade union leader (1932). In 1943 he founded the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) as the political wing of his union, and in 1962, when Jamaica achieved independence, became its first prime minister. He was knighted…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (William) Arthur Lewis - His contributions

British economist, born in St Lucia. He was professor of economics at Manchester (1948–58), then became the first president of the University of the West Indies (1959–63). He served as an adviser to several African governments, and became the president of the Caribbean Development Bank, which he helped to establish (1970–4). From 1963 until his retirement in 1983 he held a chair in economics at…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (William) Lawrence Bragg - Biography, Timeline, Prizes

Physicist, born in Adelaide, South Australia, the son of Sir William Henry Bragg. Father and son shared the 1915 Nobel Prize for Physics for their work on X-ray crystallography. He was professor of physics at Manchester University (1919–37) and headed the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge (1938–53), where he supported Crick and Watson in their work, using X-ray crystal studies to deduce the heli…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (William) Tyrone Guthrie - Further reading

Theatrical director, born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, SE England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became director of the Scottish National Players (1926–8) and the Cambridge Festival Theatre (1929–30). He was responsible for many fine productions of Shakespeare at the Old Vic during the 1930s, and became administrator of the Old Vic and Sadler's Wells (1939–45), and director of the Old Vic (1950–1…

less than 1 minute read

Sir (Wilmot) Hudson Fysh

Civil aviation pioneer, born in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. He served with the Australian Flying Corps in World War 1. He established the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited in 1920, now known as QANTAS. In 1931 he was involved in the pioneering Australia–England airmail flights, which led to the formation of Qantas Empire Airways as a joint venture with Imperial Airway…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Aaron Klug

Biophysicist, born in Lithuania. He moved to South Africa at the age of three, and later studied at Johannesburg and Cape Town, completing his doctorate at Cambridge. He was a research fellow at Birkbeck College (1953), where he worked with Rosalind Franklin, and became director of the Virus Structure Research Group there (1958–62). He joined the staff of the Medical Research Council Laboratory a…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Adrian (Cedric) Boult - Adrian Boult Hall

Conductor, born in Chester, Cheshire, NW England, UK. After studying at Oxford and Leipzig, he conducted the City of Birmingham Orchestra (1924–30), and was then appointed musical director of the BBC and conductor of the newly formed BBC Symphony Orchestra. After his retirement from broadcasting in 1950, he was conductor-in-chief of the London Philharmonic Orchestra until 1957, and continued to c…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alan (Lloyd) Hodgkin

Physiologist, born in Banbury, North Oxfordshire, SC England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, worked on the development of radar (1939–45), was a lecturer at Cambridge (1945–52), becoming Royal Society research professor (1952–69), and professor of biophysics at Cambridge (1970–81). With his former student Andrew Huxley he researched the passage of impulses in nerve fibres, for which they shared …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alan Ayckbourn

Playwright, born in London, UK. He began his theatrical career as an acting stage manager in repertory before joining Stephen Joseph's Theatre-in-the-Round company at Scarborough. After his first success, Relatively Speaking (1967), he was quickly established as a master of farce. He has made considerable experiments with staging and dramatic structure: The Norman Conquests (1974) is a trilogy in …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alan Bates

Actor, born in Allestree, Derbyshire, C England, UK. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, and made his stage debut in 1955. His film debut was in The Entertainer (1960), and he was then seen in some of the most popular British films of the decade, including A Kind of Loving (1962), Georgy Girl (1966), and Women in Love (1969). Later films include The Go-Between (1971), We Think…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alan Gordon Cunningham

British soldier, born in Dublin, Ireland, the brother of Andrew Browne Cunningham. He trained at the Royal Military Academy, and served with distinction in World War 2. From Kenya in 1941 he struck through Italian Somaliland, and freed Abyssinia and British Somaliland from the Italians. He later served as high commissioner for Palestine (1945–8). General Sir Alan Gordon Cunningham, GCMG, K…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alan Parker - Filmography

Film director and actor, born in London, UK. He began his career in advertising, then progressed via scriptwriting to directing short films. He made his feature-length cinema debut with Bugsy Malone (1976). Later films include Midnight Express (1978), Birdy (1985), The Commitments (1991, BAFTA Best Film and Best Director), Evita (1996), Angela's Ashes (1998), and The Life of David Gale (2002). He …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alan Walker

Methodist clergyman and social activist, born in Sydney, New South Wales, SE Australia. He studied at Sydney University, and was ordained 1935. His ministry in a coal-mining area of New South Wales first prompted his Christian social views, further developed while superintendent of the Waverley Methodist Mission (1944–54) and in the influential Sydney Central Methodist Mission (1958–78). He bega…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alastair Pilkington

Glass manufacturer, born in Newbury, West Berkshire, S England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, joined the family firm of glass-makers, and in 1952 conceived the idea of float glass as a method of manufacturing plate glass without having to grind it to achieve a satisfactory finish. His team successfully introduced the new technique of pouring glass straight from the furnace on to the surface of a ba…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Albert Ellis - Early life, Education and early career, Development of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Published works

Businessman, born in Roma, Queensland, NE Australia. In 1900 he discovered immense quantities of high-grade phosphate rock on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Banaba (Ocean I). His subsequent career was concerned with the mining of these resources. In the 1970s (Banaba) and 1980s (Nauru), indigenous demands for rehabilitation of the devasted islands led to major legal actions. He was knighted in 1…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alec (Victor) Bedser - Teams, Career highlights

Cricketer, born in Reading, S England, UK. With his twin brother, Eric (1918–2006), he was in the Surrey side which won seven consecutive county championships in the 1950s. He was the leading English medium-pace bowler in the eight years after World War 2, and took 236 wickets in 51 Tests. Against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1953 he took 14 wickets for 99 runs, and in all first-class cricket he …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alec Guinness - Life and Career, Awards and Honors, Filmography, Trivia

Actor, born in London, UK. He studied part-time at the Fay Compton School of Dramatic Art, and began in repertory in 1934. He joined the Old Vic company in 1936, rejoining it in 1946 after serving in the Royal Navy. His famous stage performances include Hamlet (1938) and Macbeth (1966). Among his notable films are the Ealing Studio comedies Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) and The Lavender Hill Mob…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alexander Fleming - Birth and education, Work before penicillin, Accidental discovery

Bacteriologist, born near Darvel, East Ayrshire, SW Scotland, UK. He studied at St Mary's Hospital, London, where he became professor (1919) after serving in the army during World War 1. He was the first to use antityphoid vaccines on human beings, pioneered the use of Salvarsan against syphilis, and discovered the antiseptic powers of lysozyme. In 1928 he discovered penicillin, for which he share…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alexander Gibb

Civil engineer, born near Dundee, E Scotland, UK. He was in the fifth generation of a family very involved in civil engineering since the 18th-c. He joined the firm of Easton Gibb & Son in 1900, worked on the construction of Rosyth naval dockyard (1909–16), then after five years in government posts set up in practice as a consulting engineer. His firm became one of the world's largest, their work…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alexander Korda

Film producer, born in Puszta, E Hungary. He began as a journalist in Budapest, became a film producer there, and then in Vienna, Berlin, and Hollywood, where he directed for First National. He moved to the UK, and in 1932 founded London Film Productions and Denham studios. His films include The Private Life of Henry VIII (1932), The Third Man (1949), and Richard III (1956). He was knighted in 194…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alexander Mackenzie - Helen Neil Mackenzie

Explorer and fur-trader, born in Stornoway, Western Isles, W Scotland, UK. In 1779 he joined the Northwest Fur Company, and in 1788 established Fort Chipewayan on L Athabasca. From there he discovered the Mackenzie R (1789), followed it to the sea, and became the first European to cross the Rockies to the Pacific (1792–3). A rock in the Pacific, off the coast of British Colombia, displays his nam…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt

Canadian statesman, born in London, UK. He emigrated to Canada in 1835, and entered the Canadian parliament in 1849. He served as finance minister (1858–62, 1864–6) and as high commissioner in Britain (1880–3). Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt, PC (September 6, 1817–September 19, 1893) was an English-born Canadian politician, and a father of Canadian Confederation. Alexander Galt…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alfred (Joseph) Hitchcock - Life, Themes and devices, His character and its effects on his films, His style of working

Film director, born in London, UK. The son of a London poultry dealer, he studied engineering at London, and began in films as a junior technician in 1920. He directed his first film in 1925, and rose to become an unexcelled master of suspense, internationally recognized for his intricate plots, insight into human psychology, and novel camera techniques. His British films included The Thirty-Nine …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alfred Gilbert - Famous works

Sculptor and goldsmith, born in London, UK. He studied in France and Italy, and executed work of remarkable simplicity and grace, including his statue of ‘Eros’ in Piccadilly Circus, London, and ‘Comedy and Tragedy’ (1892). He later became professor at the Royal Academy (1900–9). His first work of importance was the charming group of the Mother and Child, then The Kiss of Victory, foll…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Alister (Clavering) Hardy

Marine biologist, born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, C England, UK. He served on the Discovery expedition in the Antarctic (1924–8), and in 1928 founded the oceanographic department at Hull University, where he was professor of zoology. Later he became professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at Oxford (1946–61). He made quantitative researches into marine plankton, and invented the contin…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Allen Lane

Publisher, born in Bristol, SW England, UK. He studied at Bristol, and was apprenticed in 1919 to The Bodley Head publishing house. He resigned as managing director in 1935 in order to form Penguin Books Ltd, where he began by reprinting novels in paper covers at sixpence each, a revolutionary step in the publishing trade. This expanded to other series such as non-fictional Pelicans and children's…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Andrew (Frank) Davis

Conductor, born at Ashridge House, Hertfordshire, SE England, UK. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London, King's College, Cambridge, and with Franco Ferrara in Rome. He made his debut in 1970 conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra, became assistant conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra (1973–7), principal guest conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (1974–7), and musical dire…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Angus (Frank Johnstone) Wilson - Works

Writer, born in Bexhill, East Sussex, SE England, UK. He studied at Oxford, began writing in 1946, and rapidly established a reputation with his short stories, The Wrong Set (1949). His works include the novels Hemlock and After (1952), Anglo-Saxon Attitudes (1956), which were both best-sellers, and a family chronicle, The Old Men at the Zoo (1961), Late Call (1965), and No Laughing Matter (1967),…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Anthony Dowell - Roles, In Demand, A New Career

Dancer and director, born in London, UK. He studied at the Sadler's Wells and Royal Ballet Schools, and joined the Royal Ballet company in 1961, becoming one of the premier male ballet dancers of the period, noted for his lightness and elegance in classical roles. He was principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre (1978–80), and became artistic director of the Royal Ballet (1986–2001). He wa…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Anthony More - Life

Portrait painter, born in Utrecht, The Netherlands. In 1547 he entered the Antwerp Guild of St Luke. He visited Italy, Spain, and (1553) England. An eminent portraitist, he painted Queen Mary I for her bridegroom, Philip II of Spain, for which it is believed he was knighted. From c.1568 he lived in Antwerp. Of his early life we only know that his artistic education was commenced under Jan v…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Anthony van Dyck - Life, Influence

Painter, one of the great masters of portraiture, born in Antwerp, N Belgium. He worked under Rubens, who greatly influenced his style, visited England in 1620, and from 1621 travelled widely in Italy, where he painted portraits and religious subjects. By 1627 he was back in Antwerp, and in 1632 went to London, where he was knighted by Charles I, and made painter-in-ordinary. His work greatly infl…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Antony Sher - Biography, Writing, Honours and awards

Actor, writer, and painter, born in Cape Town, SW South Africa. He moved to England in 1968 and studied at the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He appeared in plays at the Royal Court Theatre, including David Hare's Teeth 'n' Smiles in 1975, and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982. His Fool in King Lear was the first of his innovative creations of Shakespearean characters. An excit…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Archibald (Edward) Garrod - Publications

Physician, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, where he went on to hold a chair of medicine (1920–7). His study of inherited human metabolic diseases, described in his Inborn Errors of Metabolism (1909), was far ahead of its time: he showed that Mendelian genetics applied to humans, and correctly proposed a connection between an altered gene (a mutation) and a blocked metabolic pathway caus…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arnold (Edward Trevor) Bax - Life, Recordings and research

Composer, born in London, UK. He studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London. His love of all things Celtic was expressed early in Irish short stories, which he wrote under his pseudonym, and musically in orchestral pieces (1912–13), songs set to the words of revival poets, the choral St Patrick's Breastplate (1923–4), and An Irish Elegy (1917), for English horn, harp, and strings. Betwe…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arnold (Henry Moore) Lunn

British alpine ski pioneer and Roman Catholic apologist, born in Chennai (formerly Madras), SE India, the son of the travel-bureau pioneer Sir Henry Lunn (1859–1939), and brother of the writer Hugh Kingsmill. He is remembered for his debates about Catholicism (as a Methodist) with Ronald Knox, for his classic account of his conversion, Now I See (1933), and later for his debates (as a Catholic) w…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arnold Wesker - Works, Bibliography

Playwright, born in London, UK, of a Russian father and Hungarian mother. His working-class Jewish family background, and his varied attempts at earning a living, are important ingredients of his plays, such as The Kitchen (1959) and Chips with Everything (1962). His use of a working-class setting rather than the drawing rooms of polite comedy was influential in the development of ‘kitchen sink’…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur (Edward Drummond) Bliss

Composer, born in London, UK. He studied at the Royal College of Music, and in 1921 became professor of composition there, but resigned his post after a year to devote himself to composing. He was music director of the BBC (1942–4), and on the death of Bax in 1953 became Master of the Queen's Musick. His compositions include the ballets Checkmate (1937) and Miracle in the Gorbals (1944), the oper…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur (John) Evans

Archaeologist, born in Nash Mills, Hertfordshire, SE England, UK. He was curator of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (1884–1908), where he developed an interest in the ancient coins and seals of Crete. Between 1899 and 1935 he excavated the city of Knossos, discovering the remains of the civilization which in 1904 he named Minoan after Minos, the Cretan king of Greek legend. He was knighted in 1911. …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur (Seymour) Sullivan - Life and career, Personal life, Compositional style, Reputation and criticism

Composer, born in London, UK. He studied in London and Leipzig, and became an organist in London. His association with the theatre started in 1867, and from 1871 he was known for his collaboration with W S Gilbert in such comic operas as HMS Pinafore (1878) and The Pirates of Penzance (1879). He also composed a grand opera, Ivanhoe (1891), cantatas, ballads, a Te Deum, and hymn tunes. He was knigh…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur (Thomas) Quiller-Couch

Man of letters, born in Bodmin, Cornwall, SW England, UK. He studied at Oxford, where he became a lecturer in classics (1886–7), then moved to Cambridge (1912) as professor of English literature. He edited The Oxford Book of English Verse (1900), and published several volumes of essays and criticism. He also wrote poems, short stories, and several humorous novels. He was knighted in 1910. …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur (Wing) Pinero

Playwright, born in London, UK. He studied law, but in 1874 made his debut on the stage in Edinburgh, and in 1875 joined the Lyceum Company. He wrote several farces, but is best known for his social dramas, notably The Second Mrs Tanqueray (1893) and Trelawny of the ‘Wells’ (1898), which made him the most successful playwright of his day. He was knighted in 1909. Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (2…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Life, Trivia, Selected bibliography

Writer, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He studied medicine at Edinburgh, but poverty as a medical practitioner made him turn to writing. His first book, A Study in Scarlet (1887), introduced the super-observant, deductive Sherlock Holmes, his good-natured question-raising friend, Dr Watson, and the whole apparatus of detection mythology associated with Baker St…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur Harden

Chemist, born in Manchester, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. He studied at Manchester and Erlangen, taught at Manchester University (1888–97), worked in the Jenner (now Lister) Institute from 1897, and became professor of biochemistry at London in 1912. In 1929 he shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on alcoholic fermentation and enzymes. He was knighted in 1936. Arthur Ha…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur Haselrig - Authorities

English parliamentarian. In 1640 he sat in the Long and Short Parliaments for his native county, Leicestershire, and was one of the five members whose attempted seizure by Charles I in 1642 precipitated the Civil War. He commanded a parliamentary regiment, and in 1647 became Governor of Newcastle upon Tyne. After the Restoration, he died a prisoner in the Tower. Sir Arthur Haselrig, 2nd Bar…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur Keith - Biography, Piltdown Man Hoax, Writings, Quotes, Links

Physical anthropologist, born in Aberdeen, NE Scotland, UK. Holding doctorates in medicine, science, and law, he became professor at the Royal College of Surgeons, London, professor of physiology at the Royal Institution, London (1918–23), and Rector of Aberdeen University (1930–3). He is best known for his work on fossilized humanoid forms. He wrote Introduction to the Study of Anthropoid Apes …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur S(tanley) Eddington - Biography, Honours, Writer, External links and references

Astronomer, born in Kendal, Cumbria, NW England, UK. He studied at Manchester and Cambridge, where he became professor of astronomy (1913) and director of the Cambridge Observatories, working mainly on the internal structure of stars. In 1919 his observations of star positions during a total solar eclipse gave the first direct confirmation of Einstein's general theory of relativity. He became a re…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur Schuster - Life

Physicist, born in Frankfurt, WC Germany. He studied at Heidelberg and Cambridge, and became professor of applied mathematics (1881) and physics (1888–1907) at Manchester. He carried out important pioneer work in spectroscopy and terrestrial magnetism. The Schuster–Smith magnetometer is the standard instrument for measuring the Earth's magnetic field. He led the eclipse expedition to Siam in 187…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur Travers Harris - Pre-World War II, World War II, Post war, Bibliography

British airman, born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. He served in the Royal Flying Corps in World War 1, and as commander-in-chief of Bomber Command in World War 2 (1942–5) organized mass bomber raids on industrial Germany. He was knighted in 1942, and created a baronet in 1953. Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet GCB OBE AFC RAF (April 13…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Arthur Whitten Brown

Aviator, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. As navigator with Sir John William Alcock he made the first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in a Vickers-Vimy biplane on 14 June 1919, and shared a £10 000 prize given by the London Daily Mail. Both men were knighted after the flight. Sir Arthur Whitten Brown (July 23, 1886 – October 4, 1948) was a Scottish aviator. Arthur Whitten …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Astley Cooper - Life, Works

Surgeon, born in Brooke, Norfolk, E England, UK. After studying in London and Edinburgh, he lectured on anatomy at St Thomas's Hospital (1789) and at the College of Surgeons (1793). In 1800 he became surgeon to Guy's Hospital, and in 1813 professor of comparative anatomy in the College of Surgeons. He raised surgery from its primitive state to a science, and was the first man to tie the abdominal …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Aston Webb - Works

Architect, born in London, UK. He designed the E facade of Buckingham Palace, the Admiralty Arch, Imperial College of Science, and many other London buildings. Sir Aston Webb (May 22, 1849 - August 21, 1930) was an English architect, active in the late 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century. The son of a water-colour painter (and former pupil of landscape artist D…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Barnes (Neville) Wallis - Career, Personal, Book, Fiction

Aeronautical engineer and inventor, born in Ripley, Derbyshire, C England, UK. He trained as a marine engineer, and became a designer in the airship department of Vickers, where he designed the R100. His many successes include the design of the Wellington Bomber, the bombs which destroyed the German warship Tirpitz and V-rocket sites, and the ‘bouncing bombs’ which destroyed the Mohne and Eder d…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Basil (Henry) Blackwell

Publisher and bookseller, born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, SC England, UK, the son of Benjamin Henry Blackwell, who founded the famous Oxford bookshop in 1846. He studied at Oxford, and joined the family bookselling business in 1913, but also published independently, founding the Shakespeare Head Press (1921). He succeeded to the chairmanship in 1924, and from that time joined the family bookselling i…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Basil (Henry) Liddell Hart - Life, Theories, Biographies, Further reading

Military journalist and theorist, born in Paris, France. He studied at Cambridge, served in World War 1, and was wounded as an infantry officer. He joined the Army Education Corps, then became military correspondent for the Daily Telegraph (1925–35) and The Times (1935–9), advocating the principles of modern mobile warfare. He was knighted in 1966. Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart (31 October…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Basil (Urwin) Spence

Architect, born in Mumbai (Bombay), W India. He studied at Edinburgh and London, and gradually emerged as the leading post-war British architect, with his fresh approach to new university buildings, the pavilion for the Festival of Britain (1951), and most famously the new Coventry Cathedral (1951), which boldly merged new and traditional structural methods. He was professor of architecture at Lee…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Basil Zaharoff - Early life, Legal difficulties, Arms dealing, World War I, Post-war dealings, Personal life

Armaments magnate and financier, born in Anatolia, WC Turkey. He amassed a fortune from arms sales (1880–1900), became a French citizen in 1913, and was knighted by the British in 1918 for his services to the Allies in World War 1. He donated large sums of money to universities and other institutions. Sir Basil Zaharoff, originally Zacharias Basileios, (1849, Muğla, Turkey - 1936,…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Ben Kingsley - Selected filmography, Interviews

Actor, born in Snainton, North Yorkshire, N England, UK, to Kenyan Asian parents. Educated in Manchester he had no formal training in the theatre, beginning his acting career in regional repertory and with a group touring schools. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (1970–80, 1985–6), and emerged there as a leading actor. He is best known for his title role in the film Gandhi (1980), for whi…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Benjamin Baker

Civil engineer, born in Keyford, Somerset, SW England, UK. In 1861 he entered into a long association with John Fowler as consulting engineer. They together designed the London Metropolitan Railway, Victoria Station, and many bridges, including the Forth Rail Bridge (1883–90) built on the cantilever principle, for which Baker was knighted. He was also consulting engineer for the Aswan Dam in Egyp…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Bernard (Arthur Owen) Williams - His life, His work, Critique of utilitarianism, Critique of Kantianism, Reasons for action, Posthumous works

Philosopher, born in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, SE England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and taught in London and Oxford, before being appointed professor of philosophy at London (1964–7). He then became professor of philosophy at Cambridge (1967), provost of King's College, Cambridge, (1979), and professor of philosophy at Oxford (1990–6). His work has been influential in moral philosophy, in partic…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Bernard (Henry) Spilsbury

Pathologist, born in Leamington Hastings, Warwickshire, C England, UK. He studied at Oxford and St Mary's Hospital, London, and specialized in the new science of forensic pathology. He made his name at the trial of Crippen (1910), and was appointed pathologist to the Home Office. As expert witness for the Crown, he was involved in many notable murder trials. Sir Bernard Spilsbury (May 16, 1…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Bernard Ingham

Journalist, born in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Hebden Bridge Grammar School, then embarked on a career as a journalist, joining the Hebden Bridge Times (1948–52), The Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post (1952–62), and The Guardian (1962–7). He was a government press adviser (1976) and under-secretary in the Department of Energy (1978–9), becoming national…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Bernard Katz

Biophysicist, born in Leipzig, EC Germany. He studied at Leipzig (1934) and London (1938), carried out research in London (1935–9) and Sydney (1939–42), and became professor of biophysics at London (1952–78), then an honorary research fellow. Knighted in 1969, in 1970 he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his studies on how transmitter substances are released from nerve termi…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Bertram (Home) Ramsay - Contribution

Naval officer, born in London, UK. He entered the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1898, and served as a destroyer commander in the Dover Patrol in World War 1. He resigned from the navy after a disagreement in 1938, but was recalled to service on the outbreak of World War 2 and served as flag officer, Dover (1939–42). He directed the Dunkirk evacuation of 338 000 Allied troops in 1940, commanded the Br…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Brian (Gwynne) Horrocks

British general, born in Ranikhet, NE India. He trained at Sandhurst Military Academy, joined the army in 1914, and served in France and Russia. In 1942 he commanded the 9th Armoured Division and then the 13th and 10th Corps in N Africa, where he helped to defeat Rommel. Wounded at Tunis, he headed the 30th Corps during the Allied invasion (1944). He became well known as a military journalist and …

less than 1 minute read

Sir C(harles) Wyville Thomson - Career, Interests, Challenger Expedition, Aftermath

Marine biologist and oceanographer, born in Linlithgow, West Lothian, EC Scotland, UK. He studied at Edinburgh University, and went on to hold professorships in natural history at Cork, Belfast (1854–68), and Edinburgh, (1870–82). He was famous for his deep-sea researches, described in The Depths of the Oceans (1872), and in 1872 was appointed scientific head of the Challenger round-the-world ex…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Cameron (Anthony) Mackintosh - Career, Theatres

British impresario. Following a childhood ambition to stage musical shows, he became a stage hand at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, in the early 1960s. He produced his first musical in 1969, and in association with the Arts Council supplied road-show musicals to regional theatres in the 1970s. He agreed to finance Lloyd Webber's Cats, and has subsequently produced, in London and New York C…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Carol Reed

Film director, born in London, UK. He studied at Canterbury, and became an actor and director, joining the cinema in 1930. He produced or directed several major films, such as Kipps (1941), The Fallen Idol (1948), and Oliver! (1968, Oscar), but is best known for The Third Man (1949), depicting the sinister underworld of post-war, partitioned Vienna, based on the book by Graham Greene. He was knigh…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Cecil (Walter Hardy) Beaton - Photography, Stage and film design, Later life, Exhibitions

Photographer and designer, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and became an outstanding photographer of fashion and high-society celebrities, including royalty. He also designed scenery and costumes for many ballet, operatic, theatrical, and film productions, including My Fair Lady and Gigi. His publications include My Royal Past (1939), The Glass of Fashion (1959), and The Magic Image (…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Cedric (Webster) Hardwicke - Memorial

Actor, born in Lye, Worcestershire, WC England, UK. He served in World War 1 and made his name in Birmingham repertory company's productions of Shaw's plays and in The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934). He also played leading roles in a number of films, including Dreyfus, Things to Come (1931), and The Winslow Boy (1948). He was knighted in 1934, and was Cambridge Rede Lecturer in 1936. Sir…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Chandrasekhara (Venkata) Raman - Quotes

Physicist, born in Trichinopoly, now Tiruchchirappalli, S India. He studied at Chennai (Madras), and became professor of physics at Calcutta (1917–33) and director of the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore. In 1929 he was knighted, and in 1930 awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his discoveries relating to the scattering of light (the Raman effect). Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Ram…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles (Algernon) Parsons

Engineer, born in London, UK. He studied at Dublin and Cambridge, became an engineering apprentice, and in 1884 developed the high-speed steam turbine. He also built the first turbine-driven steamship, the Turbinia, in 1897. He was a younger son of the famous astronomer Lord Rosse, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and St. John's College, Cambridge. He worked as an engineer on dyn…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles (Villiers) Stanford - List of works, Bibliography

Composer, born in Dublin, Ireland. He studied at Cambridge, Leipzig, and Berlin, and became organist at Trinity College (1872–93), professor in the Royal College of Music (1883), and professor of music at Cambridge (1887). He wrote several major choral works, six operas, seven symphonies, and a great deal of chamber music, songs, and English Church music. He was knighted in 1901. Sir Charl…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy - Family and peerage, Early life, Governor of Prince Edward Island and the Leeward Islands

Administrator, born at Shipley Hall, Derbyshire, C England, UK. He became Lieutenant-Governor of Prince Edward I (1837) and Lieutenant-Governor of the Leeward Is (1841–5), and in 1846 was appointed Governor-in-Chief of New South Wales. He recommended to the British parliament that some superior post should be established in Australia to which inter-colony disputes could be referred, and in 1851 h…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Barry - Training, Early career, Houses of Parliament, Other major projects, The next generation

Architect, born in London, UK. He was apprenticed to a firm of surveyors before going to Italy (1817–20). On his return, he designed the Travellers' Club (1831), the Manchester Athenaeum (1836), the Reform Club (1837), and the new Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament, 1840–70), completed after his death by his son Edward Middleton Barry (1830–80). His work showed the influence of the Ita…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Gavan Duffy

Irish nationalist, and prime minister of Victoria State, Australia, born in Co Monaghan, NE Ireland. He helped to start the Nation (1842), the Young Ireland organ, and for 12 years engaged in agitation, being tried for sedition and treason. On the break-up of the Independent Irish Party, he emigrated in 1856 to Australia, where after the establishment of the Victorian constitution, he became minis…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Groves

Conductor, born in London, UK. He studied at the Royal College of Music, London. He trained the BBC Chorus (1938–42), conducted the BBC Northern (1944–51), the Bournemouth Symphony (1951–61), and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (1963–77) orchestras, and was also musical director of the Welsh and English National Operas (1961–3 and 1978–9 respectively), as well as president of the National Y…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles James Napier

British soldier, the conqueror of Sind (now part of Pakistan), born in London, UK. He served in Ireland during the rebellion, in Portugal (1810), against the USA (1813), and in the storming of Cambrai (1815). In 1841 he was ordered to India to command in the war with Sind, and at the Battle of Meeanee (1843) broke the power of the amirs. He is said to have informed the authorities of his victory b…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Lock Eastlake - Publications

Historical painter, born in Plymouth, Devon, SW England, UK. He made his name with two full-length portraits of Napoleon sketched while a prisoner on HMS Bellerophon in Portsmouth harbour (1815). He produced many Italianate genre paintings, and became a director of the National Gallery from 1855. Born in Plymouth, Devon, Sir Charles Lock Eastlake (17 November 1793 – 24 December 1865) was …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Lyell - Career and Major Writings, Scientific Contributions

Geologist, born in Kinnordy, Angus, E Scotland, UK. He studied law at Oxford, but turned to geology, becoming professor of geology at King's College, London (1832–3). His Principles of Geology (1830–3) taught that the greatest geological changes might have been produced by forces still at work, and The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863) startled the public in its unbiased attitu…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Oatley

Electronic engineer and inventor, born in Frome, Somerset, SW England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and joined the staff of King's College, London. During World War 2 he was a member of the Radar Research and Development Establishment, and in 1945 he returned to Cambridge, becoming professor of electrical engineering (1960). From 1948 his research was concentrated on the development of the scannin…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Scott Sherrington - Research, Biography

Physiologist, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge and Berlin, taught at London University, where he became professor of pathology (1891–5), and was then professor of physiology at Liverpool (1895–1913) and Oxford (1913–35). His research on the nervous system constituted a landmark in modern physiology. His 1904 publication The Integrative Action of the Nervous System was the first to re…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Warren - Education and early military career, Palestine, Africa, Sinai, Warren Expedition, Commissioner of Police

British soldier and archaeologist, born in Bangor, Gwynedd, NW Wales, UK. He joined the Royal Engineers (1857) and played a conspicuous part during the late 19th-c as a commander of British forces in South Africa, where he helped to delimit Griqualand West. He is chiefly remembered for his work in connection with the archaeological exploration of Palestine, especially Jerusalem, and for his writin…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke

Radical politician, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and was called to the bar. He was returned to parliament for Chelsea in 1868, held office as under-secretary for foreign affairs, and was president of the local government board under Gladstone. In 1885 he married Emilia Frances Pattison (née Strong), but his connection with a Mrs Crawford, and a divorce case, led to defeat in 1886 …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Wheatstone - Life, Music instruments and acoustics, Velocity of electricity, Spectroscopy, Telegraph, Optics, Measuring time, Wheatstone bridge, Cryptography

Physicist, born in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. He became professor of experimental philosophy at London (1834), known for his experiments in sound. He invented the concertina (1829), took out a patent for an electric telegraph (1837), explained the principle of the stereoscope (1838), and invented a sound magnifier for which he introduced the term microphone. Wheatstone's bridge,…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Charles Wyndham

Actor-manager, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He trained as a doctor, and first appeared on the stage in New York City in 1861, making his London debut in 1866. In 1899 he opened Wyndham's Theatre. He was knighted in 1902. Sir Charles Wyndham (23 March 1837-1919), English actor, was born as Charles Culverwell in Liverpool, the son of a doctor. He was educated abroad, at King…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Christopher (Sydney) Cockerell

Engineer, born in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, EC England, UK. He studied at Cambridge and worked on radio and radar, before turning to hydrodynamics. In the early 1950s, experimenting with air as a lubricant between a boat's hull and the water, he invented the amphibious hovercraft. The first full-scale machine was built in 1958, and its prototype first crossed the English Channel successfully in 1…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Christopher Wren - Biography, Scientific and architectural works, Conclusion: Wren's achievement and reputation

Architect, born in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, S England, UK. He studied at Oxford, became professor of astronomy at Gresham College, London (1657), and at Oxford (1661), and was one of the founders of the Royal Society. After the Great Fire of London (1666), he drew designs for rebuilding the whole city, but his scheme was never implemented. In 1669 he designed the new St Paul's (building begun 1675)…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Claude (John Eyre) Auchinleck - World War II, Post-war life

British soldier, born in Aldershot, Hampshire, S England, UK. He studied at Wellington College, and joined the 62nd Punjabis in 1904. In 1941 he became commander-in-chief in India, then succeeded Wavell in N Africa. He made a successful advance into Cyrenaica, but was later thrown back by Rommel. His regrouping of the 8th Army on El Alamein paved the way for ultimate victory, but at the time he wa…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Clement (Raphael) Freud

British politician, writer, broadcaster, and caterer. His training in London as a chef was interrupted by World War 2, and he was a liaison officer at the Nuremberg war crimes trials (1946) before completing his training in Cannes. He was the proprietor of the Royal Court Theatre Club (1952–62) and a columnist for various national newspapers before becoming a Liberal MP (1972–87). He is a long-s…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Clifford Curzon

Pianist, born in London, UK. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and in Berlin (1928–30). He taught for some years at the Royal Academy, but resigned in 1932 to devote himself to concert work, specializing in Mozart and other Viennese classics. He was knighted in 1971. Sir Clifford Michael Curzon (May 18, 1907 - September 1, 1982) was a celebrated English pianist. …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Clive (Marles) Sinclair - Early life, family and education, Career

British electronic engineer and inventor. He worked for three years as a publisher's editor before launching his electronics research and manufacturing company in 1962, which developed and successfully marketed a wide range of calculators, miniature television sets, and personal computers including the ZX-80, ZX-81, and ZX-Spectrum. He later embarked on the manufacture of a small three-wheeled ‘p…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Clyde (Leopold) Walcott - Cricketing career, Retirement

Cricketer, born in Bridgetown, SW Barbados. He was one of the leading West Indian batsmen of the 1950s. Although very tall, he started off as a Test wicket-keeper, but later concentrated on his batting, notable for its sheer force. He played 44 times for the West Indies, scoring 3798 runs, averaging 56·88, and 15 of his 40 centuries were obtained in Tests. Against Australia in 1954–5 he twice sc…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Colin (Rex) Davis

Conductor, born in Weybridge, Surrey, SE England, UK. He studied at Christ's Hospital and the Royal College of Music, and became assistant conductor of the BBC Scottish Orchestra (1957–9), then moved to Sadler's Wells as a conductor and (1961–5) musical director. He was chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (1967–71) and musical director at Covent Garden (1971–86). At Covent Garden he …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Cyril (Arthur) Pearson - Further reading

Newspaper and periodical proprietor, born in Wookey, Somerset, SW England, UK. He studied at Winchester, and became a journalist, producing Pearson's Weekly in 1890, as well as various other periodicals. In 1900 he became associated with newspapers, founding the Daily Express, and amalgamating the St James Gazette with the Evening Standard. He established St Dunstan's home for blinded soldiers, an…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Cyril (Lodowic) Burt - Biography, The Burt Affair

Psychologist, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford and Würzburg, becoming professor of education (1924–31) and psychology (1931–50) at University College London. He was largely responsible for the theory and practice of intelligence and aptitude tests, ranging from the psychology of education to the problems of juvenile delinquency. He was knighted in 1946. In the 1980s, the validity of som…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Cyril Norman Hinshelwood

Chemist, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and was professor there from 1937. He did valuable work on the effect of drugs on bacterial cells, and investigated chemical reaction kinetics, for which he shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1956. A considerable linguist and Classical scholar, he had the unique distinction of being president of both the Royal Society (from 1955) and the Clas…

less than 1 minute read

Sir David (Alexander Cecil) Low - Early life, Career, World War II

Political cartoonist, born in Dunedin, New Zealand. After working for several newspapers in New Zealand and for the Bulletin of Sydney, he joined the Star in London, then the Evening Standard in 1927, for which he drew some of his most successful cartoons. His work ridiculed all political parties, notably with his character ‘Colonel Blimp’, whose name has been incorporated into the English langu…

less than 1 minute read

Sir David (Frederick) Attenborough

Naturalist and broadcaster, born in London, UK, the brother of Richard Attenborough. After service in the Royal Navy (1947–9) and three years in an educational publishing house, he joined the BBC in 1952 as a trainee producer. The series Zoo Quest (1954–64) allowed him to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the globe to capture intimate footage of rare wildlife in its natural habitat. He wa…

less than 1 minute read

Sir David Brewster

Physicist, born in Jedburgh, Scottish Borders, SE Scotland, UK. He studied for the Church, became editor of the Edinburgh Magazine (1802), and of the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia (1808). He had previously been interested in the study of optics, and in 1816 invented the kaleidoscope. In 1818 he was awarded the Rumford gold and silver medals for his discoveries on the polarization of light. He was Princi…

less than 1 minute read

Sir David Jason - Early career, Maturity and success, Radio, TV, Films, Animation

Actor, born in Edmonton, N Greater London, UK. He made his professional debut with the Bromley Repertory in 1965, and then appeared regularly in theatre, but became best known as a television actor. His many series include Open All Hours (1976, 1981–5), Only Fools and Horses (several series), A Bit of a Do (1988–9), The Darling Buds of May (1990–3), A Touch of Frost (1992– ), and Diamond Geeze…

less than 1 minute read

Sir David Lean - Film career, Marriage, Trivia, Filmography, Quotation

Film director, born in Croydon, S Greater London, UK. Beginning as a clapperboard boy, he gradually progressed to become film editor for Gaumont Sound News (1930) and British Movietone News (1931–2), before moving on to fictional features. His co-direction with Noel Coward of In Which We Serve (1942), led to a full-scale directorial career, including Blithe Spirit (1945), Brief Encounter (1945), …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Denys (Louis) Lasdun

Architect, born in London, UK. He studied at at the Architectural Association School, served with the Royal Engineers in World War 2, and was professor at Leeds University (1962–3). He was renowned for the Royal College of Music (1958–64) in London, the University of East Anglia, Norwich (1962–8), the National Theatre, London (1965–76), the European Investment Bank, Luxembourg (1975), and the …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Derek (George) Jacobi - Biography, Personal life, Awards, Filmography

Actor, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, made his professional debut in One Way Pendulum at Birmingham Repertory Theatre (1961), and joined the National Theatre's inaugural company playing Laertes in Hamlet (1963). He was with the Prospect Theatre (1972–8), made his New York debut in The Suicide (1980), and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982. He has made several film and tele…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Derek (Harold Richard) Barton

Organic chemist, born in Gravesend, Kent, SE England, UK. He studied at Imperial College, London, and was professor there for over 20 years, before moving in 1985 to Texas A & M University. He introduced conformational analysis as a method for studying the shape of organic molecules and the effect of shape on reactivity, and shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1969. Sir Derek Harold Ric…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Dingle (Mackintosh) Foot - Family

British politician and lawyer, the brother of Hugh and Michael Foot. He studied at Oxford, where he was president of the Liberal club (1927) and of the Union (1928). He was Liberal MP for Dundee (1931–45), joined the Labour Party in 1956, and became MP for Ipswich (1957–70), and solicitor general (1964–7). He became a QC in 1954, and was knighted in 1964. Foot's father, Isaac Foot, was a…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Dirk Bogarde - Filmography

Actor and novelist, born in London, UK. He began acting in repertory theatre and made his film debut as an extra in Come On George (1940). During the war, he attained the rank of captain and worked in army photographic intelligence, serving in Europe, India, and the Far East. After war service, he was signed to a long-term contract with Rank Films, spending many years playing small-time crooks, mi…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Donald (Alfred) Sinden

Actor, born in Plymouth, Devon, SW England, UK. He first appeared in 1942 with a touring company taking comedy to the armed forces. After the war he joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company at Stratford-upon-Avon (1946) and the Old Vic Company (1948). Under contract to Rank (1952–60), he appeared in 23 films, including The Cruel Sea (1952) and Doctor in the House (1954). Known for his come…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Donald (Coleman) Bailey

Engineer, born in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Sheffield, and joined the Ministry of Supply. During World War 2 he designed the prefabricated, mobile, rapidly-erected Bailey bridge. He was knighted in 1946. Bailey was a civil servant in the War Office when he designed his bridge. Hamilton, successfully demonstrated that the Bailey bridge breached a patent on the …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Donald Francis Tovey - Tovey as a theorist of tonality

Pianist, composer, and writer on music, born in Eton, S England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and in 1914 became professor of music at Edinburgh, where he built up the Reid Symphony Orchestra. He composed an opera, The Bride of Dionysus (1907–8), a symphony, piano concerto and cello concertos, and chamber music. His fame rests largely on his writings, notably Companion to the Art of Fugue (1931), Es…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Donald Pleasence

Actor, born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, C England, UK. He made his first appearance in Jersey in 1939, served in the RAF during World War 2, and returned to the stage in 1946. He worked at various repertory theatres, including Birmingham and the Bristol Old Vic, but scored a huge success as the malevolent tramp, Davies, in Harold Pinter's The Caretaker (1960). After the 1960s, his London stage ap…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Donald Wolfit

Actor-manager, born in Newark, Nottinghamshire, C England, UK. He began his stage career in 1920, formed his own company in 1937, and became known for his Shakespeare performances. During the Battle of Britain (1940) he instituted the first London season of ‘Lunchtime Shakespeare’. He appeared in several films and on television, and his autobiography, First Interval, appeared in 1954. He was kni…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Douglas (Ralph) Nicholls - Education, Employment, Recognition, Passing

Aboriginal clergyman, activist, and administrator, born near Echuca, Victoria, SE Australia. Reared and educated on a mission station, he worked on the land until his football skills took him to Melbourne where, in 1935, he became the first Aborigine to represent his state in football. As pastor, he established an Aborigines' mission at Fitzroy in 1943, and worked actively for Aboriginal advanceme…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Douglas (Robert Stuart) Bader - Early years, Joining the RAF, World War II, Post-war, Additional information

Wartime aviator, born in London, UK. Commissioned from Cranwell in 1930, he lost both legs in a flying accident in 1931 and was invalided out, but overcame his disability and returned to the RAF in 1939. He commanded the first RAF Canadian Fighter Squadron, evolving tactics that contributed to victory in the Battle of Britain, but was captured in August 1941 after a collision with an enemy aircraf…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Douglas Mawson

Explorer and geologist, born in Shipley, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Sydney, was appointed to the scientific staff of Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic expedition (1907), and with T W E David discovered the South Magnetic Pole. From 1911 to 1914 he was leader of the Australasian Antarctic expedition, which charted 2000 mi of coast; he was knighted on his return. He also led the joint…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Ebenezer Howard - Early life, Influences and ideas, Action

Founder of the garden city movement, born in London, UK. He emigrated to Nebraska in 1872, but returned to England in 1877 and became a parliamentary shorthand-writer. His Tomorrow (1898) envisaged self-contained communities with both rural and urban amenities and green belts, and led to the formation in 1899 of the Garden City Association and to the laying out of Letchworth (1903) and Welwyn Gard…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edmund (Percival) Hillary - Youth, Expeditions, Recognition, Philanthropy, Politics, Quotes, Trivia, Books written by Edmund Hillary

Mountaineer and explorer, and later writer and lecturer, born in Auckland, New Zealand. As a member of John Hunt's Everest expedition he attained, with Tenzing Norgay, the summit of Mt Everest in 1953, for which he was knighted. As part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1955–8) led by Sir Vivian Fuchs, he and a New Zealand expeditionary party reached the South Pole in 1958. He subse…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edmund (Ronald) Leach - Bibliography

Social anthropologist, born in Sidmouth, Devon, SW England, UK. He studied mathematics and engineering at Cambridge, and anthropology at the London School of Economics. After the war he took up a post in anthropology at the London School of Economics (1947–53), and published his first major monograph, Political Systems of Highland Burma (1954). He then taught at Cambridge (1957–78), becoming pro…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edmund Andros - External Links

Colonial governor, born in London, UK. In 1686 he became governor of the newly created Dominion of New England, including Massachusetts, Plymouth, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. His aristocratic manner and Anglican sympathies alienated the Bostonians and he was overthrown in a citizens' revolt in 1689. Sir Edmund Andros (December 6, 1637 - February 24, 1714), was an ea…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edmund Barton - Further reading

Australian statesman and jurist, the first prime minister of the Australian Commonwealth (1901–3), born in Sydney, New South Wales, SE Australia. He was leader of the Federation movement from 1896, headed the committee that drafted the Commonwealth constitution bill, and led the delegation that presented it to the British parliament in 1900. Sir Edmund Barton GCMG PC QC (18 January 1849

less than 1 minute read

Sir Eduardo (Luigi) Paolozzi

Sculptor and printmaker, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art and at the Slade School of Art, London. His early work was influenced by the Dadaists and Surrealists in Paris in the 1940s, but his more mature sculptures in bronze and steel often resemble stylized robotic figures, such as ‘Medea’ (1964). Among his best-known works is a series of mosaics on the …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edward (Crisp) Bullard

Geophysicist, born in Norwich, Norfolk, E England, UK. He studied in Cambridge, was professor at Toronto (1946–9), director of the National Physical Laboratory (1950–5), and director of the department of geodesy and geophysics at Cambridge (1964–74). He made the first satisfactory measurements of geothermal heat-flow through the oceanic crust, and helped to develop the theory of continental dri…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edward (Penley) Abraham - Life, Achievements

Biochemist, born in Southampton, Hampshire, S England, UK. He studied at Oxford, where he became professor of chemical pathology (1964–80). He had a major role in early studies of the penicillins, and especially of the cephalosporin antibiotics. Sir Edward Penley Abraham, CBE, FRS (Southampton, June 10, 1913 – 8 May 1999). He attended King Edward VI School, Southampton before…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edward (Richard George) Heath - Youth and parliament, Government, The end, Retirement and death, Other interests, Titles from birth, Nicknames

British statesman and prime minister (1970–4), born in Broadstairs, Kent, SE England, UK. He studied at Oxford, served in the Royal Artillery in World War 2, and became an MP in 1950. Following a career in the Whip's office (1951–9), he was minister of labour (1959–60), then Lord Privy Seal (1960–3) and the chief negotiator for Britain's entry into the European Economic Community. Elected Lead…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edward (Victor) Appleton

Physicist, born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and worked at the Cavendish Laboratory from 1920, becoming professor of physics at London University in 1924. In 1936 he returned to Cambridge as professor of natural philosophy, and became secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (1939). In 1949 he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Edinbur…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edward Belcher

British naval commander, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, SE Canada. He entered the navy in 1812, and explored the W coast of America (1836–42). In 1852 he commanded a fruitless expedition sent out to search for Sir John Franklin. He was knighted in 1867. Sir Edward Belcher 27th February, 1799 – 18th March, 1877) was a British naval officer and explorer. He is the great-grandson of Governor…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edward Coke

Jurist, born in Mileham, Norfolk, E England, UK. He was educated at Norwich and Trinity College, Cambridge, was called to the bar in 1578, and rose to become Speaker of the House of Commons (1593), attorney general (1594), Chief Justice of the Common Pleas (1606), Chief Justice of the King's Bench (1613), and privy councillor. He brutally prosecuted for treason Essex, Raleigh, and the Gunpowder co…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edward Elgar - Biography, Posthumous recognition, Quotes, Honours and awards, Works

Composer, born in Broad Heath, Worcestershire, WC England, UK. He was largely self-taught, and in his youth worked as a violinist before becoming conductor of the Worcester Glee Club and the County Asylum Band, and organist of St George's Roman Catholic Church, Worcester. After his marriage to Caroline Alice Roberts (1889) he went to London, but in 1891 settled in Malvern, devoting himself to comp…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edward Frankland

Organic chemist, born in Churchtown, Lancashire, NW England, UK. He was introduced to chemistry as an apprentice to a druggist in Lancaster, eventually taking his PhD at the University of Marburg. He became professor at the Royal Institution, London, in 1863. He propounded the theory of valency (1852–60), and with Lockyer discovered helium in the Sun's atmosphere in 1868. He made major contributi…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edward German - Life and career, Works

Composer, born in Whitchurch, Shropshire, WC England, UK. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, was made musical director of the Globe Theatre, London (1888), and became known for his incidental music to Shakespeare. He emerged as a light opera composer when he completed Sullivan's Emerald Isle (1901) after the composer's death. His own works include Merrie England (1902), Tom Jones (1907), se…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edward Sabine - Early life, The Ross Expedition, The Parry Expedition, The Figure of the Earth, The Longitude Problem

Physicist, astronomer, and explorer, born in Dublin, Ireland. He studied at Marlow and the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, was commissioned in the Royal Artillery, and served until 1877, retiring as a general. He was appointed astronomer on John Ross's expedition to find the Northwest Passage (1818) and on Parry's Arctic expedition (1819–20). He conducted valuable pendulum experiments to dete…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edwin (Henry) Landseer

Artist, born in London, UK. Trained by his father to sketch animals from life, he exhibited at the Royal Academy at the age of 13. Dogs and deer were his main subjects, often with the Highlands of Scotland as a backdrop. His paintings include ‘Rout of Comus’ (1843), and ‘Monarch of the Glen’ (1851), and he modelled the four bronze lions at the foot of Nelson's Monument in Trafalgar Square (unv…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Edwin Arnold

Poet and journalist, born in Gravesend, Kent, SE England, UK. He taught at King Edward's School, Birmingham, and in 1856 became principal of Deccan College, Pune (Poona). Returning in 1861, he became editor of the Daily Telegraph in 1873. He is best known for The Light of Asia (1879), on Buddhism. Sir Edwin Arnold (June 10, 1832–March 24, 1904), was an English poet and journalist. …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Elton (Hercules) John - Life and career, Personal life, Musical style and voice, Awards, Discography, Band members, References and notes

Rock singer and pianist, born in Pinner, NW Greater London, UK. He played the piano by ear from age four, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music at 11. From 1967, he and Bernie Taupin began writing songs such as ‘Rocket Man’ (1972), ‘Honky Cat’ (1972), and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ (1973). Their publisher pressed John to perform them, for which he obscured his short, plump, myopic physi…

1 minute read

Sir Erik Christopher Zeeman

British mathematician, born in Japan. His parents returned to England when he was an infant. After service in the RAF (1943–7), he studied at Cambridge, and became professor of mathematics at Warwick University (1964–88) and principal of Hertford College, Oxford (1988–95). Early work developing topology and catastrophe theory produced many applications to physics, social sciences, and economics…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Ernest (Arthur) Gowers

British civil servant, and author of an influential work on English usage. He studied at Cambridge, and was called to the bar in 1906. After a distinguished career in the civil service, he wrote Plain Words (1948) and ABC of Plain Words (1951) in an attempt to maintain standards of clear English, especially in official prose. Sir Ernest Arthur Gowers GCB GBE (1880–1966) was a British civi…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton - First World War

British soldier, writer, and inventor, born in Bangalore, S India. One of the originators of the tank, he was responsible for the use of the word to describe armoured fighting vehicles. Under his pseudonym he wrote The Green Curve (1909), A Year Ago (1916), and several translations. He later became professor of military history at Oxford (1925–39). Ernest Dunlop Swinton KBE, CB, DSO, RE(18…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Ernest Oppenheimer

Mining magnate, politician, and philanthropist, born in Friedberg, WC Germany. From the age of 17 he worked for a London firm of diamond merchants and, sent out to Kimberley as their representative in 1902, soon became one of the leaders of the diamond industry. In 1917, with John Pierpont Morgan Jr, he formed the Anglo-American Corporation of South Africa, and at the time of his death his interes…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Ernst (Hans Josef) Gombrich - Further reading

Art historian, born in Vienna, Austria. He studied at the University of Vienna before emigrating to Britain, where he joined the staff of the Warburg Institute, London (1936), becoming its director and professor of the history of the classical tradition (1959–76). During World War 2 he worked for the BBC Monitoring Service. His books include The Story of Art (1950), Art and Illusion (1960) - an i…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Ernst Boris Chain

Biochemist, born in Berlin, Germany. After studying physiology and chemistry in Berlin, he fled from Nazi Germany to Britain, where he taught at Cambridge (1933–5) and Oxford (1935–48). With Sir Howard Florey at Oxford he was a key figure in the successful isolation of penicillin (discovered earlier by Sir Alexander Fleming), and all three shared the 1945 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Eyre Coote - Reference

British soldier, born in Ash Hill, Co Limerick, SW Ireland. He entered the army early, saw service in Scotland, then served in India (1756–62). In 1760 he defeated the Comte de Lally at Wandiwash, and his capture of Pondicherry in 1761 completed the downfall of the French in India. In 1777 he became commander-in-chief in India, and in 1781 his rout of Haidar Ali at Porto Novo saved the presidency…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Felix (Edward) Aylmer

Actor, born in Corsham, Wiltshire, S England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and made his first stage appearance in 1911, after which he went to Birmingham Repertory, developing into a character actor with a remarkable range. He served as president of British Actors' Equity (1949–69), the British professional actors' union, and was also an enthusiastic Dickens scholar. Sir Felix Aylmer OBE (Feb…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Ferdinando Gorges

English proprietor of Maine, born in Wraxall, Somerset, SW England, UK. He founded two Plymouth companies (1606–19 and 1620–35) for planting lands in New England. In 1639 he received a charter constituting him proprietor of Maine, although he never went to America. His grandson sold his rights to Massachusetts in 1677. Sir Ferdinando Gorges (1565-1647) was an early English colonial entrep…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Francis (Charles) Chichester

Pioneer air navigator, adventurer, and yachtsman, born in Barnstaple, Devon, SW England, UK. He studied at Marlborough, and emigrated to New Zealand in 1919, where he made a fortune as a land agent. He became interested in flying, and made several pioneer flights, but was badly injured by a crash in Japan (1931) while attempting a solo flying circumnavigation. He served in Britain as an air-naviga…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Francis (Eugen) Simon - Career

Physicist, born in Berlin, Germany. He studied at the universities of Munich, Göttingen, and Berlin, and served in World War 1. Nazism forced him to leave his chair at Wroc?aw, Poland (formerly Breslau, Prussia), and he moved to the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford, at the invitation of Frederick Lindemann (Lord Cherwell). He became reader in thermodynamics in 1935, and succeeded Lindemann as profess…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Francis Beaufort - Biography, Eponym

Naval officer, born in Navan, Co Meath, E Ireland. He devised the Beaufort scale (1805) of wind force and a tabulated system of weather registration, and was appointed hydrographer to the British navy (1829–55). He was promoted to rear-admiral in 1846. Beaufort was descended from Huguenots who fled France after the terrible St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, eventually settling in Ireland. …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Francis Drake - Birth and early years, Conflict in the Caribbean, Alleged Atrocities in Ireland, Circumnavigation of the globe

Elizabethan seaman, born at Crowndale Farm, near Tavistock, Devon, SW England, UK. In 1567 he commanded the Judith in his kinsman John Hawkyns's ill-fated expedition to the West Indies, and returned there several times to recover the losses sustained from the Spaniards, his exploits gaining him great popularity in England. In 1577 he set out with five ships for the Pacific, through the Straits of …

less than 1 minute read

Sir Francis Galton - Biography, Honors and impact

Scientist and explorer, born in Birmingham, West Midlands, C England, UK. He studied at Birmingham, London, and Cambridge, but left the study of medicine to travel in N and S Africa. He is best known for his studies of heredity and intelligence, such as Hereditary Genius (1869), which led to the field he called eugenics. Several of his ideas are referred to in the work of his cousin, Charles Darwi…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Francis Walsingham - Early years, Serving Elizabeth I, Espionage, Legacy, Walsingham in fiction

English statesman, born in Chislehurst, Kent, SE England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, became a diplomat, and was made a secretary of state to Elizabeth I (1573–90), a member of the Privy Council, and knighted. A Puritan sympathizer, and a strong opponent of the Catholics, he developed a complex system of espionage at home and abroad, enabling him to reveal the plots of Throckmorton and Babington…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Frank (Mortimer Magilinne) Worrell

Cricketer, the first black West Indian Test captain, born in Bridgetown, SW Barbados. In 51 Test matches he made nine centuries, and was a useful pace bowler. He captained West Indies in Australia in 1960–1 in one of the greatest Test series ever, and matches between these countries today are played for the Worrell Trophy which commemorates him. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Wes…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Frank (Watson) Dyson

Astronomer, born in Measham, Leicestershire, C England, UK. Astronomer-royal for Scotland (1905–10) and England (1910–33), he is known for his observations in 1919 which supported Einstein's hypothesis that light could be deflected by a gravitational field, and for his work on the distribution of stars and on solar eclipses. He was knighted in 1915. Sir Frank Watson Dyson (January 8, 1868…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Frank Brangwyn - Bibliography

Artist, born in Bruges, NW Belgium. He was apprenticed to William Morris for four years, and then went to sea and travelled widely. Although he excelled in many media, particularly in etching, he was most famous for his vigorously coloured murals, such as his ‘British Empire Panels’ (1925, Swansea Guildhall). In 1936 a Brangwyn Museum was opened in Bruges. Sir Frank William Brangwyn RA RW…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Frank Whittle - Early life, Development of the jet engine, After the War, Later life, Memorials

Aviator and inventor of the British jet engine, born in Coventry, West Midlands, C England, UK. He entered the RAF as a boy apprentice, became a fighter pilot (1928) and a test pilot (1931–2), then went to Cambridge to read science (1934–7). He had been considering jet propulsion since joining the RAF, and patented a turbo-jet engine in 1930, but received no government support for his ideas unti…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Freddie Laker - Biography, Early business ventures, Subsequent business ventures, A Footnote

Business entrepreneur, born in Kent, SE England, UK. Best known as chairman and managing director of Laker Airways (1966–82), he started his career in aviation with Short Brothers, was a member of the Air Transport Auxiliary (1941–6), and a manager with British United Airways (1960–5). In 1966 he headed the successful Laker Airways Ltd, but was severely set back by the failure of the ‘Skytrain…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Frederic (Calland) Williams

Electrical engineer, born in Manchester, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. He studied at Manchester and Oxford universities, and worked at the Bawdsey Research Station, Manchester (1940–6), where he developed a method of identifying friendly aircraft on radar (IFF - identification, friend or foe), the forerunner of the modern system of aircraft identification on radar. He became professor of el…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Frederic (Charles) Bartlett - Books

Psychologist, born in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. Professor of experimental psychology at Cambridge (1931–52), he wrote on practical (ergonomic) problems in applied psychology, but is best-known for his pioneering cognitive approach to understanding human memory. Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett (1886-1969) was a British psychologist and professor of experimental psych…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Frederic (Hymen) Cowen

Composer, born in Kingston, Jamaica. He was brought to England as a child, and became conductor of the Philharmonic (1888–92, 1900–7), and of the Scottish Orchestra (1900–10). He composed operas, cantatas, oratorios, symphonies, overtures, pianoforte pieces, and some 300 songs. Frederic Hymen Cowen (29 January 1852 – 6 October 1935), was a British conductor composer born at Kingston, J…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Frederick (Augustus) Abel

Scientist, born in London, UK. As chemist to the war department and ordnance committees (1854–88), he applied himself to the science of explosives. He was the inventor (with Sir James Dewar) of cordite, introduced a new method of making gun-cotton, and invented the Abel tester for determining the flash-point of petroleum. Sir Frederick Augustus Abel, 1st Baronet (17 July 1827–6 September…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Frederick (William Mallandaine) Ashton - Further reading

British choreographer, born in Guayaquil, W Ecuador. Following education at an English public school, he studied under Léonide Massine and Marie Rambert, who commissioned his first piece, A Tragedy of Fashion (1926). After a year in America, he returned to Britain to help found the Ballet Club, which later became Ballet Rambert (now the Rambert Dance Company). He joined the Vic–Wells Ballet in 1…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Frederick Alfred Pile - Early life, Service in the Army, Post-war Career, Family Life

British soldier. In World War 1 he won the DSO and the MC, and throughout World War 2 commanded Britain's anti-aircraft defences. In 1945 he was appointed director-general of the ministry of works. General Sir Frederick Alfred Pile, 2nd Baronet (14 September 1884 - 14 November 1976) was born in Dublin, the second of four children and the eldest of three sons of Sir Thomas Devereux Pil…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Gavin (Rylands) de Beer - Biography, Work, Books by Gavin de Beer, Quote

Zoologist, born in London, UK. He served in both world wars and between them graduated from Oxford, then taught there (1923–38). After World War 2 he was professor of embryology in London, and from 1950 to 1960 director of the British Museum (Natural History). His work refuted some early theories in embryology, and he went on to contribute to theories of animal evolution, as well as to historical…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Geoffrey de Havilland

Aircraft designer, born in Haslemere, Surrey, SE England, UK. He built his first plane in 1908 and became director of the firm bearing his name, producing many famous aircraft during and between the two world wars, including the Tiger Moth, the Mosquito, and the Vampire jet. He established a height record for light aircraft in 1928, won the King's Cup air race at the age of 51, and was knighted in…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Geoffrey Ingram Taylor

Physicist and applied mathematician, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and made his career there, as reader in dynamic meteorology (1911) and research professor in physics (1923–52). He was an original researcher in a wide range of studies, particularly on turbulent motion in fluids, which he applied to meteorology and oceanography, aerodynamics, and even Jupiter's Great Red Spot. He p…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson

Inorganic chemist, born in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Imperial College, London, where he returned in 1956 after war work in Canada and the USA. While at Harvard in 1952, he showed that ferrocene has a molecule with an iron atom sandwiched between two carbon rings; since then, thousands of such metallocenes have been made and studied. He shared the Nobel Prize for Chemi…

less than 1 minute read

Sir Georg Solti - Early career, Chicago Symphony, Awards and Recognitions

Conductor, born in Budapest, Hungary. World War 2 forced him to give up his post as conductor of the Budapest Opera, and he worked in Switzerland until 1946, when he became director at the Munich Staatsoper (until 1952), at Frankfurt (1952–61), and Covent Garden, London (1961–71). He conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1969–91) and the London Philharmonic (1979–83, then emeritus), and la…

less than 1 minute read

Sir George (Alan) Thomas

Badminton player, born in Istanbul, NW Turkey. He was the winner of a record 21 All-England titles between 1903 and 1928, including the singles four times (1920–3). In 1934 he was elected president of the International Badminton Federation, a post he held for 21 years, and in 1939 presented a Cup (the Thomas Cup) to be contested by national teams. He represented England for 27 years at badminton,…

less than 1 minute read

Sir George (Biddell) Airy - Early years, Major achievements

Astronomer and geophysicist, born in Alnwick, Northumberland, NE England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, was appointed professor of mathematics there in 1828, and became astronomer royal (1835–81). He reorganized the Greenwich Observatory, and discovered errors in planetary theory in terms of the motion of the Earth and Venus. He determined the mass of the Earth from gravity measurements in mines, …

less than 1 minute read

Sir George (Clarke) Simpson

Meteorologist, born in Derby, Derbyshire, C England, UK. He became a lecturer at Manchester University (1905), was Scott's meteorologist on the Antarctic expedition (1910), and investigated the causes of lightning. He was elected president of the Royal Meteorological Society (1940–2). …

less than 1 minute read

Sir George (Gabriel) Stokes - Life, Contributions to science, List of Stokes eponyms, Honours, Published works

Physicist and mathematician, born in Skreen, Co Sligo, W Ireland. He studied at Cambridge, where in 1849 he became professor of mathematics. He first used spectroscopy as a means of determining the chemical compositions of the Sun and stars, published a valuable paper on diffraction (1849), and formulated Stokes' law for the force opposing a small sphere in its passage through a viscous fluid. He …

less than 1 minute read

Sir George (Hubert) Wilkins

Polar explorer and pioneer aviator, born at Mt Bryan East, South Australia. He was part of an expedition to the Arctic (1913–18), then flew from England to Australia (1919), explored the Antarctic with Shackleton (1921–2), and made a pioneer flight from Alaska to Spitsbergen over polar ice (1928). In 1931 he failed to reach the North Pole in the submarine Nautilus. He was knighted in 1928. …

less than 1 minute read

Sir George (Paget) Thomson

Physicist, born in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, EC England, UK, the son of Sir Joseph Thomson. He studied there, and became a fellow of Trinity College. He was professor at Aberdeen (1922) and at Imperial College, London (1930), Master of Corpus Christi, Cambridge (1952–62), and scientific adviser to the UN Security Council (1946–7). For his contributions to electrical science he was awarded the F…

less than 1 minute read

Sir George (Robert) Edwards

Designer of aircraft, born in Higham's Park, E Greater London, UK. He studied engineering at London University, then joined the design staff of Vickers-Armstrong at Weybridge (1935), where he was experimental manager in World War 2, becoming chief designer (1948) and managing director (1953). Responsible for Viking, Valiant, Viscount, and Vanguard aircraft, he was managing director of the British …

less than 1 minute read

Sir George Arthur

British diplomat, born near Plymouth, Devonshire, SW England, UK. He was governor of British Honduras (1814–22), Van Diemen's Land (1823–36), Upper Canada (1837–41), and Bombay (1842–6). Lieutenant-General Sir George Arthur, 1st Baronet, KCH, PC (21 June 1784 – 19 September 1854) was Lieutenant Governor of British Honduras (1814–1822), Van Diemen's Land (now the State of Tasma…

less than 1 minute read

Sir George Back

Arctic explorer, born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. He sailed with Sir John Franklin on Polar expeditions (1818–22, 1825–7), and in 1833–5 went in search of explorer Sir John Ross, discovering Artillery Lake and the Great Fish River (now Back's River), which he traced to the Frozen Ocean. In 1836–7 he further explored the Arctic shores. He was knighted in 1839, and made adm…

less than 1 minute read

Sir George Cayley

Pioneer of aviation, born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, N England, UK. In 1808 he constructed and flew a glider, probably the first heavier-than-air machine, and made the first successful man-carrying glider (1853). He also interested himself in railway engineering, allotment agriculture, and land reclamation methods, and invented a new type of telescope, artificial limbs, the caterpillar tract…

less than 1 minute read

Sir George Etherege

Restoration playwright, probably born in Maidenhead, Windsor and Maidenhead, S England, UK. His three plays, The Comical Revenge; or, Love in a Tub (1664); She Would if She Could (1668); and The Man of Mode; or, Sir Fopling Flutter (1676), were highly popular in their day, and introduced the comedy of manners to the English theatre. Sir George Etherege (1635?–c. He wrote the plays The Com…

less than 1 minute read

Sir George Everest - Pronunciation of "Everest"

Military engineer, born in Gwernvale, Powys, E Wales, UK. He worked on the trigonometrical survey of India (1818–43), being appointed surveyor general in 1830. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1827, and knighted in 1861. Mt Everest was renamed in his honour in 1865. Colonel Sir George Everest (July 4, 1790 – December 1, 1866) was a Welsh surveyor, geographer and Surveyor-G…

less than 1 minute read