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Sedgwick, Adam (1785-1873) geologist
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Letter from John William Lubbock

Naples, Italy - JWL has been taking singing lessons in counterpoint from a top Italian teacher. Gives news of his travels to various places including the summit of Vesuvius. JWL sends his best to Mr Hamilton and Mr Sedgwick if they are in Cambridge, and hopes 'Mr Hamilton's book will do something towards introducing algebraical analysis at Cambridge'.

William Whewell to Richard Jones

Trinity College - WW is sorry RJ has been ill. However, he is annoyed that RJ did not send his manuscript and get on with the printing of his book ['An Essay on the Distribution of Wealth, and on the Sources of Taxation: Part 1. - Rent', 1831]. RJ should think about coming to hear Adam Sedgwick's lectures - 'the first 3 days of each week at 1 o'clock'.

Richard Jones to William Whewell

RJ has shown the dedication and preface ['The History of the Inductive Sciences, from the Earliest to the Present Time ', 3 vols., 1837] to Drinky [Drinkwater?] who has made some remarks which RJ disagrees with: 'I do not think you have spoken too much of yourself in the preface and I like it much but look at Drinky's notes'. RJ was examined in front of a committee at the House of Commons yesterday. RJ has heard that Adam Sedgwick is to made the Bishop of Norwich.

Letter from William Daniel Conybeare

WDC is sorry that he wasted any of WW's time. He had thought both WW and Sedgwick had attributed to him an unfounded degree of ignorance which made him annoyed. WDC is now flattered with the attention WW has paid him over his query, which accept for 'some differences rather metaphysical than physical between us' has been settled. When he first made it he only had Faraday's papers before him and had forgot to look at 'earlier writers and see if they had not determined the law of the tangential electro magnetic force, which of course would give me the result I sought as to the Time of revolution by the simplest process'. Barlow [Peter Barlow?] has found the tangential force of galvanic particles on magnetic to be inversely as the squares of the distances and therefore the Times will be directly as the squares of the distances. WW corrects him on his notion of force; 'its strict definition as the cause of change of motion'. WDC accepts this as long as one agrees that motion exists in the first place: 'but here physics seems to me to pass into metaphysics and I cannot conceive but that, recurring to the origin of things a state of rest is more natural than a state of motion - Hence I have a lurking fancy to understand by force not only the cause of a change of existing motion but the original cause of the motion whatsoever...if a tangential force had not been impressed in them at their creation, they would all have huddled together in an heap'.

Letter from Adam Sedgwick

AS returns to WW 'the splendid work on Jerusalem. What does WW think of [Tennyson's?] articles and hypothesis on Jerusalem in the Dictionary of the Bible? - 'whatever the issue he has argued the case well'. AS is going to London to conduct an investigation 'into the mental state of my unhappy nephew'. AS is suffering from the effects of a cold.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA acknowledges a letter WW recently sent concerning the Smith's Prize paper: 'As regards the paper and your comments on it, first I was glad to find that you think lightly of [William?] Hopkins's attempt to force in mathematics where [they?] have no business. In my opinion, Hopkins has done more to injure the credit of mathematics than any person that I know. This is the fault of the geologists (who would praise without attempting to understand), and I think, primarily the fault of Sedgwick.. In the next place , I was glad to see a question concerning the mathematical theory of waves. This is a subject which ought, I think, to be in some way brought into the curriculum of the university'. Although he has not yet settled the longitude of Valentia [see GA to WW, 2 Nov. 1844], 'I expect it will turn out an excellent work of its kind. We are much more puzzled in making the geodetic computations to compare with it (in large triangles upon a spheroid of assumed dimensions) than in the astronomical and chronometrical part: but after repeated trials I think we have managed to compute round the three sides of a triangle nearly or more than 100 miles each and to return within two or three feet to our starting point. This was to be the criterion of our method'. GA's paper on Irish tides is being printed. Similarly the printing of the Reduction of the Greenwich Planetary Observations 1750 to 1830 is finished. The reduction of the Greenwich Lunar Observations (1750 to 1830) is in the main finished: 'I am preparing to correct the elements of the Tables: and this I think upon the whole one of the greatest works that has ever been done in Astronomy'.

Letter from Adam Sedgwick

AS will be back sometime between the 15th and 20th. Could WW get Smith to publish a notice of his lectures in the usual way. 'During the last two months I have been toiling hard against the Snowdonian hills and have done some work which I will tell you of when we meet'.

Letter from Adam Sedgwick

AS is not feeling well: his ears are hurting and his eyes are dribbling a 'compound made up of salt and brimstone, while my nose is running like a church spout in a thunder storm! As for my voice I have none, and my brain is melting'. He therefore thinks there is little chance in him accepting Kate's [Kate Malcolm] kind invitation: 'I have been speaking of Kate, as if she were still that little happy thing she once was at Hyde Hall...So I must no longer speak of Chrysalis Kate'.

Letter from Adam Sedgwick

AS trusts that WW will say a good word for Farrer who for three or four years has done so much good work in our Museum: 'He asks my interest in his behalf, and he wishes to succeed to Crouch's office in the Philosophical Society'.

Letter from Adam Sedgwick

Due to severe gout AS is still a prisoner of his house: 'I am permitted to walk on crutches to my drawing room, and to sit on my sofa, with my right leg always in a horizontal position, during the greater part of the day'. AS has not been to Cornwall since 1836 and gives a brief account of all those he used to know there.

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