Record

Authorised form of nameChildren; John George (1777 - 1852); chemist
Dates1777 - 1852
NationalityBritish
Place of birthFerox Hall, Tonbridge, Kent, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Date of birth18 May 1777
Place of deathHalstead Place, Kent, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Date of death1 January 1852
Dates and placesBurial:
St George's Church, Bloomsbury, United Kingdom, Europe (9 January 1852)
Research fieldMineralogy
Zoology
ActivityEducation:
Tonbridge School; Eton School; Queen's College Cambridge (1795-1798)
Career:
Studied mechanics and mineralogy; constructed the largest yet galvanic battery (1813); attempted to set up a gunpowder business with Humphry Davy; family declared bankruptcy (1816); appointed Assistant Librarian in Department of Antiquities at the British Museum; transferred to department of natural history (1822); translated Lamarck's 'Genera of Shells' (1824); became editor of the 'Zoological Journal' and of 'Quarterly Journal of Science'; established the Zoological Club at the Linnean Society (1826)
Memberships:
Fellow of the Royal Society Edinburgh; Fellow of the Linnean Society; Royal Entomological Society (founding member and later president)
Medals/Awards:
Royal Institution Medal (1828)
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election12/03/1807
Age at election29
Royal Society activityRoyal Society roles:
Secretary 1826-1827, 1830-1837; VP 1837-1839
Committee and panels:
Committee of Chemistry (31 May 1837)
Other Royal Society activityAppointed as auditor of the Treasurer's accounts (15 November 1838)
RelationshipsParents: George Children and Susanna Jordan
Married: 1) Hester Anna Holwell; 2) Caroline Furlong Wise; 3) Eliza Towers
Children: Anna Atkins
Published worksRCN: R65922
RCN: 27957
RCN: 33108
RCN: 18585
General contextChildren's work involved collaboration with Humphry Davy in the laboratory the former established at Ferox Hall. His appointment to the department of natural history, specialising in zoology, was considered controversial by some at the time and, as a non-specialist, he relied on and worked closely with his assistant and later successor John Edward Gray. Shortly after the death of his first wife in 1800, he travelled to Portugal and North America. He is additionally listed as a Freemason (27 March 1835) on the 'Alphabetical List of Fellows of the Royal Society who were Freemasons' under the address of the British Museum, Lodge of Antiquity No. 2. After his death, his daughter, well-known botanist and photographer, published a memoir on him, including some of his poetry on domestic things and religion.
Royal Society Obituary or MemoirClick to view (may be contained within a meeting notice, presidential address or list of death notices)
Image

Children J G, IM006840.jpg

SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; ODNB; The Library and Museum of Freemasonry, Freemasons and the Royal Society; Alphabetical List of Fellows of the Royal Society who were Freemasons (2010), page 19
Obituaries:
Proc Roy Soc 1850-1854 vol 6 pp 245-247
References:
Coley, N G. 1967. 'The Animal Chemistry Club; Assistant Society to the Royal Society', in Notes and Records, vol. 22, pp. 173-185
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/106836469
Royal Society codeNA3175
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
MM/3/8Letter from Davies Gilbert, East Borne [sic], to John George Children24 November 1784
MM/12/28Letter from Anthony Panizzi, British Museum, to J G Children2 August 1836
MM/12/25Copy of letter from J G Children, British Museum, to Anthony Panizzi29 July 1836
MM/12/23Letter from Anthony Panizzi, British Museum, J G Children17 July 1836
DM/1/77Letter from FL Chantrey, Belgrave Place, to J G Children22 December 1831
DM/2/29Letter from the Duke of Sussex, Kensington Palace, to Francis Baily17 April 1834
DM/2/27Draft of letter from J G Children, British Museum, to T Spring Rice, Treasury16 April 1834
DM/2/74Letter from Henry Ellis, British Museum, to J G Children13 July 1831
AP/28/18Unpublished paper, 'On Sir Isaac Newton's method of finding the limits of the roots of equations' by Herbert Panmure Ribton 20 December 1845
DM/1/79Draft of letter from J G Children, Somerset House, to Sir William Knighton12 May 1832
IM/000837Children, John Georgend
MM/13/89Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 13 January 1835
MC/2/29Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society12 March 1832
CMB/42/2/1Minutes from the Medal Committee10 December 1832
MS/123/21Letter from the Duke of Sussex to John George Children, Royal Society, Somerset House4 June 1835
MS/123/4Letter from the Duke of Sussex to John George Children, British Museum, London4 November 1832
MS/123/14Letter [possibly draft] from John George Children to the Duke of Sussex21 November 1832
MC/2/6Letter from James Hudson, [Assistant Secretary of the] Royal Society, to the Royal Society16 January 1832
MS/123/7Letter from James Hudson to John George Children, British Museum, London14 November 1832
MS/123/17Letter from James Hudson to John George Children6 December 1832
MS/123/9Letter from the Duke of Sussex to John George Children, British Museum, London19 November 1832
MS/123/23Letter from the Duke of Sussex to John George Children18 June 1835
MS/123/24Letter from the Duke of Sussex to John George Children, British Museum1830s
MS/123/3Copy of letter from John George Children to John William Lubbock2 November 1832
MS/123/16Copy of letter from John George Children to John Herapath29 November 1832
MS/123/1Letter from the Duke of Sussex to John George Children29 October 1832
MS/123/20Draft letter from John George Children to the Duke of Sussex16 September 1834
MS/123/2Letter from the Duke of Sussex to John George Children, British Museum, London30 October 1832
NLB/6/999Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Daniel Hipwell, 7 Hilldrop Crescent, N.30 September 1892
NLB/6/1007Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Daniel Hipwell, 17 Hilldrop Crescent, N.3 October 1892
AP/18/5cUnpublished letter, regarding reports on the wreck of HMS Thetis from W H [William Henry] Smyth to J G [John George] Children19 April 1834
AP/18/5fUnpublished letter, regarding the recovery of treasure from the wreck of HMS Thetis from M I [Marc Isambard] Brunel to J G [John George] Children15 May 1834
AP/17/3/3Unpublished letter, regarding a luminous presence from Lord Darnley [Edward Bligh] to J G [John George] Children28 March 1833
MC/2/129Letter from John George Children, [Secretary of the Royal Society], to the Royal Society 19 June 1834
MC/2/133Letter from Charles Blackburn, 40 Kensington Square, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society11 July 1834
MC/1/261Letter from Henry Kater, York Gate, Regent's Park, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society 10 December 1830
MC/2/163Letter from Paul Cooper, Shepton Mallet, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society10 March 1835
MC/2/92Letter from Walter Adam, London, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society15 August 1833
MC/2/30Letter from [August Wilhelm von] Schlegel, Brunswick Hotel, Jermyn Street, to [John George] Children, Secretary of the Royal Society20 March 1832
MC/2/127Letter from Edward Turner, Secretary of the Geological Society, to John George Children, [Secretary of the Royal Society]11 June 1834
MC/2/258Letter from William Henry Smyth, Bedford, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society14 July 1837
MC/3/106Letter from John George Children, 48 Torrington Square, to John David Roberton, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society19 September 1840
RR/1/102Referee's report by John George Children, on a paper 'On the action of light upon the colour of the river sponge' by John Hogg13 July 1838
MC/2/237Letter from George Biddell Airy, Royal Observatory Greenwich to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society9 January 1837
MC/1/291Letter from John Augustus Lloyd, 19 [John] Adam Street, Adelphi, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society 16 March 1831
MC/2/230Letter from George Dollond to John George Children, [Secretary of the Royal Society]31 October 1836
MC/1/294Letter from [Robert Saunders Dundas], 2nd Viscount Melville, Melville Castle, Edinburgh, to [Dr. Peter Mark Roget and John George Children,] Secretaries of the Royal Society23 March 1831
MC/2/257Letter from Thomas Monk Mason, 32 Coleshill Street, Eaton Square, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society20 June 1837
MC/4/42Letter from John George Children, Torrington Square, to the Royal Society 2 November 1844
MS/426/119Copy letter from [Charles Richard Weld] the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to [John George] Children Esq.27 January 1845
MS/426/432Copy letter from C R [Charles Richard] Weld, the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to J G [John George] Children Esq15 November 1850
MS/426/253Copy letter from C R [Charles Richard] Weld, the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to J G [John George] Children, Esq6 February 1847
EC/1806/19Children, John George: certificate of election to the Royal Society
MM/12/26Letter from Anthony Panizzi, British Museum, to J G Children28 July 1836
MM/12/27Copy of letter from J G Children, British Museum, to Anthony Panizzi1 August 1836
IM/000838Children, John Georgend
MM/12/29Letter from J G Children, British Museum, to P M Roget4 August 1836
DM/2/28Letter from the Duke of Sussex, Kensington Palace, to Treasury17 April 1834
DM/2/30Letter from the Duke of Sussex, Kensington Palace, GB Greenough17 April 1834
MM/13/84Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee11 December 1832
MM/13/90Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 13 January 1835
MM/13/91Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 20 February 1836
IM/000839Children, John Georgend
MS/123/19Letter from the Duke of Sussex to John George Children, British Museum, Montague Street, London15 September 1834
AP/18/5aUnpublished letter, regarding the recovery of treasure from the wreck of HMS Thetis from M I [Marc Isambard] Brunel to J G [John George] Children20 March 1834
MC/2/31Copy letter from John George Children, British Museum, to an unknown correspondent25 March 1832
CMP/1/1Minutes of a meeting of Council of the Royal Society1 December 1832
MM/12/24Letter from J G Children, British Museum, to Francis Baily18 July 1836
MM/13/92Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 3 March 1836
MM/13/87Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 22 January 1833
MM/13/86Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 15 January 1833
CMP/1/2Minutes of a meeting of Council of the Royal Society13 December 1832
PT/9/20Paper, 'An account of some experiments with a large voltaic battery' by J G [John George] Children[1815]
MC/1/256Letter from James [?] Smith, Jordanhill, Glasgow, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society 27 October 1830
PT/22/4Letter, additions to paper titled 'Note relative to the supposed origin of the deficient rays in the solar spectrum; being an account of an experiment made at Edinburgh during the annular eclipse of 15th May 1836' from James David Forbes to J G [John George] Children13 December 1836
MC/1/264Letter from Henry Kater, York Gate, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society 22 December 1830
MC/1/276Letter from [Dunbar James Douglas], 6th Earl of Selkirk, St. Mary's Isle, Kirkcudbright, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society 17 January 1831
MC/1/281Letter from William Tooke and Charles Parker, 39 Bedford Row, to [Dr. Peter Mark Roget and John George Children,] Secretaries of the Royal Society22 January 1831
MC/1/293Letter from Sir George Murray, 5 Belgrave Square, to [Dr. Peter Mark Roget and John George Children,] Secretaries of the Royal Society19 March 1831
MC/1/302Letter from Edmund Davy, Royal Dublin Society, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society12 April 1831
MC/1/331Copy letter from John George Children, [Secretary of the Royal Society], British Museum, to Lord [Francis] Gray28 September 1831
MC/1/352Letter from Thomas Henderson, 1 Old Palace Yard, Westminster, [Dr. Peter Mark Roget and John George Children,] Secretaries of the Royal Society13 December 1831
MC/1/341Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society21 November 1831
MC/2Volume 2 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1832-1838
MC/2/25Copy letter from John George Children, British Museum, to John Herapath14 February 1832
MC/2/33Letter from [August Wilhelm von] Schlegel to [John George] Children, Secretary of the Royal Society6 April 1832
MC/2/27Copy letter from John George Children, British Museum, to John Herapath19 February 1832
MC/2/34Letter from George Bocock [?] to John George Children, [Secretary of the Royal Society]c. April 1832
MC/2/35Copy letter from John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society, to John Herapath13 April 1832
MC/2/44Letter from James Hudson, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society16 July 1832
MC/2/36Copy letter from John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society, to Professor [August Wilhelm von] Schlegel13 April 1832
MC/2/48Copy letter from John George Children, to the gentlemen nominated for Council16 October 1832
MC/2/51Letter from [Sir John Frederick William] Herschel, Slough, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society20 October 1832
MC/2/53Letter from Marc Isambard Brunel to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society21 October 1832
MC/2/54Letter from [James] Cumming, Cambridge, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society21 October 1832
MC/2/55Letter from Charles Hatchett, Belle Vue House, Chelsea, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society22 October 1832
MC/2/56Letter from William Prout, Sackville Street, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society22 October 1832
MC/2/57Letter from Henry Kater, York Gate, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society22 October 1832
MC/2/61Letter from Robert Brown, Dean Street, Soho, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society24 October 1832
MC/2/58Letter from Richard Sheepshanks, 30 Woburn Place, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society22 October 1832
MC/2/60Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society23 October 1832
MC/2/62Letter from Francis Baily, 37 Tavistock Place, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society26 October 1832
MC/2/91Letter from [William] Prout, Sackville Street, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society14 August 1833
MC/2/75Letter from [Antonio] Panizzi, [Librarian at the] British Museum, to [John George Children and Dr. Peter Mark Roget], Secretaries of the Royal Society27 March 1833
MC/2/82Letter from R. B. Bate, 21 Poultry, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society 17 April 1833
MC/2/99Letter from Charles [Giles Bridle] Daubeny to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Societyc. November 1833
MC/2/95Letter from Walter Adam, 40 Sackville Street, London, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society15 August 1833
MC/2/106Letter from F.R.S., to [John George Children and Dr. Peter Mark Roget], Secretaries of the Royal Society 28 December 1833
MC/2/132Letter from [Charles Wentworth] Dilke, 2 Catherine Street, to [John George Children and Dr. Peter Mark Roget], Secretaries of the Royal Society3 July 1834
MC/2/157Letter from Charles John Kemeys Tynte, Halwell House, Bridgewater, to John George Children, [Secretary of the Royal Society]23 January 1835
MC/2/152Letter from [Dr. Peter Mark Roget, Secretary of the Royal Society], Bernard Street, to James Ivory22 December 1834
MC/2/187Letter from Richard Cattermole, [Secretary of the] Royal Society of Literature, St. Martin's Place, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society10 November 1835
MC/2/186Letter from John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society, British Museum, to John William Lubbock, Vice-President and Treasurer of the Royal Society4 November 1835
MC/2/205Letter from [William] Whewell to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society17 May 1836
MC/2/245Letter from John H. Glover, [librarian at] Windsor Castle, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society28 March 1837
MC/2/248Letter from Edward Hawkins to John George Children, [Secretary of the Royal Society]10 April 1837
MC/2/269Letter from G.A., Oxford, to John George Children, [Secretary of the Royal Society]23 January 1838
MC/2/188Letter from J. W. Glover, Harrington House, St. James's, to John George Children, [Secretary of the Royal Society] 11 November 1835
MC/1Volume 1 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1800-1831
PT/3/2Paper, 'An account of some experiments, performed with a view to ascertain the most advantageous method of constructing a voltaic apparatus, for the purposes of chemical research' by J [John] G [George] Children[1808]
MC/5/89Letter from S [Samuel] Hunter Christie, The Common, Woolwich, to Francis Higginson10 March 1854
AP/17/13Unpublished paper, 'An account of a second series of experiments on the resistance of fluids to bodies passing through them' by James WalkerMay 1833
AP/11/15Unpublished paper, 'An account of some farther experiments on the heating power of the prismatic rays' by Baden Powell[1822]
AP/11/15/2Unpublished diagrams, light rays refracting through prisms by [Baden Powell][1822]
AP/11/15/1Unpublished manuscript, 'An account of some farther experiments on the heating power of the prismatic rays' by Baden Powell[1822]
AP/15/6Unpublished paper, 'On the anatomy and physiology of the minute and capillary vessels' by Marshall Hall[1831]
AP/15/16Unpublished paper, 'On some properties of numbers in geometric progression' by C [Charles] Blacklewar[1832]
AP/15/15Unpublished paper, 'Account of an improvement in the machine for producing engravings of medals, busts etc. directly from the objects themselves; in which the distortions hitherto attending such representations are entirely obviated' by [Charles Spence] Bate[1832]
AP/13/5Unpublished paper, 'On destroying the fire damp in mines by the chloride of lime' by Frederick Fincham27 April 1827
AP/19/6Unpublished paper, 'Memorandum relating to a theory of sound' by Paul Cooper10 March 1835
AP/17/2Unpublished paper, 'Observations on the physiology of the nerves of sensation illustrated by a case of paralysis of the fifth pair of nerves' by John BishopFebruary 1833
AP/16/1/3Unpublished letter, regarding 'Project for a perpetual motion' from J G [John George] Children to A B1 February 1831
AP/16/1Unpublished paper and letters, 'Project for a perpetual motion' by A B1831
AP/18/5dUnpublished copy of letter, regarding reports on the wreck of HMS Thetis from W H [William Henry]Smyth to J G [John George] Children19 April 1834
AP/18/4/2Unpublished letter, regarding the recovery of the wrecked frigate HMS Thetis from Thos [Thomas] Dickinson to the Royal Society12 March 1834
AP/16/34Unpublished paper, 'Quelques idées relatives à l'Analyse des Liqueurs spiritueuses sucrées' [Ascertaining the strength of sweetened spirit liqueurs] by A van der Toorn1835
AP/17/3Unpublished paper, 'Account of an extraordinary luminous presence in the heavens seen at Athboy in Ireland on the 21st March 1833' by Lord Darnley [Edward Bligh]28 March 1833
AP/17/13/1Unpublished manuscript, 'An account of a second series of experiments on the resistance of fluids to bodies passing through them' by James WalkerMay 1833
AP/18/1Unpublished appendix, 'Appendix to a former paper on human osteology' by Walter AdamFebruary 1834
AP/16/6Unpublished paper, 'On the dispursive [sic] powers of the ordinary and extraordinary spectra found by rock crystal and Iceland spar' by John I Cooper4 June 1832
AP/18/3Unpublished paper, 'On the number of primitive colorific rays into which white light may be separated' by Paul Cooper21 January 1834
AP/17/2/1Unpublished manuscript, 'Observations on the physiology of the nerves of sensation illustrated by a case of paralysis of the fifth pair of nerves' by John BishopFebruary 1833
AP/18/9Unpublished paper, 'On the nature and origin of the Aurora Borealis' by the Reverend Geo [George] FisherMay 1834
AP/18/15Unpublished paper, 'New property of the arcs of the equilateral hyperbola' by H F [William Henry Fox] TalbotJanuary 1834
AP/18/4/1Unpublished manuscript, 'Narrative of the proceedings of Commander Thomas Dickinson of His Majesty's sloop Lightning, while employed in the enterprise for the recovery of the public stores and other property sunk in His Majesty's late frigate "Thetis", on the S W side of the island of Cape Frio [Cabo Frio]' by Thos [Thomas] Dickinson1834
AP/18/17Unpublished paper, 'Observations on the teredo navalis, and limnoria tenebrans, as at present existing in certain localities in the British Islands' by William ThompsonApril 1834
AP/18/4Unpublished paper, 'Narrative of the proceedings of Commander Thomas Dickinson of His Majesty's sloop Lightning, while employed in the enterprise for the recovery of the public stores and other property sunk in His Majesty's late frigate "Thetis", on the S W side of the island of Cape Frio [Cabo Frio]' by Thos [Thomas] Dickinson1834
AP/18/2/1Unpublished manuscript, 'On the connexion between refracted and diffracted light' by Paul CooperJanuary 1834
AP/18/3/1Unpublished manuscript, 'On the number of primitive colorific rays into which white light may be separated' by Paul Cooper21 January 1834
AP/16/21Unpublished paper, 'Instructions pour faire des observations météorologique et magnétiques' [Instructions for making meteorological and magnetic observations] by A Th [Adolph Theodor] Kupffer1836
AP/16/21/4Unpublished letter, regarding instructions for making meteorological and magnetic observations from J G [John George] Children to John Washington28 October 1836
AP/16/21/3Unpublished letter, regarding instructions for making meteorological and magnetic observations from John Washington to J G [John George] Children28 July 1836
AP/16/9Unpublished paper, 'Résumé des observations faites au quartier de Flacq Ile Maurice sur l'athmomètre au Evaporatoire faisant suite aux observations météorologiques' [Summary of observations made in the district of Flacq, Mauritius, on the atmometer following meteorological observations] by Julien Despardins5 January 1837
AP/19/13Unpublished observations, regarding copies of registers of the thermometer kept at Alford, Aberdeenshire by the Reverend James Farquharson1833-1834
AP/19/15Unpublished paper, 'A new method of discovering the equations of caustics' by G H S [George Henry Sacheverell] Johnson1835
AP/18/2Unpublished paper, 'On the connexion between refracted and diffracted light' by Paul CooperJanuary 1834
AP/19/19Unpublished letter, 'An account of the eruption of Mount Etna in the year 1536 from original contemporary documents' from Francis Palgrave to J G [John George] Children14 January 1835
AP/20/14/1Unpublished manuscript, 'Observations and experiments on the solar rays that occasion heat; with the application of a remarkable property of these rays to the construction of the solar and oxy-hydrogen gas microscopes' by J B [Joseph Bancroft] Reade9 December 1836
AP/20/14Unpublished paper, 'Observations and experiments on the solar rays that occasion heat; with the application of a remarkable property of these rays to the construction of the solar and oxy-hydrogen gas microscopes' by J B [Joseph Bancroft] Reade9 December 1836
AP/21/13Unpublished paper, 'Copy of proposals for a new method of determining the longitude by an absolute altitude of the moon' by John Christian Bowring[1838]
AP/21/23/3Unpublished letter, regarding 'Explanation of the phenomena of intermitting springs' from James F W [Finlay Weir] Johnston to J G [John George] Children30 November 1837
AP/21/23Unpublished paper, 'Explanation of the phenomena of intermitting springs' by W L WhartonNovember 1837
AP/22/5/4Unpublished letter, regarding 'Duplication du cube' [Cube duplication] from Bardel to [John George] Children30 May 1839
AP/22/5Unpublished paper, 'Duplication du cube' [Cube duplication] by Bardel1838-1839
AP/23/8/1Manuscript, 'An account of experiments made with the view of ascertaining the possibility of obtaining a spark before the current of the voltaic battery is completed' by J P [John Peter] Gassiot25 August 1839
AP/23/8Paper, 'An account of experiments made with the view of ascertaining the possibility of obtaining a spark before the current of the voltaic battery is completed' by J P [John Peter] Gassiot25 August 1839 - 19 November 1839
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