Record

Authorised form of nameFaraday; Michael (1791 - 1867); Natural Philosopher
SurnameFaraday
ForenamesMichael
Dates1791 - 1867
NationalityBritish
Dates and placesBirth:
Newington Butts, Surrey, England (22 September 1791)
Death:
Hampton Court, Middlesex (25 August 1867)
Burial:
Highgate Cemetery, London
ActivityResearch Field:
Chemistry, physics
Education:
DCL (1832)
Career:
Apprenticed to a bookbinder (c 1804); assistant to Sir Humphry Davy at the Royal Institution; visited the Continent with Davy; succeeded Davy at Royal Institution (1827); granted pension (1835); advisor to Trinity House (1836, for nearly 30 years) given house at Hampton Court (1858); discoveries included induced electricity (1831), electronic state of matter (1831) & equivalents in electro-chemical decomposition (1834)

Often called the first scientific celebrity in Britain, Faraday was the leading scientst of his generation. his work in the fields of electricity and magnetism led to the discovery of electromagnetic rotation - the theoretical basis of the electric motor. He started his career as an assistant to the famous chemist Humphry Davy, but had established himself as a great experimentalist by the time of his great discovery which changed scientific thought concerning electromagnetism. Public lectures were very important to Faraday, who commenced his work in science after attending chemistry lectures, so in 1826 he set up the Friday Evening Discourses and the Christmas Lectures for juveniles, institutions which continue to this day. In 1860 he published a series of children's lectures entitled 'The Chemical History of a Candle'.

In 1858 a deputation from the Royal Society visited Faraday and asked him to be the next President of the Society, Faraday declined the offer. (Recorded in White's Diary 20 May 1858 pp 117-118, reference courtesy of Professor Frank James).
Royal Society activityMembership:
Fellow
Election Date:
08/01/1824
Medals/Prizes:
Copley Medal 1832, 1838; Royal Medal 1835, 1846; Rumford Medal 1846
Lectures:
Bakerian 1829, 1832, 1849, 1851, 1857
RelationshipsSon of James Faraday, blacksmith, and his wife, Margaret Hastwell
Published works'The Chemical History of a Candle' (1860)
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB
Obituaries:
Proc Roy Soc 1868-1869 vol 17 pp i-lxviii signed by H B J
References:
Sydney Ross, 'The Search for Electromagnetic Induction 1820-1831' in NR 1965 vol 20 pp 184-219, plate
Sir Harold Hartley, 'Richard Owen and William Clift' in NR 1953 vol 10 pp 60-62
Sir Harold Hartley, 'A Letter From Richard Phillips, FRS (1778-1857) to Michael Faraday, FRS (1791-1867)' in NR 1965 vol 20 pp 220-223
S Ross, 'Faraday Consults the Scholars: the Origins of the Terms of Electrochemistry' in NR 1961 vol 16 pp 187-220
M L Wolbarsht and D S Sax, 'Charles II, a Royal Martyr' in NR 1961 vol 16 pp 154-157
Brian Bowers and Keith Bowers, 'Michael Faraday's Geological Notes on the Isle of Wight' in NR 1996 vol 50 pp 65-74
Crosbie Smith, 'More Light on Faraday', review of Frank A J L James, ed, The Correspondence of Michael Faraday. Volume 2, 1832-1840 in NR 1995 vol 49 pp 170-172, plate
Garry J Tee, 'Relics of Davy and Faraday in New Zealand' in NR 1998 vol 52 pp 93-102, plate
John Varley Jeffery, 'The Varley Family: Engineers and Artists' in NR 1997 vol 51 pp 263-279
Sir John Meurig Thomas, 'Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford and the Royal Institution' in NR 1999 vol 53 pp 11-25
Crosbie Smith, 'The Genius of Michael Faraday', essay review in NR 1992 vol 46 pp 317-323
Gillian Beer, 'Translation or Transformation? The Relations of Literature and Science' in NR 1990 vol 44 pp 81-99
Ronald Anderson, 'The Referees' Assessment of Faraday's Electromagnetic Induction Paper of 1831' in NR 1993 vol 47 pp 243-256
David Gooding, '"He Who Proves, Discovers": John Herschel, William Pepys and the Faraday Effect' in NR 1984-85 vol 39 pp 229-244
David Gooding, 'A Convergence of Opinion on the Divergence of Lines: Faraday and Thomson's Discussion of Diamagnetism' in NR 1981-82 vol 36 pp 243-259
H R H The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 'Research and Prediction. The Inaugural Hartley Lecture Delivered at the Royal Society, 21 May 1974' in NR 1974-5 vol 29 pp 11-27
Lise Wilkinson, 'Three Drawings of Fellows by William Brockedon, FRS' in NR 1971 vol 26 pp 183-187, plate
N Feather, 'Rutherford - Faraday - Newton' in NR 1972-3 vol 27 pp 45-55
Paul A Tunbridge, 'Faraday's Genevese Friends' in NR 1972-3 vol 27 pp 263-298
R V J, review of Gwendy Caroe, The Royal Institution: An Informal History in NR 1986-87 vol 41 pp 107-110
Sydney Ross, 'John Herschel on Faraday and on Science' in NR 1978-9 vol 33 pp 77-82, plate
A Cook, 'A Roman tercentenary' by A Cook in NR 2002 vol 56 p273
F A J L James, ' Editing Faraday' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 349-352
K K Schwarz, 'Faraday and Babbage' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 367-381
J S Rowlinson, 'The work of Thomas Andrews and James Thomson on the liquefaction of gases' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 143-159
W P Griffith and P J T Morris, 'Charles Hatchett FRS (1765 - 1847), chemist and discoverer of niobium' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 299 - 316
J S Rowlinson, 'A national treasure house. <i>'The common purposes of life': science and society at the Royal Institution of Great Britain</i> ed Frank A J L James ' in NR 2004 vol 58 pp 105-106
Notes:
At head of certificate: 'Balloted for & Elected the 8 January 182[4]'; small sections of certificate missing;
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/38158158
Royal Society codeNA8218
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
M/073Faraday, Michael1982
MM/14/41Letter from George and Jane Barnard, Liverpool Road, to Walter White, Assistant Secretary, Royal Society10 March 1879
IM/001363Faraday, Michaelnd
MM/17/42Letter from Michael Faraday to MN Jacobi, Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg17 August 1839
MM/15/109Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution, to HH Watson11 April 1839
MM/21/95Letter from John Gage to Michael Faraday14 June 1832
MM/14/63Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution, to C R Weld21 August 1849
MM/6/4Letter from Charles Wheatstone, Conduit Street, to Michael Faraday2 June 1835
MM/17/49Letter from Michael Faraday19th century
MM/14/29Memorandum by Michael Faraday14 December 1860
MM/15/5"On Spontaneous Nitrification", by CF Schoenbein, University of Bale6 November 1845
MM/14/26'Report of the Commission appointed to consider the subject of lighting picture galleries by gas' 20 July 1859
MM/14/1Sheets of notes by Michael Faraday, from a notebook headed 'Glass furnace note book Vol 2'1830
AP/27/21On Ozone 22 March 1845
MM/14/7Eight bills and receipts relating to the work of Optical Glass Committee1828-1829
MM/14/42Letter from Jane Barnard, Liverpool Road, to Walter White, Assistant Secretary, Royal Society18 March 1879
MM/13/97Second report of the Excise Committee February 1836
MM/13/96First report of the Excise CommitteeFebruary 1833
MM/13/122Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution, to the Royal Society24 June 1850
DM/3/155John Pond, 'The Report of Mr Pond on Mr Faraday's Telescope'23 December 1830
AP/19/9Note by Mr Faraday on the preceding remarks by Mr Davy9 January 1835
AP/23/4On the visibility of certain rays beyond the ordinary old rays of the solar Spectrum1 May 1839
AP/27/22On a new principle produced by the slow combustion of Ether 18 January 1845
DM/3/159Henry Kater, 'Telescope with Mr Faraday's Glass'24 March 1831
DM/3/44Minutes of a meeting of a subcommittee of the Optical Glass Committee 7 June 1827
IM/Maull/001360Faraday, Michaelnd
AP/29/9Reabsorption of mixed gases in VoltameterJanuary 1847
IM/Maull/001361Faraday, Michaelnd
MS/377/1/37Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution of Great Britain, to [William Fletcher] Barrett5 October 1863
DM/3/160Report by the Barlow Telescope CommitteeMay 1831
MS/377/1/178Photograph of Michael Faraday by Ernest Edwards1863-1864
MM/13/89Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 13 January 1835
AP/23/44Researches on Electro-Chemical Equivalents, and on a supported discrepancy between some of them and the Atomic Weight of the same bodies, as deduced from the Theory of Isomorphism1840
S/0012Sculpture bust of Faraday, Michael1854
MS/377/1/179Photograph of Michael Faraday by John Watkins1850
MS/377/1/177Photograph of Michael Faraday by John Watkins1863
AP/39/2On the Existence of Silver in Sea-Water16 August 1856
AP/15/25On the law which connects ther various magneto-electric phenomena lately discovered by Dr Faraday
DM/3/26Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution, to J F W Herschel, Secretary, Royal Society25 April 1826
S/0013Sculpture bust of Faraday, Michael
MS/743/1/37Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution of Great Britain, to John Hall Gladstone21 November 1859
AP/19/11Account of the Water of the Well Zem Zem with a qualitative analysis of the same by Professor Faraday1835
MS/743/1/35Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution of Great Britain, to [John Hall] Gladstone2 July 1859
AP/19/8Remarks on certain statements of Mr Faraday contained in the fourth and fifth series of his "Experimental Results in Electricity"4 November 1834
MM/10/178Memorandum from Michael Faraday 12 March 1832
S/0049Relief sculpture of Faraday, Michael
MM/15/1Copy of "Further Experiments and Observations on Iodine", by Humphry Davy22 March 1814
IM/001364Faraday, Michaelnd
P/0147Deputation to Michael Faradayc1857
IM/005334Faraday, Michael1995
IM/005726Faraday, Michaelnd
IM/001362Faraday, Michael and Brande, William Thomasnd
MS/377/1/172Admission ticket to lectures at the Royal Institution of Great Britainnd [19th century]
MS/123/5Letter from the Duke of Sussex to unknown recipient12 November 1832
NLB/57/723Copy letter from Robert William Frederick Harrison, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to Messrs Constable & Co Ltd; 10 Orange Street, WC 228 January 1920
RR/1/165Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on an unnamed paper by an unnamed author10 May 1830
RR/2/83Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'On the electro-chemical polarity of gases' by William Robert Grove10 April 1852
RR/3/103Referee's report by William Robert Grove, on a paper 'Experimental researches in electricity - thirtieth series' by Michael Faraday11 December 1856
RR/2/89Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'On induced and other magnetic forces' by William Snow Harris19 August 1851
RR/1/98Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'Du son et de l'ectricite' by Louis Charles Sellier18 August 1836
RR/2/215Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'On periodical laws discoverable in the mean effects of the larger magnetic disturbance.—No. II' by Edward Sabine15 May 1851
RR/2/155Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on two papers 'Electro-Physiological researches. —eighth series' and 'Electro-Physiological resarches. on induced contraction.-Ninth series' by Carlo Matteucci9 February 1850
RR/3/158Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'Introductory research on the induction of magnetism by electrical currents' by James Prescott Joule7 January 1856
RR/2/214Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'On periodical laws discoverable in the mean effects of the larger magnetic disturbances' by Edward Sabine3 February 1851
RR/3/223Letter from Michael Faraday, on a paper 'On the magnetic induction of crystals' by Julius Plücker25 July 1857
RR/1/5Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'On the disruptive discharge of accumulated electricity, and the proximate cause of lightning' by Isham Baggs26 February 1848
RR/1/49Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'On a new combination of chlorine and nitrous gas' by Edmund Davy15 April 1851
RR/1/62Referee's report by Samuel Hunter Christie and John Bostock, on a paper 'Experimental researches in electricity' by Michael Faraday5 April 1832
MS/241Diploma and Certificates given to Michael Faraday by various academies and societies19th Century
MS/426/559Copy letter from Edward Sabine, Treasurer of the Royal Society; to [Michael] Faraday6 March 1856
RR/2/66Referee's report by William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, on a paper 'Experimental researches in electricity' [28th or 29th series] by Michael Faraday3 May 1852
RR/1bis/24Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'Experiments on the gas voltaic battery, with a view of ascertaining the rationale of its action, and on its application to eudiometry' by William Robert Grove29 May 1843
RR/3/105Referee's report by John Percy, on a paper 'Experimental relations of gold (and other metals) to light' by Michael Faraday14 May 1857
RR/1/221Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'On the production of ozone by chemical means. By Professor Shoenbein, in a letter to Michael Faraday, Esq., D. C. L., F. R. S.' by C F Shoenbein6 April 1846
RR/1/222Referee's report by Thomas Graham, on a paper 'On the production of ozone by chemical means. By Professor Shoenbein, in a letter to Michael Faraday, Esq., D. C. L., F. R. S.' by C F Shoenbein27 October 1846
RR/3/106Referee's report by George Gabriel Stokes, on a paper 'Experimental relations of gold (and other metals) to light' by Michael Faraday28 May 1857
P/0040Portrait of Faraday, Michael
MS/426/230Copy letter from C R W [Charles Richard Weld], the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to W. Wyon6 November 1846
MS/426/76Copy letter from [Samuel] Hunter Christie, Secretary of the Royal Society; to Mr. [Micheal] Faraday Esq., 21 Albemarle Street20 October 1843
MS/426/169Copy letter from C R [Charles Richard] Weld, the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to M [Michael] Faraday Esq3 December 1845
MS/426/425Copy letter from C R [Charles Richard] Weld, the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to M [Michael] Farady Esq4 June 1850
MS/426/562Copy letter from Edward Sabine, Treasurer of the Royal Society; to Mr Bate14 March 1856
MS/426/508Copy letter from Edward Sabine, Treasurer of the Royal Society; to Dr [Peter Mark] Roget17 February 1854
MAMeteorological Archives1706-1915
MM/13/115Letter from J Rouchetti, Hatton Garden, to Michael Faraday31 March 1835
IM/000541Brande, William Thomasnd
DM/3/17Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution, to J F W Herschel, Secretary, Royal Society7 November 1825
AP/33/21Description and purpose of the Glass Plate which bears the inscription "Interferenz-Spectrum. Longitudo et celeritas undularum lucis relativa cum in aere tum in vitro"March 1851
MM/13/85Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 20 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/001365Faraday, Michaelnd
NLB/15/885Copy letter from Robert William Frederick Harrison, to Professor Silvanus Phillips Thompson, Fellow of the Royal Society8 January 1898
MS/373/1/1Letter from Michael Faraday, Royal Institution, to Sir James Clarke8 April 1848
RR/3/154Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'Introductory research on the induction of magnetism by electrical currents' by James Prescott Joule6 July 1855
RR/1/228Referee's report by Michael Faraday, on a paper 'On the cause of the reduction of metals from solutions of their salts by the voltaic circuit' by Alfred Smee4 April 1843
MS/426/520Copy letter from C R [Charles Richard] Weld, the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to J [John] Wood Esq3 June 1854
MM/13/88Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 29 January 1833
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
RR/2/91Response by Michael Faraday to referee's report by Humphrey Lloyd, on a paper 'On induced and other magnetic forces' by William Snow Harris13 January 1852
IM/001356Faraday, Michaelnd
IM/001357Deputation to Michael Faradaynd
EC/1823/15Faraday, Michael: certificate of election to the Royal Society
IM/001366Faraday, Michael and Daniell, John Fredericnd
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