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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
City of Westminster in Greater London County, England, United Kingdom
 

James Smithson

1764 - 1829

 
 
James Smithson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 15, 2017
1. James Smithson Marker
Inscription.

Scientist
Founder of the
Smithsonian
Institution
lived here

 
Erected 2008 by English Heritage.
 
Location. 51° 31.03′ N, 0° 9.02′ W. Marker is in City of Westminster, England, in Greater London County. Marker is on Betinck Street 0 kilometers west of Welbeck Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9 Betinck Street, City of Westminster, England W1U 2EJ, United Kingdom.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Edward Gibbon (a few steps from this marker); Sir F. Paolo Tosti (within shouting distance of this marker); Sir Julius Benedict (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); Thomas Woolner RA (about 150 meters away); Sir Frederick Treves (about 180 meters away); Simón Bolívar (about 180 meters away); Lord Milner (about 210 meters away); Sir George Frederic Still (about 210 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in City of Westminster.
 
Also see . . .  James Smithson: Founder of the Smithsonian Institution (Smithsonian). James Smithson (c. 1765-1829), founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution, was born in 1765 in France with the name
James Smithson Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 15, 2017
2. James Smithson Marker - Wide View
James Lewis Macie. The illegitimate son of Elizabeth Hungerford Keate Macie and Hugh Smithson, 1st Duke of Northumberland, he changed his name as well as his citizenship, becoming a naturalized British citizen around the age of ten. After his parents' death, he became known as James Smithson rather than James Macie. On May 7, 1782, he enrolled in Pembroke College, Oxford, and graduated four years later. The natural sciences sparked his interest, and he established a solid reputation as a chemist and mineralogist, during the exciting period when chemistry was being developed as a new science in the late 1700s. Committed to discovering the basic elements, he worked diligently to collect mineral and ore samples from European countries. Excerpts from his notes show that his field excursions often forced him to brave the elements and do without the upper class comforts known to his parents. Smithson, although a wealthy man, was determined to make a name for himself among scientists. He kept accurate records of his experiments and collections, and his publications earned the respect of his peers. The Royal Society of London recognized his scientific abilities and accepted his membership on April 26, 1787, only a year after he graduated from college, an unusual honor for someone so young. The society became an outlet for publishing many of his papers, which covered a wide range of scientific
<i>James Smithson</i> (Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery) image. Click for full size.
By Henri-Joseph Johns, 1816
3. James Smithson (Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery)
Englishman James Smithson commissioned this forthright portrait from a Belgian artist working in present-day Aachen, possibly as a gift for a family member. Always painfully aware of his uncertain status as an illegitimate child of the Duke of Northumberland, he focused on his scientific publishing in chemistry and mineralogy. In 1826 he penned his most unusual will, providing for the establishment of the “Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men.” - National Portrait Gallery
topics, and also was a meeting place for Smithson and other scientists.
(Submitted on December 4, 2017.) 
 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkScience & Medicine
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 4, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 4, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.
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