|Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies|
8 February 1855 –June 1857
|Prime Minister||The Viscount Palmerston|
|Preceded by||Frederick Peel|
|Succeeded by||Chichester Fortescue|
|Born||20 August 1818|
|Died||21 October 1889 71) (aged|
|Alma mater||Christ's College,Cambridge|
John Ball (20 August 1818 –21 October 1889) was an Irish politician,naturalist and Alpine traveller.
Ball was born in Dublin,the eldest son of Nicholas Ball,judge of the Court of Common Pleas (Ireland) and his wife Jane Sherlock. He was educated at Oscott College near Birmingham,and at Christ's College,Cambridge,where he was 41st Wrangler but as a Roman Catholic could not be admitted to a BA degree.  He showed in early years a taste for natural science,particularly botany;and after leaving Cambridge he travelled in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe and North Africa,studying his favourite pursuits,and contributing papers on botany and the Swiss glaciers to scientific periodicals.
In 1846 Ball was made an assistant poor-law commissioner,but resigned in 1847,and in 1848 stood unsuccessfully as a parliamentary candidate for Sligo. In 1849 he was appointed second poor-law commissioner,but resigned in 1852 and successfully contested the Carlow County constituency in the Liberal interest.  In 1854,while grave doubts were raised in well-informed quarters about entering a war with Russia,the voice of the people found expression in Ball who assured the government that justification of the Crimean war was vast,high and noble:'the maintenance in civilised society of the principles of right and justice'.  In the British House of Commons he attracted Lord Palmerston's attention by his abilities,and in 1855 was made Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies,a post which he held for two years.
At the colonial office he had great influence in furthering the cause of natural science,particularly in connection with equipment of the Palliser Expedition in Canada (for his efforts,the Ball Range in the Canadian Rockies was named after him),and with William Jackson Hooker's efforts to obtain a systematic knowledge of the colonial floras.
In 1858 Ball stood for County Limerick,but was defeated,and he then gave up politics and devoted himself to natural history. He was the first president of the Alpine Club (founded 1857),and it is for his work as an alpinist that he is chiefly remembered. His well-known Alpine Guide (London,1863–1868) was the result of innumerable climbs and journeys and of careful observation recorded in a clear and often entertaining style. Among his accomplishments,he was the first to climb a major Dolomites peak (Monte Pelmo in 1857). He also travelled in Morocco (1871) and South America (1882),and recorded his observations in books which were recognised as having scientific value.  
His wife was Elisa Parolini,daughter of the Italian naturalist Alberto Parolini. Ball died in London in October 1889,aged 71.
The Dolomites, also known as the Dolomite Mountains, Dolomite Alps or Dolomitic Alps, are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form part of the Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley. The Dolomites are located in the regions of Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Friuli Venezia Giulia, covering an area shared between the provinces of Belluno, Vicenza, Verona, Trentino, South Tyrol, Udine and Pordenone.
The Tödi, is a mountain massif and with the mountain peak Piz Russein the highest mountain in the Glarus Alps and the highest summit in the canton of Glarus, Switzerland. It is located on the border between the cantons of Graubünden, to the south, and Glarus, to the north, close to the point where those two cantons meet the canton of Uri, to the west. Although not the culminating point of Graubünden, it is its highest peak outside the Bernina range.
The higher region of the Alps were long left to the exclusive attention of the inhabitants of the adjoining valleys, even when Alpine travellers began to visit these valleys. It is reckoned that about 20 glacier passes were certainly known before 1600, about 25 more before 1700, and yet another 20 before 1800; but though the attempt of P.A. Arnod in 1689 to "re-open" the Col du Ceant may be counted as made by a non-native, historical records do not show any further such activities until the last quarter of the 18th century. Nor did it fare much better with the high peaks, though the two earliest recorded ascents were due to non-natives, that of the Rocciamelone in 1358 having been undertaken in fulfilment of a vow, and that of the Mont Aiguille in 1492 by order of Charles VIII of France, in order to destroy its immense reputation for inaccessibility – in 1555 Conrad Gesner did not climb Pilatus proper, but only the grassy mound of the Gnepfstein, the lowest and the most westerly of the seven summits.
The Matterhorn is a mountain of the Alps, straddling the main watershed and border between Switzerland and Italy. It is a large, near-symmetric pyramidal peak in the extended Monte Rosa area of the Pennine Alps, whose summit is 4,478 metres (14,692 ft) high, making it one of the highest summits in the Alps and Europe. The four steep faces, rising above the surrounding glaciers, face the four compass points and are split by the Hörnli, Furggen, Leone/Lion, and Zmutt ridges. The mountain overlooks the Swiss town of Zermatt, in the canton of Valais, to the north-east and the Italian town of Breuil-Cervinia in the Aosta Valley to the south. Just east of the Matterhorn is Theodul Pass, the main passage between the two valleys on its north and south sides, which has been a trade route since the Roman Era.
Thomas Nuttall was an English botanist and zoologist who lived and worked in America from 1808 until 1841.
John Stevens Henslow was a British priest, botanist and geologist. He is best remembered as friend and mentor to his pupil Charles Darwin.
John Strong Newberry was an American physician, geologist and paleontologist. He participated as a naturalist and surgeon on three expeditions to explore and survey the western United States. During the Civil War he served in the US Sanitary Commission and was appointed secretary of the western department of the commission. After the war he became professor of geology and paleontology at Columbia University School of Mines.
Sir Frederick McCoy, was an Irish palaeontologist, zoologist, and museum administrator, active in Australia. He is noted for founding the Botanic Garden of the University of Melbourne in 1856.
The Brenta Group or Brenta Dolomites is a mountain range, and a subrange of the Rhaetian Alps in the Southern Limestone Alps mountain group. They are located in the Province of Trentino, in northeastern Italy. It is the only dolomitic group west of the Adige River. Therefore, geographically, they have not always been considered a part of the Dolomites mountain ranges. Geologically, however, they definitely are - and therefore sometimes called the "Western Dolomites". As part of the Dolomites, the Brenta Group has been officially recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site under the World Heritage Convention.
Miles Joseph Berkeley was an English cryptogamist and clergyman, and one of the founders of the science of plant pathology. The standard author abbreviation Berk. is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.
Johann Müller was a Swiss botanist who was a specialist in lichens. He published under the name Johannes Müller Argoviensis to distinguish himself from other naturalists with similar names.
Edward Pleydell-Bouverie PC, FRS, styled The Honourable from 1828, was a British Liberal politician. He was a member of Lord Palmerston's first administration as Paymaster-General and Vice-President of the Board of Trade in 1855 and as President of the Poor Law Board between 1855 and 1858.
Carl William Sharsmith was an American naturalist and Yosemite park ranger, notable for his knowledge and interpretation of the natural history of the Sierra Nevada. He taught botany at various universities, and was the first botanist to comprehensively document the alpine flora of the high Sierra Nevada.
The golden age of alpinism was the decade in mountaineering between Alfred Wills's ascent of the Wetterhorn in 1854 and Edward Whymper's ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865, during which many major peaks in the Alps saw their first ascents.
Alexander Frederick Richmond "Sandy" Wollaston was an English medical doctor, ornithologist, botanist, climber and explorer. After qualifying as a surgeon in 1903, Wollaston decided to spend his life on exploration and natural history, travelling extensively; he wrote books about his travels and work, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1907. He took up an offer from John Maynard Keynes as a tutor at Cambridge, Wollaston and was shot dead by Douglas Potts, a deranged undergraduate student, in Cambridge.
The Weisshorn is a major peak of Switzerland and the Alps, culminating at 4,506 metres above sea level. It is part of the Pennine Alps and is located between the valleys of Anniviers and Zermatt in the canton of Valais. In the latter valley, the Weisshorn is one of the many 4000ers surrounding Zermatt, with Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn.
Edward Shirley Kennedy (1817–1898) was an English mountaineer and author, and a founding member of the Alpine Club.
Francis Fox Tuckett FRGS was an English mountaineer. He was vice-president of the Alpine Club from 1866 to 1868, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Monte Pelmo is a mountain of the Dolomites, in the province of Belluno, Northeastern Italy.
John Llewelyn Davies was an English preacher and theologian, an outspoken foe of poverty and inequality, and was active in Christian socialist groups. He was an original member of the Alpine Club and the first ascendant of the Dom. His daughter was suffragist Margaret Llewelyn Davies. His son Arthur Llewelyn Davies was the father of the boys who were the inspiration for the stories of Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. His sister Emily Davies was one of the founders of Girton College.