Thomas Prior (1680 – 21 October 1751) was an Irish author, known as the founder of the Royal Dublin Society.
The Royal Dublin Society (RDS) is the name given in 1820 to a philanthropic organisation which was founded as the 'Dublin Society' on 25 June 1731 to see Ireland thrive culturally and economically. The RDS is synonymous with its campus in Ballsbridge in Dublin, Ireland. This campus includes the "RDS Arena", "RDS Simmonscourt", "RDS Main Hall" and other venues which are used regularly for exhibitions, concerts and sporting events, including regular use by the Leinster Rugby team.
He was born at Rathdowney, County Laois, He entered the public school at Kilkenny College in January 1697, and stayed there till April 1699; among his school-fellows was George Berkeley, with whom he formed a lifelong friendship. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, obtained a scholarship in 1701, and graduated B.A. in 1703.
Rathdowney or Rathdowny is a town in southwest County Laois, Ireland. It lies some 32 km southwest of Portlaoise in the Irish Midlands, at the point where the R433 regional road from Abbeyleix to Templemore is crossed by the R435 from Borris-in-Ossory to Johnstown. The R433 provides access for Rathdowney to the Dublin-Cork M8 motorway, while the R435 links the town to the Dublin-Limerick M7. According to the 2011 census the population stands at 1,208.
County Laois is a county in Ireland. It is located in the south of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster, and was formerly known as Queen's County. The modern county takes its name from Loígis, a medieval kingdom.
Kilkenny College is an independent Church of Ireland co-educational day and boarding secondary school located in Kilkenny, in the South-East of Ireland. It is the largest co-educational boarding school in Ireland. The school's students are mainly Protestant, although it is open to other denominations.
In 1729, Prior published his 'List of Absentees of Ireland' which condemned absentee Irish landlords, named those he considered delinquent and garnered himself some notoriety in doing so.Prior subsequently devoted himself to economic promotion, working among the Protestant population in Ireland. With Samuel Madden and eleven other friends, Prior in 1731 established the Dublin Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Manufactures, Arts, and Sciences, at a meeting of held in Trinity College, 25 June 1731; others involved included Francis Bindon, Patrick Delany, and Sir Thomas Molyneux. It was incorporated, and received a grant from Parliament in 1749 of £500 a year; many years later, in 1820, it renamed itself as the Royal Dublin Society.
Samuel Madden was an Irish author. His works include Themistocles; The Lover of His Country, Reflections and Resolutions Proper for the Gentlemen of Ireland, and Memoirs of the Twentieth Century. Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote of him, "His was a name which Ireland ought to honour." He suggested that the Royal Dublin Society initiate a scheme to fund improvements in agriculture and arts in Ireland via the use of premiums - the source of his nickname Premium.
Francis Bindon was a popular architect and painter in 18th century Ireland. Bindon was highly regarded by his contemporaries and was commissioned to design buildings and paint portraits for some of Ireland's most prominent figures. Today, relatively little is known about the man, despite the number of paintings and buildings he has left as his legacy.
Prior died on 21 October 1751, and was buried at Rathdowny, A monument was erected by subscription to his memory in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, with an inscription in Latin by Berkeley, who styled him "Societatis Dubliniensis auctor, institutor, curator". A portrait of him in mezzotint by Charles Spooner was published at Dublin in 1752.
Christ Church Cathedral, more formally The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, is the cathedral of the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and the cathedral of the ecclesiastical province of the United Provinces of Dublin and Cashel in the (Anglican) Church of Ireland. It is situated in Dublin, Ireland, and is the elder of the capital city's two medieval cathedrals, the other being St Patrick's Cathedral.
Charles Spooner was an Irish mezzotint engraver, who worked in London towards the end of his life.
In 1729 appeared at Dublin Prior's List of the Absentees of Ireland, and in the following year he published Observations on Coin. To Lord Chesterfield, who had met him as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, Prior in 1746 dedicated An Authentic Narrative of the Success of Tar-water in Curing a great number and variety of Distempers. This publication included two letters from Berkeley. An essay by Prior, advocating the encouragement of linen manufacture in Ireland, was published at Dublin in 1749.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, was a British statesman, diplomat, man of letters, and an acclaimed wit of his time. He was born in London to Philip Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Chesterfield, and Lady Elizabeth Savile, and known as Lord Stanhope until the death of his father, in 1726. Following the death of his mother in 1708, Stanhope was raised mainly by his grandmother, the Marchioness of Halifax. Educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he left just over a year into his studies, after focusing on languages and oration. He subsequently embarked on the Grand Tour of the Continent, to complete his education as a nobleman, by exposure to the cultural legacies of Classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to become acquainted with his aristocratic counterparts and the polite society of Continental Europe.
Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fiber is very strong, absorbent and dries faster than cotton. Garments made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot and humid weather.
The Dublin Philosophical Society was founded in 1683 by William Molyneux with the assistance of his brother Sir Thomas Molyneux and later Provost St George Ashe. It was intended to be the equivalent of the Royal Society in London as well as the Philosophical Society at the University of Oxford. Whilst it had a sometimes close connection with the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, its closest institutional connection was with Trinity College, Dublin.
Thomas Preston was an Irish scientist whose research was concerned with heat, magnetism, and spectroscopy. He established empirical rules for the analysis of spectral lines, which remain associated with his name. In 1897 he discovered the Anomalous Zeeman Effect, a phenomenon noted when the spectral lines of elements were studied in the presence or absence of a magnetic field. Preston reported, in an important paper published in The Scientific Transactions of The Royal Dublin Society, read on 22 December 1897, and published the following April, that he reported results more complicated than Zeeman had reported. Following this up further, he reported in a second paper in the RDS Scientific Transactions, read on 18 January 1899, and published the following June, that he had found results that were ’very startling’ and appeared ‘quite contrary to all theoretical explanations’. The full explanation had to wait for the theory of relativity and the introduction of quantum mechanics, which were to shake the rigid framework of Newtonian conceptions of absolute time and space. Preston’s results were an important step in this development.</ref>
John Swinton (1703–1777) was a British writer, academic, Fellow of the Royal Society, Church of England clergyman and orientalist. In 1731 he was a fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, but migrated to Christ Church in 1745. He contributed to George Sale's Universal History. Swinton also contributed articles on the transcription of the 'Ruins of Palmyra'. Beginning in 1749, Swinton donated a number of Roman coins to the collection at Christ Church. From 1767 until the year of his death he was Keeper of the Archives at Oxford University.
Henry Reinhold was a singer of German descent.
Frederick Charles Reinhold was born in London, son of Henry Reinhold, and became a chorister at St Paul's Cathedral and the Chapel Royal.
Thomas Lowe was an English tenor and actor. He appeared at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and at Covent Garden, and frequently performed in London's pleasure gardens. He was particularly associated with the works of Thomas Arne and George Frideric Handel.
John Clephane, M.D., was a Scottish physician.
Thomas Elrington (1760–1835) was Provost of Trinity College, Dublin from 1811 to 1820, Bishop of Limerick, Ardfert and Aghadoe from 1820 to 1822, and Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin from then until his death in Liverpool on 12 July 1835.
Robert Clayton (1695–1758) was an Irish Protestant bishop, now known for his Essay on Spirit. In his own lifetime he was notorious for his unorthodox beliefs, which led his critics to question whether he could properly be called a Christian at all, and at the time of his death he was facing charges of heresy.
Thomas Fich, Fych or Fyche, was an Irish ecclesiastic and compiler.
John Nickolls (1710?–1745) was an English collector and antiquary.
Caleb Rotheram D.D. (1694–1752) was an English dissenting minister and tutor.
Desmond Clarke was an Irish librarian, writer and former president of the Library Association of Ireland. Clarke was the biographer of various Irish figures including Arthur Dobbs, Thomas Prior, and Marie-Louise O'Murphy.
Samuel Foley (1655–1695), was bishop of Down and Connor.
William Benjamin Sarsfield Taylor (1781–1850) was an Irish artist, a painter of landscapes and military subjects, known also as a writer.
Alexander Thom (1801–1879) was a Scottish publisher, the founder of Thom's Irish Almanac.
Henry Jones was the Anglican Bishop of Clogher and Bishop of Meath.
William Henry was an Anglo-Irish Anglican priest, who became Dean of Killaloe and Fellow of the Royal Society.
George Monck Berkeley (1763–1793) was an English playwright and author, now remembered as a biographer of Jonathan Swift. He is usually called Monck Berkeley
Theodore Jacobsen was an English merchant in London, known also as an architect.