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Lawrence Parsons

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Lawrence Parsons (1840-1908) 4th Earl of Rosse

Brother of Charles Algernon Parsons


1908 Obituary [1]

The Right Hon. the EARL OF ROSSE, K.P., was born at Birr Castle, Parsonstown, Ireland, on 17th November 1840, and succeeded to the title on the death of his father in 1867, while in the following year he was elected a Representative Irish Peer.

He was of wide scientific attainments, and had conferred upon him, in 1870, by the University of Oxford, the honorary degree of D.C.L.

In 1879 Dublin University conferred upon him the degree of LL.D., and the University of Cambridge awarded him the same honorary degree.

He was selected, in 1885, in succession to Earl Cairns, for the position of Chancellor of the Dublin University, and in 1890 he received the knighthood of the Order of St. Patrick.

In addition to acting as Lord Lieutenant for King's County, he occupied several Government and municipal positions, and was chairman of the committee appointed by the London County Council in reference to gas-testing. He was very popular in Birr, a township which was practically founded by his ancestors, and which he developed largely. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and an Honorary Member of this Institution from 1888.

On the occasion of the Dublin Meeting held in that year, he entertained the Members at Birr Castle, and at that Meeting he contributed a Paper on a "Balanced or Automatic Sluice for Weirs."

He maintained the observatory established at Bier Castle by his father, including the famous Rosso reflector, and he always took a most active interest in astronomical research. Amongst other matters, he had himself carried out a series of investigations of the temperature of the moon at different periods of a lunation; these investigations were still in progress at the time of his death, and were yielding some interesting results.

He was the oldest brother of the Hon. Charles A. Parsons, C.B., F.R.S., to whom the modern development of the turbine is chiefly due.

His deaths took place at Birr Castle on 30th August 1908, in his sixty-eighth year.


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