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Percival Green Spencer

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Percival Green Spencer (11 November 1864, Islington, London, England – 11 April 1913, Highbury, London) was a British pioneering balloonist and parachutist.

Spencer was part of the third generation of a family of professional balloonists. He was the eldest son of Charles Green Spencer (1837-1880), who was the son of Edward Spencer (1799-1849). Edward Spencer, a solicitor, was a friend and trusted assistant of the noted balloonist Charles Green, ascending with Green 27 times and soloing 40 times.

Charles Spencer founded the balloon manufacturing firm of C. G. Spencer and Sons. All five of Percival's siblings also followed the family profession. He and his brothers Arthur Spencer (1866–1940) and Stanley Spencer (1868–1906) were considered the leading authorities on ballooning.

Percival first ascended in a balloon at the age of eight with his father over the Crystal Palace. In a November 1909 letter to the editor of Flight magazine, he claimed to have made eight "Cross-Sea Balloon Voyages", often with passengers. His February 1898 crossing from England to France, accompanied by Pearson's Magazine journalist George Griffith was reported in The New York Times.

On 19 March 1889, he made the first successful balloon flight in India. Ram Chandra Chatterjee took lessons from him and flew with him on 10 April, becoming the first Indian aeronaut to fly solo later that same month.

The same year, he was the first to parachute safely in Ireland, at Drumcondra.

1892 Spencer married Mary Anne Coleman and they had four daughters and a son. His wife died in 1905.

1913 April 11th. Died at his home at Aberdeen Park, Highbury after he had developed bronchial pneumonia

1904 SPENCER Brothers, The, Highbury, London, N. The well-known British aeronauts. The brothers are three in number — Percival, Stanley, and Arthur: but the two former are more generally known in the aeronautical world. The eldest, Percival, commenced ballooning in 1888, and some time afterwards accomplished the first parachute descent ever made in India. Has crossed the English Channel in a balloon four times. Mr. Arthur Spencer paid a visit to Australia, where he made several sensational parachute descents in 1897. In 1902 Mr. Stanley Spencer made a highly successful voyage across London in a steerable balloon made at the famous Highbury Works, but an attempt in 1903 to circle the dome of St. Paul's from the Crystal Palace and return failed after several attempts. [1]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1904