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Samuel Haughton

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Rev. Samuel Haughton (1821-1897), M.D., F.R.S.,

1871 Delivered the third and last of his series of lectures on "Animal Mechanics" to the Royal Institution of Great Britain.


1897 Obituary [1]

The Rev. SAMUEL HAUGHTON was born in Carlow, Ireland, on 21st December 1821.

Having been educated at the Carlow Diocesan School, he acquired under the Rev. John Emerson at Mayo a knowledge of Hebrew, botany, chemistry, astronomy, and the geology of the Leinster coalfield. Contemplating a clerical life, possibly abroad as a missionary, he attended clinically the county infirmary as a pupil of Dr. Thomas Rawson.

He also took a keen interest in mechanics, and assisted his cousin and schoolfellow, Mr. S. Wilfred Haughton, to construct a model steam-engine, which worked to their satisfaction.

At the age of seventeen he entered Trinity College, Dublin; and in 1843 at the age of twenty-two, he obtained besides his degree the first senior moderatorship in mathematics, gaining the gold medal. By the advice of his tutor, Dr. Salmon, now Provost of Trinity College, he competed for a fellowship, which he obtained in 1844, notwithstanding the time lost by ass attack of fever and consequent prostration. The attainment of a fellowship within a year of the degree was unprecedented. He was ordained deacon in 1846, and priest in 1847, but never had pastoral charge.

Retaining his fellowship, he devoted himself to the interests of the college, and in conjunction with his colleague, the Rev. Joseph Galbraith, established and conducted with conspicuous success a class for the preparation of students seeking commissions in the Royal Artillery and the Royal Engineers.

In 1862 he obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine of Dublin University, and was appointed successively registrar, and in 1879 chairman of the medical school, which he stimulated into bright and active life. He was also made a governor of Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital, which is closely connected with the University. He was joint author of the Galbraith and Haughton series of manuals.

In 1851 he became professor of geology, and retained this post until 1881, when he was co-opted to the Board of Senior Fellows. He represented the University of Dublin on the General Medical Council from 1878 to 1896, and effectively advocated the claims of the Dublin schools of medicine.

In 1873 he produced a book on Animal Mechanics, in which his early mechanical tastes are shown in combination with his surgical, physiological, and mathematical knowledge. He was president of the Royal Irish Academy from 1886 to 1891, and in addition to numerous mathematical papers printed in their transactions he published under their auspices a work on the tides of the Irish Seas, as the result of a long series of observations made by direction of the Academy and supervised by himself.

For the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland, of which he was for many years the honorary secretary, he ultimately won a high and independent position. He became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1858, and received the degrees of D.C.L. of Oxford in 1868, LL.D. and M.D. of Cambridge in 1880, LL.D. of Edinburgh in 1884, and honorary M.11. of the University of Bologna in 1888; and was also honorary fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.

In 1888 he was elected an Honorary Member of this Institution, on the occasion of the Summer Meeting being held for the second time in Trinity College, Dublin; and on behalf of Trinity College he had previously welcomed the Members on their first visit to Dublin in 1865. He was also a member of many other scientific societies both at home and abroad.

Having suffered for some time from cardiac affection, he died on 31st October 1897, in his seventy-sixth year.


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