Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gamble, John (d.1811)

GAMBLE, JOHN (d. 1811), writer on telegraphy, was a member of Pembroke College, Cambridge, graduated B.A. 1784, M.A. 1787, became a fellow of his college, was chaplain to the Duke of York, and chaplain-general of the forces. He published (London, 1795) a quarto pamphlet of twenty pages entitled ‘Observations on Telegraphic Experiments, or the different Modes which have been or may be adopted for the purpose of Distant Communication.’ This made some stir in the scientific world, and encouraged the writer to produce a more ambitious ‘Essay on the different Modes of Communication by Signals’ in 1797. This contained a number of elaborate and ingenious illustrative plates. The book gave a concise history of the progressive movements in the art of communication from the first beacon light to the telegraphy of the writer's day, with many valuable suggestions. Gamble, who was much esteemed in scientific circles, civil as well as military, died at Knightsbridge on 27 July 1811. He held the rectory of Alphamstone, and also that of Bradwell-juxta-mare, Essex. The latter was a most valuable living.

[Gent. Mag. 1811, ii. 193; Sabine's Hist. and Progress of the Electric Telegraph.]

J. B-y.