Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 34.djvu/233

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

pointed ensign without purchase in the 63rd in 1848, and transferred to the 82nd foot. After obtaining his lieutenancy in 1853, he left the service to devote himself to art, and studied for a time under John Phillip, R.A. He exhibited his first picture at the Academy in 1855, ‘A Church Door.’ He spent the winter of 1855–6 in the Crimea with his brother, Major, afterwards Lieutenant-general, Luard, C.B., then on the headquarters staff before Sebastopol. In 1857 he exhibited a Crimean subject, ‘The Welcome Arrival,’ which, well engraved, had some popularity, and two others in 1858. His health broke down soon afterwards, and he died at Winterslow, near Salisbury, on 9 Aug. 1860. In spite of hard work he had not been able to acquire the necessary technical training, but his painting showed much promise.

[Burke's Landed Gentry, 1886 ed., under ‘Luard;’ Army Lists; Brit. Mus. Cat. Printed Books; Preface to Hist. of the Dress of the British Soldier, London, 1852; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Critic, March 1861, pp. 317–18.]

H. M. C.

LUBBOCK, Sir JOHN WILLIAM (1803–1865), astronomer and mathematician, third baronet, was born on 26 March 1803, in Duke Street, Westminster. He was the only child of Sir John William Lubbock, head of the banking firm of Lubbock & Co., by his wife, Mary, daughter of James Entwisle of Rusholme, Manchester. From Eton he passed in 1821 to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated as first senior optime in 1825, proceeding M.A. in 1833. His mathematical powers were recognised at the university; but he preferred original work to the ordinary course of study necessary for examination honours. After a brief interval of travel he became, in 1825, a partner in his father's bank, and entered upon a life divided between business and arduous study. A member of the committee of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge from 1829, he joined the Astronomical and Royal Societies in 1828 and 1829 respectively, aided in the establishment of the ‘British Almanac’ in 1827, and published, in the ‘Companion’ to that periodical for 1830, a descriptive memoir on the tides. He undertook in 1831 the untried task of comparing in detail tidal observations with theory (Phil. Trans. cxxi. 379, cxxiv. 143; Brit. Assoc. Report, 1832, p. 189, 1837, p. 103), and the satisfactory correspondence ascertained formed the theme of the Bakerian lecture delivered by him in 1836 (Phil. Trans. cxxvi. 217), and of a paper presented to the Royal Society on 16 March 1837 (ib. cxxvii. 97). His first data were furnished by records kept at the London docks from 1795 onwards, and he later discussed similar materials procured from Liverpool (ib. cxxv. 275). A royal medal was adjudged to him in 1834 by the Royal Society for his tidal investigations.

Lubbock gave in 1829 a method for determining cometary orbits, exemplified by the return of Halley's comet in 1759 (Memoirs Astr. Soc. iv. 39), and he laid before the Royal Society, on 29 April 1830, a more general demonstration than that of Laplace of the stability of the solar system (Phil. Trans. cxx. 327). His laborious researches in physical astronomy were mainly directed towards the simplification of methods; and he introduced uniformity into the calculation of lunar and planetary perturbations by employing in the former, as in the latter, the time as the independent variable. He recommended to the British Association in 1836 the formation of new empirical tables of the moon (Brit. Assoc. Report, 1836, ii. 12), and corresponded on the subject with Sir William Rowan Hamilton of Dublin (Graves, Life of Hamilton, ii. 192, 197, 209). In his final memoir on the lunar theory, sent to the Royal Astronomical Society on 9 Nov. 1860 (Memoirs Astr. Soc. xxx. 1), he justly claimed for himself, with Plana and Pontécoulant, the credit of having reduced the tabular errors of the moon below those of observation.

Lubbock was foremost among English mathematicians in adopting Laplace's doctrine of probability. Two papers on the calculation of annuities, written by him in 1828–9 (Cambridge Phil. Soc. Trans. iii. 141, 321), illustrated its applicability to questions connected with life assurance, and he was the joint author, with Drinkwater, of an excellent elementary treatise on probability, published in 1830 (and reprinted in 1844) by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. A binder's blunder caused this work to be often attributed to De Morgan, despite his frequent disclaimers.

Lubbock acted as treasurer and vice-president of the Royal Society from 1830 to 1835, and from 1838 to 1847. He was the first vice-chancellor (1837–42) of the London University, one of the treasurers of the Great Exhibition of 1851, a visitor to the Royal Observatory, a member of various scientific commissions, notably those on the standards and on weights and measures; he was also associated with several foreign learned societies. On the death of his father, on 22 Oct. 1840, he succeeded to the baronetcy, and as sole working partner guided the bank through the commercial panics of 1847 and 1857. Three years later an amalgamation was effected with another house, and the firm be-