Morland, Sir Samuel

Morland, Sir Samuel
b. 1625 Sulhampton, near Reading, Berkshire, England
d. 26 December 1695 Hammersmith, near London, England
English mathematician and inventor.
Morland was one of several sons of the Revd Thomas Morland and was probably initially educated by his father. He went to Winchester School from 1639 to 1644 and then to Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1648 and MA in 1652. He was appointed a tutor there in 1650. In 1653 he went to Sweden in the ambassadorial staff of Bulstrode Whitelocke and remained there until 1654. In that year he was appointed Clerk to Mr Secretary Thurloe, and in 1655 he was accredited by Oliver Cromwell to the Duke of Savoy to appeal for the Waldenses. In 1657 he married Susanne de Milleville of Boissy, France, with whom he had three children. In 1660 he went over to the Royalists, meeting King Charles at Breda, Holland. On 20 May, the King knighted him, creating him baron, for revealing a conspiracy against the king's life. He was also granted a pension of£500 per year. In 1661, at the age of 36, he decided to devote himself to mathematics and invention. He devised a mechanical calculator, probably based on the pattern of Blaise Pascal, for adding and subtracting: this was followed in 1666 by one for multiplying and other functions. A Perpetual Calendar or Almanack followed; he toyed with the idea of a "gunpowder engine" for raising water; he developed a range of speaking trum-pets, said to have a range of 1/2 to 1 mile (0.8–1.6 km) or more; also iron stoves for use on board ships, and improvements to barometers.
By 1675 he had started selling a range of pumps for private houses, for mines or deep wells, for ships, for emptying ponds or draining low ground as well as to quench fire or wet the sails of ships. The pumps cost from £5 to £63, and the great novelty was that he used, instead of packing around the cylinder sealing against the bore of the cylinder, a neck-gland or seal around the outside diameter of the piston or piston-rod. This revolutionary step avoided the necessity of accurately boring the cylinder, replacing it with the need to machine accurately the outside diameter of the piston or rod, a much easier operation. Twenty-seven variations of size and materials were included in his schedule of'Pumps or Water Engines of Isaac Thompson of Great Russel Street', the maker of Morland's design. In 1681 the King made him "Magister mechanicorum", or Master of Machines. In that year he sailed for France to advise Louis XIV on the waterworks being built at Marly to supply the Palace of Versailles. About this time he had shown King Charles plans for a pumping engine "worked by fire alone". He petitioned for a patent for this, but did not pursue the matter.
In 1692 he went blind. In all, he married five times. While working for Cromwell he became an expert in ciphers, in opening sealed letters and in their rapid copying.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
Knighted 1660.
1685, Elevation des eaux.
Further Reading
H.W.Dickinson, 1970, Sir Samuel Morland: Diplomat and Inventor, Cambridge: Newcomen Society/Heffers.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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