Lancaster school unveils tribute to scientist

Prof Jim Feast (centre) at the plaque unveiling at Lancaster Royal Grammar School with Headmaster Dr Chris Pyle, Mayor of Lancaster Cllr Jon Barry, and pupils from the school.
Prof Jim Feast (centre) at the plaque unveiling at Lancaster Royal Grammar School with Headmaster Dr Chris Pyle, Mayor of Lancaster Cllr Jon Barry, and pupils from the school.
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A blue plaque to commemorate a famous Victorian scientist and ex-pupil has been unveiled at a Lancaster school.

The plaque paying tribute to eminent chemist Sir Edward Frankland has been installed at Lancaster Royal Grammar School.

The blue plaque to Sir Edward Frankland at Lancaster Royal Grammar School.

The blue plaque to Sir Edward Frankland at Lancaster Royal Grammar School.

Frankland (1825-1899) was a pupil at the school – then known as the Lancaster Free Grammar School – in the 1830s.

Professor Jim Feast, former President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, unveiled the plaque which is opposite the school’s existing blue plaque honouring another famous Victorian old boy, ‘Dinosaur Man’ Sir Richard Owen.

Professor Feast said: “We realise that, if we want to connect people to chemistry, we need to give them concrete examples of how it affects them.

“Our Chemical Landmark plaques can help do this. They bring chemistry into the community and remind people of how chemists have contributed to human progress.

Sir Edward Frankland.

Sir Edward Frankland.

“Sir Edward Frankland is a particularly good example. Not only did he make great advances in the theory of chemistry, he also put chemistry into practice, by improving the quality of water that went to people’s homes. This plaque is a great reminder that the history of chemistry is all around us.”

Dr John Hudson, Chair of the RSC Historical Group, gave a presentation about Frankland’s early years in Lancaster and some of his later important contributions to science and society.

He recounted how Frankland became an expert in water quality and analysis, and how he originated the concept of combining power, or valence, in chemistry.

Among the invited guests at the unveiling was one of Frankland’s descendants – his great, great grandson Roger Frankland, who lives in Lancaster.