SIR WILLIAM ARMSTRONG, KNT., ADMITTED BURGESS, AS MARK OF THE GRATITUDE OF THIS LARGE COMMUNITY TO THE SCIENCE OF MODERN TIMES, WHICH HAS DONE AND IS CONSTANTLY DOING SO MUCH FOR THE ELEVATION OF THE PUBLIC MIND AND THE PROSPERITY OF THE PEOPLE; AND RECOGNIZING IN THEM ESPECIAL PROMOTERS OF SCIENCE AND THE PUBLIC GOOD DESERVING OF ALL PUBLIC HONOUR.
SIR WILLIAM ARMSTRONG is the son of WILLIAM ARMSTRONG, merchant, and formerly Mayor of Newcastle on Tyne. He was born in 1810, and studied for the law, but his tastes led him to abandon this profession, and to confine his attention to natural philosophy. Whilst yet quite a young man he was attracted towards the study of the phenomena of electricity then little understood and he devised the hydro electric machine, which was the original of the powerful dynamoelectric engines that have lately been constructed. The importance of this invention was recognized by his being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society at an exceptionally early age. His numerous inventions for the application of water as a motive power in elevating heavy weights served to introduce hydraulics as a new branch of applied mechanics; and vast engineering operations, such as the railway bridges over the Forth and Tay, have been made possible thereby. For the purpose of manufacturing the machinery which he designed, the extensive factory at Elswick was founded; and it was here that he constructed the model of the gun which was adopted in 1858 by the Government for special service in the field. The Armstrong rifled gun is still regarded as the most serviceable weapon of warfare ever produced, and the inventor's skill was rewarded by his being Knighted, made a Commander of the Bath, and appointed to superintend the manufacture of the ordnance. In the latter capacity SIR WILLIAM acted till February, 1863, when he resigned the appointment, and returned to Elswick, where he still is actively engaged. He was President of the British Association in 1863, was made LL.D. of Cambridge in 1862, and D.C.L. of Oxford in 1870. He also holds the rank of Knight in Denmark, Austria, Italy, and Brazil. In 1887 he was raised to the Peerage with the title of BARON ARMSTRONG.