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Henry Kater (1777-1835), Scientist

Sitter in 4 portraits
Inventor of Kater's Pendulum, an instrument which enabled the strength of gravity to be determined. Intended for the law, he was articled as an attorney's clerk but abandoned this path on his father's death in 1795. Instead he entered the army, with a commission in a regiment in India. Here he spent several years assisting William Lambton in the Great Trigonometric Survey. Having returned to England, he became increasingly interested in scientific research. He retired from the army in 1814, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He made numerous practical contributions to the science of his day, winning the Copley Medal in 1817 and the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1831.