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Sir Edward Sabine (1788-1883), Army officer and physicist; President of the Royal Society

Sitter in 7 portraits
Served in the Royal Artillery and appointed astronomer to the Arctic expeditions of Sir John Ross (1818) and Sir William Parry (1819) in search of the Northwest Passage. In 1821, he began experiments in Africa, North America and the Arctic to determine the Earth's shape more precisely by observing the motion of a pendulum. He published the first results in 1825 and then oversaw the establishment of magnetic observatories throughout the world. In 1852, he discovered that the variation of sunspots correlates with changes in magnetic disturbances on Earth and thus was able to show a relation between these two phenomena. Sabine was president of the Royal Society of London from 1861 until 1871.

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Sir Edward Sabine

by Stephen Pearce
oil on millboard, 1850
NPG 907


Sir Edward Sabine

by William Walker & Sons
albumen carte-de-visite, 1862-1866
NPG x22323


Sir Edward Sabine

by George Charles Wallich, published by John Van Voorst
albumen print on card mount, published 1870
NPG Ax14780


Sir Edward Sabine

by Thomas Herbert Maguire, printed by M & N Hanhart
lithograph, 1851
NPG D39978


The Arctic Council planning a search for Sir John Franklin

by James Scott, after Stephen Pearce
mezzotint, published 1853
NPG D9472


Sir Edward Sabine

by James Scott, published by Henry Graves & Co, after Stephen Pearce
mezzotint, published 6 April 1858 (1850)
NPG D39977