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William Hyde Wollaston (1766-1828), Physiologist, chemist and physicist

Sitter in 8 portraits
Wollaston is famous for having discovered two chemical elements, palladium and rhodium, and for developing a way to process platinum ore. He was educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge studying medicine but also chemistry, astronomy and botany. During his time there he became interested in metallurgy. After university he practiced medicine for a few years but then left this field to concentrate on his research interests. In 1800 he entered into a partnership with his university friend, chemist Smithson Tennant. They were attempting to make platinum malleable, so that its properties could be put to practical use. The venture was a success, bringing Wollaston scientific fame as well as a large fortune.

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William Hyde Wollaston

by John Jackson
pencil, circa 1820-1824
NPG 1703


William Hyde Wollaston

by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey
pencil, 1827
NPG 316a(144)


William Hyde Wollaston

by William Brockedon
pencil and chalk, circa 1830
NPG 2515(10)


Men of Science Living in 1807-8

by Sir John Gilbert, and Frederick John Skill, and William Walker, and Elizabeth Walker (née Reynolds)
pencil and wash, 1858-1862
NPG 1075


Engraving after 'Men of Science Living in 1807-8'

by George Zobel, and William Walker
engraving, 1862
NPG 1075a


William Hyde Wollaston

by William Ward, after John Jackson
mezzotint, early 19th century
NPG D36339


William Hyde Wollaston

by Frederick Christian Lewis Sr, published by Walter Benjamin Tiffin, after Sir Thomas Lawrence
chalk manner engraving, published 21 June 1830
NPG D36338