Somerset, Edward, 2nd Marquis of Worcester

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b. 1601
d. 3 April 1667 Lambeth (?), London, England
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English inventor of a steam-operated pump for raising water, described in his work A Century of…Inventions.
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Edward Somerset became 6th Earl and 2nd Marquis of Worcester and Titular Earl of Glamorgan. He was educated privately and then abroad, visiting Germany, Italy and France. He was made Councillor of Wales in 1633 and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire in 1635. On the outbreak of the Civil War, he was commissioned to levy forces against the Scots in 1640. He garrisoned Raglan Castle for the King and was employed by Charles I to bring troops in from Ireland. He was declared an enemy of the realm by Parliament and was banished, remaining in France for some years. On the Restoration, he recovered most of his estates, principally in South Wales, and was able to devote most of his time to mechanical studies and experiments.
Soon after 1626, he had employed the services of a skilled Dutch or German mechanic, Caspar Kaltoff, to make small-scale models for display to interested people. In 1638 he showed Charles I a 14 ft (4.3m) diameter wheel carrying forty weights that was claimed to have solved the problem of perpetual motion. He wrote his Century of the Names and Scantlings of Such Inventions as at Present I Can Call to Mind to have Tried and Perfected in 1655, but it was not published until 1663: no. 68 describes "An admirable and most forcible way to drive up water by fire", which has been claimed as an early steam-engine. Before the Civil War he made experiments at Raglan Castle, and after the war he built one of his engines at Vauxhall, London, where it raised water to a height of 40 ft (12 m). An Act of Parliament enabling Worcester to receive the benefit and profits of his water-commanding engine for ninety-nine years did not restore his fortunes. Descriptions of this invention are so vague that it cannot be reconstructed.
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Bibliography
1655, Century of the Names and Scantlings of Such Inventions as at Present I Can Call to Mind to have Tried and Perfected.
Further Reading
H.Dircks, 1865, The Life, Times and Scientific Labours of the Second Marquis of Worcester.
Dictionary of National Biography, 1898, Vol. L, London: Smith Elder \& Co. (mainly covers his political career).
H.W.Dickinson, 1938, A Short History of the Steam Engine, Cambridge University Press (discusses his steam engine invention).
W.H.Thorpe, 1932–3, "The Marquis of Worcester and Vauxhall", Transactions of the Newcomen Society 13.
RLH

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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