Samuel Haughton

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Samuel Haughton (December 21, 1821 – October 31, 1897) was an Irish scientific writer.


He was born in Carlow, the son of James Haughton (1795-1873).His father, the son of a Quaker, but himself a Unitarian, was an active philanthropist, a strong supporter of Father Theobald Mathew, a vegetarian, and an anti-slavery worker and writer.

After a distinguished career in Trinity College, Dublin, Samuel was elected a fellow in 1844. He was ordained priest in 1847, but seldom preached. In 1851 he was appointed professor of geology in Trinity College, and this post he held for thirty years. He began the study of medicine in 1859, and in 1862 earned the degree of MD from the University of Dublin. He was then made registrar of the Medical School, the status of which he did much to improve, and he represented the university on the General Medical Council from 1878 to 1896. He was elected fellow of the Royal Society in 1858, and in course of time Oxford conferred upon him the hon. degree of DCL, and Cambridge and Edinburgh that of LL.D.

In 1866, Haughton developed the original equations for hanging as a humane method of execution, whereby the neck was broken at the time of the drop, so that the condemned person did not slowly strangle to death. “On hanging considered from a Mechanical and Physiological point of view.” was published in the London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Vol. 32 No. 213 (July 1866). His system became known...
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