Cadell, William Archibald (DNB00)

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CADELL, WILLIAM ARCHIBALD (1775–1855), traveller and mathematician, was the eldest son of William Cadell, the original managing partner and one of the founders of the Carron ironworks, by his wife Katherine, daughter of Archibald Inglis of Auchendinny in Midlothian. He was born at his father's residence, Carron Park, near Falkirk, on 27 June 1775, and, after receiving his education at Edinburgh University, became, about 1798, a member of the Scottish bar. He did not practise, being possessed of private means and of the estate of Banton in Stirlingshire, but spent his time in scientific and antiquarian research at home and abroad. His acquirements won him the friendship of Sir Joseph Banks, at whose instance Cadell was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 28 June 1810. He was also a fellow of the Geological Society, a member of the now defunct Wernerian Natural History Society of Edinburgh, and a fellow of the Royal Society of the same city. To the ‘Transactions’ of the latter he contributed a paper ‘On the Lines that divide each Semidiurnal Arc into Six Equal Parts' (viii. i. 61-81); in the 'Annals of Philosophy' (iii. 351-3) he wrote an 'Account of an Arithmetical Machine lately discovered in the College Library of Edinburgh.' While travelling on the continent during the war with France he was taken prisoner, and only escaped after a detention of several years by feigning to be a Frenchman, a feat which his very perfect knowledge of the language enabled him to accomplish successfully. On his return he gave some account of his wanderings in 'A Journey in Carniola, Italy, and France in the years 1817, 1818,' 2 vols. 8vo, Edinburgh, 1820, which, although somewhat dry in treatment, is to be commended for its scrupulous accuracy. Cadell died unmarried at Edinburgh on 19 Feb. 1866.

[Information from Mr. H. Cadell.]

G. G.