Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 03.djvu/83

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Ball
Ball
77

accurate. He married in 1817 Jane, daughter of Thomas Sherlock, of Butlerstown Castle, co. Waterford, by whom he had several children, his eldest son, John, being under-secretary of state for the colonies under Lord Palmerston's first administration. Justice Ball died at his residence in Stephen's Green, and was buried in the family vault under the chancel of the Roman catholic cathedral, Dublin.

[Freeman's Journal. 16 and 20 Jan. 1865; Dublin Daily Express, 16 and 19 Jan. 1865; Gent. Mag. 3rd series, xviii. 389; Tablet, 21 Jan. 1865.]

P. B. A.

BALL or BALLE, PETER, M.D. (d. 1675), physician, was brother of William Ball [q. v.], F.R.S. On 13 Jan. 1658-9, being then twenty years of age, he was entered as a medical student at Leyden, but proceeded to Padua, where he took the degree of doctor of philosophy and physic with the highest distinction 30 Dec. 1660. To celebrate the occasion verses in Latin, Italian, and English were published at Padua, in which our physician, by a somewhat violent twist of his latinised names, Petrus Bule, is made to figure as 'alter Phœbus.' Ball was admitted an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Dec. 1664. He was one of the original fellows of the Royal Society, one of the council in 1666, and in the following year was placed on the committee for causing a catalogue to be made of the noble library and manuscripts of Arundel House, which had been presented to the society by Henry Howard, Esq., afterwards Duke of Norfolk. While at Mamhead in October 1665, Ball, in conjunction with his elder brother, William, made the observation of Saturn mentioned under William Ball. Dying in July 1675, he was buried on the 20th of that month in the round of the Temple Church.

[Prince's Worthies of Devon, pp. 111-13; Munk's Roll of Royal College of Physicians (1878), i. 335; Apollinare Sacrum, &c. 4to, Patavii, mdclx.; Birch's Hist. Roy. Soc. vol. i.-iii. passim; Athenæum, 21 Aug. and 9 Oct. 1880; Temple Register.]

G. G.

BALL, ROBERT (1802–1857), naturalist, was born at Cove (now Queenstown), county Cork, on 1 April 1802. His father, Bob Stawel Ball, was descended from an old Devonshire family which settled in Youghal in 1651. He early showed a decided spirit of inquiry, especially into natural history. He was principally educated at Ballitore, county Kildare, by a Mr. White, who appreciated and encouraged his zoological studies. At home at Youghal he became an active outdoor observer, and recorded much that he saw with little aid. Taking an interest in public and useful institutions, he was appointed a local magistrate in 1824, a few months after coming of age. A little later the Duke of Devonshire induced him to enter the government service in Dublin, although he desired to study medicine, if he could do so without expense to his father. From 1827 to 1852 he was a zealous public servant in the under-secretary's office in Dublin, chained to the desk in occupation distasteful to him, disappointed of advancement or change of employment, at one time being put off with the reply that his duties were so well done that a change must be refused. A stranger was appointed to the head clerkship of his office when a vacancy occurred; and finally in 1852 a reduction took place in the chief secretary's office, and Ball was placed on the retired list, on the ground that 'he devoted much attention to scientific pursuits, and that it was not expedient that public servants should be thus occupied;' although he had most faithfully performed his duties. His retiring allowance, however, allowed him to live in moderate comfort. The time he could spare from official work he always devoted to natural history pursuits, making zoological expeditions during his holidays, frequently with Mr. W. Thompson of Belfast, to whose many zoological publications, and especially the 'Natural History of Ireland,' he added numberless facts of interest. During almost the whole of his residence in Dublin he was one of the most prominent figures in its scientific life. He was for many years a member of the council of most of the Dublin scientific societies, and became president of the Geological Society of Ireland, and of the Dublin University Zoological Association. For many years secretary of the Zoological Society of Ireland, he devoted unwearied care and ingenious suggestiveness to its gardens. To him the working classes of Dublin were indebted for the penny charge for admission. He always exerted himself as far as possible to promote the general diffusion of scientific knowledge, especially by lectures and museums; and in 1844, on being appointed director of the museum in Trinity College, Dublin, he presented to it his large collection of natural history, which was richer in Irish specimens than any other, and included many original examples and new species. In recognition of his services and merits, Trinity College in 1850 conferred on him the honorary degree of LL.D. In 1851 he was appointed secretary of the Queen's University in Ireland, and discharged the office with distinguished success. Other offices in which