Resources

1. Chronologies

Humphry Davy Chronology (Full) (PDF)

Humphry Davy Chronology (Condensed) (PDF)

2. Selected Bibliography

2a. Humphry Davy

Major Works by Humphry Davy (in Chronological Order of Publication)

(NB. CWHD = The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy, 9 vols; see below, in this section, for full bibliographic reference)

Researches, Chemical and Philosophical; Chiefly Concerning Nitrous Oxide, or Dephlogisticated Nitrous Air, and its Respiration (London, 1800) (CWHD, iii) (on Google Books). (Published July 1800).

A Discourse, Introductory to a Course of Lectures on Chemistry (London, 1802) (CWHD, ii) (not available online; see link to CWHD, ii, below, in this section). (Published May 1802).

The Bakerian Lecture: On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity (London, 1807) (on Wellcome Collection).

Elements of Chemical Philosophy (London, 1812) (CWHD, iv) (on Google Books). (Published August 1812).

Elements of Agricultural Chemistry, in a Course of Lectures for the Board of Agriculture (London, 1813) (CWHD, vii-viii) (2nd edn [1814] on Google Books). (1st edn published May 1813; 2nd edn June 1814).

On the Fire-Damp of Coal Mines: From the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, With an Advertisement (London, 1816) (see CWHD, vi) (on Google Books).

Practical Hints on the Application of Wire-Gauze to Lamps, for Preventing Explosions in Coal Mines (London, 1816) (see CWHD, vi) (on Google Books).

A Few Additional Practical Observations on the Wire-Gauze Safety-Lamps, for Miners, With Evidence of Their Use (London, 1816) (see CWHD, vi) (on Google Books).

Suggestions Arising From Inspections of Wire Gauze Lamps, in Their Working State, in Mines (Newcastle, 1816) (see CWHD, vi) (not available online; see link to CWHD, vi, below, in this section).

On the Safety Lamp for Coal Miners; With Some Researches on Flame (London, 1818) (see CWHD, vi) (on Google Books).

On the Safety Lamp for Preventing Explosions in Mines, Houses Lighted by Gas, Spirit Warehouses, or Magazines in Ships, &c. With Some Researches on Flame (London, 1825) (see CWHD, vi) (on Google Books).

Six Discourses Delivered Before the Royal Society at Their Anniversary Meetings, on the Award of the Royal and Copley Medals; Preceded by an Address to the Society, on the Progress and Prospects of Science (London, 1827) (CWHD, vii) (on Google Books).

Salmonia: or Days of Fly Fishing. In a Series of Conversations. With Some Account of the Habits of Fishes Belonging to the Genus Salmo (London, 1828) (CWHD, ix) (on Google Books).

Salmonia: or Days of Fly Fishing. In a Series of Conversations. With Some Account of the Habits of Fishes Belonging to the Genus Salmo, 2nd edn (London, 1829) (CWHD, ix) (on Google Books).

Consolations in Travel, or the Last Days of a Philosopher (London, 1830) (CWHD, ix) (on Google Books) **.

The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy, Bart. LL.D. F.R.S. Foreign Associate of the Institute of France, etc., ed. John Davy, 9 vols (London, 1839-40) **:

  • Vol. 1 (‘Memoirs of His Life’, 1839) (on Google Books).
  • Vol. 2 (‘Early Miscellaneous Papers’, 1839) (on Google Books).
  • Vol. 3 (‘Researches, Chiefly Concerning Nitrous Oxide’, 1839) (on Google Books).
  • Vol. 4 (‘Elements of Chemical Philosophy’, 1840) (on Google Books).
  • Vol. 5 (‘Bakerian Lectures and Miscellaneous Papers From 1806 to 1815’, 1840) (on Google Books).
  • Vol. 6 (‘Miscellaneous Papers and Researches’, 1840) (on Google Books).
  • Vol. 7 (‘Discourses Delivered Before the Royal Society; and Agricultural Lectures, Part I’, 1840) (on Google Books).
  • Vol. 8 (‘Agricultural Lectures, Part II. And Other Lectures’, 1840) (on Google Books).
  • Vol. 9 (‘Salmonia; and Consolation[s] in Travel’, 1840) (on Google Books).

Fragmentary Remains, Literary and Scientific, of Sir Humphry Davy, Bart., Late President of the Royal Society, etc. With a Sketch of His Life and Selections From His Correspondence, ed. John Davy (London, 1858) (on Google Books) **.

Journal Articles by Humphry Davy (limited to A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, and The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (PTRS)) (in Chronological Order of Publication)

A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts (‘Nicholson’s Journal‘)

‘Experiments and Observations on the Silex Composing the Epidermis, or External Bark, and Contained in Other Parts of Certain Vegetables’, A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, iii (April 1799–March 1800), 56–9 (CWHD, ii, 133–8) (link).

‘Letter From Mr Davy, Superintendant of the Pneumatic Institution, to Mr Nicholson, on the Nitrous Oxide, or Gaseous Oxide of Azote, on Certain Facts Relating to Heat and Light, and on the Discovery of the Decomposition of the Carbonate and Sulphate of Ammoniac’, A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, iii (April 1799–March 1800), 515–18 (CWHD, ii, 123–7) (link).

‘An Account of Some Experiments Made With the Galvanic Apparatus of Signor Volta. By Mr Davy, Superintendant of the Pneumatic Institution. Communicated by the Author’, A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, iv (April 1800–March 1801), 275–81 (CWHD, ii, 139–50) (link).

‘Additional Experiments on Galvanic Electricity. By Mr Davy, Superintendant of the Pneumatic Institution’, A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, iv (April 1800–March 1801), 326–8 (CWHD, ii, 150–4) (link).

‘Notice of Some Observations on the Causes of the Galvanic Phenomena, and on Certain Modes of Increasing the Powers of the Galvanic Pile of Volta. By Mr Davy, Superintendant of the Pneumatic Institution. Communicated by the Author’, A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, iv (April 1800–March 1801), 337–42 (CWHD, ii, 155–63) (link).

‘An Account of Some Additional Experiments and Observations on the Galvanic Phenomena. By Mr Davy, Superintendant of the Pneumatic Institution. Communicated by the Author’, A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, iv (April 1800–March 1801), 394–402 (CWHD, ii, 166–81) (link).

‘Outlines of Observations Relating to Nitrous Oxide, or Dephlogisticated Nitrous Air. By Mr Davy, Director of the Chemical Laboratory, and Lecturer on Chemistry in the Royal Institution’, A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, v (April–December 1801), 281–7 (link).

‘Note Respecting the Absorption of Nitrous Gas, by Solutions of Green Sulphate and Muriate of Iron. By Mr H. Davy, Director of the Laboratory, and Lecturer on Chemistry to the Royal Institution’, A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, i (n.s.) (1802), 107–9 (link).

‘Note From H. Davy, Esq. F. R. S., &c. &c., on the Fluoric Acid in Wavellite’, A Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, xiv (n.s.) (1806), 267 (link).

PTRS

‘An Account of Some Galvanic Combinations, Formed by the Arrangement of Single Metallic Plates and Fluids, Analogous to the New Galvanic Apparatus of Mr Volta’, PTRS, xci (1801), 397–402 (read to the Royal Society on 18 June 1801) (CWHD, ii, 182–8) (link).

‘An Account of Some Experiments and Observations on the Constituent Parts of Certain Astringent Vegetables; and on Their Operation in Tanning’, PTRS, xciii (1803), 233–73 (read to the Royal Society on 24 February 1803) (CWHD, ii, 246–87) (link).

‘An Account of Some Analytical Experiments on a Mineral Production From Devonshire, Consisting Principally of Alumine and Water’, PTRS, xcv (1805), 155–62 (read to the Royal Society on 28 February 1805) (CWHD, ii, 297–304) (link).

‘On a Method of Analyzing Stones Containing Fixed Alkali, by Means of the Boracic Acid’, PTRS, xcv (1805), 231–2 (read to the Royal Society on 16 May 1805) (CWHD, ii, 304–6) (link).

‘The Bakerian Lecture: On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity’, PTRS, xcvii (1807), 1–56 (read to the Royal Society on 20 November 1806) (CWHD, v, 1–56) (link).

‘The Bakerian Lecture: On Some New Phenomena of Chemical Changes Produced by Electricity, Particularly the Decomposition of the Fixed Alkalies, and the Exhibition of the New Substances Which Constitute Their Bases; And on the General Nature of Alkaline Bodies’, PTRS, xcviii (1808), 1–44 (read to the Royal Society on 19 November 1807) (CWHD, v, 57–101) (link).

‘Electro-Chemical Researches, on the Decomposition of the Earths; With Observations on the Metals Obtained From the Alkaline Earths, and on the Amalgam Procured From Ammonia’, PTRS, xcviii (1808), 333–70 (read to the Royal Society on 30 June 1808) (CWHD, v, 102–39) (link).

‘The Bakerian Lecture: An Account of Some New Analytical Researches on the Nature of Certain Bodies, Particularly the Alkalies, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Carbonaceous Matter, and the Acids Hitherto Undecompounded; With Some General Observations on Chemical Theory’, PTRS, xcix (1809), 39–104 (read to the Royal Society on 15 December 1808) (CWHD, v, 140–204) (link).

‘New Analytical Researches on the Nature of Certain Bodies, Being an Appendix to the Bakerian Lecture for 1808’, PTRS, xcix (1809), 450–70 (read to the Royal Society on 2 February 1809) (CWHD, v, 205–24) (link).

‘The Bakerian Lecture: On Some New Electrochemical Researches, on Various Objects, Particularly the Metallic Bodies, From the Alkalies, and Earths, and on Some Combinations of Hydrogene’, PTRS, c (1810), 16–74 (read to the Royal Society on 16 November 1809) (CWHD, v, 225–83) (link).

‘Researches on the Oxymuriatic Acid, its Nature and Combinations; and on the Elements of the Muriatic Acid. With Some Experiments on Sulphur and Phosphorus, Made in the Laboratory of the Royal Institution’, PTRS, c (1810), 231–57 (read to the Royal Society on 12 July 1810) (CWHD, v, 284–311) (link).

‘The Bakerian Lecture: On Some of the Combinations of Oxymuriatic Gas and Oxygene, and on the Chemical Relations of These Principles, to Inflammable Bodies’, PTRS, ci (1811), 1–35 (read to the Royal Society on 15 November 1810) (CWHD, v, 312–48) (link).

‘On a Combination of Oxymuriatic Gas and Oxygene Gas’, PTRS, ci (1811), 155–62 (read to the Royal Society on 21 February 1811) (CWHD, v, 349–57) (link).

‘On Some Combinations of Phosphorus and Sulphur, and on Some Other Subjects of Chemical Inquiry’, PTRS, cii (1812), 405–15 (read to the Royal Society on 18 June 1812) (CWHD, v, 358–68) (link).

‘On a New Detonating Compound’, PTRS, ciii (1813), 1–7 (read to the Royal Society on 5 November 1812) (CWHD, v, 391–7) (link).

‘Some Further Observations on a New Detonating Substance’, PTRS, ciii (1813), 242–51 (read to the Royal Society on 1 July 1813) (CWHD, v, 398–407) (link).

‘Some Experiments and Observations on the Substances Produced in Different Chemical Processes on Fluor Spar’, PTRS, ciii (1813), 263–79 (read to the Royal Society on 8 July 1813) (CWHD, v, 408–24) (link).

‘An Account of Some New Experiments on the Fluoric Compounds; With Some Observations on Other Objects of Chemical Inquiry’, PTRS, civ (1814), 62–73 (read to the Royal Society on 13 February 1814) (CWHD, v, 425–36) (link).

‘Some Experiments and Observations on a New Substance Which Becomes a Violet Coloured Gas by Heat’, PTRS, civ (1814), 74–93 (read to the Royal Society on 20 January 1814) (CWHD, v, 437–56) (link).

‘Further Experiments and Observations on Iodine’, PTRS, civ (1814), 487–507 (read to the Royal Society on 16 June 1814) (CWHD, v, 457–77) (link).

‘Some Experiments on the Combustion of the Diamond and Other Carbonaceous Substances’, PTRS, civ (1814), 557–70 (read to the Royal Society on 23 June 1814) (CWHD, v, 478–91) (link).

‘Some Experiments and Observations on the Colours Used in Painting by the Ancients’, PTRS, cv (1815), 97–124 (read to the Royal Society on 23 February 1815) (CWHD, vi, 131–59) (link).

‘Some Experiments on a Solid Compound of Iodine and Oxygene, and on its Chemical Agencies’, PTRS, cv (1815), 203–13 (read to the Royal Society on 20 April 1815) (CWHD, v, 492–502) (link).

‘On the Action of Acids on the Salts Usually Called Hyperoxymuriates, and on the Gases Produced From Them’, PTRS, cv (1815), 214–19 (read to the Royal Society on 4 May 1815) (CWHD, v, 503–9) (link).

‘On the Fire-Damp of Coal Mines, and on Methods of Lighting the Mines so as to Prevent its Explosion’, PTRS, cvi (1816), 1–22 (read to the Royal Society on 9 November 1815) (CWHD, vi, 19–40) (link).

‘An Account of an Invention for Giving Light in Explosive Mixtures of Fire-Damp in Coal Mines, by Consuming the Fire-Damp’, PTRS, cvi (1816), 23–4 (read to the Royal Society 11 January 1816) (CWHD, vi, 40–2) (link).

‘Farther Experiments on the Combustion of Explosive Mixtures Confined by Wire-Gauze, with Some Observations on Flame’, PTRS, cvi (1816), 115–19 (read to the Royal Society on 25 January 1816) (CWHD, vi, 42–6) (link).

‘Some Researches on Flame’, PTRS, cvii (1817), 45–76 (read to the Royal Society on 16 January 1817) (CWHD, vi, 51–81) (link).

‘Some New Experiments and Observations on the Combustion of Gaseous Mixtures, With an Account of a Method of Preserving a Continued Light in Mixtures of Inflammable Gases and Air Without Flame’, PTRS, cvii (1817), 77–85 (read to the Royal Society on 23 January 1817) (CWHD, vi, 81–90) (link).

‘On the Fallacy of the Experiments in Which Water is Said to Have Been Formed by the Decomposition of Chlorine’, PTRS, cviii (1818), 169–71 (read to the Royal Society on 12 February 1818) (CWHD, v, 524–7) (link).

‘New Experiments on Some of the Combinations of Phosphorus’, PTRS, cviii (1818), 316–37 (read to the Royal Society on 9 April 1818) (CWHD, v, 369–90) (link).

‘Some Observations on the Formation of Mists in Particular Situations’, PTRS, cix (1819), 123–31 (read to the Royal Society on 25 February 1819) (CWHD, vi, 182–90) (link).

‘On the Magnetic Phenomena Produced by Electricity’, PTRS, cxi (1821), 7–19 (read to the Royal Society on 16 November 1820) (CWHD, vi, 217–29) (link).

‘Some Observations and Experiments on the Papyri Found in the Ruins of Herculaneum’, PTRS, cxi (1821), 191–208 (read to the Royal Society on 15 March 1821) (CWHD, vi, 160–77) (link).

‘Farther Researches on the Magnetic Phaenomena Produced by Electricity; With Some New Experiments on the Properties of Electrified Bodies in Their Relations to Conducting Powers and Temperature’, PTRS, cxi (1821), 425–39 (read to the Royal Society on 5 July 1821) (CWHD, vi, 230–44) (link).

‘On the Electrical Phenomena Exhibited in Vacuo’, PTRS, cxii (1822), 64–75 (read to the Royal Society on 20 December 1821) (CWHD, vi, 245–56) (link).

‘On the State of Water and Aëriform Matter in Cavities Found in Certain Crystals’, PTRS, cxii (1822), 367–76 (read to the Royal Society on 13 June 1822) (CWHD, vi, 207–16) (link).

‘On a New Phenomenon of Electro-Magnetism’, PTRS, cxiii (1823), 153–9 (read to the Royal Society on 6 March 1823) (CWHD, vi, 257–63) (link).

‘Note on the Condensation of Muriatic Acid Gas Into the Liquid Form’, PTRS, cxiii (1823), 164–5 (appended to Michael Faraday, ‘On Fluid Chlorine’, PTRS, cxiii (1823), 160–4 (read to the Royal Society on 13 March 1823), (link)) (CWHD, vi, 264–5).

‘On the Application of Liquids Formed by the Condensation of Gases as Mechanical Agents’, PTRS, cxiii (1823), 199–203 (read to the Royal Society on 17 April 1823) (CWHD, vi, 266–71) (link).

‘Appendix to the Preceding Paper [Davy’s ‘On the Application of Liquids Formed by the Condensation of Gases as Mechanical Agents’, (link)]: On the Changes of Volume Produced in Gases in Different States of Density, by Heat’, PTRS, cxiii (1823), 204–5 (read to the Royal Society on 1 May 1823) (CWHD, vi, 271–2).

‘On the Corrosion of Copper Sheeting by Sea Water, and on Methods of Preventing This Effect; and on Their Application to Ships of War and Other Ships’, PTRS, cxiv (1824), 151–8 (read to the Royal Society on 22 January 1824) (CWHD, vi, 273–80) (link).

‘Additional Experiments and Observations on the Application of Electrical Combinations to the Preservation of the Copper Sheathing of Ships, and to Other Purposes’, PTRS, cxiv (1824), 242–6 (read to the Royal Society on 17 June 1824) (CWHD, vi, 281–5) (link).

‘Further Researches on the Preservation of Metals by Electro-Chemical Means’, PTRS, cxv (1825), 328–46 (read to the Royal Society on 9 June 1825) (CWHD, vi, 286–304) (link).

‘The Bakerian Lecture: On the Relations of Electrical and Chemical Changes’, PTRS, cxvi (1826), 383–422 (read to the Royal Society on 8 June 1826) (CWHD, vi, 305–43) (link).

‘On the Phaenomena of Volcanoes’, PTRS, cxviii (1828), 241–50 (read to the Royal Society on 20 March 1828) (CWHD, vi, 344–58) (link).

‘An Account of Some Experiments on the Torpedo’, PTRS, cxix (1829), 15–18 (read to the Royal Society on 20 November 1828) (CWHD, vi, 359–64) (link).

2b. John Davy

Works by John Davy (in Chronological Order of Publication)

(NB. For John Davy’s editing of Humphry Davy’s writings, see entries closed with double stars [**] above, in previous section)

An Account of the Interior of Ceylon, and of Its Inhabitants. With Travels in That Island (London, 1821) (on Google Books).

Memoirs of the Life of Sir Humphry Davy, 2 vols (London, 1836):

Researches, Physiological and Anatomical, 2 vols (London, 1839):

Notes and Observations on the Ionian Islands and Malta: With Some Remarks on Constantinople and Turkey, and on the System of Quarantine as at Present Conducted, 2 vols (London, 1842):

Lectures on the Study of Chemistry, in Connexion With the Atmosphere, the Earth, and the Ocean: and Discourses on Agriculture; With Introductions on the Present State of the West Indies, and on the Agricultural Societies of Barbados (London, 1849) (on Wellcome Collection).

The West Indies, Before and Since Slave Emancipation, Comprising the Windward and Leeward Islands’ Military Command; Founded on Notes and Observations Collected During a Three Years’ Residence (London, 1854) (on Google Books).

The Angler and His Friend; or, Piscatory Colloquies and Fishing Excursions (London, 1855) (on Google Books).

The Angler in the Lake District; or, Piscatory Colloquies and Fishing Excursions in Westmoreland and Cumberland (London, 1857) (on Google Books).

On Some of the More Important Diseases of the Army, With Contributions to Pathology (London, 1862) (on Google Books).

Physiological Researches (London, 1863) (on Google Books).

‘Some Notices of My Life’, 2 MS vols (1868), Keele University Library, Raymond Richards Collection, M 118/4 (link).

2c. Miscellaneous (in Alphabetical Order)

Wahida Amin, ‘The Poetry and Science of Humphry Davy’, PhD thesis (University of Salford, 2013) (link).

The Annual Anthology, i (1799) (contains poems by Davy) (on Google Books).

The Annual Anthology, ii (1800) (contains a poem by Davy) (on Google Books).

Henry Bence Jones, The Royal Institution: Its Founder and Its First Professors (London, 1871) (on Google Books).

The Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy, eds Tim Fulford and Sharon Ruston, advisory eds Jan Golinski, Frank A. J. L. James, and David Knight, assisted by Andrew Lacey, 4 vols (Oxford, 2020) (link).

A Collection of Poems, Chiefly Manuscript, and From Living Authors, ed. Joanna Baillie (London, 1823) (contains a poem by Davy) (on Google Books).

Contributions to Physical and Medical Knowledge, Principally From the West of England, ed. Thomas Beddoes (Bristol, 1799) (CWHD, ii) (contains Davy’s ‘An Essay on Heat, Light, and the Combinations of Light’) (on Google Books).

June Z. Fullmer, Young Humphry Davy: The Making of an Experimental Chemist (Philadelphia, 2000) (on Google Books).

The Gentleman’s Magazine lxxvi:2 (1806) (contains a poem by Davy) (on Google Books).

John Ayrton Paris, The Life of Sir Humphry Davy, Bart. LL.D. Late President of the Royal Society, Foreign Associate of the Royal Institute of France. &c. &c. &c. (London, 1831):

The Philosophical Magazine archive (link).

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London archive (link).

John James Tobin, Journal of a Tour Made in the Years 1828-1829 Through Styria, Carniola, and Italy, Whilst Accompanying the Late Sir Humphry Davy (London, 1832) (on Google Books).

3. Miscellaneous Resources

BBC New Generation Thinkers, ‘Science and Poetry’ (2014) (link).

LitSciMed website (link).

LitSciPod podcast (January 2020), ‘Science Isn’t Separate’ (link).

Sharon Ruston, Lecture on Humphry Davy (October 2016) (link).

Sharon Ruston, ‘When Respiring Gas Inspired Poetry’, The Lancet, 381 (2 February 2013), 366-67 (link).

Sharon Ruston and David Nutt, ‘Drugs, Science, and Society: Past, Present, and Future’, Royal Institution of Great Britain (March 2014) (link).

[AL, 14/05/21; last updated: 12/10/21]