First name(s)
James Thomson
Position(s) held at King's College London Ref: *1
  • Demonstrator of Chemistry, 1868-1869
  • Curator of Chemical Laboratory, 1868-1869
  • Lecturer in Natural Science at King's College School, 1869-1870
  • Demonstrator of Natural Philosophy, 1869-1870

Education & professional details

School, college and/or university attended Ref: *3

Queens College, Belfast; Trinity College, Dublin; University of London


BA (1865); BSc (1867); D Sc. (1870).

Position(s) held (non King's College London) Ref: *2

Arnott and Thomson demonstrator in the Department of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow,  1870-1899

Professional activities Ref: *3

Fellow of the Royal Society FRS ( London 7 June 1888); Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh FRSE (1872); Awarded degree of Doctor of Laws LLD University of Glasgow (1904); A Member of the Chemical Society; A Member of the Physical Society; Associate Member (1878) Member (1889) and Council Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (1873); Served on the IEE Committee of the Glasgow Local Section, now the Scottish Centre (1910).

  • Dynamics: Theoretical Mechanics, 1877
  • On radiation from dull and bright surfaces, London, 1887
  • On Thermal Radiation in Absolute Measure, 1888
  • Four figure mathematical tables, Macmillan, 1899

Personal details

Date of birth Ref: *3
10th January 1845
Place of birth Ref: *3
Fort Breda, County Down, Ireland
Date of death Ref: *3
18th May 1926
Place of death Ref: *3
Obituary Ref: *3

Journal of the Institute of Electrical Engineers, 1926, vol 64, issue 359, p1201-1202

Family details Ref: *3

Dr. Bottomley was a nephew of William Thomson, Lord Kelvin. His father was William Bottomley J.P. of Belfast. He was married twice, his first wife was Annie Elizabeth Heap and his second wife was Eliza Jennet Blandy. He had a son with his first wife, Allen William Thomson Bottomley born 1873 Govan, Scotland.

Notes Refs: *4 *5

In 1899 Dr. Bottomley established the Glasgow Engineering firm Kelvin, Bottomley & Baird, with his uncle. As consulting engineer he acted for the Scottish Asylums Board and for Nobels Ltd. He had a regular electrical engineering consulting practice, mostly concerned with lighting installations, such as Skibo Castle, Roxburgh Castle, etc. His portrait is in the Royal Society collection Image number RS.7786.

* References

  1. Kings College Archives
  2. http://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/? id=WH24570& type=P
  3. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp? arnumber=5313264 page 1201
  4. Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Kelvin, _Bottomley_and_Baird;
  5. https://pictures.royalsociety.org/image-rs-7786
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