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King of all Balloons Thursday 12 October 2017, 6pm


Thursday 12 October 2017, 6pm

King of all Balloons

In this illustrated talk Mark Davies reveals the triumphs and tragedies in the life of Oxford’s James Sadler: a “most ingenious yet unfortunate man”.

James Sadler was the first Englishman to build and fly a hot-air balloon, and with his son Windham he flew from numerous location throughout the British Isles, setting various records in the process. These included the fastest journey ever made, commemorated in a medal displayed in the Museum of the History of Science. Yet despite a lifetime of achievement, bringing him into contact with some of the most significant names in Georgian Britain, James Sadler ended his days back in Oxford in impoverished obscurity. This talk will take place in the room where Sadler assisted the Oxford University Chemist Thomas Beddoes.

Mark Davies is an Oxford local historian, guide, public speaker, and author of several popular local interest books. His most recent publication, ‘King of all Balloons’: the Adventurous Life of James Sadler, first English Aeronaut, is the first biography of James and Windham Sadler. Copies will be available for signing on the night.

Please book your free ticket through Eventbrite.