STIRLING, James, known as 'the Venetian' (l692-1770). Scottish mathematician, born in Garden, Stirlingshire. He studied at Glasgow and Oxford (1711-16), but left without graduating. His first book, on Newton's classification of cubic curves, was published in Oxford in 1717. He visited Venice at about this time, returned to Scotland in 1724, and went to London, where he taught mathematics. From 1735 he was superintendent of the lead mines at Leadhills, Lanarkshire, and corresponded with Colin Maclaurin. For his survey of the Clyde in 1752 he was presented with a silver tea-kettle by Glasgow Town Council. His principal mathematical work was Methodus differentailis (1730), in which he made important advances in the theory of infinite series and finite differences, and gave an approximate formula for the factorial function, still in use and named after him.
STIRLING, James Hutchison (1820-1909). Scottish philosopher, born in Glasgow. He was trained as a physician, but became fascinated by Hegel's philosophy, moved to the continent for some years to study his work, and was responsible for introducing it to an English readership in his exposition The Secret of Hegel (1865). This was an influential work but almost as difficult as the original, prompting the unkind remark from one critic that the secret had been well kept. He also wrote an introduction to Kant (1881) and critical studies of Sir William Hamilton (1865), Thomas Huxley (1869), and Darwin (1894), all of whom he regarded as misguided apostles of enlightenment.
STIRLING, Mary Ann, née Kehl (1816-95). English actress, born in Mayfair, London. She was educated in France, and made her début in 1833, continuing to perform until 1856. Her finest parts were 'Peg Woffington' and the Nurse in 'Romeo and Juliet'. Her first husband was the Drury Lane stage manager, Edward Stirling, and in 1894 she married Sir Charles Hutton Gregory.
STIRLING, Patrick (1820-95). Scottish mechanical engineer, born in Kilmarnock, son of the Rev. Robert Stirling. He became the most eminent of a remarkable family of locomotive engineers that included his brother James Stirling (1835-1917), also his son Matthew Stirling *(l850-1917) and his cousin Archibald Sturrock (1816-1909). He was apprenticed to his uncle James (1800-76) who was manager of the Dundee Foundry which built steamers and locomotives, then gained experience in several engineering works before being appointed in 1853 the locomotive superintendent of the Glasgow & South Western Railway. He moved to the Great Northern Railway in Doncaster in 1866 and succeeded his cousin as chief locomotive superintendent. It was there in 1870 that his famous 8ft diameter driving wheel 4-2-2 'Stirling Single' first appeared, becoming a legend for its speed and power; one is preserved in the National Railway Museum in York.
STIRLING, Robert (1790-1878) Scottish clergyman and inventor, born in Cloag, Perthshire. Educated for the ministry at the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, he was ordained in the Church of Scotland a 1816, and was minister of Galston, Ayrshire, 1837-78. In the same year he patented a hot-air engine operating on what became known as the Stirling cycle, in which the working fluid (air) is heated at one end of the cylinder by an external source of heat. In drawing up the patent he was assisted by his brother James Stirling who was a mechanical engineer, and manager of a foundry in Dundee where in 1843 a steam engine was modified to work as a Stirling engine developing some 40 horse-power. It suffered, however, from the same problem as all the other hot-air engines built at that time; the hot end of the cylinder burnt out and had to be replaced after only one or two years' work. In spite of their greater efficiency, hot-air engines were superseded by the internal combustion engine and the electric motor, although some development work has been undertaken recently because of their non-polluting characteristics.
STIRLING, William Alexander, First Earl of, (c.1567-1640). Scottish poet and courtier, born in Alva. A tutor of young noblemen, in 1613 he was attached to the household of Prince Charles (Charles I). He had already published a collection of songs and madrigals in Aurora (1604); in 1614 he published part 1 of his huge poem Doomesday, (part ii, 1637). He received in 1621 the grant of 'Nova Scotia' - a vast tract in North America soon rendered valueless by French expansion. In 1631 he was made sole printer of King James, Sixth of Scotland, and First of England's version of the Psalms. From 1626 until his death he was the Secretary of State for Scotland. He was created Viscount (1630) and then Earl of Stirling (1633), also Earl of Dovan (1639), but he died insolvent in London. His tragedies include Darius (1603), Croesus (1604), The Alexandrean Tragedy (1605) and Julius Caesar (1607).
STIRLING-MAXWELL, Sir William (1818-78). Scottish historian and art critic, born in Kenmure, Stirlingshire. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he travelled in Italy and Spain and became a connoisseur of Spanish art. He wrote Annuls of the Artists of Spain (in 3 volumes, 1848), Cloister Life of Charles V (1852), and Velasquez (1855). In 1866 he inherited property from his uncle and added the name Maxwell to his own. He was Member of Parliament for Perthshire, from 1852. In 1877, just before his death, he married Mrs. Caroline Norton.
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