Adolph Friedrich Lindemann

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Adolph Friedrich Lindemann (13 May 1846 - 25 August 1931) was a German-born, British engineer, businessman, and amateur astronomer.


Lindemann was born in the Palatinate to a Roman Catholic family established in Alsace-Lorraine under the Comte de Lindemann, who had married into the Cyprien-Fabre shipping family. Lindemann married Olga Noble (1851-c.1927), herself heiress to a wealthy New London, Connecticut engineering family of British origin, and the widow of a banker named Davidson with whom she had parented three children.[1][2] Olga was reputedly "vivacious and beautiful".[1]

Lindemann had raised capital in the City of London and constructed waterworks in Speyer and Pirmasens. Lindemann was also involved in the Transatlantic telegraph cable project. He moved to England in the 1860s and became naturalised.[1]

The couple were wealthy, having an annual income of around £20,000 by 1914 (£1.5 million at 2003 prices[3]). Olga had inherited a mansion near Sidmouth,[2] Devon and Lindemann took the opportunity to establish a laboratory and astronomical observatory there. On Olga's death, Lindemann donated the observatory to the University of Exeter.[1]


The couple had a daughter and three sons, the second of whom, Frederick was to become a physicist, World War II adviser to Sir Winston Churchill and who was ultimately to be created Viscount Cherwell. The youngest brother, Septimus, became something of a playboy on the French Riviera but became a notable agent for the intelligence services in World War II.[1] Adolph's only daughter (he had two stepdaughters by his wife's previous marriage), Linda, became a short story writer and playwright, writing under a pseudonym to avoid family disapproval. One of her plays, 'The Man in the Case' was censored. Her granddaughter is Salley Vickers the novelist and her great grandson Rupert Kingfisher, the children's writer of Madame Pamplemousse.[citation needed]

Olga was a Protestant and insisted on the children being raised in the Anglican Church.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Crowther (1965) pp343-344
  2. ^ a b Blake (2004)
  3. ^ O‘Donoghue, J. et al. (2004). "Consumer Price Inflation since 1750". Economic Trends 604: 38–46, March. 

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