William Jackson Pope

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Sir William Jackson Pope
Born 31 March 1870
Died 17 October 1939(1939-10-17) (aged 69)
Nationality English
Fields chemistry
Known for stereochemistry
Influences H. A. Miers
Notable awards Davy Medal (1914)

Sir William Jackson Pope KBE FRS[1] (31 October 1870 – 17 October 1939) was an English chemist.

Pope’s parents, William Pope and Alice Hall, were staunch and active Wesleyans who had eight children, of whom William was the eldest. In 1878 he entered the Central Foundation School, in London, where his ability to learn rapidly gave him leisure at the age of twelve to carry out simple chemical experiments in his bedroom. While at school he also developed great skill as a photographer—many of his early photographs were in perfect condition fifty years later.

Pope studied crystallography under H. A. Miers, and most of his earlier research focussed on measuring crystallographic data with a goniometer. These studies had an important influence on the development of his chemical work, for they enhanced the natural faculty of visualising spatial relationships. This drew him into the field of stereochemistry where his most notable achievements were made. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in June 1902,[2] and obtained the chair of chemistry at Cambridge University in 1908.

During the First World War, Pope served on the Board of Invention and Research for the Admiralty and on the Chemical Warfare Committee at the Ministry of Munitions. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1918 New Year Honours[3] and was invested as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1919 New Year Honours.[4]


  1. ^ Gibson, C. S. (1941). "Sir William Jackson Pope. 1870-1939". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 3 (9): 291. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1941.0004. JSTOR 768891. 
  2. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36787). London. 6 June 1902. p. 10. 
  3. ^ "(Supplement) no. 30460". The London Gazette. 7 January 1918. p. 371. 
  4. ^ "(Supplement) no. 31114". The London Gazette. 8 January 1919. p. 448.