James Sadler, Oxford’s ‘King of all Balloons’, and his aeronaut son, Windham
Thursday 7th March 6pm [NOTE EARLIER TIME]
Mark Davies, a local historian, will tell the story of the aeronautical Sadlers. James Sadler (1753–1828), pastry cook of the High, was the unlikely first Englishman to build and fly a hot-air balloon, in Oxford in 1784. After subsequent spells as a laboratory technician, engineer, naval chemist, and designer of armaments, Sadler returned to professional ballooning, joined by his son Windham (1796-1824). Individually they set many aeronautical records, but in 1824 Windham tragically became the second aviation fatality that year – these were Britain’s first ever – hence the timing of this 200th-anniversary talk.