Yesterday Mark Davies, Oxford local historian, spoke about James Sadler, the Oxford pastry cook turned aeronaut, in his lecture ‘”King of all Balloons”: the first manned ascent from Cork in 1816 and other early Irish aerial adventures’. In his researches, Mark has uncovered the history of ballooning (or aerostatics) from the earliest ascent in 1783. James Sadler from an unlikely background became England’s earliest aeronaut. Sadler made several ascents from the 1780s until the 1810s from England and Ireland, and even once from Victoria Barracks in Cork city in 1816. Mark has published the story of James and his son Windham, also an aeronaut, in his book King of All Balloons: The Adventurous Life of James Sadler, The First English Aeronaut (2015) ISBN 9781445653082. Find out more at the James Sadler Balloon Experience and more books by Mark Davies at Oxford Water Walks.
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