ADA LOVELACE

COMPUTER PROGRAMMER

 

            Augusta Ada Byron was born on the 10th of December 1815 to George Byron and Isabella Milbanke. Shortly after  Ada's birth and the breakup of her parents marriage in 1816, she was taken by her mother to her Grandparents estate at Kirkby Mallory. Ada was a gifted child, taking after her mother in her interest in mathematics.  But Ada was equally interested in anything mechanical, not just the theory but also in the application. Ada was educated at home which was not usual for an aristocratic child at that time. Her mother ensured that she had a varied education concentrating in particular on the science's and mathematics.

          In 1833 one of her tutors, Mary Somerville, the renowned mathematician and astromener introduced Ada to Charles Babbage, inventor and mechanical engineer, who was in the process of designing a mechanical adding machine referred to as a difference engine. Although Ada was 17 at the time and Babbage 42 they became great friends, she fascinated by the concept of his invention, and he by her mathematical genius. Life for Ada would never be the same again.Together they collaborated in the design of the forerunner of todays modern computer. But specifically, Ada is credited as having written, in detail the very first computer program. More than a hundred years later of course we have substituted the mechanical gears and levers for solid state electronic switching, but the principal is still the same.

        Back then, building such a highly mechanised machine proved very expensive. Initially the government did provide funds. But Parliament refused further funding for the more advanced "Analytical Engine" and so interest faded. It was not the until the mid 20th century that interest returned. Allen Turing is said to have referred to Ada's work during his time at Bletchly Park in breaking the Enigma Code. A specific computer language "ADA" was created the 1980's for the U.S. Department of Defence and was named in her memory.

         So Ada has finally been recognised by the general public as the co-inventor of the modern computer in as much that she understood, perhaps more than Babbage, her mentor, the true potential of a programmable system capable of processing algorithms to solve complex tasks.

      At the age of 19, Ada married Lord King who in 1838 was made 1st.Earl of Lovelace thus making Ada a Countess. Ada preferred the name Ada Lovelace and would often initial her work as AAL, Augusta Ada Lovelace.

in 1992 English Heritage commissioned a Blue Plaque to be erected at St James Square London where she lived for a while with her husband Lord King. The Plaque reads

                     

 Ada Countess of Lovelace

 1815 - 1852

  Pioneer in computing lived here
               

They had three children, but sadly in 1852 Ada was to die young at the age of only 36 and was laid to rest with her father at Hucknell in Nottinghamshire. Her mother, Lady Byron had a memorial erected to her memory adjacent to the church yard at Kirkby Mallory  shown below.

On the 10th of October, "Ada Lovelace Day" in 2017, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council unveiled their own Blue Plaque at Mallory Park, Kirkby Mallory to honour the achievements of Ada Lovelace.  

Over  thirty people attended the event who also heard talks given by local historians Hugh Beavin and Stan Rooney. 

 

   

 Showing position of plaque on one of the remaining buildings that Ada would of recognised
   

Picture Right

This is the elaborate memorial  erected to the memory of Ada Lovelace erected by her mother. It was said that the church refused permission for it to be erected actually inside the church yard due to the reputation of her father Lord Byron, so it had to be erected against the outside of the boundary fence.