Tyndall’s Parlour

Where John Tyndall relaxed and Michael Faraday read aloud from Shakespeare, we host our weekly meetings with the London Theory Institute.

Tyndall’s Parlour has been used by several resident professors as their drawing room. According to an early biographer, who was also a friend of the family, Michael Faraday used to relax here before dinner with his wife, Sarah, and their niece. They played charades or bagatelle, and he read to them from Shakespeare or Macaulay.

By all accounts, the Faradays enjoyed an exemplary marriage. “Oh! What happiness is ours!” he once wrote to Sarah, whom he described elsewhere as “a pillow to my mind”. His successor, John Tyndall, got married late in life to Louisa, who was 25 years his junior. As a wedding present, the artist Harriet Moore gave the couple a sofa and some chairs. This may have softened the slightly austere look she captured in her 1850s watercolour of the room (pictured).

The Tyndalls’ life together ended in tragedy, when Louisa accidentally gave a lethal dose of chloral to her husband. His last words were, “Yes, my poor darling, you have killed your John!” Nowadays Tyndall’s Parlour hosts our weekly meetings with the London Theory Institute and our various lectures and symposiums.