Augusta Ada Lovelace

Member of The Hundred

Augusta Ada Lovelace (Countess of Lovelace)
Other names
King, nee Byron
Birth and death
1815 - 1852
Related places
Alistair Grant and Joanna Tapp
Ada Lovelace

© Elmbridge Museum

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852) daughter of Byron, now famous for writing a description of Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the 'analytical engine'. She is regarded as the 'first programmer' because she wrote programs - manipulated symbols according to rules - for a machine that Babbage had not yet built. She also foresaw the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating while others, including Babbage, only imagined on these capabilities.

From 1841 until her death, Ada lived at Sandown House in Esher, with her husband William King-Noel, Earl of Lovelace. Ada's mother also lived nearby, at Moore Place.

She died of uterine cancer aged 37, and at her own request was buried next to her father, Lord Byron, in the family vault at Newstead Abbey, Hucknall Torknard, near Nottingham.

Ada's imaginative leap is still remembered today. The official computer software language of the United States department of defence is called 'Ada'. March 24th is 'Ada Lovelace Day', recognising women's achievements in science and technology.

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