Ada Lovelace writes to Andrew Crosse


Andrew Crosse (1784-1855) was an amateur scientist who did experiments on electricity. He lived at Fyne Court, Broomfield, Somerset. He married Mary Anne Hamilton in 1809 and they had seven children the eldest, John, being born in 1810. John Crosse studied at Exeter College, Oxford, and graduated in 1833. Both Andrew and his son John were friends of Ada Lovelace, and John and Ada had a love affair. John Crosse introduced Ada to betting on horses which she thought she could make money on using her mathematical skills. In fact she got into debt with her betting and in 1842 she asked John to pawn diamonds for her to clear her gambling debts.

In the letter we give below written to Andrew Crosse, probably on 16 November 1844, Ada is about to visit him at his Broomfield home. John was at Broomfield at the time of her visit.

Dear Mr Crosse,

Thank you for your kind and cordial letter. ... On Monday the 18th then, we expect you, and on Wednesday 20th we will all go to Broomfield. Perhaps you have felt already, from the tone of my letter that I am more than ever now the bride of science. Religion to me is science, and science is religion. In that deeply-felt truth lies the secret of my intense devotion to the reading of God"s natural works… And when I behold the scientific and so-called philosophers full of selfish feelings, and of a tendency to war against circumstances and Providence, I say to myself: They are not true priests, they are but half prophets - if not absolutely false ones. They have read the great page simply with the physical eye, and with none of the spirit within. The intellectual, the moral, the religious seem to me all naturally bound up and interlinked together in one great and harmonious whole ... That God is one, and all that all the works and the feelings He has called into existence are ONE; this is a truth (a biblical and scriptural truth too) not in my opinion developed to the apprehension of most people in its really deep and unfathomable meaning. There is too much tendency to making separate and independent bundles of both the physical and the moral facts of the universe.

Whereas, all and everything is naturally related and interconnected. A volume could I write on this subject ... I think I may as well just give you a hint that I am subject at times to dreadful physical sufferings. If such should come over me at Broomfield, I may have to keep to my room for a time. In that case all I require is to be let alone. With all my wiry power and strength, I am prone at times to bodily sufferings, connected chiefly with the digestive organs, of no common degree or kind ...

Ever yours truly
A A Lovelace

Last Updated April 2020