Our interest in a great man makes us always interestedÊalso in his familyÑwe become anxious to know who and what he was apart from that which has made him great. Who were his parents? from where did they come? what were they like? what did they do? and a number of similar questions are at once started as soon as we commence considering the lives of our "great and good." In the case of Faraday we have only scanty information as to his family, but thus much we have gleaned:Ñ
During the whole of last century there was living in or near the village of Clapham, in Yorkshire, a family of the name of Faraday. Between the years 1708 and 1730 the Clapham parish register shows us that "Richard Faraday, stonemason, tiler, and separatist," recorded the births of ten children, and it is probable that he had in his large family yet another son, Robert. Whether, however, Robert was his son or only his nephew is a matter of doubt, but it is known of him that he married Elizabeth Dean, the possessor of a small though comfortable house called Clapham Wood Hall, and that he was the father of ten children, one of whom, James, was born in 1761, and became the father of Michael Faraday.