Samuel Haughton was born on the 21st of December 1821 in the town of Carlow. His father, James Haughton (1798-1873) was an abolitionist, vegetarian, and philanthropist.
Samuel studied at Trinity College Dublin, where he was eventually made Professor of Geology. He later went on to study medicine at the University of Dublin.
Samuel's greatest claim to fame is his calculation of the 'Haughton Drop' wherein he determined the exact length of rope and depth of fall required to kill a man instantly during a hanging. This meant that those who were sentenced to die by hanging would have a more humane end as their necks were broken, rather than being left to slowly strangle to death. The calcualtion of the 'Haughton Drop' was a combination of Samuel's interests and qualifications in both medicine and physics.
Samuel's other notable works were his involvement in the building of trains for the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, and his very vocal and public criticisms of Darwin's theories.
Samuel Haughton died on the 31st of October 1897. He was 76 years old at the time.