Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – Gunnery

 

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Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  Below is another installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

This excerpt covers his time onboard HMS Marlborough (The Ship of Happiest Memory) as a naval cadet from the age of 14.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – Gunnery

 We were very particular about our gunnery in the Marlborough; although at the same time gunnery was regarded as quite a secondary art. It was considered that anyone could fire a gun, and that the whole credit of successful gunnery depended upon the seamanship of the sailors who brought the ship into the requisite position. The greater number of the guns in the Marlborough were the same as those used in the time of Nelson, with their wooden trucks, handspikes, sponges, rammers, worms and all gear complete. The Marlborough was fitted with a cupola for heating roundshot, which were carried red-hot to the gun in an iron bucket. I know of no other ship which was thus equipped. The gunnery lieutenant of the Marlborough, Charles Inglis, was gifted with so great and splendid a voice, that, when he gave his orders from the middle deck, they were heard at every gun in the ship. We used to practise firing at a cliff in Malta Harbour, at a range of a hundred yards or so. I used to be sent on shore to collect the round-shot and bring them on board for future use. I remember that when, in the course of a lecture delivered to my men on board the Bulwark more than forty years afterwards, I related the incident, I could see by their faces that my audience did not believe me; though I showed to them the shot-holes in the face of the cliff, which remain to this day.

On gunnery days, all fires were extinguished, in case a spark should ignite the loose powder spilt by the boys who brought the cartridges to the guns, making a trail to the magazines. At “night quarters,” we were turned out of our hammocks, which were lashed up. The mess-tables were triced up overhead. The lower-deck ports being closed, there was no room to wield the wooden rammer; so that the charges for the muzzle-loading guns were rammed home with rope rammers. Before the order to fire was given, the ports were triced up. Upon one occasion, so anxious was a bluejacket to be first in loading and firing, that he cherished a charge hidden in his hammock since the last night quarters, a period of nearly three months, and, firing before the port was triced up, blew it into the next ship.

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project

A Diary of Two Parliaments – 29 April 1874

 

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Over the coming weeks and months we are publishing excerpts from the book ‘A Diary of Two Parliaments’ by Henry W Lucy, published in 1885. A popular book in our library, it covers the parliament of the Disraeli government during the years 1874-1880.

Catch-up with other posts in this series here, or search our library here.

The Disraeli Parliament 1874-1880

 Wednesday 29 April 1874

GERMS OF OBSTRUCTION
First Appearance of Major O Gorman,

House discussing question of purchase of Irish railways. 

When it was believed the debate had finished, it being close on midnight, Major O’Gorman, newly elected for Waterford, rose from a back seat below the gangway. The Major, who is of gigantic stature and burly to boot, stood a few minutes speechless in full view of the House. A titter rose from the Ministerial benches, which broke forth into a roar of laughter when Major O’Gorman suddenly and angrily cried, “Mr. Speaker!”

When the outburst had partially subsided, the hon. member said he was about to vote against the motion, and could not do it without a word of explanation; the word was that if the English Government got hold of the railways there would not at the end of three weeks be an Irishman in the service of any of the lines. The House laughing again at this hot utterance, he repeated and emphasised his observation by declaring that in three weeks all the Irishmen on the line would be “sent to hell or Connaught.” This brought up the Speaker, and Major O’Gorman having, with considerable difficulty, been made to understand that he must temporarily sit down, the right hon. gentleman reminded him that he had “exceeded the usual licence of Parliamentary debate.” Major O’Gorman showed a disposition to argue the matter with the Speaker, affirming, amid shouts of laughter, that the expression he had made use of was “perfectly well known.” Finally, he “offered his sincere regret” if he had said what he should not have said, though, he added, “it is perfectly historical.”

He then proceeded to observe that he “was not a Hellenist, and need not change his sex and become a Cassandra in order to be able to prophesy that with three weeks of English management the Irish railways would be ruined.” Next he volunteered an anecdote. “It’s not a bad story,” said he; but all the House could make out was a reference to a horse which a Lord Lieutenant was riding with a distinguished man, and was “thrown over his ears.” In conclusion, the Major, whilst declaring “his sincerest respect for that most talented young gentleman who had introduced the motion,” repeated that he would not be able to vote with him, his maxim being, “On all occasions vote against the introduction of Englishmen to Ireland.” Major O’Gorman’s remarks brought the debate to a close, and upon a division the motion was negatived by 241 votes against 56.

Excerpt from A Diary of Two Parliaments by Henry W Lucy published in 1885

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Further Reading and External Links

The Author – Henry W Lucy on Wikipedia

Benjamin Disraeli on Wikipedia

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – Attire

 

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Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  This is another installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – Attire

In those days the men used to dress in cloth trousers and tunic with buttons. The men used to embroider their collars and their fronts with most elaborate and beautiful designs. They had two hats, a black hat and a white hat, which they made themselves. The black hats were made of straw covered with duck and painted. Many a man has lost his life aloft in trying to save his heavy black hat from being blown away.

The fashion of wearing hair on the face was to cultivate luxuriant whiskers, and to “leave a gangway,” which meant shaving upper lip, chin and neck. Later, Mr. Childers introduced a new order: a man might shave clean, or cultivate all growth, or leave a gangway as before, but he might not wear a moustache only. The order, which applied to officers and men (except the Royal Marines) is still in force.

Steam was never used except under dire necessity, or when entering harbour, or when exercising steam tactics as a Fleet. The order to raise steam cast a gloom over the entire ship. The chief engineer laboured under considerable difficulties. He was constantly summoned on deck to be forcibly condemned for “making too much smoke.” 

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – Cursing

Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  This is another installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – Cursing

Seamen often curse and swear when they are aloft furling or reefing sails in a gale of wind; but I have never heard a sailor blaspheme on these occasions. Their language aloft is merely a mode of speaking. Although in the old days I have heard men blaspheme on deck, blasphemy was never heard aloft in a gale. To be aloft in a whole gale or in a hurricane impresses the mind with a sense of the almighty power of the Deity, and the insignificance of man, that puny atom, compared with the vast forces of the elements. In later life, I once said to a young man whom I heard using blasphemous language in a club: “If you were up with me on the weather yard-arm of a topsail yard reefing topsails in a whole gale, you would be afraid to say what you are saying now. You would see what a little puny devil a man is, and although you might swear, you would be too great a coward to blaspheme.”

And I went on to ram the lesson home with some forcible expressions, a method of reproof which amused the audience, but which effectually silenced the blasphemer.

The fact is, there is a deep sense of religion in those who go down to the sea in ships and do their business in the great waters. Every minister of God, irrespective of the denomination to which he belongs, is treated with respect. And a good chaplain, exercising tact and knowing how to give advice, does invaluable service in a ship, and is a great help in maintaining sound discipline, inasmuch as by virtue of his position he can discover and remove little misunderstandings which cause discontent and irritation. The discomforts of the Old Navy are unknown to the new. The sanitary appliances, for instance, were placed right forward in the bows, in the open air. If the sea were rough they could not be used. On these occasions, the state of the lower deck may with more discretion be imagined than described. As the ship rolled, the water leaked in through the rebated joints of the gun-ports, and as long as a gale lasted the mess-decks were no better than cesspools. It is a curious fact that in spite of all these things, the spirits of both officers and men rose whenever it came on to blow; and the harder it blew, the more cheery everyone became. The men sang most under stress of weather; just as they will to-day under the same conditions or while coaling ship. After a gale of wind, the whole ship’s company turned-to to clean the ship.

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – Naval Discipline Act

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Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  This is the tenth installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – Naval Discipline Act

Very great credit is due to Admiral Sir William Martin, who reformed the discipline of the Fleet. The Naval Discipline Act was passed in [1861]; the New Naval Discipline Act in [1866]. In [1871] a circular was issued restricting the infliction of corporal punishment in peace time. Flogging was virtually abolished in [1879]. (Laird Clowes’ The Royal Navy, vol. 7.) Now we have proper discipline and no cat. In former days, we had the cat but no proper discipline.

The men were granted very little leave. They were often on board for months together. When they went ashore, there they remained until they had spent their last penny; and when they came on board they were either drunk or shamming drunk. For drunkenness was the fashion then, just as sobriety is, happily, the fashion now. In order to be in the mode, a man would actually feign drunkenness on coming aboard. In many a night-watch after leave had been given have I superintended the hoisting in of drunken men, who were handed over to the care of their messmates. Today, an intoxicated man is not welcomed by his mess, his comrades preferring that he should be put out of the way in cells. It was impossible to keep liquor out of the ship. Men would bring it aboard in little bladders concealed in their neckties. Excess was the rule in many ships. On Christmas Day, for instance, it was not advisable for an officer to go on the lower deck, which was given up to license. I remember one man who ate and drank himself to death on Christmas Day. There he lay, beside a gun, dead. Other cases of the same kind occurred in other ships.

The rations were so meagre that hunger induced the men constantly to chew tobacco. For the same reason I chewed tobacco myself as a boy. Nor have I ever been able to understand how on such insufficient and plain diet the men were so extraordinarily hardy. They used to go aloft and remain aloft for hours, reefing sails, when a gale was blowing with snow and sleet, clad only in flannel (vest) serge frock and cloth or serge trousers, their heads, arms and lower part of their legs bare. Then they would go below to find the decks awash in a foot of water, the galley fire extinguished, nothing to eat until next meal time but a biscuit, and nothing to drink but water.

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project

James Watt – 1736

 

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Matthew Boulton and James Watt formed a partnership in 1773 after Boulton took a share in Watts engine as settlement of a debt.  Today they are honoured for their work in superior coinage with them both featuring on the new £50 banknote. 

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

Below is an excerpt from The Quarterly Review Volume 104 published in 1858 – featuring James Watt.

James Watt – 1736

James WattJames Watt was born at Greenock on the Clyde, on the 19th of January, 1736. His parents were of the middle class honest, ‘God-fearing’ people, with a character for probity which had descended to them from their ‘forbears,’ and was the proudest inheritance of the family. James Watt was thus emphatically well-born. His grandfather was a teacher of navigation and mathematics in the village of Cartsdyke, now part of Greenock, and dignified himself with the name of ‘Professor.’ But as Cartsdyke was as yet only a humble collection of thatched hovels, and the shipping of the Clyde was confined principally to fishing-boats, the probability is, that his lessons in navigation were of a very humble order.

He was, however, a dignitary of the place, being Bailie of the Barony as well as one of the parish elders. His son, James Watt, the father of the engineer, settled at Greenock as a carpenter and builder. Greenock was then little better than a fishing village, consisting of a single row of thatched cottages lying parallel with the sandy beach of the Frith of Clyde. The beautiful shore, broken by the long narrow sea lochs running far away among the Argyleshire hills, and now fringed with villages, villas, and mansions, was then as lonely as Glencoe; and the waters of the Frith, now daily plashed by the paddles of almost innumerable Clyde steamers, were as yet undisturbed save by the passing of an occasional Highland coble.

The prosperity of Greenock was greatly promoted by Sir John Shaw, the feudal superior, who succeeded in obtaining from the British Parliament, what the Scottish Parliament previous to the Union had refused, the privilege of constructing a harbour. Ships began after 1740 to frequent the pier, and then Mr. Watt added ship carpentering and dealing in ships’ stores to his other pursuits. He himself held shares in ships, and engaged in several foreign mercantile ventures, some of which turned out ill, and involved him in embarrassments. A great deal of miscellaneous work was executed on his premises – household furniture and ship’s carpentry – chairs and tables, figureheads and capstans, blocks, pumps, gun-carriages, and dead-eyes. The first crane erected on the Greenock pier, for the convenience of the Virginia tobacco ships, was supplied from his stores. He even undertook to repair ships’ compasses, as well as the commoner sort of nautical instruments then in use. These multifarious occupations were the result of the smallness of the place, while the business of a single calling was yet too limited to yield a competence. That Mr. Watt was a man of repute in his locality is shown by his having been elected one of the trustees to manage the funds of the borough in 1741, when Sir John Shaw divested himself of his feudal rights, and made them over to the inhabitants. Mr. Watt subsequently held office as town-treasurer, and as bailie or magistrate.

Agnes Muirhead, the bailie’s wife, and the mother of James Watt, was long remembered in the place as an intelligent woman, bountifully gifted with graces of person as well as of mind and heart. She was of a somewhat dignified appearance; and it was said that she affected a superior style of living to her neighbours.

Excerpt from The Quarterly Review Volume 104 published in 1858.


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Further Reading and External Links

BBC News – New £50 banknote – featuring Matthew Boulton and James Watt

A Diary of Two Parliaments – 24 April 1874

 

Over the coming weeks and months we are publishing excerpts from the book ‘A Diary of Two Parliaments’ by Henry W Lucy, published in 1885. A popular book in our library, it covers the parliament of the Disraeli government during the years 1874-1880.

Catch-up with other posts in this series here, or search our library here.

The Disraeli Parliament 1874-1880

Mr Smollett attacks the Late Premier

Friday 24th April 1874

Houses of ParliamentWhen at five o’clock Smollett rose, in accordance with notice to call the attention  of the House of Commons to “the abrupt dissolution of the late Parliament,” and to move a resolution, there was present only such a House as is customary on Friday evenings, when a private member is availing himself of the privilege of airing a grievance on going into Committee of Supply. A quarter of an hour earlier Gregory had, by a speech on probate in England, Scotland, and Ireland, driven the bulk of the members away. But they came flocking back as the news spread through the lobbies that Smollett really was moving his resolution, and that Gladstone was on the Treasury bench taking notes, with the obvious intention of replying.

Smollett set out with the declaration that he was not working in conjunction with any party, nor was he expecting sympathy from either Ministers or the Opposition. The former were, he declared, too well satisfied with the position in which the dissolution had landed them to interpose, and the other too fully impressed with the wisdom of not crying over spilt milk, to complain of “the political madness of Mr. Gladstone,” or to bewail their own “condition of political disorganisation.”

This way of speaking, the plainness of which was considerably augmented by a certain brusqueness of manner, raised a laugh on the Conservative benches. Thus encouraged, Smollett proceeded to indulge in “a short historical retrospect of the Session,” the dramatic interest of which he somewhat damaged by declaring at the outset that it was designed to prove that Gladstone had “organised a dissolution in secret, and sprung it upon the House.” It was not, he was careful to state, for the sake of the late House of Commons that he was moved to protest. He had not himself belonged to that House, had “never thought much of it,” and had even seen it referred to as “an assembly of soap boilers.” But the facts did not lessen his indignation against Gladstone and his colleagues, whom, in the course of his speech, he accused of “having, by unworthy, improper, and unconstitutional methods, tried to seize power of having “acted in a manner that was ungenerous to their friends, insolent to their enemies, and to the country at large barely honest;” whose conduct he variously described as “indecent,” as “utter wantonness,” as a “device,” an “artifice” a “plot,” a “pious fraud,” as “sharp practice more likely to have come from a sharp attorney’s office than from a Cabinet of English gentlemen.” To account for all of which the most charitable suggestion that offered itself was that “the late Ministry had lost their wits, and were not responsible agents.”

To this, members on the Conservative side listened with appreciative laughter and applauding cheers, and only once when Smollett declared, speaking of Gladstone, that “the stratagem had recoiled on the head of the trickster” did indignant cries of  “Order!”  from the Liberal benches interrupt the speaker.

When Smollett sat down, Gladstone half rose from his place, but there appeared a prospect of his speech remaining unspoken. No one had seconded the resolution, and no response came in reply to the Speaker’s demand for the name of the seconder. At the second appeal from the chair, however, Whalley came forward, hat in hand, from the obscurity of a corner under the Strangers’ Gallery, and said,

“I beg to second it.”

A great roar of laughter and cheers followed upon this unexpected apparition. It was some moments before silence was restored, and the Speaker found an opportunity for putting the motion from the chair. Then Gladstone appeared at the table, and was greeted by long and loud cheering from the benches behind him and below the gangway. In tones of grave mockery he declared that, as the motion had been supported by “two such distinguished members” as the proposer and seconder, he felt it his duty to lose no time in replying to it. In the same tone of grave banter, hugely relished by both sides of the House, Gladstone, whilst admitting that Smollett had the support of a name that stood high in historical literature, took exception to the date of the “historical retrospect” which they had listened to. “What he calls history I call romance,” said he, and, with a half apology for treating the matter seriously, he proceeded at some length to contradict and disprove the serious allegations “which appeared amid the jokes and the invective of the hon. member. “The main statement, to the effect that the Ministry had early in January determined upon the dissolution announced in the last week of the month, and had secretly informed their supporters of their intention, with the view to their obtaining advantages at the hustings, Gladstone denounced as “not only untrue, but absurd; not only absurd, but impossible.” Coming to the passage in which Smollett had stigmatised her Majesty’s late Ministers as “tricksters,” he, pointing over to the place where Smollett sat, called out, in a loud voice,

“Let the hon. member rise in his place and say whether he still holds to the utterance of the word ‘trickster.'”

He paused a moment, and Smollett, standing on his feet, said hurriedly,

“I shall not rise again from my seat.” The House laughed at the “bull” but it became hushed as Gladstone protested his scorn for a man who, when challenged, had “not the decency, had not the manliness, to reply, but took refuge in ignoble silence from the consequence of his act.” A prolonged cheer from the Liberal benches followed, and when Gladstone spoke again it was in a quiet, subdued manner. Thenceforward his speech resolved itself into an elaborate defence of the course taken by the Cabinet in dissolving Parliament, and comprised an historically interesting statement of his personal views and feelings in the last critical moments of his Premiership.

When Gladstone had finished, he, amid loud cheers, walked out of the House, and Whalley presented himself, this time from a seat behind the front
Opposition bench. His naive confession, that he had “scarcely read the resolution he had seconded,” caused great laughter, which became quite boisterous when he said he was very glad to have the opportunity of commenting upon the inconvenience occasioned to candidates for election and re-election by the suddenness of the dissolution, adding, “It found me in prison”  When, finally, Whalley sat down, there was a pause, and all eyes were turned towards the Treasury bench, where Disraeli sat with folded arms and downcast eyes. Showing no signs of intention to interfere in the matter, Sir George Bowyer rose amid deprecatory cries. It transpired that he wanted Smollett to withdraw his resolution, but the Liberals opposing to his suggestion a determined shout of “No!” the question was formally put from the Chair and negatived.

Excerpt from A Diary of Two Parliaments by Henry W Lucy published in 1885

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Further Reading and External Links

The Author – Henry W Lucy on Wikipedia

Benjamin Disraeli on Wikipedia

 

A Diary of Two Parliaments – 23 April 1874

We are publishing excerpts from the book ‘A Diary of Two Parliaments’ by Henry W Lucy, published in 1885. A popular book in our library, it covers the parliament of the Disraeli government during the years 1874-1880.

Catch-up with other posts in this series here, or search our library here.

The Disraeli Parliament 1874-1880

Mr Gladstone Criticises the Budget

Thursday 23rd April 1874

Houses of ParliamentThe appearance of the House of Commons at half-past four betokened a condition of high expectancy. Every seat in the body of the House was appropriated, and members overflowed into the galleries, a double row facing the Opposition benches indicating that the speaker looked for would rise from that side. The gallery over the clock was densely crowded, amongst the numerous peers present being Earl Granville. Both the front Opposition bench and the Treasury bench were filled, a notable addition to the occupants of the former being Gladstone, who has not of late been very constant in his attendance upon the debates.

As has been his custom this Session, he sat several seats below the one usually filled by the leader of the Opposition, having Bright on his right hand and Childers on his left. The questions disposed of, Raikes, the Chairman of Committees, brought up the Report of the Budget; whereupon Gladstone rose, and was greeted by loud and prolonged cheering from the Liberal benches.

He commenced by observing that he was not about to enter upon a course of hostile criticism, and this pledge was, throughout a speech extending over three-quarters of an hour, kept, not alone in the general scope of his remarks, but in the manner of making them. He was studiously courteous to “my right hon. friend” Stafford Northcote, and most gentle in the utterance even of the strongest of his criticisms upon the financial policy of a Conservative Government.

Stafford Northcote, who followed, observed that, after such a speech, he felt scarcely called upon for an answer; and forthwith proceeded at great length, and in somewhat wearisome detail, to reply.

Excerpt from A Diary of Two Parliaments by Henry W Lucy published in 1885

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Further Reading and External Links

The Author – Henry W Lucy on Wikipedia

Benjamin Disraeli on Wikipedia

 

James Watt – Steam-Engine – Hercules of Modern Mythology

 

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Matthew Boulton and James Watt formed a partnership in 1773 after Boulton took a share in Watts engine as settlement of a debt.  Today they are honoured for their work in superior coinage with them both featuring on the new £50 banknote. 

Below is an excerpt from The Quarterly Review Volume 104 published in 1858 – featuring James Watt.

James Watt – Steam-Engine – Hercules of Modern Mythology

James WattNO country in the world presents such a combination of facilities for manufacture and commerce as England – coal and iron, ships and steam-engines, hardy seamen and ingenious mechanics. With these combined advantages the progress during the present century has been beyond example. In [1784] an American vessel arrived in Liverpool having on board as part of her cargo eight bales of cotton, which were seized by the customhouse officers under the conviction that they could not be the growth of America!

Last year there were imported at Liverpool not less than a million and a half bales of cotton from the United States alone! The first steam-engine used in Manchester was not erected till [1790]; it is now computed that in that city and the district within a radius of ten miles, there are more than fifty thousand boilers, giving a total power of upwards of a million of horses! The engine of Watt has proved the very Hercules of modern mythology, the united steam power of Great Britain being equal, it is estimated, to the manual labour of upwards of four hundred millions of men, or more than double the number of males supposed to inhabit the globe.

Mechanicians and engineers, unlike literary men, are never their own biographers. As an eminent living engineer lately observed, ‘We are so much occupied with doing the thing itself, that we have not the disposition, even if we had the leisure, to write about how it is done. The majority of the persons of this class have moreover risen from obscurity, and the companions among whom they passed their early days were, for the most part, like themselves, self-educated; neither caring to put on record what was worthy to be preserved, nor competent to record it. Hence these heroes of mechanical science passed away, leaving only their work behind them. Hence little is known of Savery, the inventor of the first working atmospheric engine; and it is matter of doubt whether he was the captain of a ship or of a Cornish tin-mine. Nothing of the history of his rival and subsequent partner, Newcomen, is preserved, beyond the fact that he was a blacksmith and a Baptist. Even the distinguished inventors who have lived nearer to our own time have been scarcely more fortunate; for we do not yet possess a single respectable memoir of Arkwright, Crompton, Brindley, or Rennie. Happily, however, the greatest name in the roll of English inventors left behind him a large store of valuable materials, which have been published by his zealous relative Mr. Muirhead, and who has now crowned his long labours by an elaborate ‘Life of Watt,’ the expansion of a former Memoir, which comprises all that we are likely to learn of a man to whom we mainly owe the greatest commercial and social revolution in the entire history of the world.

Excerpt from The Quarterly Review Volume 104 published in 1858.


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Further Reading and External Links

BBC News – New £50 banknote – featuring Matthew Boulton and James Watt

 

War in the East – 21 Apr 1855

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Below is another compelling installment from “The War” by William Howard Russell – War Correspondent to The Times Newspaper, it gives a daily account of events during the Crimean War (157 years ago).

The book and our excerpts cover from the landing at Gallipoli to the death of Lord Raglan.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here or search our library here.

War in the East – 21 Apr 1855

The Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856) was a conflict between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia – most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula.

Saturday 21 April 1855

The advanced rifle pit was taken this morning by the English troops in the right attack after a feeble resistance from the Russian infantry, but we were exposed to loss from the fire of the guns in the Redan, and the 41st Regiment had fifteen men killed and wounded in the fire which the Russians opened upon us yesterday evening. The pit was levelled, filled in with earth, and the men then retired. The French, in extending their lodgment last night, had to overcome a very vigorous opposition, and suffered considerably from the fire of the enemy’s batteries inside the town, but they persisted, and have now fairly established themselves on the flanks of the Flagstaff.

There was a skirmish between the Cossacks and the Turks in the plain this morning.

 

Excerpt from The War 1855 by W H Russell – Correspondent to The Times.

This volume contains the letters of The Times Correspondent from the seat of war in the East – The Crimean War – the first war with war correspondents.

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Further Reading and External Links

Maps, Plans and Pictures of the Crimean War

William Howard Russell on Wikipedia

William Howard Russell on BikWil