The Sponge Fishery

 

The Fisheries Exhibition Literature – Volume 5 – 1884

A Conference excerpt taken from The Fisheries Exhibition Literature Volume 5, for the International Fisheries Exhibition in London 1883.

Key West Sponge Market

The Sponge Fishery – The Florida Sponge grounds form three separate elongate stretches, along the southern and western coasts of the state. The first includes nearly all of the Florida Keys the second extends from Anclote Keys to Cedar Keys; and the third from just north of Cedar Keys to Saint Mark’s, in Apalachee Bay. The linear extent of these grounds is about 120 miles, and their breadth varies from a few miles to 15 or 20 miles. The total area of the Sponge grounds worked in 1880 was reckoned at about 3,000 square geographical miles, but this does not by any means cover the possibilities of the coast, as many additional sponging areas have been discovered since then.

Key West is the principal headquarters for the Sponge fleet. The Florida Sponge fishery differs from the Mediterranean in that no divers are employed. The Sponge fleet consists of over 100 vessels, ranging in size from 5 to 50 tons burden. The cruises last from four to eight weeks, at the end of which time the vessels return to Key West, a few only going to Apalachicola. The process of bleaching or liming Sponges has been extensively in vogue at Key West, but it is now meeting with much discouragement from the trade, for while it renders the Sponge much lighter in colour, it also partly destroys its fibre, and makes it less tough and durable. The Florida Sponges are all shipped from Key West and Apalachicola to New York. The value of the Florida  Sponge fishery to the fishermen averages about $200,000 annually.

“The Florida Sponge fishery originated about 1852, for, although the occurrence of Sponges on the Florida reefs was previously made known, the species were not supposed to be of commercial value. The industry has gradually developed to the present time, but during the past few years has remained at about the same standing. The demand for the better grades greatly exceeds the supply. Fully 75 per cent in value of all the Florida Sponges marketed are of the Sheepswool variety.”

 

The Oath of Supremacy

The Oath of Supremacy from

The History of the Catholic Church Volume II- 1914

By Rev James MacCaffrey – Professor of Ecclesiastical History, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth

 

The Great Seal of Henry VIII

The Oath of Supremacy – In October 1536 the men of Lincoln took up arms in defence of their religion. Many of the noblemen were forced to take part in the movement, with which they sympathised, but which they feared to join lest they should be exposed to the merciless vengeance of the king. The leaders proclaimed their loyalty to the crown, and announced their intention of sending agents to London to present their petitions. They demanded the restoration of the monasteries, the removal of heretical bishops such as Cranmer and Latimer, and the dismissal of evil advisers like Cromwell and Rich. Henry VIII. returned a determined refusal to their demands, and dispatched the Earl of Shrewsbury and the Duke of Suffolk to suppress the rebellion. The people were quite prepared to fight, but the noblemen opened negotiations with the king’s commanders, and advised the insurgents to disperse. The Duke of Suffolk entered the city of Lincoln amidst every sign of popular displeasure, although since the leaders had grown fainthearted no resistance was offered. Those who had taken a prominent part in the rebellion were arrested and put to death; the oath of supremacy was tendered to every adult; and by the beginning of April 1537, all traces of the rebellion had been removed.

The Biography of Elizabeth I (1533-1603)

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The Biography of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) Queen of England and Ireland
From The Dictionary of National Biography – Volume 6, 1908

ELIZABETH I (1533-1603), queen of  England and  Ireland, was born at Greenwich on 7 Sept. 1533. She was the daughter of Henry VIII, by Anne Boleyn q. v., whose secret marriage had been celebrated in the previous January. Three days after her birth (10 Sept.) she was baptised at the church of the Grey Friars at Greenwich by Stokesley, bishop of London, Cranmer, who had been consecrated archbishop of Canterbury that same year, standing as her godfather. The ritual was that of the Roman church, and the ceremonial was conducted with great pomp and magnificence. Margaret, lady Bryan, mother of the dissolute but gifted Sir Francis Bryan q. v., was appointed governess to the young princess, as she had previously been to her sister, the Princess Mary. Lady Bryan proved herself to be a careful and affectionate guardian, who, under circumstances of extraordinary difficulty, consistently kept in view the interests of her ward. During the first two or three years of her infancy the princess was moved about from house to house. Sometimes she was at Greenwich, sometimes at Hatfield, sometimes at the Bishop of Winchester’s palace at Chelsea. On Friday, 7 Jan. 1536, Queen Catherine died at Kimbolton. On Friday, 19 May, Queen Anne Boleyn was beheaded. Next day the king married Jane Seymour. On 1 July the parliament declared that the Lady Mary, daughter of the first queen, and the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of the second, were equally illegitimate, and that ‘the succession to the throne be now therefore determined to the issue of the marriage with Queen Jane. Less than six months before (Sunday, 9 Jan.), Henry, in the glee of his heart at Queen Catherine’s death, ‘clad all over in yellow, from top to toe, except the white feather he had in his bonnet,’ had sent for the little princess, who was ‘conducted to mass with trumpets and other great triumphs,’ and after dinner, ‘carrying her in his arms, he showed her first to one and then to another.’

 

The Biography of Mary I (1516-1558)

Mary I

 

The Biography of Mary I (1516-1558)
From The Dictionary of National Biography – Volume 12, 1909

MARY I (1516-1558), queen of  England and Ireland, third but only surviving child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, was born at four o’clock in the morning of Monday, 18 Feb. 1515-16 at Greenwich Palace. She was baptised with great solemnity on Wednesday, 20 Feb., in the monastery of Grey Friars, which adjoined Greenwich Palace. Margaret Pole, countess of Salisbury q. v., carried her to the font, assisted by the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk. The Princess Catherine Plantagenet, daughter of Edward IV, and the Duchess of Norfolk were her godmothers. Cardinal Wolsey stood godfather. The infant was named Mary, after her father’s favourite sister see Mary, 1496-1533, After baptism, the girl received the rite of confirmation, the Countess of Salisbury acting as sponsor. To the countess, a very pious catholic, the queen confided the general care of the child, while Catherine, wife of Leonard Pole (a kinsman of the countess’s husband, Sir Richard Pole), was appointed her nurse, and before she was a year old, Henry Rowte, a priest, became her chaplain and clerk of the closet. For her first year Mary chiefly lived under the same roof as her parents. The autumn of 1517 she spent at the royal residence of Ditton Park, Buckinghamshire, within easy reach of Windsor. In February 1518, when she was just two, Henry VIII, carrying her in his arms, introduced her to a crowd of courtiers, including Wolsey and Sebastian Giustinian, the Venetian ambassador. All kissed the child’s hand, but Mary suddenly cast her eyes on a Venetian friar, Dionisius Meno, the king’s organist, and calling out, ‘Priest, priest,’ summoned him to play with her (Giustinian, ii. 161; BREWER, i 232).  The childish cry – Mary’s first reported words – almost seems of prophetic import. About the same time Margaret, wife of Sir Thomas Bryan, was made governess to the princess, and there were added to her household a chamberlain (Sir Weston Browne) and a treasurer (Richard Sydnour).

The Biography of Edward VI (1537-1558)

The Biography of Edward VI (1537-1558)
From The Dictionary of National Biography – Volume 6, 1908

Edward VI
Edward VI

EDWARD VI (1537-1553), king of  England, was son of Henry VIII by his third wife, Jane Seymour, daughter of Sir John Seymour of Wolf Hall, Savernake, Wiltshire. His father married 19 May 1536, and the son was born at Hampton Court 12 Oct 1537. A letter under the queen’s signet announced the event to ‘the lord privy seal’ on the same day. The christening took place in the chapel at Hampton Court on 15 Oct Princess Mary was godmother, and Archbishop Cranmer and the Duke of Norfolk godfathers. The Marchioness of Exeter carried the infant in her arms during the ceremony. On 19 Oct. Hugh Latimer sent the minister Cromwell a characteristic letter, entreating that the child should be brought up in the protestant faith. Queen Jane Seymour died on 24 Oct., and the despatch sent to foreign courts to announce her death dwelt on the nourishing health of the prince. In his first year Holbein painted his portrait and that of his wet nurse,’ Mother lak.’ As early as March 1539 a separate household was established for the boy. Sir William Sidney became chamberlain, and Sir John Cornwallis steward. There were also appointed a comptroller, vice-chamberlain, almoner dean, lady-mistress, nurse, and rockers. Lady Bryan, who had brought up both the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth, received the office of lady-mistress, and Sybil Penne, sister of Sir William Sidneys wife, was nominated chief nurse in October 1538. George Owen was the prince’s physician from the first.

The Biography of Henry VIII (1491-1547)

Henry VIII
Henry VIII

The Biography of Henry VIII (1491-1547) King of England
From The Dictionary of National Biography – Volume 9, 1908

Henry VIIIHENRY VIII (1491-1547), king of  England, was the second son of  Henry VII, by his queen, Elizabeth of York q. v. He was born at Greenwich on 28 June 1491. When little more than three years of age he was, 12 Sept. 1494, appointed lieutenant of Ireland, with Poynings as his deputy. On 31 Oct. following his father dubbed him knight of the Bath, and next day created him Duke of York. In 1495 he was admitted into the order of the Garter, and installed on 17 May. In 1501 a marriage was proposed between him and Eleanor, daughter of the Archduke Philip, but the project was soon dropped. After the death of his brother Arthur (1486-1502) q. v. he was created Prince of Wales on 18 Feb. 1503, and soon after contracted to his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon q. v.  A dispensation was granted for the match by Julius II on 26 Dec. 1503, and was sent by Ferdinand of Spain to England in 1504. But on 27 June 1505, being then close upon the age of puberty, he protested that the contract made during his minority was against his mind, and that he would not ratify it (Collier, Exl Hist., ed. 1862, ix. 66). This, however, was merely a device of his father to keep himself free from any engagement to Ferdinand until the latter should send to England Catherine’s stipulated dowry, only part of which had been paid see under  Henry VII. Owing to the dispute on this subject,  Henry VII to the close of his reign would not allow his son to proceed to the completion of this marriage, and young Henry himself was not impatient for it. Rumours were even spread that his father intended to marry him to Margaret, sister of Francis, count d’Angouleme, afterwards Francis I, a match first suggested by Cardinal d’Amboise. In 1506 Philip, king of Castile, who was driven by storms to land in England on his way from the Netherlands to Spain, conferred upon young Henry the order of the Toison d’Or.

From his earliest boyhood he was carefully educated. Erasmus, who visited the royal household when he was nine (or more probably only eight) years old, was struck even then with a sort of royal precocity of intellect which he combined with a highly polished manner. Boy as he was, he wrote during dinner a note to the great scholar requesting to be favoured with some production of his pen, which Erasmus gave him three days after in the form of a Latin poem (Prefatory epistle to Botxheim, in Catalogo Erasmi Lucubrationum, Basle, 1523). Nor was he less devoted to bodily than to mental exercises. At seventeen he was daily to be seen tilting at the ring with friendly rivals. At twenty-nine, when he had been some years king, and was the handsomest prince in Europe, he could tire out eight or ten horses in the course of a day’s hunting, mounting each successively after one was exhausted. His tennis playing also excited the admiration of the Venetian ambassador Giustinian. Added to these gifts was a great delight in music, and a devout observance of religious ordinances.

On 22 April 1509 he was called to the throne by his father’s death, and on 11 June following he married Catherine of Arragon. They were both crowned together at Westminster on the 24th. His father had been on ill terms with his father-in-law for some time before his death. But now many things were changed. A general pardon had been proclaimed at his accession; many debtors of the crown were released from their engagements; Empson and Dudley were thrown into the Tower, and were next year beheaded. Young Henry was at peace with all the world, and the first two years of his reign went merrily in pageants and festivities.

 

The Biography of Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

The Biography of Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)
From The Dictionary of National Biography – Volume 15, 1888

Benjamin Disraeli
Benjamin Disraeli

DISRAELI BENJAMIN, first earl of Beaconsfield (1804-1881), statesman and man of letters, was born at 6 John Street, Bedford Row, London, on 21 Dec. 1804 (Notes and Queries, 6th ser. x. 457). He was the son of Isaac D’lsraeli q. v., whose family consisted of four sons and one daughter. Benjamin, who was baptised at St. Andrew, Holborn (31 July 1817), was privately educated, and at the age of seventeen was articled to Messrs. Swain & Stevenson, solicitors in the Old Jewry. He entered Lincoln’s Inn in 1824, and kept nine terms, but removed his name in 1831. He soon, however, discovered a taste for literature, and in 1826 contributed a forgotten poem, ‘The Modern Dunciad,’ to a forgotten magazine, called ‘The Star Chamber.’ In the same year he burst upon the town with ‘Vivian Grey’ (of which a second part appeared in 1827), a novel more remarkable perhaps for a youth of twenty than even Congreve’s ‘Old Bachelor.’  Extravagant, audacious, and sparkling, rather than truly brilliant, it achieved at once a great success; but the young author, as if to show his contempt for popularity, quitted England soon after its publication, and spent, the next three years (1828-31) in Spain, Italy, the Levant, and the south-east of Europe, which he described to his sister in the first series of letters edited by Mr. Ralph Disraeli. On his return to England in 1831, the brother and sister still continued regular correspondents, and his ‘Letters’ from 1832 to 1852 form the contents of a second volume lately published by the same editor. They do not add much to what was already known, and, though amusing and interesting, are coloured by a strain of egotism, which, if intended for a joke in writing to a near relative, is not one of those jokes which every one is bound to understand.

It was not till the general election of 1837 that Disraeli obtained a seat in parliament, having previously contested without success both High Wycombe (twice in 1832, and again in 1834), and Taunton (in 1836), involving himself in squabbles of no very dignified character with Joseph Hume and Daniel O’Connell. At Taunton he attacked O’Connell, who had written a complimentary letter about him when he stood for Wycombe. O’Connell retorted by comparing Disraeli to the ‘impenitent thief.’ There was some talk of a duel with O’Connell’s son, Morgan, O’Connell having made a vow against the practice; but nothing came of it. In a letter to The Times of 3l Dec 1835 Disraeli gave his own version of the quarrel. While willing to accept the assistance of these influential politicians against Whig dictation, he had distinctly disavowed all sympathy with their peculiar principles. His support of the ballot and triennial parliaments he justified by the example of Bolingbroke and Sir William Wyndham. But the public of that day knew nothing of either, and the historical toryism of Disraeli was entirely beyond their grasp.

 

The Biography of Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

The Biography of Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
From The Dictionary of National Biography – Volume 14, 1909

Statue of Isaac Newton
Statue of Isaac Newton

Sir ISAAC (1642-1727), natural philosopher, was born in the manor-house at Woolathorpe, a hamlet of Colsterworth, eight miles south of Grantham, Lincolnshire, on 26 Dec. 1642. Engravings of the house, which is still standing, appear in Thomas Maude’s’ Wensleydale, 1771, and in Tumor’s ‘Collections for the History of Grantham,’ 1806, p. 157. He was baptised at Colsterworth 1 Jan. 1642-3. His father, Isaac Newton of Woolsthorpe, had married in April 1642 Hannah, daughter of James Ayscough of Market Overton, Rutland, but died at the age of thirty-six, in October 1642, before the birth of his son. The small estate of Woolsthorpe had been purchased by the philosopher’s grandfather, Robert Newton (d. 1641), in 1623. Some three years after her first husband’s death, 27 Jan. 1645-6,  Newton’s mother married Barnabas Smith, rector of North Witham, Lincolnshire, who died in 1656, leaving by him one son, Benjamin, and two daughters, Marie (wife of Thomas Pilkington of Belton, Rutland) and Hannah (second wife of Thomas Barton of Brigstock, Northamptonshire).

On his mother’s second marriage Newton was left at Woolsthorpe in charge of his grandmother, Mrs. Ayscough. He was sent in 1654 to the grammar school at Grantham, then kept by a Mr. Stokes. For some time he made little advance with his books, but a successful fight with a boy older than himself awakened a spirit of emulation, and  Newton soon rose to be head of the school. At the age of fourteen he was removed from school by his mother, who had returned to Woolsthorpe on the death of her second husband, in order to take part in the management of her farm. This proved distasteful to Isaac, there are various stories of the way in which he occupied himself with mathematics and other studies when he ought to have been attending to his farm duties and by the advice of his uncle, William Ayscough, rector of Burton Coggles, Lincolnshire, he was sent back to school in 1660 with a view to preparing him for college. Ayscough was himself a Trinity man, and on 5 June 1661 Isaac Newton was matriculated as a subsizar at Trinity College, Cambridge, under Mr. Pulleyne. Few details of his undergraduate life remain. In 1664 he made some observations on halos, afterwards described in his ‘Optics’ (bk. ii. pt. iv. obs. 18), and on 28 April of the same year he was elected a scholar. He graduated B.A. in January 1665, but unfortunately the ‘ordo senioritatis’ for that year has not been preserved.

Newton’s unrivalled genius for mathematical speculation declared itself almost in his boyhood.

The Biography of William Pitt the Younger (1759-1806)

The Biography of William Pitt the Younger (1759-1806)
From The Dictionary of National Biography – Volume 15, 1909

William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger

PITT, WILLIAM (1759-1806), statesman, second son of  William Pitt, first earl of Chatham q. v., and Hester, daughter of Richard Grenville, was born at Hayes, near Bromley, Kent; on 28 May 1759. As a child he was precocious and eager, and at seven years old looked forward to following in his father’s steps (Chatham Correspondence, ii. 393-4). His health being extremely delicate, he was educated at home. His father took much interest in his studies, preparing him to excel as an orator by setting him to translate verbally, and at sight, passages from Greek and Latin authors, and hearing him recite. When thirteen years old he composed a tragedy ‘Laurentino, King of Chersonese’ which he and his brothers and sisters acted at his father’s house. It is extant in manuscript.

The plot is political, and there is no love in it.  At fourteen, when he knew more than most lads of eighteen, he matriculated at Cambridge, entering Pembroke Hall in the spring of 1773, and going into residence the following October. He was put under the care of the Rev, George Pretyman, afterwards Tomline q.v., one of the tutors. Soon afterwards a serious illness compelled his return home, and he remained there until the next July. Dr. Anthony Addington fq. v. recommended a copious use of port wine. The remedy was successful, and at eighteen his health was established. For two years and a half he lived at Cambridge, with little or no society save that of his tutor, Pretyman. He studied Latin and Greek diligently, and showed a taste for mathematics; but of modern literature he read little, and of modern languages knew only French. In the spring of 1770 he graduated M.A. without examination, and towards the end of the year began to mix with other young men. He was excellent company, cheerful, witty, and well-bred. While still residing at Cambridge, he often went to hear debates in parliament, and on one of these occasions was introduced to Charles James Fox q, v., who was struck by his eager comments on the arguments of the different speakers (Stanhope, Life, i, 27). He was present at his father’s last speech in the House of Lords on 7 April 1778, and helped to carry the earl from the chamber. On his father’s death he was left with an income of less than 300l. a year, and, intending to practise law, began to keep terms at Lincoln’s Inn, though he lived for the most part at Cambridge. In the following October he published an answer to a letter from Lord Mountstuart with reference to his father’s political conduct (Ann. Reg. 1778, xxi. 257-61). He was called to the bar on 12 June 1780, and in August went the western circuit. At the general election in September he stood for the university of Cambridge, and was at the bottom of tho poll. Sir James Lowther, however, caused him to be elected at Appleby, and he took his seat on 23 Jan. 1781. Amoung his closest friends were Edward Eliot (afterwards his brother-in-law), Richard Pepper Arden (afterwards lord Alvanley), and Wilburforce, to their company he was always full of life and gaiety. At first he gambled a little, but gave it up on finding that the excitement was absorbing; for he resolved to allow nothing to hinder him from giving his whole mind to the service of his country.

The Late Nassau Hurricane of 1866

From: Nautical Magazine and Journal of the Royal Naval Reserve – 1867

THE LATE NASSAU HURRICANE. OCTOBER 1ST 1866. 

The Late Nassau Hurricane – This Visitation is well entitled to be called the Nassau Hurricane, since it appears that the central calm passed over that place, and that it suffered, perhaps, more than any other place in the West Indies. As, however, we have only seen the few accounts that have appeared in the public prints (although no doubt extensive official reports have been received), we preserve from them the following notice of one of the most disastrous hurricanes on record.

We are informed that Governor Rawson, in a long account to Lord Carnarvon, dated October 17th, has stated that the destruction of property on land and at sea has been very great throughout all the island, and especially in New Providence. Happily, the loss of life has been comparatively small. On this island only three deaths have been reported. On some of the Out Islands it has been greater. Considering the number of vessels, colonial and foreign, which have been wrecked throughout the archipelago, it is surprising how few of the crews have been lost. I estimate the number, including five crews, two of colonial and three of foreign vessels, at between sixty and seventy persons.”

But we turn to Commander A. J. Chatfield’s report of October 9th, in command of her Majesty’s ship Nimble, for a progressive account, noticing by the way that this ship was blown on shore, as appears in his letter to Commodore McClintock at Jamaica. The following are the remarks of this intelligent officer at Nassau, of New Providence, relative to this phenomenon, which occurred on the 1st and 2nd of October last.

“The hurricane commenced on the 1st of October, about 10h. a.m., although the great fury was from lh. p.m. until 7h. p.m. from N.N.E. and N., and from 9h. p.m. until 2h. a.m. from S., after which it gradually went down. From 7h. 20m. p.m. until 8h. 50m. p.m. on the 1st of October was a dead calm, when the vortex passed over the harbour, the barometer falling to 27.70. There was no indication of the approaching storm until late on Sunday night, when the barometer began to fall. Sunday was a fine clear day, with a fresh N.E. breeze; no banking up of the horizon until sunset, or lightning; at midnight, however, I thought the weather looked threatening, and at daylight I struck lower yard and topmasts, got up steam, and secured boats and guns.”