An Exile in Paris

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An Exile in Paris – 1764

John Wilkes and Daughter PollyExcept for two brief clandestine visits to London in a vain endeavour to seek a pardon, Wilkes remained in exile from England during the next four years.  For this long banishment he had no reason to blame his advisers.  Immediately his friends knew that he had crossed the Channel he was overwhelmed with entreaties to return.  Those best able to advise him, like George Onslow and William Fitzherbert, the two most zealous partisans amongst his fellow-members of Parliament, sent word that the House of Commons could do no more than expel him, while Earl Temple assured him that he had nothing to fear from the House of Lords.  It was the opinion, also, of Alexander Philipps, his lawyer, that no British jury would convict him.  But his friends warned him that if he remained abroad he would lose his popularity, since the public could not be expected to fight the battles of a man who had run away.

Influenced by this unanimous advice, in which Humphrey Cotes and his brother Heaton had joined most earnestly, he determined to set out for London on the 13th of January, so as to arrive in time for the meeting of Parliament on the 16th of the month.  It was a grave risk, as he knew well enough, for should the House decide upon his expulsion it might be difficult for him to avoid a debtor’s prison.  The wonderful good fortune that attended him at some of the most perilous moments in his career did not fail him at this crisis.  A genuine but an opportune relapse seized him.  Ever since his flight from London he had been much indisposed.  The jolting of the coach and the sickness he had suffered on the stormy sea had re-opened his wound, and though still weak and in much pain he had plunged into the gaities of Paris with accustomed ardour.  Consequently he grew worse, and two days before he should have left for England he was obliged to take to his bed.  It was a most fortunate indisposition.  Had he returned to London on the 13th of January he would have suffered a long imprisonment, during which the fickle public must have lost all interest in “Wilkes and Liberty”.  On the other hand, his exile although in most respects a delightful holiday, gave him the prestige of martyrdom, and he was able to arrive in his native land at a time of his own choosing, when he could make a dramatic re-appearance upon the political stage.

Excerpt from Life of John Wilkes by Horace Bleackley – 1917


Further Reading and External Links

John Wilkes on Google Books

John Wilkes on Wikipedia

John Wilkes on Spartacus Educational


Key West Citizen

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Key West Citizen

Marcy Bradshaw Darnall

Thrown upon his own resources at the early age of fifteen years, Marcy B. Darnall has been printer, soldier, musician and editor, filing each station with credit to himself and taking up a new line only where his own best interests were thereby served.  His unremitting devotion to whatever work he was engaged in and inherent belief that only “by learning the business” could success be attained did much to smooth the pathway, and prepare him for grasping and handling opportunity when it became his so that it was an easy transition from bandmaster in the army to business manager of a daily newspaper. 

It was no unfamiliar field upon which he entered, nor was his natural ability to adapt himself to conditions as he found them his greatest help.  That lay in his preparedness acquired by reason of his devotion to his work in former years.  As business manager of  The Key West Citizen he seems to have “found his stride” as he has met with gratifying success and has plans full of promise for the future… 

…He was appointed chief musician or bandmaster in the regular army June 18, [1901], and assigned to the duty of organizing the newly authorized Ninth Artillery Band at Fort Riley, Kan.  While leader of this band he also edited the Fort Riley Guidon, a weekly paper devoted to the interests of the Garrison, at the same time continuing his writing for various musical journals.  His band was ordered to the Key West, Fla., barracks for duty and made the change of stations in July, 1904.  In November, [1905], he secured control of The Key West Citizen, a weekly newspaper, which he conducted with his wife’s assistance, for a year, and retained his army position.  In November, [1906], a consolidation was effected with The Daily InterOcean, and he resigned his position as bandmaster in the army to become business manager of the consolidated enterprise, which was incorporated as The Citizen Publishing Company, the paper retaining the name of The Key West Citizen.  Under Mr. Darnall’s management, with the assistance of his wife as circulation manager, the circulation of The Citizen has been increased nearly 100 per cent, the size of the paper has been doubled and the gross receipts have grown over 200 per cent, all in eighteen months.  His entry into business life was a distinct loss to the musical profession in which he was considered an authority, especially in band organization and management.

Excerpt from Makers of America Volume 3 by A B Caldwell – 1909

Further Reading and External Links

Marcy B Darnall on Google Books

Marcy B Darnall and The Florence Herald

The First Parliamentary War

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The First Parliamentary War – 1763

John WilkesParliament met on Tuesday, the 15th of November.  For many weeks the whole nation had been looking forward to this day, as though a decisive battle in foreign warfare was to be lost or won.  All were aware that there had been few contests in the history of England upon which graver issues had depended, since the fight between the Opposition and the Ministry over the body of John Wilkes would decide whether the king or Parliament was henceforth to control the destinies of the people.  Dense crowds were gathered in the courtyards outside the old Palace of Westminster.  Members of both Houses thronged the long corridors within, each party having mobilised its forces for the great fight. There was an atmosphere of unaccustomed excitement everywhere.  Each face was aglow with expectation; all hurried to and fro with quick eager footsteps.  

Long before the Speaker took his seat every bench was filled in the chapel of St. Stephen’s, where the Commons assembled, and members were standing along its panelled walls.  Although not as notable an assembly as some of the Parliaments that had gone before and came soon after, it still contained the most noble figure that ever entered those doors.  He sat amidst his colleagues of the Opposition this great William Pitt, grim and aloof, unconscious of the incessant glances that were cast upon him, a tall gaunt man in ill-fitting clothes, and though the shadow of pain and sickness rested upon his cheeks and he leant forward in his seat with the stoop of the valetudinarian, the gleam of his blue eyes revealed the unquenchable fire that glowed within his breast, and the fierce curved nose and stern mobile lips gave an impression of power and virility to his pale face.  Across the House his brother-in-law, the Premier, bent over a sheaf of notes, a silent, bloodless man with a hacking cough, his firm mouth and tilted nostrils indicating the proud Grenville obstinacy, and while he had none of Pitt’s fiery eloquence, his clear logical speeches made him one of the most formidable of debaters.

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Robert Walpole and The South Sea Bubble

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Sir Robert Walpole and The South Sea Bubble of 1720

Sir Robert WalpoleWalpole had opposed the South Sea scheme, though he made money out of speculation in the stock, and in the moment of disaster the king dismissed Stanhope and Sunderland, who soon died, and called upon Walpole to take charge of the finances. 

It was the beginning of his long supremacy.  He reorganized the South Sea Company, leaving it with a capital of £33,000,000 and still a gigantic corporation.   The shareholders got one share in the new company for three in the old, government guaranteed dividends on half the stock, and with something short of utter ruin the crisis passed.  It wrought much harm; that it brought Walpole to the front and made his real capacity apparent must be counted among its good results, for, as no one else, Walpole saw what England needed, and had the courage and ability to hold the government to its real tasks.

In earlier ages the king had been the real head of the government.  Sir Robert Walpole is the first name in the long roll of British prime ministers – men who rule the state though they use the sovereigns name.

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The South Sea Bubble

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The South Sea Bubble of 1720

The South Sea Bubble by Edward Matthew WardThe treaty of 1713 between Great Britain and Spain had also granted to English merchants the right of sending a merchant ship every year to the South Seas, as the Pacific Ocean was then called. 

In consequence, English commerce and wealth began to increase by leaps and bounds.  All this made people ready to venture their money in risky enterprises, and a number of merchants and bankers formed a great company for trading with the South Seas.  Their schemes caught the public fancy, and when the South Sea Company promised to make all rich who trusted their money to it, people rushed to take its shares.  They paid absurdly high prices for very doubtful chances of gain; and men and women, rich and poor, went almost crazy with excitement. 

When they regained their senses they saw that they had paid far too dear for profits which might never come.  Then, all at once with equal folly they rushed to sell their shares, but very few people would buy.  The great South Sea Bubble burst, and many thousands of people were ruined. 

The only man who came forward with any plan for healing some of the misery was Robert Walpole, who was known to be the best man at figures in the House of Commons.  He had warned people against trusting these schemes, and now he showed his skill in repairing some of the ruin.  This brought him back to power as one of the chief of the king’s ministers, and for the next twenty one years he was the first man in England next to the king.

Excerpt from Stories from English History by Henry Pitt Warren – 1908

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The American Battleship Indiana

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The American Battleship Indiana  (1895-1919)

Article Excerpt from Munsey’s Magazine October 1896

The American Battleship IndianaIn the navy which the United States have now been thirteen years constructing, the Indiana is recognized as the highest type of the battleship class, while the New York is the medium between the heavy, comparatively slow going, and thickly armored battleships on the one hand, and on the other the light heeled, triple screw commerce destroyers like the Columbia and Minneapolis.

There is no ship afloat, of her size and tonnage, which could whip the Indiana in a fair fight.  This is a sweeping statement.  It means that American designers, shipbuilders, and engineers, have turned out the finest vessel of her class afloat; but it is substantiated by the opinion of too many well known naval experts to be doubted.  This splendid battleship is one of a class of three, the other two being the Oregon, now on the Pacific Coast, and the Massachusetts, which was expected to join the North Atlantic squadron during its recent evolutions.  She was built by contract, and cost a little more than $3,000,000.  

It is not in speed that the Indiana is preeminent, although for a ship 340 feet long, with sixty nine feet of beam, twenty four feet of depth below the water line, and 10,200 tons displacement, her speed of fifteen knots an hour – which can be exceeded in case of special need – is very creditable, and would enable her to catch and destroy many a formidable enemy.  It is in her ability to carry on a steady platform, handle with terribly destructive effect, her battery of four thirteen inch guns, each weighing sixty tons, and throwing a shot weighing 1,100 pounds to a distance of eleven miles, sending it through eight inches of steel at that range, that her strength lies.  These guns, the largest in use in the American navy, are seconded by 8 guns of eight inches caliber, 4 of six inches, 20 throwing a six pound shot, 6 throwing a one pound shot, and four Gatling guns, which hail a storm of bullets upon the decks of an enemy.

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The British Battleship Magnificent

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The British Battleship Magnificent  (1895-1921)

Article Excerpt from Munsey’s Magazine October 1896

The British Battleship Magnificent With Great Britain staggering under a naval budget aggregating $100,000,000 for the current year, and trying her best to maintain a navy equal to any two which might combine against her, the two extremes of the British sea arm form interesting types for study.  Not more marked is the contrast between Nelson’s old flagship, the Foudroyant, and the modern Magnificent, than between the latter day battleship and the tiny but speedy and spiteful Lightening intended to catch and destroy the torpedo boat that might send the great floating fortress to the bottom with one shot from her torpedo tubes.  

The Magnificent has given her name to a class of fighting ships which are without peers on the seas, combining as they do the latest developments in marine architecture, in engine building, and in the adaptation of armament and armor to the purposes it is desired to carry out.  With her 390 feet of length, and 75 feet beam, her displacement, or floating weight, is 14,900 tons, and her keel is twenty seven feet six inches below the surface of the water.  Inside her steel walls, which range in thickness from fourteen to nine inches, is a maze of powerful, intricate, and costly machinery, the principal portion being her twin screw engines, which develop 12,000 horse power, and drive her along at the rate of seventeen and a half knots (a little more than twenty miles) an hour.  Electric light engines, engines for running fans, hoisting ammunition, making ice, operating turrets, steering the ship, and all the other uses to which marine engines can be put, swell the total of her steam users to more than a hundred, and make her almost as much a machine shop as she is a fighting machine.  

All this tremendous power and speed is used in the service of batteries which, while not reaching the maximum of the hundred and eleven ton guns of the Benbow, are much better adapted to the probable requirements of the coming sea fight.  Four twelve inch, or fifty ton, guns form the main reliance of vessels of the Magnificent class, for both offense and defense.  These are supplemented by a secondary battery of 12 six inch rapid fire rifles, 16 twelve pounders, 12 three pounders, and 8 machine guns, mostly of the Hotchkiss type or a modification of that style of weapon.   Five torpedo tubes, four of which are submerged, carrying eighteen inch Whitehead torpedoes, complete this terrible array of implements of destruction.

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John Wilkes


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John Wilkes – Liberty

‘North Briton’ No. 45 (23 April 1763) dealt with the speech from the throne preceding the recent adjournment, and characterised a passage in which the peace of Hubertsburg was treated as a consequence of the peace of Paris, as ‘the most abandoned instance of ministerial effrontery ever attempted to be imposed on mankind;’ nay, even insinuated that the king had been induced to countenance a deliberate lie.

The resentment of the king (George III) and the court knew no bounds, and the law officers advised that the article was a seditious libel.  Proceedings in the ordinary course were, however, precluded by the anonymity of the publication; and accordingly the two warrants which were issued by the secretaries of state (Egremont and Halifax) for the apprehension of the authors, printers, and publishers of the alleged libel and the seizure of their papers contained the names of the printers only.  The secretaries had no higher jurisdiction than justices of the peace, and as a justice’s warrant was valid only against the persons named therein, there was thus in fact no warrant under which Wilkes could be legally arrested. 

The printers were first apprehended, and, on the information of one of them, Wilkes was taken early in the forenoon of 30 April, on his way from the Temple to his house in Great George Street, Westminster.  The officers entered the house with him, and John Almon q. v. calling about the same time, the news was carried to Lord Temple, who at once applied for a habeas corpus.  Wilkes was meanwhile taken before the secretaries.   He parried their questions and protracted the examination until the habeas corpus had been granted.  There was, however, some delay in the actual issue of the writ, of which the secretaries took advantage by committing Wilkes to the Tower under a warrant which directed him to be kept close prisoner.

The direction was obeyed to the letter, neither his legal advisers nor the Duke of Grafton nor Lord Temple being permitted to see him.  Temple, as lord-lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, received the king’s express orders to cancel Wilkes’s commission in the militia.  He obeyed (5 May), and was then himself dismissed from the lieutenancy (7 May).  Wilkes’s house had meanwhile been thoroughly ransacked, and his papers, even the most private and personal, seized.

Excerpt from The Dictionary of National Biography Volume 21 1909

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Phossy Jaw

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A typical case of phosphorus poisoningPhossy Jaw – Phosphorus was first used in the manufacture of matches in 1833 at Vienna.  Shortly after its introduction, and ever since, cases of necrosis of the bones of the upper and lower jaws have occurred among the workpeople employed in match factories.  The condition was first described by Lorimer, who, between the years 1839 and [1845], saw 9 cases in Vienna, but immediately after cases were also reported in Numbers, Strassburg, Berlin, Lyons, Paris, Manchester, and London as having occurred among the workers in match factories. 

Improvements in ventilation and in manufacturing machinery have greatly diminished its frequency, but it has continued to be not uncommon, and is widely recognised as a risk incurred by those who work with phosphorus.  The clinical symptoms have been fully described by Lorimer, Heyfelder, von Bibra, and Geist, Harrison, Roussel, and others.  In addition to their more systematic descriptions many isolated cases have been put on record by different writers, and all agree substantially in their main features.

Excerpt from the British Medical Journal – 1899

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The Battle of Ticonderoga

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 The Battle of Ticonderoga

Ruins of Fort Ticonderoga

The Battle of Ticonderoga.  At noon of 20 April, 1775, the news of the battle of Lexington reached New Haven, and Arnold, who was captain of the governor’s guards, about 60 in number, assembled them on the college green and offered to lead them to BostonGen. Wooster thought he had better wait for regular orders, and the selectmen refused to supply ammunition; but, upon Arnold’s threatening to break into the magazine, the selectmen yielded and furnished the ammunition, and the company marched to Cambridge.  Arnold immediately proposed the capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and the plan was approved by Dr. Warren, chairman of the committee of safety.   Arnold was commissioned as colonel by the provincial congress of Massachusetts, and directed to raise 400 men in the western counties and surprise the forts.  The same scheme had been entertained in Connecticut, and troops from that colony and from Berkshire, with a number of “Green mountain boys,” had already started for the lakes under command of Ethan Allen.  On meeting them Arnold claimed the command, but when it was refused he joined the expedition as a volunteer and entered Ticonderoga side by side with Allen. 

Soldiers storming Ticonderoga

A few days later Arnold captured St. John’s.  Massachusetts asked Connecticut to put him in command of these posts, but Connecticut preferred Allen.

Arnold returned to Cambridge early in July, proposed to Washington the expedition against Quebec by way of the Kennebec and Chaudiere rivers, and was placed in command of 1,100 men and started from Cambridge 11 Sept.  The enterprise, which was as difficult and dangerous as Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps, was conducted with consummate ability, but was nearly ruined by the misconduct of Colonel Enos, who deserted and returned to Massachusetts with 200 men and the greater part of the provisions.  After frightful hardships, to which 200 more men succumbed, on 13 Nov., the little army climbed the heights of Abraham.  As Arnold’s force was insufficient to storm the city, and the garrison would not come out to fight, he was obliged to await the arrival of Montgomery, who had just taken Montreal.  In the great assault of 31 Dec., in which Montgomery was slain, Arnold received a wound in the leg.  For his gallantry he was now made brigadier-general.

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