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Napoleon III., 'Life of Cæsar.'


Soult received but little education in his youth, and learnt next to no geography until he became foreign minister of France, when the study of this branch of knowledge is said to have given him the greatest pleasure—'Œuvres, &c., d'Alexis de Tocqueville.  Par G. de Beaumont.'  Paris, 1861. I. 52


'Œuvres et Correspondance inédite d'Alexis de Tocqueville.  Par Gustave de Beaumont.'  I. 398.


"I have seen," said he, "a hundred times in the course of my life, a weak man exhibit genuine public virtue, because supported by a wife who sustained him in his course, not so much by advising him to such and such acts, as by exercising a strengthening influence over the manner in which duty or even ambition was to be regarded.  Much oftener, however, it must be confessed, have I seen private and domestic life gradually transform a man to whom nature had given generosity, disinterestedness, and even some capacity for greatness, into an ambitious, mean-spirited, vulgar, and selfish creature who, in matters relating to his country, ended by considering them only in so far as they rendered his own particular condition more comfortable and easy."—'Œuvres de Tocqueville.' II. 349.


Since the original publication of this book, the author has in another work, 'The Lives of Boulton and Watt,' endeavoured to portray in greater detail the character and achievements of these two remarkable men.


The following entry, which occurs in the account of monies disbursed by the burgesses of Sheffield in 1573 [?] is supposed by some to refer to the inventor of the stocking frame:—"Item gyven to Willm Lee, a Poore scholler in Sheafeld, towards the settyng him to the Universitie of Chambrydge, and buying him bookes and other furnyture [which money was afterwards returned] xiii iiii [13s. 4d.]—Hunter, 'History of Hallamshire,' 141.


'History of the Framework Knitters.'


There are, however, other and different accounts.  One is to the effect that Lee set about studying the contrivance of the stocking-loom for the purpose of lessening the labour of a young country-girl to whom he was attached, whose occupation was knitting; another, that being married and poor, his wife was under the necessity of contributing to their joint support by knitting; and that Lee, while watching the motion of his wife's fingers, conceived the idea of imitating their movements by a machine.  The latter story seems to have been invented by Aaron Hill, Esq., in his 'Account of the Rise and Progress of the Beech Oil manufacture,' London, 1715; but his statement is altogether unreliable.  Thus he makes Lee to have been a Fellow of a college at Oxford, from which he was expelled for marrying an innkeeper's daughter; whilst Lee neither studied at Oxford, nor married there, nor was a Fellow of any college and he concludes by alleging that the result of his invention was to "make Lee and his family happy;'' whereas the invention brought him only a heritage of misery, and he died abroad destitute.


Blackner, 'History of Nottingham.'  The author adds, "We have information, handed down in direct succession from father to son, that it was not till late in the seventeenth century that one man could manage the working of a frame.  The man who was considered the workman employed a labourer, who stood behind the frame to work the slur and pressing motions; but the application of traddles and of the feet eventually rendered the labour unnecessary."


Ed.—the Jacquard loom was the first machine to use punch cards to control a sequence of operations automatically, in effect a "program".  Although the loom did no computation based on them, it is considered an important step in the history of computing hardware.  The ability to change the pattern of the loom's weave by simply changing cards (i.e. to "re-program") was an important conceptual precursor to the development of computer programming. Specifically, Charles Babbage planned to use punched cards to store programs in his Analytical engine and they were adopted later by Herman Hollerith (1860-1929), who developed a mechanical tabulator to tabulate statistics rapidly by processing millions of data items encoded onto punched cards (the company founded by Hollerith eventually became IBM).  Punched cards later became a common data input medium for computer systems, surviving until into the 1980s.


Palissy's own words are:—"Le bois m'ayant failli, je fus contraint brusler les estapes (étaies) qui soustenoyent les tailles de mon jardin, lesquelles estant bruslées, je fus contraint brusler les tables et plancher de la maison, afin de faire fondre la seconde composition.  J'estois en une telle angoisse que je ne sçaurois dire: car j'estois tout tari et deseché à cause du labour et de la chaleur du fourneau; il y avoit plus d'un mois que ma chemise n'avoit seiché sur moy, encores pour me consoler on se moquoit de moy, et mesme ceux qui me devoient secourir alloient crier par la ville que je faisois brusler le plancher: et par tel moyen l'on me faisoit perdre mon credit et m'estimoit-on estre fol.  Les autres disoient que je cherchois à faire la fausse monnoye, qui estoit un mal qui me faisoit seicher sur les prods; et m'en allois par les ruës tout baissé comme un homme honteux: . . . . personne ne me secouroit: Mais au contraire ils se mocquoyent de moy, en disant: Il luy appartient bien de mourir de faim, par ce qu'il delaisse son mestier.  Toutes ces nouvelles venoyent a mes aureilles quand je passois par la rue."—'Œuvres Complètes de Palissy, Paris, 1844;' De l'Art de Terre, p. 315.


"Touter ces fautes m'ont cause un tel lasseur et tristesse d'esprit, qu'auparavant que j'aye rendu mes émaux fusible à un mesme degré de feu, j'ay cuidé entrer jusques à la porte du sepulchre: aussi en me travaillant à tels affaires je me suis trouvé l'espace de plus se dix ans si fort escoulé en ma personne, qu'il n'y avoit aucune forme ny apparence de bosse aux bras ny aux jambes: ains estoyent mes dites jambes touter d'une venue: de sorte que les liens de quoy j'attachois mes bas de chausses estoyent, soudain que je cheminois, sur les talons avec le residu de mes chausses."—Œuvres, 319-20.


At the sale of Mr. Bernal's articles of vertu in London a few years since, one of Palissy's small dishes, 12 inches in diameter, with a lizard in the centre, sold for £162.


Within the last few months, Mr. Charles Read, a gentleman curious in matters of Protestant antiquarianism in France, has discovered one of the ovens in which Palissy baked his chefs-d'œuvre.  Several moulds of faces, plants, animals, &c., were dug up in a good state of preservation, bearing his well-known stamp.  It is situated under the gallery of the Louvre, in the Place du Carrousel.


D'Aubigné, 'Histoire Universelle.'  The historian adds, "Voyez l'impudence de ce bilistre ! vows diriez qu'il auroit lu ce vers de Sénèque: 'On ne peut contreindre celui qui sail mourir: Qui mori scit, cogi nescit.'"


The subject of Palissy's life and labours has been ably and elaborately treated by Professor Morley in his well-known work.  In the above brief narrative we have for the most part followed Palissy's own account of his experiments as given in his 'Art de Terre.'


"Almighty God, the great Creator,
 Has changed a goldmaker to a potter."


The whole of the Chinese and Japanese porcelain was formerly known as Indian porcelain—probably because it was first brought by the Portuguese from India to Europe, after the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope by Vasco da Gama.


'Wedgwood: an Address delivered at Burslem, Oct. 26th, 1863.'  By the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P.


Ed.—(notes from the Wikipedia entry).  "The Portland Vase is a Roman cameo glass vase, currently dated to 5-25AD. . . . The vase is about 25 centimetres high and 56 in circumference.  It is made of violet-blue glass, and surrounded with a single continuous white glass cameo depicting seven figures (humans and gods). . . . The 3rd Duke [of Portland] lent the vase to Josiah Wedgwood, who had already had it described to him as "the finest production of Art that has been brought to England and seems to be the very apex of perfection to which you are endeavouring" by the sculptor John Flaxman.  Wedgwood devoted four years of painstaking trials at duplicating the vase—not in glass but in jasperware.  He had problems with his copies ranging from cracking and blistering (clearly visible on the example at the Victoria and Albert Museum) to the reliefs 'lifting' during the firing, and in 1786 he feared that he could never apply the Jasper relief thinly enough to match the glass original's subtlety and delicacy.  He finally managed to perfect it in 1790, with the issue of the "first-edition" of copies (with some of this edition, including the V&A one, copying the cameo's delicacy by a combination of undercutting and shading the reliefs in grey), and it marks his last major achievement."


Ed.—(this note is derived from the Wikipedia entry).  John Flaxman (1755-1826): English sculptor and draughtsman. When he was 19 years old Flaxman was employed by Josiah Wedgwood and his partner Bentley, as a modeller of classic and domestic friezes, plaques, ornamental vessels and medallion portraits and for 12 years Flaxman lived chiefly by his work for the Wedgwood company. The beauty of the product is undeniable.


Ed.—(note in Wikipedia): "In 1818, Carey mission founded Serampore College to train indigenous ministers for the growing church and to provide education in the arts and sciences to anyone regardless of caste or country.  The King of Denmark granted a royal charter in 1827 that made the college a degree-granting institution, the first in Asia."


It was characteristic of Mr. Hume, that, during his professional voyages between England and India, he should diligently apply his spare time to the study of navigation and seamanship; and many years after, it proved of use to him in a remarkable manner.  In 1825, when on his passage from London to Leith by a sailing smack, the vessel had scarcely cleared the mouth of the Thames when a sudden storm came on, she was driven out of her course, and, in the darkness of the night, she struck on the Goodwin Sands.  The captain, losing his presence of mind, seemed incapable of giving coherent orders, and it is probable that the vessel would have become a total wreck, had not one of the passengers suddenly taken the command and directed the working of the ship, himself taking the helm while the danger lasted.  The vessel was saved, and the stranger was Mr. Hume.


Ed.—Captain (later Sir) Samuel Brown (1776-1852) was an early pioneer of chain design and manufacture and of suspension bridge design and construction.  He is best known for designing the Union Chain Bridge of 1820. The Bridge,  constructed at a cost of £7,700 for the Berwick and North Durham Turnpike Trust, was opened on the 26th July 1820 and at that time was the only bridge over the River Tweed between Berwick and Coldstream.  It was also the longest iron suspension bridge in the world (the span between the towers is 437feet and the bridge decking is 360feet), and the first in Great Britain to carry vehicular traffic.  Brown went on to build several further chain bridges, including the Trinity Chain Pier in Newhaven, Edinburgh (1820-21) and the Chain Pier at Brighton (opened in 1823 but destroyed in a storm in 1896).


Ed.—Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, FRS (1769-1849) was a French-born engineer who settled in the United Kingdom.  He preferred the name Isambard, but is generally known to history as Marc to avoid confusion with his more famous son Isambard Kingdom Brunel.  His most famous achievement was the construction of the Thames Tunnel (1842).


Ed.—the first commercially successful transatlantic telegraph cable (although not the first) was completed in 1866; telegraph lines from Britain to India were connected in 1870; Australia was linked to the rest of the world via a cable at Darwin in 1872; and the transpacific telegraph was completed in 1902, finally encircling the globe.


Ed.—(note in Wikipedia):  the expression "latent heat" refers to the amount of energy released or absorbed by a chemical substance during a change of state that occurs without changing its temperature, meaning a phase transition such as the melting of ice or the boiling of water.  The term was introduced around 1750 by Joseph Black as derived from the Latin latere, to 'lie hidden'.


Ed.—(from note in Wikipedia): a model of the telescope (in the William Herschel museum in Bath) with which Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781.  The secret of Herschel's success as an observer was the power and magnification of his telescopes.  This seven foot reflector was particularly favoured.  Its main mirror and the secondary eyepiece on the side of the tube were made of speculum metal.  In his later career, Herschel discovered two moons of Saturn, Mimas and Enceladus; as well as two moons of Uranus, Titania and Oberon. On Feb. 11, 1800,  while testing filters for the sun so that he could observe sun spots, he discovered infrared radiation.


'Saturday Review,' July 3rd, 1858.


Mr. Grote's 'Memoir of the Life of Ary Scheffer,' p. 67.


Ed.—(based on photographer's note): Ickworth House is a country house outside Bury St. Edmunds.  Built between 1795 and 1812 by the eccentric 4th Earl of Bristol, the house is surrounded by an Italianate garden and set in a ’Capability’ Brown park with woodland walks, deer enclosure, vineyard, Georgian summer-house, church, canal and lake.  Frieze reliefs designed by the English sculptor John Flaxman (1755-1826) encircle the Rotunda (pictured here), at both lower and higher levels.  The close-up view is of the lower-level frieze on the south-facing side of the building, which depicts the Olympic Games, Roman life and war, amongst other Homeric themes.


Ed.—Chantrey's 'The Sleeping Children' (1817), in Lichfield Cathedral, portrays two young sisters, Ellen-Jane and Marianne, who died in tragic circumstances in 1812.


While the sheets of this revised edition are passing through the press, the announcement appears in the local papers of the death of Mr. Jackson at the age of fifty.  His last work, completed shortly before his death, was a cantata, entitled 'The Praise of Music.'  The above particulars of his early life were communicated by himself to the author several years since, while he was still carrying on his business of a tallow-chandler at Masham.

Ed.—since Smiles wrote about him, William Jackson's name has rather faded, but the following (obtained mostly from the Bradford Choral Society) throws more light on his part in helping to form the North of England's fine choral tradition:

BRADFORD FESTIVAL CHORAL SOCIETY is Bradford's largest choir and one of the North of England's longest established choral societies with roots dating back to the first Bradford Festival in 1853.  With a current singing membership of around 90 voices the choir performs all the major works in the choral repertoire at St George's Concert Hall and other venues in the Bradford area. The Society was founded as a direct result of the opening of St George’s Hall in 1853. A massed choir of over 200 singers from far and wide was formed for the first Bradford Musical Festival which took place that year. When the second festival took place in 1856 another choir, consisting of rather more locally based singers, was formed and at the end of the festival it was felt wasteful to disband a group which had already gained such a high reputation. A meeting was held on 17 November 1856 under the chairmanship of Samuel Smith, the original instigator of the construction of St George’s Hall, and Bradford Festival Choral Society came into being with Mr Smith as its first President. The conductor was William Jackson who had been the highly successful trainer of the chorus for both festivals. He was chorus-master at the Bradford festivals in 1853, 56 and 59. For the festival of 56 he set the 103rd Psalm, and for that of 59 composed 'The Year,' a cantata, the words selected by himself from various poets. He compiled and partly composed a set of psalm tunes, and harmonised 'The Bradford Tune Book,' compiled by Samuel Smith. Besides the works already mentioned, he composed a mass, a church service, anthems, glees, part-songs and songs, and wrote a Manual of Singing, which passed through many editions. His last work was a cantata entitled 'The Praise of Music.'

The Choir sang and rehearsed at the Hall and soon gained the nickname of the “Coffee and Bun Society” as refreshments were provided for those members travelling from a distance. This arrangement was also intended to discourage possible visits to licensed premises before rehearsal! The choir settled down to a regular routine of concerts in St George’s Hall, the equilibrium only shattered by the sudden and much lamented death of its conductor
William Jackson in 1866. Such was the esteem in which he was held that the Society undertook all the funeral arrangements and was also responsible for the monument in Undercliffe Cemetery and also the one in Masham – Jackson’s birthplace. Performances of Jackson’s oratorio, 'The Deliverance of Israel from Babylon', were given to raise money for these projects.


Mansfield owed nothing to his noble relations, who were poor and uninfluential.  His success was the legitimate and logical result of the means which he sedulously employed to secure it.  When a boy he rode up from Scotland to London on a pony—taking two months to make the journey.  After a course of school and college, he entered upon the profession of the law, and he closed a career of patient and ceaseless labour as Lord Chief Justice of England—the functions of which he is universally admitted to have performed with unsurpassed ability, justice, and honour.


Ed.—In December 2009 descendants of Williams travelled to Erromango to accept the apologies of descendants of the cannibals in a ceremony of reconciliation. To mark the occasion, Dillons Bay was renamed Williams Bay.  For more information please see the B.B.C. News.


Ed.—(note based on Wikipedia): Somersett's Case (R. v. Knowles, ex parte Somersett) is a famous judgement of the English Court of King's Bench in 1772 which held that slavery was unlawful in England (although not elsewhere in the British Empire).  While Somersett's case provided a boon to the abolitionist movement and ended the holding of slaves within England, serfdom having died out there centuries before, it did not end British participation in the slave trade or slavery in other parts of the British Empire.  It was not until 1807 that Parliament decided to suppress the slave trade, not only outlawing the practice by British subjects but also seeking to suppress the trade by foreigners through the sea power of the Royal Navy.  The Scottish case of Joseph Knight against his owner John Wedderburn began in 1774, and at its conclusion in 1778, showed that slavery had as little support in Scottish common law as in English.  Although the slave trade was suppressed, slavery continued in various parts of the British Empire until it was abolished by the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.


Ed.—Smiles refers to Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846), a leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire.  He helped found Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade and achieve passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807, which ended British trade in slaves.


On 'Thought and Action.'


'Correspondance de Napoléon Ier.,' publiée par ordre de l'Empereur Napoléon III. Paris. 1864.


Ed.—(note based on Wikipedia): the Convention of Sintra was an agreement signed in 1808 during the Peninsular War permitting the defeated French forces to be evacuated from Portugal without further conflict.

The French under Junot had been defeated by an Anglo-Portuguese force under Wellesley and found themselves almost cut off from retreat.  Wellesley wanted to fight on, but was obliged signed the preliminary Armistice under orders.  He took no part in negotiating the subsequent Convention and did not sign it.  In the U.K. the Convention was seen as a disgrace; a complete defeat of Junot had been transformed into a French escape.


The recently published correspondence of Napoleon with his brother Joseph, and the Memoirs of the Duke of Ragusa, abundantly confirm this view.  The Duke overthrew Napoleon's generals by the superiority of his routine.  He used to say that, if he knew anything at all, he knew how to feed an army:


His old gardener.  Collingwood's favourite amusement was gardening.  Shortly after the battle of Trafalgar a brother admiral called upon him, and, after searching for his lordship all over the garden, he at last discovered him, with old Scott, in the bottom of a deep trench which they were busily employed in digging.


Ed.—Hodson's Horse is a cavalry regiment which originated as part of the British Indian Army.  It was raised by Brevet Major William Stephen Raikes Hodson during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and exists today as the 4th Horse Regiment in the Indian Army.


Article in the 'Times.'


'Self-Development: an Address to Students,' by George Ross, M.D., pp.1-20, reprinted from the 'Medical Circular.' This address, to which we acknowledge our obligations, contains many admirable thoughts on self-culture, is thoroughly healthy in its tone, and well deserves republication in an enlarged form.


'Saturday Review.'


See the admirable and well-known book, 'The Pursuit of Knowledge under Difficulties.'


Late Professor of Moral Philosophy at St. Andrew's.


A writer in the 'Edinburgh Review' (July, 1859) observes that "the Duke's talents seem never to have developed themselves until some active and practical field for their display was placed immediately before him.  He was long described by his Spartan mother, who thought him a dunce, as only 'food for powder.'  He gained no sort of distinction, either at Eton or at the French Military College of Angers."  It is not improbable that a competitive examination, at this day, might have excluded him from the army.


Correspondent of 'The Times,' 11th June, 1863.


Robertson's 'Life and Letters,' i.


On the 11th January, 1866.


Ed.—there are many accounts on the Internet of the sinking of H.M.S. Birkenhead in addition to that offered by Wikipedia.


Brown's 'Horæ Subsecivæ.'




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