Page images
PDF
EPUB

waters.

In 1756, he was appointed to the were accompanied by a series of lecchair of chemistry and anatomy, at tures equally remarkable for ease, Glasgow; but the latter being unsuited elegance of style, and originality of to his taste, he exchanged it for that of reasoning, with novelty of information. medicine. In 1762, he added another His only publications, subsequent to new feature to chemical philosophy, this appointment, were, a paper On the by his discoveries with respect to latent Effects of Boiling upon Water in disheat, its connexion with fuidity, the posing it to Freeze more readily, phenomena that occur during the pro- printed in The London Philosophical cesses of freezing and boiling, &c.; all *Transactions for 1774 ; and An Analysis which he explained in the most clear of the Water of some Hot Springs in and satisfactory manner. We have not Iceland, in The Edinburgh Philosophispace to enter fully into the nature of cal Transactions for 1791. The lalier his investigations, but one of his pro- relates, principally, to the formation of positions should be stated, in order that the silicious stone, which is deposited the reader may fully understand the by these springs, and is considered a term, latent heat. Water, it seems, perfect specimen of accuracy in the when converted into ice, gives out 140 analysis of mineral

This deg. of heat; ice, when converted into eminent chemist died suddenly, on the steam, absorbs about 1,000 deg. of heat, 6th of December, 1799 ; at which tine without becoming sensibly hotter than he was a member of the Philosophical 212 deg. Philosophers had long been Societies of London and Edinburgh ; accustomed to consider the thermometer and, what was considered a very disas the surest method of detecting heat tinguished honour, one of the eight in bodies, yet this instrument gives no foreign members of the Academy of indication of the 140 deg. of beat which Sciences of Paris. He was found dead enter into air when it is converted into in his chair, still holding a cup in his water, nor of the 1,000 deg. which com hand, so that his servant came into the bine with water when it is converted room and went out again without, at into steam. Dr. Black, therefore, said first, perceiving he was a corpse. that the heat is concealed (latet) in The reputation of Dr. Black began to the water and steam ; and briefly ex suffer, in the decline of his life, in con. pressed this fact by calling the heat in sequence of his permitting others to ihat case, latent heat. This was, un pass him in the very career of discovery doubtedly, a principal leading step to which he had opened. This arose, in some of the grand discoveries made a great measure, from the almost entire by Lavoisier, Laplace, and others; yet devotion of his time to the duties of his these chemists scarcely ever named Dr. lectureship; and with such distinguished Black in their dissertations; and Mr. eminence did he fill the chair, that few Deluc had the impudence to claim the gentlemen left Edinburgh without theory of latent heat as his own.

having attended a course or two of In 1765, he succeeded Dr. Cullen, as Professor Black. His private character professor of chemistry, at Edinburgh ; was highly estimable, and few men and the success and perseverance with have died more respected in the Scotch which he carried on his researches, metropolis.

MATTHEW BOULTON. MATTHEW BOULTON was born at quantity of buckles, watch-chains, &c. Birmingham, on the 14th of September, to the continent, where they were pur. 1728, and after having received a tole chased by the English, as the offspring rable education, studied drawing and of French ingenuity. Finding his premathematics. He commenced business mises at Birmingham not sufficiently as a manufacturer of hardware ; and, capacious for his purposes, he, in 1762, having discovered a new method of purchased an extensive tract of heath, inlaying steel, he sent a considerable about two miles from the town, and ac

an expense of £9,000, laid the founda- lished in the ninth volume of the Retion of those vast and unrivalled works, pertory of Arts, page 145. It had been known as the Soho manufactory. To demonstrated by Daniel Bernouilli, that this spot his liberality soon attracted water, flowing through a pipe, and numbers of ingenious men from all arriving at a part in which the pipe is parts, by whose aid he so successfully suddenly contracted, would have its imitated or moulu, that the most splen- | velocity at first very greatly increased ; did apartments in this and many foreign but no practical application of the princountries received their ornaments from ciple appears to have been attempted the Soho establishment

until 1792, by an apparatus set up by About 1767, finding the force of the Mr. Whitehurst, at Oulton, in Cheshire. water-mill inadequate to his purposes, To this apparatus Mr. Boulton added a he constructed a steam-engine upon number of ingenious modifications, the original plan of Savery; and, iwo some of which, however, says a writer years afterwards, entered into partner- | in the Encyclopædia Britannica, “ are ship with the celebrated James Watt, more calculated to display the vivid in conjunction with whom, he turned imagination of a projector, than the that machine to several new and im- sound judgment of a practical engineer, portant uses. They soon acquired a which had in general so strongly chamechanical fame all over Europe, by racterized all his productions." the extent and utility of their under After a life devoted to the advancelakings, the most important of which ment of the useful arts, and the comwas their improvement in the coinage, mercial interests of his country, the which they effected about 1788. The subject of our memoir died, on the 17th coins struck at the Soho manufactory of August, 1809, in the eighty-first year were remarkable for their beauty and of his age, and was buried on the 24th, execution, and caused the inventors to at Handsworth, near Soho; his funeral be employed by the Sierra Leone Com being followed by six hundred workmen, pany, in the coinage of their silver, and each of whom received a silver medal, by the East India Company in that of struck to commemorate the event. their copper. Mr. Boullon also sent Mr. Boulton presents us with an (wo complete mints to St. Petersburgh ; example of the vast influence and and, having presented the late Empe- effects, that may be produced upon ror, Paul the First, with some of the society by the well-directed powers of most curious articles of his manufacture, a great mind, abundantly stored with that sovereizn returned him a police resources, but disdaining the selfish and letter of thanks and approbation, toge narrow views that might have conther with a princely present of medals tracted its usefulness, had he neglected and minerals from Siberia, and speci- to call to his aid the genius of a Watt, mens of all the modern money of Russia. and others equally eminent in their Another invention, which emanated more contracted spheres.

His private from the Suho establishment, was a character was very amiable, and in his method of copying oil paintings with manners and conversation he is said to such fidelity, us to deceive the most have been extremely fascinating. He practised connoisseurs. The last dis- left one son; and, at the period of his covery for which Mr. Boulton obtained decease, was a fellow of the Royal Soa patent, was an important method for cieties of London and Edinburgh, and raising water and other Auids, by im- an associate of several scientific insti. pulse; the specification of which is pub- | tutions abroad.

RICHARD PULTENEY. This distinguished botanist, the only of February, 1730. He was educated one of thirteen children who arrived as a Calvinistic dissenter; and, after at maturity, was born at Lough- having served an apprenticeship to an borough, in Leicestershire, on the 17th apothecary, commenced business on his

own account, in the town of Leicester. relative to the rare plants of LeicesterHis religious doctrines, it is said, shire, our author was, in 1762, adoperated against him, and prevented mitted a member of the Royal Society. him from obtaining much employment The president of this learned body, at in his profession. He struggled, how that time, was the Earl of Macclesfield, ever, says his biographer, “ against to whom Dr. Pulteney was introduced, pecuniary difficulties with economy; besides several other distinguished chaand shielded his peace of mind against racters, who not only admired his bigotry, in himself or others, by looking scientific knowledge, but intimated a

through nature up to nature's God.' desire to encourage him in his proIn other words, he had imbibed a taste fessional career. In consequence of for natural history, to which he devoted this, he proceeded to Edinburgh ; and, the principal part of his time ; and so in 1764, graduated M.D., his inaugural early as the year 1750, he appears to dissertation being entitled Cinchona have communicated some papers to officinalis ; a subject which he treated The Gentleman's Magazine. To this with so much ability, that it was afterperiodical he continued to be a con wards inserted in the third volume of iributor for a period of fifty years, and The Thesaurus Medicus. some of the most valuable articles which On his return to London, Dr. Pulit contains, relative to botany, are from teney was introduced, by the celebrated his pen. Among those written by Dr. Mrs. Montagu, to the Earl of Bath, Pulteney, the principal are, A Series of who acknowledged him as a relation, Letters on the Poisonous Plants of this and appointed him his travelling phyCountry; A Brief Dissertation on sician." The death of his patron taking Fungi in general; A Series of Ex- | place soon after, he removed to Blandperiments and Observations, to Shew ford, in Dorsetshire, and there comthe Utility of Botanical Knowledge in i menced medical practice under very relation to Agriculture and the Feeding favourable circumstances. His profesof Cattle ; an abstract of a Latin trea sional merit soon became conspicuous ; tise, published by Linnæus, and en- and, in a few years, his circuit included titled Somnus Plantarum (The Sleep not only the whole of his own county, of Plants); An Account of the First and but also the contiguous parts of WiltSecond Volumes of a New and En- shire, Hampshire, and Somersetshire. larged Edition of Professor Linnæus's In 1779, he married a Miss Galton, a Systema Naturæ; On Tremella Nostoc; lady of superior attainments, but by On the Orcheston Grass ; Account of whom he never had any children. the Flora Rossica; On Myrica Gale; In 1781, he published his General The Aërostatica described ; On Tri• View of the Writings of Linnæus, one of chitæ.

the most popular botanical publications The importance of the above com which ever appeared in this country: munications will be at once acknow “ Sanctioned by the commendations," ledged, when it is recollected that, at says his biographer, Dr. Maton, “ of all the time when they were written, the who were already conversant with its pursuit of natural history, in England, subjects, the work soon attracted genewas confined to a very few persons, ral curiosity: the labours of Linnæus and an acquaintance with the principles and the sciences to which they reof the Linnæan system, to still fewer.lated, became much more correctly The Somnus Plantarum, mentioned understood ; and Dr. Pulteney found above, was afterwards treated, by the himself placed among the first, both of subject of our memoir, in an enlarged the Linnæan scholars and of the philoand more scientific manner, and ob sophical naturalists of his country." tained insertion in the Philosophical | The work sold extensively; and, in Transactions, under the title of Some 1789, was translated into French, by Observations upon the Sleep of Plants ; L. A. Millin de Grandmaison. The and an account of that faculty which Royal Academy of Sciences of StockLinnæus calls Vigiliæ Florum, with an holm, testified their approbation of it, enumeration of several plants which by presenting the author with two are subject to that law. For these medals, struck in honour of Linnæus ; papers, and a previous communication one by command of the King of Sweden,

and the other at the expense of Count during Forty Years, in the Parish of Tessin.

Blandford Forum. He also wrote some In 1784, he was chosen an honorary professional papers in The Memoirs of inember of the Royal Medical Society the Medical Society of London, and of Edinburgh; and, in 1787, of the in The Medical Observations and InChirurgical and Obstetrical Society of quiries. His principal contribution to that city, and also of the Medical So- the former publication is entitled, Case ciety of London. In 1790, he pub- of an Extraordinary Enlargement of the lished a more original and laborious Abdomen, owing to a Fleshy encysted work than the last, under the title of Tumour. As an antiquarian, also, Dr. Historical and Biographical Sketches Pulteney displayed considerable re. of the Progress of Botany in England, search and skill. He was a liberal from its Origin to the Introduction of contributor to Dr. Aikin's England the Linnæan System. This, though | Delineated, and Mr. Nichols's History abounding with original and valuable of Leicestershire. Archdeacon Coxe information, does not contain all that profited by his valuable communicamight have been collected on the sub- tion on subjects relating to natural ject ; a defect of which the author history, and his conchological knowhimself seems to have been well aware. ledge was exhibited in the assistance " I have no expectation," he said, in a which he rendered to M. Da Costa, in letter to a friend, that a book of this the compilation of British Connature will come to a second edition, chology, and in his contributions to the in my lifetime ; after I am gone, some- History of Dorsetshire. He died, on body will take it up and make a good the 7th of October, 1801, of a pula work of it, now I have led the way." monary complaint, with which he had Such has not yet been the case ; owing, been afflicted at an early period of his probably, as Dr. Maton observes, to the life. Out of an affluent fortune, he original edition not being hitherto made liberal benefactions to several wholly disposed of.

charitable institutions, and left to the In 1793, Dr. Pulteney was elected a Linnæan Society his valuable Museum fellow of the Royal Society of Edin- of Natural History. In 1805, appeared burgh. Of the Linnean Society he a second edition, with corrections, conhad been elected a fellow from its siderable additions, and memoirs of the earliest institution, and was a most autbor, by W. G. Maton, M. D. valuable contributor to its Trans- The character of Dr. Pulteney was actions. Among his communications estimable and amiable in a very high demay be mentioned, Description of a gree, and no man ever had friends more Minute Epiphyllous Lycoperdon, dis- strongly attached to him, or was more covered on the Leaves of Anemone generally respected by his numerous Nemorosa ; Observations on the Eco- acquaintances. His manner was cheernomical Use of Ranunculus Aquatilis, ful and urbane, and his countenance with Introductory Remarks on the bespoke the simplicity, candour, and acrimonious quality of some of the liberality of his mind." His ardour for English species of that genus; and On science never forsook him; and he was Ascarides discovered in the Intestines as zealous in the pursuit of it at the of Pelicanus Carbo and Cristatus. His close of his life as at the commencement medical papers, in the Philosophical of his professional career. His converTransactions, are, The Case of a Man sation, like his morals, was spotless ; whose Heart was found enlarged to a his religion unaffected, and devoid of very Uncommon Size ; Concerning the bigotry or intolerance, the only failings Medical Effects of a Poisonous Plant in others, which he is said to have con(Ænanthe crocata), exhibited instead | templated without sympathy or inof the Water-Parsnip; and An Account dulgence. of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials,

VOL. II.

HENRY CAVENDISH.

Henry CAVENDISH, son of Lord Transactions, to which he consigned Charles Cavendish. a younger brother the whole of his scientific writings. of the Devonshire family, was born at The chief of these are his papers on Nice, in Piedmont, on the 10th of Oc chemistry, the first of which appeared tober, 1731. He received the rudiments in The Philosophical Transactions for of education at a private academy, at 1766, entitled Experiments on Factitious Hackney, and completed it at the Uni Airs. In this he gives an account of versity of Cambridge, where the pursuits his examination of fixed and inflamof philosophy and chemistry engrossed mable air, which ended in his discovery the chief portion of his time. His na of the extreme comparative levity of tural temper, and pecuniary circum the latter ; thus laying the foundation of stances, which were narrow, during his the practice of aërostation. In a subfather's life, concurred in strengthening sequent paper, he proves the interesthis disposition to study and retirement; ing fact of the solubility of lime and so that his habits underwent but little magnesia in water, by means of fixed alteration, when he became inheritor of air, the result of his experiments on a large property. On leaving college, some mineral water, at Rathbone Place. the above sciences continued to be the His determination of the proportion of subject of his investigations, which a oxygen and of azotic gas, in the compoconstitutional coldness of feeling ena sition of atmospherical air, forms ihe bled bim to carry on with a caution, subject of another paper. His obser. patience, and perseverance, that greatly vation of the congelation of quicksilver, accelerated his discoveries.

having turned his attention to the subThe Newtonian philosophy early en- ject of freezing in general, he instituted gaged his attention, and having mas a variety of experiments, which he tered the principles, he applied them explained in two papers, constituting to an explanation of the laws of elec one of the most interesting parts of the tricity. He only wrote two papers on theory of heat. In fine, his chemical this subject, the result, however, of very writings may be said to contain five elaborate investigation, and respectively valuable discoveries, all little short of entitled An Attempt to explain some perfection :-Firstly, the nature and of the Principal Phenomena of Electric properties of hydrogen gas ; secondly, city, by means of an Elastic Fluid ; and the solvent of lime in water, when it is An Account of a Set of Experiments deposited by boiling ; thirdly, the exact to determine the Nature of the Shock proportion of the constituents of comcommunicated by the Torpedo. In the mon air, and the fact that the proporlatter, he explained the singular pro tion never sensibly varies; fourthly, the perties of electrical fishes; showing ihat composition of water; and, fifthly, the distinction between common and ani composition of nitric acid. The last mal electricity, which has been con paper he wrote was A Method of difirmed by the subsequent discovery of viding Astronomical Instruments; his galvanism. The calculation of a re other astronomical communications are, markably luminous arch, seen in Febru The Civil Year of the Hindoos, and its ary, 1784, formed the subject of one of Divisions; A Rule for finding the his meteorological communications to Longitude by the Lunar Observations ; the Transactions of the Royal Society ; and An Account of Experiments to and another contained an account of determine the Density of the Earth. the meteorological instruments, belong This eminent philosopher, to whose ing to that body, with remarks on their discoveries science is indebted for the use and construction. It need scarcely explanation of so many natural phenobe observed, that he was one of its most mena, died at his residence on Ciapham distinguished members, as well as one Cominon, on the 24th of February, of the most valuable contributors to its 1810; leaving property, it is said, to the

« PreviousContinue »