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amount of £1,300,000. Regarded as a He scarcely maintained any, comman, his character presents little to be munication with his family, and is said admired. With all his immense wealth, only to have seen once a-year, and that he does not appear to have encouraged for a few minutes, the relative to whom learning and science in any other way he left the bulk of his property,
Bethan by keeping a valuable library, fore the discoveries of Priestley, Scheele, open to the use of literary men. To and Lavoisier, the experiments of Mr. these he confined his society, but even Cavendish had opened a path of chein the circles of his most intimate mical investigation equally new and friends, he was occasionally shy and splendid. As a mathematician he has silent.
been excelled by many of his predeof parade and compliment he had cessors; but none of them, it is to be an absolute horror; a singular instance observed, had attempted to employ of which is related to have occurred their powers of investigation in the at one of the Sunday meetings at Sir pursuit of physical discovery. "WhatJoseph Banks's. Dr. Ingenhouz came ever the sciences revealed to Mr. Cavenup to him, in a pom pous manner, with dish," says Cuvier, “ appeared always an Austrian gentleman in his hand, to exhibit something of the sublime and whom he formally introduced to him by the marvellous; he weighed the earth ; all his titles. The gentleman then be- he rendered the air navigable ; he degan a speech, in which he assured Mr. prived water of the quality of an eleCavendish that his principal reason for ment; and he denied to fire the chavisiting London, was his ardent desire racter of a substance. The clearness to see and converse with one of the of the evidence on which he established ornaments of the age, and the most his discoveries, new and unexpected as illustrious of philosophers. Mr. Caven. they were, is still more astonishing dish stood with his eyes cast down, not than the facts themselves which he deanswering a word, and betraying every tected ; and the works in which he has sign of distress and confusion. At made them public, are so many masterlength, spying an opening in the circle, pieces of sagacity and inethodical reahe darted through it, and, with all soning, each perfect as a whole and in speed, escaped to his carriage, and drove its parts, and leaving nothing for any directly home.
other hand to correct.'
Nevil, son of Edmund Masklelyne, cess, that his name soon became known of Preston, in Wilishire, was born in Lon- to the scientific world. In 1758, he don, in October, 1732, and educated at was elected a fellow of Trinity College, Westminster School and the University Cambridge ; of the Royal Society of of Cambridge. Optics and astronomy London, in 1759; and, in the autumn attracted his attention at an early age; of the following year, was appointed by and, in order to a full comprehension that body to visit the island of St. of these sciences, he applied himself Helena, in order to observe the transis with ardour to mathematics; and, in a of Venus over the sun, which was to few months, made himself master of happen on the 6th of June, 1761. the elements of geometry. After taking On his return, he published, in 1763, his bachelor's degree at the university, a useful practical work, called The where he was first a member of Cathe- British Mariner's Guide; and, in the rine Hall, and afterwards of Trinity same year, being appointed chaplain to College, he obtained a curacy in the his majesty's ship, the Louisa, he went neighbourhood of London, whither he out to Barbadoes, by order of the removed in 1755. Here he became board of longitude, in order to ascertain acquainted with Dr. Bradley, and pur- the correctness of Mr. Harrison's time. sued his favourite studies with such suc- keeper. In 1765, he was appointed
astronomer-royal; and, soon after being calculated as nine to two, and to wards, placed before the board of longi- that of stone as nine to five. tude a plan for An Annual Nautical In 1792, Dr. Masklelyne published Almanack and Astronomical Ephe- M. Michaelis Taylor's Tables of Lomeris. The former was published in garithms, to which he prefixed a very 1767; and, in the same year, appeared, masterly introduction, containing preby order of the board of longitude, his cepts for the use of them. His com Account of the going of Mr. John munications to the Transactions of the Harrison's Watch, &c., which gave rise Royal Society, which are valuable and to a controversy between himn and the numerous, are to be found in the voinventor. In 1774, were published his luines from the fifty-first to the seventyTables for Computing the Apparent sixth. He published, separately, few Places of the Fixed Stars, and Re works of importance besides those ducing Observations of the Planets. already mentioned, if we except his They were followed, about two years edition of Mayer's Tables and Preafter, by the first volume, in folio, of cepts, and his Observations on the Astronomical Observations made at the Equation of Time, in which he has Royal Observatory, Greenwich, which pointed out an error of La Caille and were continued annually till 1803, Laplace. He is said to have been the
During the years 1774, 1775, and inventor of the prismatic micrometer ; 1776, Mr. Masklelyne was engaged in the idea, at all events, of employing a endeavouring to determine the mean double refraction, is undoubiedly his. density of the earth. An unsatisfactory It does not appear in what year he reexperiment had been previously made ceived his doctor's degrees, but it was by Bouguer, who, in attempting to de some time previous to 1782, in which termine the attraction of mountains year he was presented to the living of from the quantity by which the plumb North Runeton, Norfolk. He died. line of the astronomical sector was highly respected for his amiable and affected, found only half the quantity, it pious character, in 1811, leaving one should have been from the size of the daughter. mountain, which he, therefore, con His merits, as an astronomer, have cluded to be hollow. The subject of been summed up by Delambre, who our memoir chose, for the place of his justly observes, that Masklelyne left observation, the mountain of Schehal the most complete set of observations lien, in Scotland, taking with him the with which the world was ever presector he had used at St. Helena, after sented; "and if, by any great revohaving corrected the suspension and lution," he adds, “the works of all changed the divisions. The result was other astronomers should be lost, and such as to tend to the presumption that this collection preserved, it would conthe internal parts of the earth contain tain sufficient inaterials to raise again, large quantities of metals, the mean nearly entire, the edifice of modern density of the earth lo that of water astronomy."
SIR RICHARD ARKWRIGHT.
RICHARD ARKWRIGHT was born of Kay, to whom he showed it, dissuaded of humble parents, in Preston, Lan him from continuing his operations. cashire, in 1732. His original occupa The same person, who appears to have tion was a barber, and he practised that failed in a similar attempt, remarked to calling when he first carne to Warring Arkwright, that he might, with profit, ton, the scene of the commencement turn his attention to cotton-spinning, of his mechanical career, in 1767. He and offered to describe to him the prohad, at this time, invented a contrivance cess. Arkwright, after some objections of something in the nature of perpetual to the scheme, in consequence ot its havmuuion, but a watchmaker, of ihe name ing already ruined so many, undertook
to embark in it, and, in conjunction Sir Richard Arkwright's invention with Kay, applied to Paul Atherton, cannot be considered as altogether new, Esq., of Liverpool, to construct an en nor is he entitled to the exclusive merit gine. This the poverty of our inventor's of its construction, as we have seen appearance induced the gentleman at that Kay, the watchmaker, had a great first to refuse; but he afterwards con share in it, and, indeed, suggested to Sir sented, on the understanding that Kay Richard the scheme. The crudity of should make the clockmaker's part of the idea, however, was matured' by the engine, and superintend the pro Arkwright, and great credit is due to gress of the work, in its general con him for the perseverance which he used struction. Soon after its completion, in bringing it into practical operation. Mr. Arkwright took out a patent for He trod a path where several had prehis engine, in 1769, and renewed it in viously failed, as he himself tells us, in 1775; but, in consequence of the above a statement of his own case, wherein he facts having been brought before the states that, anong others, one HarKing's Bench, it was, by that court, grave, of Blackwell, in Lancashire, set aside, in 1785.
after having obtained a patent, in 1767, Not long after he had obtained his for an engine that would at once spin patent, Arkwright had entered into twenty or thirty threads of cotton into partnership with a Mr. Smalley of yarn for the fustian manufacture, had Preston, but failing for want of money, his machines destroyed by popular they removed to Nottingham, where tumult, and was, at length, by private the assistance of some rich capitalists combination, deprived of his patent, enabled them to erect a considerable and died in obscurity and distress. cotton-mill, turned by horses. On the Arkwright had also to contend against secession of Smalley, Mr. Dale, a many disadvantages, and he was not Scotchman, was taken into partnership able to accomplish his object with any by Arkwright, who, as he was attacked, profit to himself or his partners, until about this time, by other English manu a period of five years, and a sum of facturers, used to say, that he would £120,000 had been consunied. But put into the hands of a Scotchman a whatever may be his merit as an orirazor that would shave them all. ginal inventor, this country is certainly
Arkwright was knighted in Decem indebted to him for having raised the ber, 1786, on presenting an address carding and cotton-spinning, froin com. from the high sheriff and hundred of paratively nothing, to a great national Wirksworth. At this time, he resided manufacture. Some idea of the inat his works at Crumford, in Derby- fluence which his invention has had shire, where, being able to make his upon the increase of cotton fabrics may engines go by horses, by water, and by be formed, from the fact that the annual steam, as first movers, he was rapidly importation of raw cotton from 1771 to amassing a large fortune. He died | 1780 averaged only 5,735,000 lbs; whilst there on the 3rd of August, 1792, leav from 1817 to 1821, it amounted to ing behind him, it is said, property to 144,000,000, of which 130,000,000 lbs. the amount of £500,000.
were spun in England.
This eminent philosopher was born was a woman of exemplary benevolence at Fieldhead, near Leeds, in Yorkshire, and piety, and was neither unremitting in March, 1733. His father was en. nor unsuccessful in her endeavours to gaged in the clothing manufacture, and instil the same qualities into her nephew. was a Calvinistic dissenter; but the He received the first part of his educare of his education devolved on an cation at several schools in the neighaunt (Mrs. Keighly), by whom he was bourhood of Leeds, where he made adopted almost from his infancy. She considerable progress in the learned
languages, including Hebrew, with a researches with equal ardour and boldview of fitting himself for the ministry. The consequence was, before he His weak health threatened, for a time, left Needham, a still further departure to frustrate this intention, and he, in from the received systems, and, in parconsequence, applied himself to the ticular, his total rejection of the doctrine modern languages, in order to qualify of atonement. himself for a merchant in Lisbon. His In 1758, he appeared as a candidate constitution, however, becoming reno. for a meeting-house in Sheffield, but vated, he resumed his original purpose;
his trial-sermon was not approved of. and, in 1752, went to complete his course In the following year, he reinoved to of theological studies at the dissenting Namptwich, in Cheshire, where he offiacadeiny, kept by Dr. Ashworth, at ciated as minister, and also opened a Daventry. On his entrance into this school, in which he taught with indeestablishment, he was found to possess fatigable zeal. To the common objects a considerably greater degree of know of instruction, he added that of natural ledge than might have been expected | philosophy, and thus fostered in himfrom his years, even with the studious self a taste for the pursuit of that habits by which they were accompanied, science. In 1761, he published, for the whilst his conduct was marked by a use of his scholars, an English Gramstrict sense of religion, and displayed mar, on a new plan; and, in the same that vital spirit of piety, which even, in year, he was invited by the trustees of some degree, assimilated him to that the Dissenting Academy at Warring. class of Christians, from whose doc ton, to fill the post of tutor in the lan. trines no one more widely deviated. guages. He, soon after, married the
He remained at Daventry three daughter of a Mr. Wilkinson, an iron years, pursuing, during that time, such master near Wrexham, a lady who is a course of theological inquiry, as at said to have been of very good underlength induced him to relinquish the standing, and great strength of mind. orthodox system in which he had been His reputation, as a man of various educated, for that of Arianism. It was knowledge and active inquiry, now here, also, that he first read the works began to extend itself, and he was not of Dr. Hartley, to whose theories he long in supporting his claim to it by his soon became a convert, and whose writings in various branches of literawritings ever afterwards maintained a ture and science. Of these, many repowerful influence over his whole train lated to his department in the academy, of thinking. On leaving Daventry, he which included, besides philology, lecaccepted the charge of a small congre tures on history and general policy. gation at Needham Market, in Suffolk ; His ideas of government, of which we but neither his style of preaching, nor shall speak hereafter, were supported the opinions which he held, were of a by him in An Essay on Government, nature to render him a popular mi- which was followed by An Essay on nister in this place. It is even said Education, with some remarks in anithat the dissenting clergymen in the madversion of a treatise on the same neighbourhood considered it a degrada- subject by Dr. Brown, of Newcastle. tion to associate with him ; and were About the same time also appeared his afraid to ask himn to preach, because Chart of Biography, an ingenious and the genteeler part of their audience highly cominended work.
He shortly always absented themselves when he after visited London ; and, during his appeared in the pulpit. Yet, many stay there, contracted an acquaintance years afterwards, as he informs us him- with Dr. Franklin, Dr. Watson, Dr. self, when his reputation was very high, Price, and Mr. Canton, by whom he and he preached in the same place, was encouraged to pursue a pian he multitudes flocked to hear the very had formed of writing History of same serinons which they had formerly Electricity. This work, which he publistened to with contempt and dislike. lished in 1767, relates to many new and He passed, therefore, the three years of ingeniously devised experiments of his his pastorship at Needham in poverty, own, besides containing a very clear discountenance, and obscurity; but still and well arranged account of the rise pursuing his theological and scriptural and progress of electricity. It was re
ceived with great applause, both abroad sciences, which, had he known them and at home; was translated into earlier, might, probably, have induced foreign languages, and went through him to follow some beaten track. To several editions. The Royal Society his little knowledge of chemistry, at immediately admitted the author a this time, he himself ascribes the ori. member of their body; and, about the ginality of his experiments, and the same time, the University of Edinburgh subsequent discoveries to which they conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. gave rise : one experiment led to ano
In 1767, he quitted the academy at ther, till he, at length, arrived at that Warrington to become minister to a reputation which has insured immorlarge congregation of dissenters at Leeds. tality to his name; but of which he This he found a very agreeable change; himself spoke with a modesty not often the liberality of his opinions met with to be met with among the most humble no check from those over whom he pre- favourites of fame. « Few persons, I sided ; and pursuing his theological in- believe," he says, in his autobiography, quiries with renewed ardour, he became “ have met with so much unexpected a convert to Socinianism. This change good success as myself, in the course of he attributed to a perusal of Dr. Lard- my philosophical pursuits. My narner's letter on the Logos ; and he rative will shew that the first hints, at evinced his sincerity and zeal by a least, of almost everything that I have number of publications on the subject. discovered of much importance, have The labours of the closet did not hinder occurred to me in this way; in looking him from discharging his more active for one thing, I have generally found duties as a pastor ; on the contrary, his another, and sometimes a thing of much personal efforts to instruct his Aock more value than that which I was in were most assiduous, and, in particular, quest of. But none of these expected with regard to the younger portion. discoveries appear to me to have been
But whilst he was thus rising into so extraordinary as that I am about to eminence among the dissenters, he relate, viz. the spontaneous emission of was also following up those ideas and dephlogisticated air from water coninvestigations, which ended in some of taining green vegetating matter; and it the most magnificent discoveries that may serve to admonish all persons who have enlightened the world of science. are engaged in similar pursuits, not to A brewery at Leeds, which happened overlook any circumstance relating to to adjoin his residence, first called his an experiment, but to keep their eyes attention to the properties of that open to every new appearance, and to gaseous fluid then termed fixed air; re- give due attention to it, however incon: specting which he made a number of siderable it may seem.' experiments, and at length succeeded Dr. Priestley appears to have comin contriving a simple apparatus for menced his experiments, with regard to impregnating water with it. He pub- fixed air, as early as 1768, and it was lished an account of this in 1772 ; and, before the former year that he procured in the same year, encouraged by the good air from saltpetre; discovered the success which his History of Electricity uses of agitation and of vegetation as had met with, he published, by sub- means employed by nature in purifying scription, in one volume, quarto, The the atmosphere, destined to the support History and Present State of Disco- of animal life ; and that air, vitiated by veries relating to Vision, Light, and Co- animal respiration, is a pabulum to velours. The performance, though one of getable lite. Factitious air bad also great merit, iell short of the general ex- been procured by him in a much more pectations; and, fortunately for science, extensive variety of ways than had been was received with a comparative cold previously known, and he had been in ness, which induced the author to con- ihe habit of using mercury, instead of fine himself to original researches of water, for the purpose of many of his the experimental kind. For this he was experiments. Of these discoveries, he eminently fitted: his inquiring and gave an account in a paper read before original turn of mind being impelled by the Royal Society, in 1772, together with all the ardour of genius, unshackled by an announcement of the discovery of too strict an acquaintance with those nitrous air, and its application as a test