Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy. He was noted for his inspirational leadership, grasp of strategy, unconventional tactics, which together resulted in a number of decisive British naval victories during the Napoleonic Wars, he was wounded several times in combat, losing the sight in one eye in Corsica at the age of 36, as well as most of one arm in the unsuccessful attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife when 40 years of age. He was shot and killed at the age of 47 during his final victory at the Battle of Trafalgar near the Spanish port city of Cádiz in 1805. Nelson was born into a moderately prosperous Norfolk family and joined the navy through the influence of his uncle, Maurice Suckling, a high-ranking naval officer himself, he rose through the ranks and served with leading naval commanders of the period before obtaining his own command at the age of 20 in 1778. He developed a reputation in the service through his personal valour and firm grasp of tactics but suffered periods of illness and unemployment after the end of the American War of Independence.
The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars allowed Nelson to return to service, where he was active in the Mediterranean. He fought in several minor engagements off Toulon and was important in the capture of Corsica and subsequent diplomatic duties with the Italian states. In 1797, he distinguished himself while in command of HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent. Shortly after the battle, Nelson took part in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where his attack was defeated and he was badly wounded, losing his right arm, was forced to return to England to recuperate; the following year, he won a decisive victory over the French at the Battle of the Nile and remained in the Mediterranean to support the Kingdom of Naples against a French invasion. In 1801, he was dispatched to the Baltic and won another victory, this time over the Danes at the Battle of Copenhagen, he subsequently commanded the blockade of the French and Spanish fleets at Toulon and, after their escape, chased them to the West Indies and back but failed to bring them to battle.
After a brief return to England, he took over the Cádiz blockade in 1805. On 21 October 1805, the Franco-Spanish fleet came out of port, Nelson's fleet engaged them at the Battle of Trafalgar; the battle was Britain's greatest naval victory, but during the action, aboard HMS Victory, was fatally wounded by a French sharpshooter. His body was brought back to England. Nelson's death at Trafalgar secured his position as one of Britain's most heroic figures; the significance of the victory and his death during the battle led to his signal, "England expects that every man will do his duty", being quoted and referenced up to the modern day. Numerous monuments, including Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square and the Nelson Monument in Edinburgh, have been created in his memory and his legacy remains influential. Horatio Nelson was born on 29 September 1758 in a rectory in Burnham Thorpe, England, the sixth of eleven children of the Reverend Edmund Nelson and his wife Catherine Suckling, he was named after his godfather Horatio Walpole 2nd Baron Walpole, of Wolterton.
His mother, who died on 26 December 1767, when he was nine years old, was a great-niece of Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain. She lived in the village of Barsham and married the Reverend Edmund Nelson at Beccles church, Suffolk, in 1749. Nelson's aunt, Alice Nelson was the wife of Reverend Robert Rolfe, Rector of Hilborough and grandmother of Sir Robert Monsey Rolfe. Rolfe twice served as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain. Nelson attended Paston Grammar School, North Walsham, until he was 12 years old, attended King Edward VI’s Grammar School in Norwich, his naval career began on 1 January 1771, when he reported to the third-rate HMS Raisonnable as an ordinary seaman and coxswain under his maternal uncle, Captain Maurice Suckling, who commanded the vessel. Shortly after reporting aboard, Nelson began officer training. Early in his service, Nelson discovered that he suffered from seasickness, a chronic complaint that dogged him for the rest of his life.
HMS Raisonnable had been commissioned during a period of tension with Spain, but when this passed, Suckling was transferred to the Nore guardship HMS Triumph and Nelson was dispatched to serve aboard the West Indiamen Mary Ann of the merchant shipping firm of Hibbert and Horton, in order to gain experience at sea. He twice crossed the Atlantic, before returning to serve under his uncle as the commander of Suckling's longboat, which carried men and dispatches to and from the shore. Nelson learned of a planned expedition under the command of Constantine Phipps, intended to survey a passage in the Arctic by which it was hoped that India could be reached: the fabled North-East Passage. At his nephew's request, Suckling arranged for Nelson to join the expedition as coxswain to Commander Lutwidge aboard the converted bomb vessel HMS Carcass; the expedition reached within ten degrees of the North Pole, unable to find a way through the dense ice floes, was forced to turn back. By 1800 Lutwidge began to circulate a story that while the ship had been trapped in the ice, Nelson had seen and pursued a polar bear, before being ordered to return to the ship.
Lutwidge's version, in 1809, reported that Nelson and a companion had given chase to the bear, but on bei
Maria Carolina of Austria
Maria Carolina of Austria was Queen of Naples and Sicily as the wife of King Ferdinand IV & III. As de facto ruler of her husband's kingdoms, Maria Carolina oversaw the promulgation of many reforms, including the revocation of the ban on Freemasonry, the enlargement of the navy under her favourite, John Acton, 6th Baronet, the expulsion of Spanish influence, she was a proponent of enlightened absolutism until the advent of the French Revolution, when, in order to prevent its ideas gaining currency, she made Naples a police state. Born an Austrian archduchess, the thirteenth child of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I, she married Ferdinand as part of an Austrian alliance with Spain, where Ferdinand's father was king. Following the birth of a male heir in 1775, Maria Carolina was admitted to the Privy Council. Thereafter, she dominated it until 1812. Like her mother, Maria Carolina took pains to make politically advantageous marriages for her children. Maria Carolina promoted Naples as a centre of the arts, patronising painters Jacob Philipp Hackert and Angelica Kauffman and academics Gaetano Filangieri, Domenico Cirillo and Giuseppe Maria Galanti.
Maria Carolina, abhorring how the French treated their queen, her sister Marie Antoinette, allied Naples with Britain and Austria during the Napoleonic and French Revolutionary Wars. As a result of a failed Neapolitan invasion of French-occupied Rome, she fled to Sicily with her husband in December 1798. One month the Parthenopean Republic was declared, which repudiated Bourbon rule in Naples for six months. Deposed as Queen of Naples for a second time by French forces, in 1806, Maria Carolina died in Vienna in 1814, a year before her husband's restoration to Naples. Born on 13 August 1752 at the Schönbrunn Palace, Maria Carolina was the thirteenth and sixth surviving child of Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia and ruler of the Habsburg dominions, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, she was a namesake of her elder sisters — Maria Carolina, who died two weeks after her first birthday, Maria Carolina, who died several hours after being baptised, but she was known as Charlotte by her family.
Her godparents were his wife, Marie Leszczyńska. Maria Carolina was the daughter. Maria Carolina formed a close bond with her youngest sister, Marie Antoinette. From early on they shared the same governess Countess Lerchenfeld. A testament to their closeness is the fact. In August 1767 Maria Theresa separated the two girls, hitherto raised together under the auspices of Countess Marie von Brandis, because of their bad behaviour. Soon after in October of the same year, Maria Carolina's sister Maria Josepha, destined to marry Ferdinand IV of Naples as part of an alliance with Spain, died during a smallpox epidemic. Anxious to save the Austro-Spanish alliance Charles III of Spain, father of Ferdinand IV, requested one of Maria Josepha's sisters as a replacement; the Empress offered the court of Madrid, negotiating on behalf of that of Naples, Maria Amalia or Maria Carolina. Because Maria Amalia was five years older than his son Charles III opted for the latter. Maria Carolina reacted badly to her engagement, crying and saying that Neapolitan marriages were unlucky.
Her objections, did not delay her preparation for her new role as Queen of Naples by the Countess of Lerchenfeld. Nine months on 7 April 1768, Maria Carolina married Ferdinand IV of Naples by proxy, her brother Ferdinand representing the bride-groom; the fifteen-year-old Queen of Naples journeyed at leisure from Vienna to Naples, making stops at Mantua, Bologna and Rome on the way. She entered the Kingdom of Naples on 12 May 1768, disembarking at Terracina, where she took leave of her native attendants. From Terracina and her remaining suite, comprising her brother, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, his wife Maria Luisa of Spain, ventured to Poztella, where she met her husband, whom she found "very ugly". To the Countess of Lerchenfeld, she wrote, "I love him only out of duty..." Ferdinand, was not taken with her, after their first night together, "She sleeps like the dead and sweats like a pig."Maria Carolina's dislike of her husband, did not get in the way of her bearing children, as her most important wifely duty was to perpetuate the dynasty.
In total, Maria Carolina bore Ferdinand eighteen children, of whom seven survived to adulthood including his successor, Francis I, the last Holy Roman Empress, a Grand Duchess of Tuscany, the last Queen of the French and a Princess of Asturias. Ferdinand, having received a lacklustre education from the Prince of San Nicandro, lacked the ability to rule, relying on his father Charles III of Spain's counsel, communicated by Bernardo Tanucci. Pursuant to Empress Maria Theresa's instructions, Maria Carolina gained Ferdinand's trust by feigning interest in his favourite activity—hunting. With it, she obtained a back door to the administration of the state, to be realised only by the birth of an heir in 1775, her consequent admission to the Privy Council; until Maria Carolina presided over the rejuvenation of Neapolitan court life neglected since the advent of her husband's regency. Academics Gaetano Filangieri, Domenico Cirillo, Giuseppe Maria Galanti frequented her salon, among others. Tanucci's fall from grace came about over an argument with Maria Carolina regarding Freemasonry, of which she was an adherent.
Acting on orders from Charles III, Tanucci revived a law from 1751 banning Freemasonry in response to the discovery of a Masonic lodge among the royal regiment. Angered, the Queen exp
National Library of Latvia
The National Library of Latvia known as Castle of Light is a national cultural institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture of Latvia. The National Library of Latvia was formed in 1919 after the independent Republic of Latvia was proclaimed in 1918; the first supervisor of the Library was Jānis Misiņš, a librarian and the founder of the Latvian scientific bibliography. Today the Library plays an important role in the development of Latvia's information society, providing Internet access to residents and supporting research and lifelong education; the National Library was founded on 29 August 1919, one year after independence, as the State Library. Its first chief librarian and bibliographer was Jānis Misiņš who made his immense private collection the basis of the new library. Within a year, until 1920, the stocks had grown to 250,000 volumes. Starting in the same year, all publishers were obliged to hand in a deposit copy of their works. Since 1927, the Library has published the National Bibliography of Latvia.
There were significant additions in 1939 and 1940, when the State Library took over many of the libraries and collections of the Baltic Germans, most of whom resettled to the Reich. Among these was a large part of the collection of the Society for History and Archaeology of Russia's Baltic Provinces, est. 1834, the primary historical society of the Baltic Germans. In 1940, holdings encompassed 1.7 million volumes, so that they had to be stored in two different locations in the Old Town. During the German occupation of Riga, the State Library was renamed Country Library, eliminating reference to a sovereign Latvian state). Under Soviet rule, it was known as State Library of the Latvian SSR. According to Soviet customs, in 1966 it received an honorary name, commemorating Vilis Lācis, a writer and the late prime minister of Soviet Latvia. From 1946, literature deemed'dangerous' from the Soviet perspective was withdrawn from the shelves and could be accessed only with a special permit until 1988.
In 1956, the State Library moved into its new building at Krišjāņa Barona iela. Since the reestablishment of national independence 1991, the institution has been called National Library of Latvia. In 1995, it received as a permanent loan the Baltic Central Library of Otto Bong, a collection pertaining to the history, regional studies and languages of the Baltic countries. In 2006, the National Library joined the European Library online service; the Library's holdings today encompass more than 5 million titles, incl. about 18,000 manuscripts from the 14th century up to modern times. One of the characteristic cornerstones of the NLL, which characterizes every national library, is the formation of the collection of national literature, its eternal storage and long-term access; the NLL is a centre of theoretical research and practical analyses of the activities of Latvian libraries. The Library carries out the functions of the centre of Latvia Interlibrary Loan, ensures the library and information service to the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia – the Saeima, implements the standardisation of the branch.
Since the outset, its main concern has been the national bibliography. The massive union catalogue Seniespiedumi latviešu valodā received the Spīdola Prize in 2000 and was awarded The Beautiful Book of the Year 99. In 2005, the Letonikas grāmatu autoru rādītājs was published, providing information about versatile branches of science and representatives of various nations, Latvia being the main focus of their publications; the NLL includes several collections of posters. Digitising collections at the NLL started in 1999. At present the Latvian National Digital Library Letonica, formed in 2006, holds digitized collections of newspapers, maps, sheet-music and audio recordings. In 2008 NLL launched two major digital projects. Periodika.lv is the NLL's collection of digitized historical periodicals in Latvian with the possibility to read full texts and search page by page. Latvia has Dance Festivals organized every four years; the historical materials from the first Song Festival in 1864 till the Latgale Song Festival in 1940 can be explored in another digital collection of the National Library of Latvia.
The first discussions about the need for a new National Library had started in 1928, the significance of the project of this century was further confirmed by the high-level international recognition. In 1999 all 170 UNESCO member states during its General Conference adopted a resolution, calling the member states and the international community to ensure all possible support for the implementation of the NLL project; the continuous growth of the Library had made it necessary to transfer parts of the stocks into other buildings. Thus, in 2013, NLL was distributed between five locations in Riga. Furthermore, some stocks were being stored since 1998 in a depot in Silakrogs outside the capital; these inconveniences convinced the Parliament to approve a new building on the left bank of the Daugava. On 15 May 2008, after discussions lasting for many years, the state agency Three New Brothers and the Union of National Construction Companies signed the contract on the construction of the new National Library of Latvia.
On 18 May 2014, the main facility of the Library at Krišjāņa Barona iela was close
HMS Foudroyant (1798)
HMS Foudroyant was an 80-gun third rate of the Royal Navy, one of only two British-built 80-gun ships of the period (the other was HMS Caesar. Foudroyant was built in the dockyard at Plymouth Dock and launched on 31 March 1798. Foudroyant served Nelson as his flagship from 6 June 1799 until the end of June 1801. Foudroyant had a long and successful career, although she was not involved in any major fleet action, she did provide invaluable service to numerous admirals throughout her 17 years on active service. In her last years she became a training vessel for boys, her designer was Sir John Henslow. She was named after the 80-gun Foudroyant, which Swiftsure and Monmouth, both 70-gun ships, Hampton Court, had captured from the French on 28 February 1758. Foudroyant was a one-off design, she followed French practice of favouring large two-decked, third rates mounting 80 guns rather than the typical British preference for building three-decked second-rate ships mounting 98 guns. The two ship types, despite the difference in absolute gun numbers, had similar gun power but the British thought the second rate had a more imposing appearance and some advantages in battle, while they considered the 80 gun ship as faster and less'leewardly'.
Foudroyant was first commissioned on 25 May 1798, under the command of Captain Thomas Byard. On 12 October Foudroyant was with the squadron under Captain Sir John Borlase Warren in Canada engaged a French squadron under Commodore Jean-Baptiste-François Bompart in the Battle of Tory Island; the British captured four of the eight French frigates. Foudroyant was only minimally engaged, though she did suffer nine men wounded, went off in unsuccessful pursuit of the French frigates that had escaped.. In 1847 The Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "12th October 1798" to all surviving claimants from the action. Byard's command lasted only until 31 October when, after bringing the ship back to Plymouth, he died. Commander William Butterfield took temporary command of the ship until he transferred to Hazard just twelve days later. Captain John Elphinstone took up command of the ship on 26 November 1798, in Cawsand Bay. Lord Keith hoisted his flag in Foudroyant on 28 November, she departed to join the Mediterranean Squadron on 5 December.
After arriving at Gibraltar, Keith shifted his flag to Barfleur on 31 December, Captain Elphinstone left the ship the following day. His replacement was Captain James Richard Dacres. Dacres' command lasted for four months, before Captain William Brown replaced him on 22 March 1799. On 30 March Foudroyant was among the several British warships in sight, so entitled to share in the prize money, when Alcmene captured the Saint Joseph or Hermosa Andalusia, off Cadiz. Foudroyant sailed from Gibraltar on 11 May, calling at Port Mahon before arriving at Palermo on 7 June. At this time, Brown transferred to Vanguard, Captain Thomas Hardy took over the command; the following day, Lord Nelson hoisted his flag in Foudroyant. Over the following months, Foudroyant was involved in the efforts to return the Neapolitan royal family to Naples. Nelson's fleet arrived in Naples on 24 June; the fleet consisted of a total of 18 ships of 1 frigate and 2 fire ships. The British landed 500 British and Portuguese marines in support of the Neapolitans on 27 June, all under the command of Captain Sir Thomas Troubridge, of Culloden.
The next day they captured the castles Nuovo. On 29 June they commenced the siege of Fort St. Elmo; the first batteries were in place by 3 July, with the last still being constructed on 11 July. The British and Russian forces commenced the bombardment on 3 July and the French capitulated on 11 July, forestalling the need for an assault. On 10 July His Sicilian Majesty arrived in the Bay of Naples and hoisted his standard on board the Foudroyant. There the king and his ministers remained until after the capitulation of Fort St. Elmo. A series of reprisals against known insurgents followed; the Neapolitans conducted several courts martial. Whilst Foudroyant was in Naples harbour, Nelson began his affair with Lady Hamilton. Foudroyant departed Naples on 6 August, in company with the frigate Syren, the Portuguese ship Principe Real. Foudroyant transported the Sardinian royal family to Leghorn on 22 September. On 13 October, Foudroyant entered Port Mahon harbour, Captain Sir Edward Berry replaced Captain Hardy as acting captain.
Foudroyant was back in Palermo by 22 October. Nelson remained ashore. In November, after weathering a storm in Palermo harbour, Foudroyant departed once more, this time with Culloden, ran aground in the Straits of Messina. With Culloden's assistance, it was possible to haul the ship into deep water. On 6 December a large part of the 89th Regiment embarked on Foudroyant; the soldiers landed on Malta on the 10th. Foudroyant was back at Palermo on 15 January 1800, when Lord Nelson hoisted his flag in her once again, she sailed on to Livorno, arriving on the 21st. There Foudroyant received salutes from Danish and Neapolitan frigates, two Russian ships of the line. On 26 January Foudroyant was in company with Minorca and Queen Charlotte when she recaptured the Ragusan polacca Annonciata, Michele Pepi, master, she was carrying grain from Tunis to Genoa. Sicilian soldiers embarked on 11 February, Foudroyant sailed the next day for Malta, in company with Alexander and Success. Audacious, Corso joined them later.
On 18 February, the British s
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America. After 1765, growing philosophical and political differences strained the relationship between Great Britain and its colonies. Patriot protests against taxation without representation followed the Stamp Act and escalated into boycotts, which culminated in 1773 with the Sons of Liberty destroying a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor. Britain responded by closing Boston Harbor and passing a series of punitive measures against Massachusetts Bay Colony. Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves, they established a shadow government which wrested control of the countryside from the Crown. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, establishing committees and conventions that seized power. British attempts to disarm the Massachusetts militia in Concord led to open combat on April 19, 1775.
Militia forces besieged Boston, forcing a British evacuation in March 1776, Congress appointed George Washington to command the Continental Army. Concurrently, the Americans failed decisively in an attempt to invade Quebec and raise insurrection against the British. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted for independence, issuing its declaration on July 4. Sir William Howe launched a British counter-offensive, capturing New York City and leaving American morale at a low ebb. However, victories at Trenton and Princeton restored American confidence. In 1777, the British launched an invasion from Quebec under John Burgoyne, intending to isolate the New England Colonies. Instead of assisting this effort, Howe took his army on a separate campaign against Philadelphia, Burgoyne was decisively defeated at Saratoga in October 1777. Burgoyne's defeat had drastic consequences. France formally allied with the Americans and entered the war in 1778, Spain joined the war the following year as an ally of France but not as an ally of the United States.
In 1780, the Kingdom of Mysore attacked the British in India, tensions between Great Britain and the Netherlands erupted into open war. In North America, the British mounted a "Southern strategy" led by Charles Cornwallis which hinged upon a Loyalist uprising, but too few came forward. Cornwallis Cowpens, he retreated to Yorktown, intending an evacuation, but a decisive French naval victory deprived him of an escape. A Franco-American army led by the Comte de Rochambeau and Washington besieged Cornwallis' army and, with no sign of relief, he surrendered in October 1781. Whigs in Britain had long opposed the pro-war Tories in Parliament, the surrender gave them the upper hand. In early 1782, Parliament voted to end all offensive operations in America, but the war continued overseas. Britain scored a major victory over the French navy. On September 3, 1783, the belligerent parties signed the Treaty of Paris in which Great Britain agreed to recognize the sovereignty of the United States and formally end the war.
French involvement had proven decisive. Spain failed in its primary aim of recovering Gibraltar; the Dutch were compelled to cede territory to Great Britain. In India, the war against Mysore and its allies concluded in 1784 without any territorial changes. Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765 to pay for British military troops stationed in the American colonies after the French and Indian War. Parliament had passed legislation to regulate trade, but the Stamp Act introduced a new principle of a direct internal tax. Americans began to question the extent of the British Parliament's power in America, the colonial legislatures argued that they had exclusive right to impose taxes within their jurisdictions. Colonists condemned the tax because their rights as Englishmen protected them from being taxed by a Parliament in which they had no elected representatives. Parliament argued that the colonies were "represented virtually", an idea, criticized throughout the Empire. Parliament did repeal the act in 1766, but it affirmed its right to pass laws that were binding on the colonies.
From 1767, Parliament began passing legislation to raise revenue for the salaries of civil officials, ensuring their loyalty while inadvertently increasing resentment among the colonists, opposition soon became widespread. Enforcing the acts proved difficult; the seizure of the sloop Liberty in 1768 on suspicions of smuggling triggered a riot. In response, British troops occupied Boston, Parliament threatened to extradite colonists to face trial in England. Tensions rose after the murder of Christopher Seider by a customs official in 1770 and escalated into outrage after British troops fired on civilians in the Boston Massacre. In 1772, colonists in Rhode Island burned a customs schooner. Parliament repealed all taxes except the one on tea, passing the Tea Act in 1773, attempting to force colonists to buy East India Company tea on which the Townshend duties were paid, thus implicitly agreeing to Parliamentary supremacy; the landing of the tea was resisted in all colonies, but the governor of Massachusetts permitted British tea ships to remain in Boston Harbor, so the Sons of Liberty destroyed the tea chests in what became known as the "Boston Tea Party".
Parliament passed punitive legislation. It closed Boston Harbor until the tea was paid for and revoked the Massachusetts Charter, taking upon themselves the right to directly appoint the Massachusetts Governor's Council. Additionally, t
William Hamilton (diplomat)
Sir William Hamilton, was a British diplomat, antiquarian and vulcanologist. After a short period as a Member of Parliament, he served as British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Naples from 1764 to 1800, he studied the volcanoes Vesuvius and Etna, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society and recipient of the Copley Medal. His second wife was Emma Hamilton, famed as Horatio Nelson's mistress. Hamilton was born on 13 December 1730 in either London or at Park Place, the fourth son of Lord Archibald Hamilton, governor of Jamaica, seventh son of William Douglas-Hamilton, Earl of Selkirk by the 3rd Duchess of Hamilton, Lady Jane Hamilton, daughter of James Hamilton, 6th Earl of Abercorn, his mother was a favourite, a mistress, of the Prince of Wales and William grew up with his son George III, who would call him his "foster brother". At age nine, he went to Westminster School, where he made lifelong friends of Frederick Hervey and David Murray. Hamilton used to say that he was born with a thousand pounds.
So, six weeks after his sixteenth birthday, he was commissioned into the 3rd Foot Guards as an ensign. He spent some time with the regiment in the Netherlands, advanced to lieutenant in 1753. In September 1757 he was present as aide-de-camp to General Henry Seymour Conway at the abortive attack on Rochefort; the following year he left the Army, after having married Catherine Barlow, the daughter of Hugh Barlow, Member of Parliament for Pembroke Boroughs. The couple shared a love of music, the marriage, which lasted until Catherine's death on 25 August 1782, was a happy one. There were no children; when Catherine's father died in 1763 she inherited his estates in Wales and these provided the Hamiltons with a steady income. In 1761 Hamilton entered Parliament as Member for Midhurst; when he heard that the ambassador to the court of Naples, Sir James Gray, was to be promoted to Madrid, Hamilton expressed an interest in the position, was duly appointed in 1764. Hamilton arrived in Naples on 17 November 1764 with the official title of Envoy Extraordinary to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and would remain as ambassador to the court of Ferdinand and Maria Carolina until 1800, although from November 1798 he was based in Palermo, the court having moved there when Naples was threatened by the French Army.
As ambassador, Hamilton was expected to send reports back to the Secretary of State every ten days or so, to promote Britain's commercial interests in Naples, to keep open house for English travellers to Naples. These official duties left him plenty of time to pursue his interests in art and music, as well as developing new interests in volcanoes and earthquakes. Catherine, who had never enjoyed good health, began to recover in the mild climate of Naples, their main residence was the Palazzo Sessa, where they hosted official functions and where Hamilton housed his growing collection of paintings and antiquities. Hamilton began collecting Greek vases and other antiquities as soon as he arrived in Naples, obtaining them from dealers or other collectors, or opening tombs himself. In 1766–67 he published a volume of engravings of his collection entitled Collection of Etruscan and Roman antiquities from the cabinet of the Honble. Wm. Hamilton, His Britannick Maiesty's envoy extraordinary at the Court of Naples.
The text was written by d'Hancarville with contributions by Johann Winckelmann. A further three volumes were produced in 1769–76. During his first leave in 1771 Hamilton arranged the sale of his collection to the British Museum for £8,410. Josiah Wedgwood the potter drew inspiration from the reproductions in Hamilton's volumes. During this first leave, in January 1772, Hamilton became a Knight of the Order of the Bath and the following month was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. In 1777, during his second leave to England, he became a member of the Society of Dilettanti; when Hamilton returned to England for a third period of leave, in 1783–84, he brought with him a Roman glass vase, which had once belonged to the Barberini family and which became known as the Portland Vase. Hamilton had sold it to the Duchess of Portland; the cameo work on the vase again served as inspiration to Josiah Wedgwood, this time for his jasperware. The vase was bought by the British Museum, he was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1792.
In 1798, as Hamilton was about to leave Naples, he packed up his art collection and a second vase collection and sent them back to England. A small part of the second vase collection went down with HMS Colossus off the Scilly Isles; the surviving part of the second collection was catalogued for sale at auction at Christie's when at the eleventh hour Thomas Hope stepped in and purchased the collection of South Italian vases. Soon after Hamilton arrived in Naples, Mount Vesuvius began to show signs of activity and in the summer of 1766 he sent an account of an eruption, together with drawings and samples of salts and sulphurs, to the Royal Society in London. On the strength of this paper he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In the autumn of 1767 there was an greater eruption and again Hamilton sent a report to the Royal Society; the two papers were published as an article in the Society's journal Philosophical Transactions. The Royal Society awarded him the Copley Medal in 1770 for his paper, "An Account of a Journey to Mount Etna"
Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition
The Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition is a 29-volume reference work, an edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It was developed during the encyclopaedia's transition from a British to an American publication; some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time. This edition of the encyclopedia, containing 40,000 entries, is now in the public domain, many of its articles have been used as a basis for articles in Wikipedia. However, the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic; some articles have special value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The 1911 eleventh edition was assembled with the management of American publisher Horace Everett Hooper. Hugh Chisholm, who had edited the previous edition, was appointed editor in chief, with Walter Alison Phillips as his principal assistant editor. Hooper bought the rights to the 25-volume 9th edition and persuaded the British newspaper The Times to issue its reprint, with eleven additional volumes as the tenth edition, published in 1902.
Hooper's association with The Times ceased in 1909, he negotiated with the Cambridge University Press to publish the 29-volume eleventh edition. Though it is perceived as a quintessentially British work, the eleventh edition had substantial American influences, not only in the increased amount of American and Canadian content, but in the efforts made to make it more popular. American marketing methods assisted sales; some 14% of the contributors were from North America, a New York office was established to coordinate their work. The initials of the encyclopedia's contributors appear at the end of selected articles or at the end of a section in the case of longer articles, such as that on China, a key is given in each volume to these initials; some articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time, such as Edmund Gosse, J. B. Bury, Algernon Charles Swinburne, John Muir, Peter Kropotkin, T. H. Huxley, James Hopwood Jeans and William Michael Rossetti. Among the lesser-known contributors were some who would become distinguished, such as Ernest Rutherford and Bertrand Russell.
Many articles were carried over from some with minimal updating. Some of the book-length articles were divided into smaller parts for easier reference, yet others much abridged; the best-known authors contributed only a single article or part of an article. Most of the work was done by British Museum scholars and other scholars; the 1911 edition was the first edition of the encyclopædia to include more than just a handful of female contributors, with 34 women contributing articles to the edition. The eleventh edition introduced a number of changes of the format of the Britannica, it was the first to be published complete, instead of the previous method of volumes being released as they were ready. The print type was subject to continual updating until publication, it was the first edition of Britannica to be issued with a comprehensive index volume in, added a categorical index, where like topics were listed. It was the first not to include long treatise-length articles. Though the overall length of the work was about the same as that of its predecessor, the number of articles had increased from 17,000 to 40,000.
It was the first edition of Britannica to include biographies of living people. Sixteen maps of the famous 9th edition of Stielers Handatlas were translated to English, converted to Imperial units, printed in Gotha, Germany by Justus Perthes and became part this edition. Editions only included Perthes' great maps as low quality reproductions. According to Coleman and Simmons, the content of the encyclopedia was distributed as follows: Hooper sold the rights to Sears Roebuck of Chicago in 1920, completing the Britannica's transition to becoming a American publication. In 1922, an additional three volumes, were published, covering the events of the intervening years, including World War I. These, together with a reprint of the eleventh edition, formed the twelfth edition of the work. A similar thirteenth edition, consisting of three volumes plus a reprint of the twelfth edition, was published in 1926, so the twelfth and thirteenth editions were related to the eleventh edition and shared much of the same content.
However, it became apparent that a more thorough update of the work was required. The fourteenth edition, published in 1929, was revised, with much text eliminated or abridged to make room for new topics; the eleventh edition was the basis of every version of the Encyclopædia Britannica until the new fifteenth edition was published in 1974, using modern information presentation. The eleventh edition's articles are still of value and interest to modern readers and scholars as a cultural artifact: the British Empire was at its maximum, imperialism was unchallenged, much of the world was still ruled by monarchs, the tragedy of the modern world wars was still in the future, they are an invaluable resource for topics omitted from modern encyclopedias for biography and the history of science and technology. As a literary text, the encyclopedia has value as an example of early 20th-century prose. For example, it employs literary devices, such as pathetic fallacy, which are not as common in modern reference texts.
In 1917, using the pseudonym of S. S. Van Dine, the US art critic and author Willard Huntington Wright published Misinforming a Nation, a 200+