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Matthew Webb

Captain Matthew Webb was the first recorded person to swim the English Channel for sport without the use of artificial aids. In 1875, Webb swam from Dover to Calais in less than 22 hours; this brought him great celebrity, he performed many stunts in public. He died trying to swim the Whirlpool Rapids below Niagara Falls, a feat declared impossible. Webb was born at Telford, in Shropshire, one of twelve children of a Coalbrookdale doctor, he acquired his ability to swim in the River Severn at Coalbrookdale. In 1860, at the age of twelve, he joined the training ship HMS Conway for two years entered the merchant navy and served a three-year apprenticeship with Rathbone Brothers of Liverpool. Whilst serving as second mate on the Cunard Line ship Russia, travelling from New York to Liverpool, he attempted to rescue a man overboard by diving into the sea in the mid-Atlantic; the man was never found, but Webb's daring won him an award of £100 and the first Stanhope Medal, made him a hero of the British press.

In the summer of 1863, while at home, he rescued his 12-year-old brother Thomas from drowning in the Severn near Ironbridge. In 1873, Webb was serving as captain of the steamship Emerald when he read an account of the failed attempt by J. B. Johnson to swim the English Channel, he became inspired to try, left his job to begin training, first at Lambeth Baths in the cold waters of the Thames, the English Channel and Hollingworth Lake. His early training was backed by Fred Beckwith, the "Professor" at Lambeth Baths. Beckwith organised a spectacle by showing Webb swimming miles in the River Thames. Webb completed ` nearly six miles'; as a result, Webb took another manager. On 12 August 1875, he made his first cross-Channel swimming attempt, but strong winds and poor sea conditions forced him to abandon the swim. On 24 August, he began a second swim by diving in from the Admiralty Pier at Dover. Backed by three escort boats and smeared in porpoise oil, he set off into the ebb tide at a steady breaststroke.

Despite stings from jellyfish and strong currents off Cap Gris Nez which prevented him from reaching the shore for five hours after 21 hours and 40 minutes, he landed near Calais—the first successful cross-channel swim. His zig-zag course across the Channel was nearly 40 miles long. After his record swim, Captain Webb basked in national and international adulation, followed a career as a professional swimmer, he wrote a book called The Art of Swimming and licensed his name for merchandising such as commemorative pottery. A brand of matches was named after him, he participated in exhibition swimming matches and stunts such as floating in a tank of water for 128 hours. On 27 April 1880, he married Madeline Kate Chaddock, they had two children and Helen, his final stunt was to be a dangerous swim through the Whirlpool Rapids on the Niagara River below Niagara Falls, a feat many observers considered suicidal. Although Webb failed in an attempt at raising interest in funding the event, on 24 July 1883, he jumped into the river from a small boat located near the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge and began his swim.

Accounts of the time indicate that in all likelihood Webb survived the first part of the swim, but died in the section of the river located near the entrance to the whirlpool. Webb was interred in Niagara Falls, New York. In 1909, Webb's elder brother Thomas unveiled a memorial in Telford. On it reads the short inscription: "Nothing great is easy." The memorial was taken away for repair after a lorry collided with it in February 2009. The landmark memorial was returned after full restoration and was hoisted back onto its plinth in High Street in October 2009. Two roads in the town and the Captain Webb Primary School in Dawley are named after the swimmer, he has a statue in Dover, a memorial plaque with his portrait was unveiled in the parish church at Coalbrookdale. Webb House of the Adams' Grammar School in Newport, Shropshire, is named after Webb. John Betjeman's poem "A Shropshire Lad" commemorates the death of Captain Webb, portraying his ghost swimming back along the canal to Dawley, it was recorded by folk singer John Kirkpatrick.

His death inspired a poem by William McGonagall. Captain Webb's picture on boxes of Bryant and May matches is said to have inspired the physical appearance of the Inspector Clouseau character portrayed in the Pink Panther films by Peter Sellers. List of members of the International Swimming Hall of Fame List of successful English Channel swimmers Elderwick, David. Captain Webb – Channel Swimmer. ISBN 0-947731-23-7. Sprawson, Charles. Haunts of the Black MasseurThe Swimmer as Hero. ISBN 0-8166-3539-0. Watson, Kathy; the Crossing – The Glorious Tragedy of the First Man to Swim the English Channel. ISBN 978-1-58542-109-1. Webb, Matthew; the Art of Swimming. ISBN 0-946014-78-7. Matthew Webb at Find a Grave Two images from the Niagara Falls Public Library Bust of Captain Matthew Webb on Dover Seafront – Photograph of statue plus description Cemetery where Capt. Webb is interred. – Oakwood Cemetery, Niagara Falls, NY

Place Saint-Jacques, Metz

The Place Saint-Jacques is situated in the centre of Metz in front of the centre Saint-Jacques, a three-storey mall. It is located between rue Fabert and rue Ladoucette, in the heart of the historic and pedestrian centre, near the cathedral; the current name of the square appeared in the 12th century and derives from the Église Saint-Jacques, on the square before being demolished in 1574. The name of the square has changed several times over the course of history. Most the name changed due to events surrounding the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, World War II. Place Saint-Jacques Place Derrière-Saint-Sauveur Place de la République Place d’Austerlitz Place Saint-Jacques Place d’Austerlitz Jakobplatz, in the Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine Place Saint-Jacques Jakobplatz, in CdZ-Gebiet Lothringen Place Saint-Jacques Place Saint-Jacques is situated near the main crossroads of the Roman city and its location corresponds with the placement of the Roman Forum. A fountain was built in Place Saint-Jacques in 1498 but it was torn down in 1730.

It was again destroyed in the French Revolution and relocated to rue du Pont-des-Morts. Beginning in 1832, a covered vegetable and flower market filled the square. Market contracts ended on December 26 of each year; the building was demolished in 1907 due to unsanitary conditions. Today the square is known by Messins for its numerous coffeehouses and restaurants with outside tables for when the weather is fine. During the German retreat at the end of World War I in 1918, Catholics in Metz feared that the city might become a second Verdun, so they asked Reverend Willibrord Benzler, Bishop of Metz from 1901 to 1919, to pledge to erect a statue to the Blessed Virgin so that the city would be spared from armed combat; the prelate accepted. However, he was expelled by the French authorities in July 1919 and died in Germany in 1921; the statue was inaugurated on the Feast of the Assumption in 1924. Place Saint-Jacques was chosen as the location for its centrality and its proximity to the cathedral; the sanctification was celebrated by Reverend Jean-Baptiste Pelt, the new Bishop of Metz, in the presence of Reverend Charles Ruch, Bishop of Strasbourg, Reverend Alphonse-Gabriel Foucault, Bishop of Saint-Die, after an address by Reverend du Bois Jagu de la Villerabel, Archbishop of Rouen and Primate of Normandy.

The bronze statue by Jacques Martin is 1.90 metres tall and stands on an Ionic column of fine stone of Jaumont 8 metres high, by Max Braemer. Again on 15 August 1940, in spite of the assembly ban imposed by the Nazis occupying the city and the presence of many armed soldiers, nothing could prevent the citizens of Metz from showing their devotion to Our Lady of Metz and demonstrating their patriotic attachment to France, they gathered silently on the jam-packed square. The statue was surrounded by flowers in the three colors of France and a huge Cross of Lorraine embellished with thistles and a ribbon in yellow and red, the colours of Lorraine, was attached to the column on which the motto of Lorraine could be read: Qui s'y frotte s'y pique, a reference to the cotton thistle, the symbol of Lorraine. In the silent crowd a chant began: Reine de France – Priez pour nous – Notre espérance – Venez et sauvez-nous, was taken up by all the faithful present; the chant was started by Sister Helen Studler, a Daughter of Charity, who had the courage to express her desire to see the tricolor flag of France waving again in Metz.

The crowd returned to the cathedral in silence and many spent the whole night in prayer. The tradition is honoured each year on August 15, the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. First of all, the Pontifical Mass is celebrated in the morning at the Cathedral of Saint Étienne. After vespers is sung, the bishop conducts a procession from the cathedral to the historic column in the middle of Place Saint-Jacques. Michel Thiria, "La place Saint-Jacques", L’Austrasie, 1909 "La statue de Notre-Dame sur la place Saint-Jacques", La Voix lorraine 33, 15 August 1971, p. 6 Autour de la place Saint-Jacques, Autour des Arènes de Metz Sablon

Original Congregational Church of Wrentham

The Original Congregational Church of Wrentham is a historic church at 1 East and 22 Dedham Streets in Wrentham, Massachusetts. The present church is a Greek Revival structure built in 1834 for a congregation formed in 1692; the church, which occupies a prominent position in the center of Wrentham, has a four-stage tower, a tetrastyle Doric portico. The building underwent a modernizing renovation in 1878, at which time many of the windows were modified to have rounded tops; the church building was listed the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. National Register of Historic Places listings in Norfolk County, Massachusetts Church Website