Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 927, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united by Æthelstan. In 1016, the kingdom became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England and Norway; the Norman conquest of England in 1066 led to the transfer of the English capital city and chief royal residence from the Anglo-Saxon one at Winchester to Westminster, the City of London established itself as England's largest and principal commercial centre. Histories of the kingdom of England from the Norman conquest of 1066 conventionally distinguish periods named after successive ruling dynasties: Norman 1066–1154, Plantagenet 1154–1485, Tudor 1485–1603 and Stuart 1603–1714. Dynastically, all English monarchs after 1066 claim descent from the Normans; the completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown.
Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. From the 1340s the kings of England laid claim to the crown of France, but after the Hundred Years' War and the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses in 1455, the English were no longer in any position to pursue their French claims and lost all their land on the continent, except for Calais. After the turmoils of the Wars of the Roses, the Tudor dynasty ruled during the English Renaissance and again extended English monarchical power beyond England proper, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542. Henry VIII oversaw the English Reformation, his daughter Elizabeth I the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, meanwhile establishing England as a great power and laying the foundations of the British Empire by claiming possessions in the New World. From the accession of James VI and I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland.
Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into civil war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament; this concept became established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its successor state the United Kingdom, functioned in effect as a constitutional monarchy. On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain; the Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning "land of the English", by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the purported homeland of the Angles; the name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period. The Latin name was Anglorum terra, the Old French and Anglo-Norman one Angleterre.
By the 14th century, England was used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain. The standard title for monarchs from Æthelstan until John was Rex Anglorum. Canute the Great, a Dane, was the first to call himself "King of England". In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with occasional use of Rex Anglie. From John's reign onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Regina Anglie. In 1604 James I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, adopted the title King of Great Britain; the English and Scottish parliaments, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707. The kingdom of England emerged from the gradual unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy: East Anglia, Northumbria, Essex and Wessex; the Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English kingdoms, native Anglo-Saxon life in general. The English lands were unified in the 10th century in a reconquest completed by King Æthelstan in 927 CE.
During the Heptarchy, the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might become acknowledged as Bretwalda, a high king over the other kings. The decline of Mercia allowed Wessex to become more powerful, it absorbed the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex in 825. The kings of Wessex became dominant over the other kingdoms of England during the 9th century. In 827, Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at Dore making Egbert the first king to reign over a united England. In 886, Alfred the Great retook London, which he regarded as a turning point in his reign; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that "all of the English people not subject to the Danes submitted themselves to King Alfred." Asser added that "Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly... and made it habitable once more." Alfred's "restoration"
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone was a British statesman and Liberal Party politician. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served for twelve years as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, spread over four terms beginning in 1868 and ending in 1894, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer four times. Gladstone was born in Liverpool to Scottish parents, he first entered the House of Commons in 1832, beginning his political career as a High Tory, a grouping which became the Conservative Party under Robert Peel in 1834. Gladstone served as a minister in both of Peel's governments, in 1846 joined the breakaway Peelite faction, which merged into the new Liberal Party in 1859, he was Chancellor under Lord Palmerston and Lord Russell. Gladstone's own political doctrine—which emphasised equality of opportunity, free trade, laissez-faire economic policies—came to be known as Gladstonian liberalism, his popularity amongst the working-class earned him the sobriquet "The People's William". In 1868, Gladstone became Prime Minister for the first time.
Many reforms were passed during his first ministry, including the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland and the introduction of secret voting. After electoral defeat in 1874, Gladstone resigned as leader of the Liberal Party, his Midlothian Campaign of 1879–80 was an early example of many modern political campaigning techniques. After the 1880 general election, Gladstone formed his second ministry, which saw the passage of the Third Reform Act as well as crises in Egypt and Ireland, where his government passed repressive measures but improved the legal rights of Irish tenant farmers. Back in office in early 1886, Gladstone proposed home rule for Ireland but was defeated in the House of Commons; the resulting split in the Liberal Party helped keep them out of office—with one short break—for twenty years. Gladstone formed his last government in 1892, at the age of 82; the Second Home Rule Bill passed through the Commons but was defeated in the House of Lords in 1893. Gladstone left office in March 1894, aged 84, as both the oldest person to serve as Prime Minister and the only Prime Minister to have served four terms.
He died three years later. Gladstone was known affectionately by his supporters as "The People's William" or the "G. O. M.". Historians call him one of Britain's greatest leaders. Born in 1809 in Liverpool, at 62 Rodney Street, William Ewart Gladstone was the fourth son of the merchant John Gladstone, his second wife, Anne MacKenzie Robertson. In 1835, the family name was changed from Gladstones to Gladstone by royal licence, his father was made a baronet, of Fasque and Balfour, in 1846. Although born and brought up in Liverpool, William Gladstone was of purely Scottish ancestry, his grandfather Thomas Gladstones was a prominent merchant from Leith, his maternal grandfather, Andrew Robertson, was Provost of Dingwall and a Sheriff-Substitute of Ross-shire. His biographer John Morley described him as "a highlander in the custody of a lowlander", an adversary as "an ardent Italian in the custody of a Scotsman". One of his earliest childhood memories was being made to stand on a table and say "Ladies and gentlemen" to the assembled audience at a gathering to promote the election of George Canning as MP for Liverpool in 1812.
In 1814, young "Willy" visited Scotland for the first time, as he and his brother John travelled with their father to Edinburgh and Dingwall to visit their relatives. Willy and his brother were both made freemen of the burgh of Dingwall. In 1815, Gladstone travelled to London and Cambridge for the first time with his parents. Whilst in London, he attended a service of thanksgiving with his family at St Paul's Cathedral following the Battle of Waterloo, where he saw the Prince Regent. William Gladstone was educated from 1816–1821 at a preparatory school at the vicarage of St. Thomas' Church at Seaforth, close to his family's residence, Seaforth House. In 1821, William followed in the footsteps of his elder brothers and attended Eton College before matriculating in 1828 at Christ Church, where he read Classics and Mathematics, although he had no great interest in the latter subject. In December 1831, he achieved the double first-class degree. Gladstone served as President of the Oxford Union, where he developed a reputation as an orator, which followed him into the House of Commons.
At university, Gladstone was a denounced Whig proposals for parliamentary reform. Following the success of his double first, William travelled with his brother John on a Grand Tour of Europe, visiting Belgium, France and Italy. Upon his return to England, William was elected to Parliament in 1832 as a Tory Member of Parliament for Newark through the influence of the local patron, the Duke of Newcastle. Although Gladstone entered Lincoln's Inn in 1833, with intentions of becoming a barrister, by 1839 he had requested that his name should be removed from the list because he no longer intended to be called to the Bar. In the House of Commons, Gladstone was a disciple of High Toryism and, as a scion of one of the largest slave-holding families in the world, he opposed both the abolition of slavery and factory legislation. Gladstone's father was a slave owner.
Silver is a chemical element with symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, reflectivity of any metal; the metal is found in the Earth's crust in the pure, free elemental form, as an alloy with gold and other metals, in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of copper, gold and zinc refining. Silver has long been valued as a precious metal. Silver metal is used in many bullion coins, sometimes alongside gold: while it is more abundant than gold, it is much less abundant as a native metal, its purity is measured on a per-mille basis. As one of the seven metals of antiquity, silver has had an enduring role in most human cultures. Other than in currency and as an investment medium, silver is used in solar panels, water filtration, ornaments, high-value tableware and utensils, in electrical contacts and conductors, in specialized mirrors, window coatings, in catalysis of chemical reactions, as a colorant in stained glass and in specialised confectionery.
Its compounds are used in X-ray film. Dilute solutions of silver nitrate and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbiocides, added to bandages and wound-dressings and other medical instruments. Silver is similar in its physical and chemical properties to its two vertical neighbours in group 11 of the periodic table and gold, its 47 electrons are arranged in the configuration 4d105s1 to copper and gold. This distinctive electron configuration, with a single electron in the highest occupied s subshell over a filled d subshell, accounts for many of the singular properties of metallic silver. Silver is an soft and malleable transition metal, though it is less malleable than gold. Silver crystallizes in a face-centered cubic lattice with bulk coordination number 12, where only the single 5s electron is delocalized to copper and gold. Unlike metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in silver are lacking a covalent character and are weak; this observation explains the low high ductility of single crystals of silver.
Silver has a brilliant white metallic luster that can take a high polish, and, so characteristic that the name of the metal itself has become a colour name. Unlike copper and gold, the energy required to excite an electron from the filled d band to the s-p conduction band in silver is large enough that it no longer corresponds to absorption in the visible region of the spectrum, but rather in the ultraviolet. Protected silver has greater optical reflectivity than aluminium at all wavelengths longer than ~450 nm. At wavelengths shorter than 450 nm, silver's reflectivity is inferior to that of aluminium and drops to zero near 310 nm. High electrical and thermal conductivity is common to the elements in group 11, because their single s electron is free and does not interact with the filled d subshell, as such interactions lower electron mobility; the electrical conductivity of silver is the greatest of all metals, greater than copper, but it is not used for this property because of the higher cost.
An exception is in radio-frequency engineering at VHF and higher frequencies where silver plating improves electrical conductivity because those currents tend to flow on the surface of conductors rather than through the interior. During World War II in the US, 13540 tons of silver were used in electromagnets for enriching uranium because of the wartime shortage of copper. Pure silver has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal, although the conductivity of carbon and superfluid helium-4 are higher. Silver has the lowest contact resistance of any metal. Silver forms alloys with copper and gold, as well as zinc. Zinc-silver alloys with low zinc concentration may be considered as face-centred cubic solid solutions of zinc in silver, as the structure of the silver is unchanged while the electron concentration rises as more zinc is added. Increasing the electron concentration further leads to body-centred cubic, complex cubic, hexagonal close-packed phases. Occurring silver is composed of two stable isotopes, 107Ag and 109Ag, with 107Ag being more abundant.
This equal abundance is rare in the periodic table. The atomic weight is 107.8682 u. Both isotopes of silver are produced in stars via the s-process, as well as in supernovas via the r-process. Twenty-eight radioisotopes have been characterized, the most stable being 105Ag with a half-life of 41.29 days, 111Ag with a half-life of 7.45 days, 112Ag with a half-life of 3.13 hours. Silver has numerous nuclear isomers, the most stable being 108mAg, 110mAg and 106mAg. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives of less than an hour, the majority of these have half-lives of less than three minutes. Isotopes of silver range in relative atomic mass from 92.950 u
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of Her Majesty's Exchequer known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or the Chancellor, is a senior official within the Government of the United Kingdom and head of Her Majesty's Treasury. The office is a British Cabinet-level position; the chancellor is responsible for all economic and financial matters, equivalent to the role of finance minister in other nations. The position is considered one of the four Great Offices of State, in recent times has come to be the most powerful office in British politics after the prime minister; the Chancellor of the Exchequer is now always Second Lord of the Treasury as one of the Lords Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Treasurer. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, it was common for the prime minister to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer if he sat in the Commons. In cases when the chancellorship was vacant, the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench would act as Chancellor pro tempore; the last Lord Chief Justice to serve in this way was Lord Denman in 1834.
The chancellor is the third-oldest major state office in British history. The earliest surviving records which are the results of the exchequer's audit, date from 1129–30 under King Henry I and show continuity from previous years; the chancellor controlled monetary policy as well as fiscal policy until 1997, when the Bank of England was granted independent control of its interest rates. The chancellor has oversight of public spending across Government departments; the holder of the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer is ex officio Second Lord of the Treasury as a member of the commission exercising the ancient office of Lord High Treasurer. As the Second Lord, his official residence is 11 Downing Street in London, next door to the residence of the First Lord of the Treasury, who resides in 10 Downing Street. While in the past both houses were private residences, today they serve as interlinked offices, with the occupant living in an apartment made from attic rooms resided in by servants. Since 1827, the chancellor has always held the office of Second Lord of the Treasury when that person has not been the prime minister.
A previous chancellor, Robert Lowe, described the office in the following terms in the House of Commons, on 11 April 1870: "The Chancellor of the Exchequer is a man whose duties make him more or less of a taxing machine. He is entrusted with a certain amount of misery which it is his duty to distribute as as he can." The chancellor has considerable control over other departments as it is the Treasury which sets Departmental Expenditure Limits. The amount of power this gives to an individual chancellor depends on his personal forcefulness, his status within his party and his relationship with the prime minister. Gordon Brown, who became chancellor when Labour came into Government in 1997, had a large personal power base in the party; as a result, Tony Blair chose to keep him in the same position throughout his ten years as prime minister. This has strengthened a pre-existing trend towards the Chancellor occupying a clear second position among government ministers, elevated above his traditional peers, the Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary.
One part of the Chancellor's key roles involves the framing of the annual year budget. As of 2017, the first is the Autumn Budget known as Budget Day which forecasts government spending in the next financial year and announces new financial measures; the second is a Spring Statement known as a "mini-Budget". Britain's tax year has retained the old Julian end of year: 24 March / 5 April. From 1993, the Budget was in spring, preceded by an annual autumn statement; this was called Pre-Budget Report. The Autumn Statement took place in November or December; the 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2016 budgets were all delivered on a Wednesday, summarised in a speech to the House of Commons. The budget is a state secret. Hugh Dalton, on his way to giving the budget speech in 1947, inadvertently blurted out key details to a newspaper reporter, they appeared in print before he made his speech. Dalton was forced to resign. Although the Bank of England is responsible for setting interest rates, the chancellor plays an important part in the monetary policy structure.
He sets the inflation target. Under the Bank of England Act 1998 the chancellor has the power of appointment of four out of nine members of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee – the so-called'external' members, he has a high level of influence over the appointment of the Bank's Governor and Deputy Governors, has the right of consultation over the appointment of the two remaining MPC members from within the Bank. The Act provides that the Government has the power to give instructions to the Bank on interest rates for a limited period in extreme circumstances; this power has never been used. At HM Treasury the chancellor is supported by a political team of four junior ministers and by permanent civil servants; the most important junior minister is the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, a member of the Cabinet
George II of Great Britain
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death in 1760. George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain: he was born and brought up in northern Germany, his grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, became second in line to the British throne after about 50 Catholics higher in line were excluded by the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Acts of Union 1707, which restricted the succession to Protestants. After the deaths of Sophia and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, in 1714, his father George I, Elector of Hanover, inherited the British throne. In the first years of his father's reign as king, George was associated with opposition politicians, until they rejoined the governing party in 1720; as king from 1727, George exercised little control over British domestic policy, controlled by the Parliament of Great Britain. As elector, he spent twelve summers in Hanover, where he had more direct control over government policy.
He had a difficult relationship with his eldest son, who supported the parliamentary opposition. During the War of the Austrian Succession, George participated at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, thus became the last British monarch to lead an army in battle. In 1745, supporters of the Catholic claimant to the British throne, James Francis Edward Stuart, led by James's son Charles Edward Stuart and failed to depose George in the last of the Jacobite rebellions. Frederick died unexpectedly in 1751, nine years before his father, so George II was succeeded by his grandson, George III. For two centuries after George II's death, history tended to view him with disdain, concentrating on his mistresses, short temper, boorishness. Since most scholars have reassessed his legacy and conclude that he held and exercised influence in foreign policy and military appointments. George was born in the city of Hanover in Germany, was the son of George Louis, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick-Lüneburg, his wife, Sophia Dorothea of Celle.
His sister, Sophia Dorothea, was born. Both of George's parents committed adultery, in 1694 their marriage was dissolved on the pretext that Sophia had abandoned her husband, she was confined to Ahlden House and denied access to her two children, who never saw their mother again. George spoke only French, the language of diplomacy and the court, until the age of four, after which he was taught German by one of his tutors, Johann Hilmar Holstein. In addition to French and German, he was schooled in English and Italian, studied genealogy, military history, battle tactics with particular diligence. George's second cousin once removed, Queen Anne, ascended the thrones of England and Ireland in 1702, she had no surviving children, by the Act of Settlement 1701, the English Parliament designated Anne's closest Protestant blood relations, George's grandmother Sophia and her descendants, as Anne's heirs in England and Ireland. After his grandmother and father, George was third in line to succeed Anne in two of her three realms.
He was naturalized as an English subject in 1705 by the Sophia Naturalization Act, in 1706, he was made a Knight of the Garter and created Duke and Marquess of Cambridge, Earl of Milford Haven, Viscount Northallerton, Baron Tewkesbury in the Peerage of England. England and Scotland united in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, jointly accepted the succession as laid down by the English Act of Settlement. George's father did not want his son to enter into a loveless arranged marriage as he had, wanted him to have the opportunity of meeting his bride before any formal arrangements were made. Negotiations from 1702 for the hand of Princess Hedvig Sophia of Sweden, Dowager Duchess and regent of Holstein-Gottorp, came to nothing. In June 1705, under the false name of "Monsieur de Busch", George visited the Ansbach court at their summer residence in Triesdorf to investigate incognito a marriage prospect: Caroline of Ansbach, the former ward of his aunt Queen Sophia Charlotte of Prussia; the English envoy to Hanover, Edmund Poley, reported that George was so taken by "the good character he had of her that he would not think of anybody else".
A marriage contract was concluded by the end of July. On 22 August / 2 September 1705O. S./N. S. Caroline arrived in Hanover for her wedding, held the same evening in the chapel at Herrenhausen. George was keen to participate in the war against France in Flanders, but his father refused permission for him to join the army in an active role until he had a son and heir. In early 1707, George's hopes were fulfilled. In July, Caroline fell ill with smallpox, George caught the infection after staying by her side devotedly during her illness, they both recovered. In 1708, George participated in the Battle of Oudenarde in the vanguard of the Hanoverian cavalry; the British commander, wrote that George "distinguished himself charging at the head of and animating by his example troops, who played a good part in this happy victory". Between 1709 and 1713, George and Caroline had three more children, all girls: Anne and Caroline. By 1714, Queen Anne's health had declined, British Whigs, politicians who supported the Hanoverian succession, thought it prudent for one of the Hanoverians to live in England, to safeguard
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death in 1837. The third son of George III, William succeeded his elder brother George IV, becoming the last king and penultimate monarch of Britain's House of Hanover. William served in the Royal Navy in his youth, spending time in North America and the Caribbean, was nicknamed the "Sailor King". In 1789, he was created Duke of St Andrews. In 1827, he was appointed as Britain's first Lord High Admiral since 1709; as his two older brothers died without leaving legitimate issue, he inherited the throne when he was 64 years old. His reign saw several reforms: the poor law was updated, child labour restricted, slavery abolished in nearly all of the British Empire, the British electoral system refashioned by the Reform Act 1832. Although William did not engage in politics as much as his brother or his father, he was the last monarch to appoint a prime minister contrary to the will of Parliament.
Through his brother Adolphus, the Viceroy of Hanover, he granted his German kingdom a short-lived liberal constitution. At the time of his death William had no surviving legitimate children, but he was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the actress Dorothea Jordan, with whom he cohabited for twenty years. Late in life, he married and remained faithful to the young princess who would become Queen Adelaide. William was succeeded in the United Kingdom by his niece Victoria and in Hanover by his brother Ernest Augustus. William was born in the early hours of the morning on 21 August 1765 at Buckingham House, the third child and son of King George III and Queen Charlotte, he had two elder brothers and Frederick, was not expected to inherit the Crown. He was baptised in the Great Council Chamber of St James's Palace on 20 September 1765, his godparents were his paternal uncles, the Duke of Gloucester and Prince Henry, his paternal aunt, Princess Augusta hereditary duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.
He spent most of his early life in Richmond and at Kew Palace, where he was educated by private tutors. At the age of thirteen, he joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman, was present at the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1780, his experiences in the navy seem to have been little different from those of other midshipmen, though in contrast to other sailors he was accompanied on board ships by a tutor. He did his share of the cooking and got arrested with his shipmates after a drunken brawl in Gibraltar, he served in New York during the American War of Independence, making him the only member of the British royal family to visit America up to and through the American Revolution. While William was in America, George Washington approved a plot to kidnap him, writing: "The spirit of enterprise so conspicuous in your plan for surprising in their quarters and bringing off the Prince William Henry and Admiral Digby merits applause. I am persuaded, that it is unnecessary to caution you against offering insult or indignity to the persons of the Prince or Admiral..."
The plot did not come to fruition. In September 1781, William held court at the Manhattan home of Governor Robertson. In attendance were Mayor David Mathews, Admiral Digby, General Delancey, he became captain of HMS Pegasus the following year. In late 1786, he was stationed in the West Indies under Horatio Nelson, who wrote of William: "In his professional line, he is superior to two-thirds, I am sure, of the list; the two were great friends, dined together nightly. At Nelson's wedding, William insisted on giving the bride away, he was given command of the frigate HMS Andromeda in 1788, was promoted to rear-admiral in command of HMS Valiant the following year. William sought to be made a duke like his elder brothers, to receive a similar parliamentary grant, but his father was reluctant. To put pressure on him, William threatened to stand for the House of Commons for the constituency of Totnes in Devon. Appalled at the prospect of his son making his case to the voters, George III created him Duke of Clarence and St Andrews and Earl of Munster on 16 May 1789 saying: "I well know it is another vote added to the Opposition."
William's political record was inconsistent and, like many politicians of the time, cannot be ascribed to a single party. He allied himself publicly with the Whigs as well as his elder brothers George, Prince of Wales, Frederick, Duke of York, who were known to be in conflict with the political positions of their father. William ceased his active service in the Royal Navy in 1790; when Britain declared war on France in 1793, he was anxious to serve his country and expected a command, but was not given a ship at first because he had broken his arm by falling down some stairs drunk, but perhaps because he gave a speech in the House of Lords opposing the war. The following year he spoke in favour of the war; the Admiralty did not reply to his request. He did not lose hope of being appointed to an active post. In 1798 he was made an admiral. Despite repeated petitions, he was never given a command throughout the Napoleonic Wars. In 1811, he was appointed to the honorary position of Admiral of the Fleet.
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a post-transition metal in group 14 of the periodic table of elements, it is obtained chiefly from the mineral cassiterite, which contains stannic oxide, SnO2. Tin shows a chemical similarity to both of its neighbors in group 14, germanium and lead, has two main oxidation states, +2 and the more stable +4. Tin is the 49th most abundant element and has, with 10 stable isotopes, the largest number of stable isotopes in the periodic table, thanks to its magic number of protons, it has two main allotropes: at room temperature, the stable allotrope is β-tin, a silvery-white, malleable metal, but at low temperatures it transforms into the less dense grey α-tin, which has the diamond cubic structure. Metallic tin does not oxidize in air; the first tin alloy used on a large scale was bronze, made of 1/8 tin and 7/8 copper, from as early as 3000 BC. After 600 BC, pure metallic tin was produced. Pewter, an alloy of 85–90% tin with the remainder consisting of copper and lead, was used for flatware from the Bronze Age until the 20th century.
In modern times, tin is used in many alloys, most notably tin/lead soft solders, which are 60% or more tin, in the manufacture of transparent, electrically conducting films of indium tin oxide in optoelectronic applications. Another large application for tin is corrosion-resistant tin plating of steel; because of the low toxicity of inorganic tin, tin-plated steel is used for food packaging as tin cans. However, some organotin compounds can be as toxic as cyanide. Tin is a soft, malleable and crystalline silvery-white metal; when a bar of tin is bent, a crackling sound known as the "tin cry" can be heard from the twinning of the crystals. Tin melts at low temperatures of about 232 °C, the lowest in group 14; the melting point is further lowered to 177.3 °C for 11 nm particles. Β-tin, stable at and above room temperature, is malleable. In contrast, α-tin, stable below 13.2 °C, is brittle. Α-tin has a diamond cubic crystal structure, similar to silicon or germanium. Α-tin has no metallic properties at all because its atoms form a covalent structure in which electrons cannot move freely.
It is a dull-gray powdery material with no common uses other than a few specialized semiconductor applications. These two allotropes, α-tin and β-tin, are more known as gray tin and white tin, respectively. Two more allotropes, γ and σ, exist at temperatures above 161 pressures above several GPa. In cold conditions, β-tin tends to transform spontaneously into α-tin, a phenomenon known as "tin pest". Although the α-β transformation temperature is nominally 13.2 °C, impurities lower the transition temperature well below 0 °C and, on the addition of antimony or bismuth, the transformation might not occur at all, increasing the durability of the tin. Commercial grades of tin resist transformation because of the inhibiting effect of the small amounts of bismuth, antimony and silver present as impurities. Alloying elements such as copper, bismuth and silver increase its hardness. Tin tends rather to form hard, brittle intermetallic phases, which are undesirable, it does not form wide solid solution ranges in other metals in general, few elements have appreciable solid solubility in tin.
Simple eutectic systems, occur with bismuth, lead and zinc. Tin was one of the first superconductors to be studied. Tin can be attacked by acids and alkalis. Tin can be polished and is used as a protective coat for other metals. A protective oxide layer prevents further oxidation, the same that forms on pewter and other tin alloys. Tin helps to accelerate the chemical reaction. Tin has ten stable isotopes, with atomic masses of 112, 114 through 120, 122 and 124, the greatest number of any element. Of these, the most abundant are 120Sn, 118Sn, 116Sn, while the least abundant is 115Sn; the isotopes with mass numbers have no nuclear spin, while those with odd have a spin of +1/2. Tin, with its three common isotopes 116Sn, 118Sn and 120Sn, is among the easiest elements to detect and analyze by NMR spectroscopy, its chemical shifts are referenced against SnMe4; this large number of stable isotopes is thought to be a direct result of the atomic number 50, a "magic number" in nuclear physics. Tin occurs in 29 unstable isotopes, encompassing all the remaining atomic masses from 99 to 137.
Apart from 126Sn, with a half-life of 230,000 years, all the radioisotopes have a half-life of less than a year. The radioactive 100Sn, discovered in 1994, 132Sn are one of the few nuclides with a "doubly magic" nucleus: despite being unstable, having lopsided proton–neutron ratios, they represent endpoints beyond which stability drops off rapidly. Another 30 metastable isomers have been characterized for isotopes between 111 and 131, the most stable being 121mSn with a half-life of 43.9 years. The relative differences in the abundances of tin's stable isotopes can be explained by their different modes of formation in stellar nucleosynthesis. 116Sn through 120Sn inclusive are formed in the s-process in most stars and hence they are the most common isotopes, while 122Sn and 124Sn are only formed in the r-process (rapid neutr