William Daniell was an English landscape and marine painter, printmaker, notable for his work in aquatint. He travelled extensively in India in the company of his uncle Thomas Daniell, with whom he collaborated on one of the finest illustrated works of the period – Oriental Scenery, he travelled around the coastline of Britain to paint watercolours for the ambitious book A Voyage Round Great Britain. His work was exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British Institution and he became a Royal Academician in 1822. William Daniell was born in Kingston upon Surrey, his father was a owner of a public house called The Swan in nearby Chertsey. Daniell's future was changed when he was sent to live with his uncle, the landscape artist Thomas Daniell after his father's premature death in 1779. In 1784 William accompanied his uncle to India, who worked there on a series of prints, acting as his assistant in preparing drawings and sketches. William's brother Samuel Daniell remained independent of his uncle and became a topographical artist.
From 1806 he lived in Ceylon. Daniell was sixteen. On 17 July 1786, a few months after their arrival in Calcutta, Thomas Daniell placed an advertisement in the Calcutta Chronicle, announcing the forthcoming publication of a set of twelve views of the city; this seemed a promising idea, since Calcutta was expanding and its European inhabitants might be willing to buy prints showing its latest buildings. Both he and William were inexperienced printmakers and had to enlist the help of Indian craftsmen, but the set, executed in aquatint, was completed in November 1788 and sold well. Thomas began planning an ambitious tour of northern India inspired by the wealth of picturesque scenery indicated in William Hodges's collection of aquatints, Select Views in India. In August 1789, Thomas and William set off up-river past Murshidabad to Bhagalpur, where they stayed with Samuel Davis, an employee of the East India Company and a skilled amateur artist, they continued on to Kanpur and travelled overland to Delhi, visiting Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Mathura on the way.
Thomas and William Daniell were back in Calcutta at the end of 1791. They held a lottery of their completed work. Since the Third Mysore War was in progress, the Daniells suspected that a market existed among the British for oil paintings and drawings of the areas in which the conflict was taking place, they duly visited various hill-forts on their way south, as well as the huge and richly carved temples at Madurai and Rameswaram. Once back in Madras they set off on a tour to western India. On their arrival in Bombay in March 1793 they met James Wales busy drawing the area's cave temples, he took them to Elephanta and Kanheri among other places. In September 1794 the Daniells returned to England. Over the period 1784 to 1794 William had kept a detailed diary of their travels; this is now in the British Library. After 1794 he no longer kept a diary and so we have no information in his own hand about the rest of his life; the Royal Academician, Joseph Farington, himself a landscape painter and topographical draughtsman, kept a diary from 1793 until he died in 1821.
The Daniells were close friends of Farington. John Garvey has gone through the diary and extracted glimpses of William's private life and of his artistic work; the diaries are the only written record we have of the life of William Daniell. In 1794, William and his uncle set up house at Fitzroy Square, their first priority was to publish a selection of their paintings of India. The views that were selected were made into aquatint prints, calling upon William's skills in this delicate medium; these skills were hard earned. Farington records in his diary that William had informed him that on his return to England he spent the next seven years working from six in the morning until midnight perfecting his aquatinting techniques; the Daniells’ great work on India, Oriental Scenery, was published in six parts over the period 1795–1808. It comprised a total of six uncoloured title-pages; the cost of a complete set was £210. The publication was both artistically and financially. Thirty sets were sold to the East India Company, a further order for eighteen copies was received.
Thomas Sutton in his book The Daniells: Artists and Travellers, quotes a glowing tribute to the work of the Daniells from the Calcutta Monthly magazine:The execution of these drawings is indeed masterly. In looking at it, one may feel the warmth of an Indian sky, the water seems to be in actual motion and the animals and plants are studies for the naturalist. Further different versions of Indian scenes were published, details can be found in Sutton's book, together with a detailed inventory of all the artistic output of Thomas and William Daniell. Oriental Scenery took its place among such revered works as J. Stuart and N. Revett's Antiquities of Athens, Baron Denon's Voyage dans la basse et la haute Egypte and Robert Wood's Ruins of Palmyra and Ruins of Balbek, it provided an new vision of the Indian subcontinent, to influence both decorative arts and
George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, known as Lord Byron, was a British poet, peer and leading figure in the Romantic movement. He is regarded as one of the greatest British poets and remains read and influential. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, he travelled extensively across Europe in Italy, where he lived for seven years in the cities of Venice and Pisa. During his stay in Italy he visited his friend and fellow poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. In life Byron joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero, he died in 1824 at the age of 36 from a fever contracted in Missolonghi. Described as the most flamboyant and notorious of the major Romantics, Byron was both celebrated and castigated in his life for his aristocratic excesses, which included huge debts, numerous love affairs with both men and women, as well as rumours of a scandalous liaison with his half-sister.
One of his lovers, Lady Caroline Lamb, summed him up in the famous phrase "mad and dangerous to know". His only legitimate child, Ada Lovelace, is regarded as the first computer programmer based on her notes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. Byron's illegitimate children include Allegra Byron, who died in childhood, Elizabeth Medora Leigh. Ethel Colburn Mayne states that George Gordon Byron was born on 22 January 1788, in a house on 16 Holles Street in London, his birthplace is now occupied by a branch of the English department store John Lewis. However, Robert Charles Dallas in his Recollections states. Byron was the son of Captain John "Mad Jack" Byron and his second wife, the former Catherine Gordon, a descendant of Cardinal Beaton and heiress of the Gight estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Byron's father had seduced the married Marchioness of Carmarthen and, after she divorced her husband, he married her, his treatment of her was described as "brutal and vicious", she died after giving birth to two daughters, only one of whom survived, Byron's half-sister, Augusta.
To claim his second wife's estate in Scotland, Byron's father took the additional surname "Gordon", becoming "John Byron Gordon", he was styled "John Byron Gordon of Gight." Byron himself used this surname for a time and was registered at school in Aberdeen as "George Byron Gordon." At the age of 10 he inherited the English Barony of Byron of Rochdale, becoming "Lord Byron", dropped the double surname. Byron's paternal grandparents were Vice-Admiral the Hon. John "Foulweather Jack" Byron, Sophia Trevanion. Vice Admiral John Byron had circumnavigated the globe and was the younger brother of the 5th Baron Byron, known as "the Wicked Lord", he was christened at St Marylebone Parish Church as "George Gordon Byron", after his maternal grandfather George Gordon of Gight, a descendant of James I of Scotland, who had committed suicide in 1779. "Mad Jack" Byron married his second wife for the same reason that he married her fortune. Byron's mother had to sell her land and title to pay her new husband's debts, in the space of two years, the large estate, worth some £23,500, had been squandered, leaving the former heiress with an annual income in trust of only £150.
In a move to avoid his creditors, Catherine accompanied her profligate husband to France in 1786, but returned to England at the end of 1787 to give birth to her son on English soil. He was born on 22 January in lodgings at Holles Street in London. Catherine moved back to Aberdeenshire in 1790, his father soon joined them in their lodgings in Queen Street, but the couple separated. Catherine experienced mood swings and bouts of melancholy, which could be explained by her husband's continuingly borrowing money from her; as a result, she fell further into debt to support his demands. It was one of these importunate loans that allowed him to travel to Valenciennes, where he died in 1791; when Byron's great-uncle, the "wicked" Lord Byron, died on 21 May 1798, the 10-year-old boy became the sixth Baron Byron of Rochdale and inherited the ancestral home, Newstead Abbey, in Nottinghamshire. His mother proudly took him to England, but the Abbey was in an embarrassing state of disrepair and, rather than living there, she decided to lease it to Lord Grey de Ruthyn, among others, during Byron's adolescence.
Described as "a woman without judgment or self-command," Catherine either spoiled and indulged her son or vexed him with her capricious stubbornness. Her drinking disgusted him and he mocked her for being short and corpulent, which made it difficult for her to catch him to discipline him. Byron had been born with a deformed right foot. However, Byron's biographer, Doris Langley-Moore, in her 1974 book, Accounts Rendered, paints a more sympathetic view of Mrs Byron, showing how she was a staunch supporter of her son and sacrificed her own precarious finances to keep him in luxury at Harrow and Cambridge. Langley-Moore questions the Galt claim. Upon the death of Byron's mother-in-law Judith Noel, the Hon. Lady Milbanke, in 1822, her will required that he change his surname to "Noel" so as to inherit half of her estate, he obtained a Royal Warrant, allowing him to "take and use the surname of Noel only" and to "subscribe the said surname of Noel before all titles of honour". From that point he signed himself "Noel Byron" (the usual signature of a peer being the peerage, in this case "Byron
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, poet and historian. Many of his works remain classics of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Old Mortality, The Lady of the Lake, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor. Although remembered for his extensive literary works and his political engagement, Scott was an advocate and legal administrator by profession, throughout his career combined his writing and editing work with his daily occupation as Clerk of Session and Sheriff-Depute of Selkirkshire. A prominent member of the Tory establishment in Edinburgh, Scott was an active member of the Highland Society, served a long term as President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was a Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; as Encyclopædia Britannica argues: "Scott gathered the disparate strands of contemporary novel-writing techniques into his own hands and harnessed them to his deep interest in Scottish history and his knowledge of antiquarian lore.
The technique of the omniscient narrator and the use of regional speech, localized settings, sophisticated character delineation, romantic themes treated in a realistic manner were all combined by him into a new literary form, the historical novel. His influence on other European and American novelists was immediate and profound, though interest in some of his books declined somewhat in the 20th century, his reputation remains secure." Walter Scott was born on 15 August 1771. He was the ninth child of a Writer to the Signet and Anne Rutherford, his father was a member of a cadet branch of the Scott Clan, his mother descended from the Haliburton family, the descent from whom granted Walter's family the hereditary right of burial in Dryburgh Abbey. Via the Haliburton family, Walter was a cousin of the pre-eminent contemporaneous property developer James Burton, a Haliburton who had shortened his surname, of his son, the architect Decimus Burton. Walter subsequently became a member of the Clarence Club, of which the Burtons were members.
Five of Walter's siblings died in infancy, a sixth died when he was five months of age. Walter was born in a third-floor flat on College Wynd in the Old Town of Edinburgh, a narrow alleyway leading from the Cowgate to the gates of the University of Edinburgh, he survived a childhood bout of polio in 1773 that left him lame, a condition, to have a significant effect on his life and writing. To cure his lameness he was sent in 1773 to live in the rural Scottish Borders at his paternal grandparents' farm at Sandyknowe, adjacent to the ruin of Smailholm Tower, the earlier family home. Here he was taught to read by his aunt Jenny, learned from her the speech patterns and many of the tales and legends that characterised much of his work. In January 1775 he returned to Edinburgh, that summer went with his aunt Jenny to take spa treatment at Bath in England, where they lived at 6 South Parade. In the winter of 1776 he went back to Sandyknowe, with another attempt at a water cure at Prestonpans during the following summer.
In 1778, Scott returned to Edinburgh for private education to prepare him for school, joined his family in their new house built as one of the first in George Square. In October 1779 he began at the Royal High School of Edinburgh, he was now well able to explore the city and the surrounding countryside. His reading included chivalric romances, poems and travel books, he was given private tuition by James Mitchell in arithmetic and writing, learned from him the history of the Church of Scotland with emphasis on the Covenanters. After finishing school he was sent to stay for six months with his aunt Jenny in Kelso, attending the local grammar school where he met James and John Ballantyne, who became his business partners and printed his books. Scott began studying classics at the University of Edinburgh in November 1783, at the age of 12, a year or so younger than most of his fellow students. In March 1786 he began an apprenticeship in his father's office to become a Writer to the Signet. Whilst at both high school and university, Scott had become a friend of Adam Ferguson, the son of Professor Adam Ferguson who hosted literary salons.
Scott met the blind poet Thomas Blacklock, who lent him books and introduced him to James Macpherson's Ossian cycle of poems. During the winter of 1786–87 the 15-year-old Scott met Robert Burns at one of these salons, for what was to be their only meeting; when Burns noticed a print illustrating the poem "The Justice of the Peace" and asked who had written the poem, only Scott knew that it was by John Langhorne, was thanked by Burns. Scott describes this event in his memoirs where he whispers the answer to his friend Adam who tells Burns Another version of the event is described in Literary Beginnings When it was decided that he would become a lawyer, he returned to the university to study law, first taking classes in moral philosophy and universal history in 1789–90. After completing his studies in law, he became a lawyer in Edinburgh; as a lawyer's clerk he made his first visit to the Scottish Highlands directing an eviction. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1792, he had an unsuccessful love suit with Williamina Belsches of Fettercairn, who married Scott's friend Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet.
As a boy and young man, Scott was fascinated by the oral traditions of the Scottish Borders. He was an obsessive collector of stories, developed an innovative method of recording what he heard at the feet of local story-tellers using carvings on twigs, to avoid
John Milton was an English poet, man of letters, civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under its Council of State and under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, written in blank verse. Writing in English, Latin and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, his celebrated Areopagitica, written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship, is among history's most influential and impassioned defences of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, his desire for freedom extended into his style: he introduced new words to the English language, was the first modern writer to employ non-rhymed verse outside of the theatre or translations. William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author", he remains regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language", though critical reception has oscillated in the centuries since his death. Samuel Johnson praised Paradise Lost as "a poem which...with respect to design may claim the first place, with respect to performance, the second, among the productions of the human mind", though he described Milton's politics as those of an "acrimonious and surly republican".
Poets such as William Blake, William Wordsworth and Thomas Hardy revered him. The phases of Milton's life parallel the major political divisions in Stuart Britain. Milton studied, wrote poetry for private circulation, launched a career as pamphleteer and publicist under the personal rule of Charles I and its breakdown into constitutional confusion and war; the shift in accepted attitudes in government placed him in public office under the Commonwealth of England, from being thought dangerously radical and heretical, he acted as an official spokesman in certain of his publications. The Restoration of 1660 deprived Milton, now blind, of his public platform, but this period saw him complete most of his major works of poetry. Milton's views developed from his extensive reading, as well as travel and experience, from his student days of the 1620s to the English Civil War. By the time of his death in 1674, Milton was impoverished and on the margins of English intellectual life, yet famous throughout Europe and unrepentant for his political choices.
John Milton was born in Bread Street, London on 9 December 1608, the son of composer John Milton and his wife Sarah Jeffrey. The senior John Milton moved to London around 1583 after being disinherited by his devout Catholic father Richard "the Ranger" Milton for embracing Protestantism. In London, the senior John Milton married Sarah Jeffrey and found lasting financial success as a scrivener, he lived in and worked from a house on Bread Street, where the Mermaid Tavern was located in Cheapside. The elder Milton was noted for his skill as a musical composer, this talent left his son with a lifelong appreciation for music and friendships with musicians such as Henry Lawes. Milton's father's prosperity provided his eldest son with a private tutor, Thomas Young, a Scottish Presbyterian with an M. A. from the University of St. Andrews. Research suggests. After Young's tutorship, Milton attended St Paul's School in London. There he began the study of Latin and Greek, the classical languages left an imprint on both his poetry and prose in English.
Milton's first datable compositions are two psalms done at age 15 at Long Bennington. One contemporary source is the Brief Lives of John Aubrey, an uneven compilation including first-hand reports. In the work, Aubrey quotes Christopher, Milton's younger brother: "When he was young, he studied hard and sat up late till twelve or one o'clock at night". Aubrey adds, ""His complexion exceeding faire—he was so faire that they called him the Lady of Christ's College."In 1625, Milton began attending Christ's College, Cambridge. He graduated with a B. A. in 1629, ranking fourth of 24 honours graduates that year in the University of Cambridge. Preparing to become an Anglican priest, Milton stayed on and obtained his Master of Arts degree on 3 July 1632. Milton may have been rusticated in his first year for quarrelling with his tutor, Bishop William Chappell, he was at home in London in the Lent Term 1626. Based on remarks of John Aubrey, Chappell "whipt" Milton; this story is now disputed, though Milton disliked Chappell.
Historian Christopher Hill cautiously notes that Milton was "apparently" rusticated, that the differences between Chappell and Milton may have been either religious or personal. It is possible that, like Isaac Newton four decades Milton was sent home because of the plague, by which Cambridge was badly affected in 1625. In 1626, Milton's tutor was Nathaniel Tovey. At Cambridge, Milton was on good terms with Edward King, for whom he wrote "Lycidas", he befriended Anglo-American dissident and theologian Roger Williams. Milton tutored Williams in Hebrew in exchange for lessons in Dutch. Despite developing a reputation for poetic skill and general erudition, Milton experienced alienation from his peers and university life as a whole. Having once watched his fellow students attempting comedy upon the college stage, he observed'they thought themselves gallant men, I thought them fools'. Milton was disdainful of the university curriculum, which consisted of
William Cowper was an English poet and hymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. In many ways, he was one of the forerunners of Romantic poetry. Samuel Taylor Coleridge called him "the best modern poet", whilst William Wordsworth admired his poem Yardley-Oak. After being institutionalised for insanity, Cowper found refuge in a fervent evangelical Christianity, he continued to suffer doubt and, after a dream in 1773, believed that he was doomed to eternal damnation. He wrote more religious hymns, his religious sentiment and association with John Newton led to much of the poetry for which he is best remembered, to the series of Olney Hymns. His poem "Light Shining out of Darkness" gave English the phrase: "God moves in a mysterious way/His wonders to perform." He wrote a number of anti-slavery poems and his friendship with Newton, an avid anti-slavery campaigner, resulted in Cowper being asked to write in support of the Abolitionist campaign.
Cowper wrote a poem called "The Negro's Complaint" which became famous, was quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 20th century civil rights movement. He wrote several other less well known poems on slavery in the 1780s, many of which attacked the idea that slavery was economically viable. Cowper was born in Berkhamsted, where his father John Cowper was rector of the Church of St Peter, his father's sister was the poet Judith Madan. His mother was Ann née Donne, he and his brother John were the only two of seven children to live past infancy. Ann died giving birth to John on 7 November 1737, his mother’s death at such an early age troubled William and was the subject of his poem, "On the Receipt of My Mother's Picture", written more than fifty years later. He grew close to her family in his early years, he was close with her brother Robert and his wife Harriot. They instilled in young William a love of reading and gave him some of his first books – John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and John Gay’s Fables.
Cowper was first enrolled in Westminster School in April of 1742 after moving from school to school for a number of years. He had begun to study Latin from a young age, was an eager scholar of Latin for the rest of his life. Older children bullied Cowper through many of his younger years. At Westminster School he studied under the headmaster John Nicoll. At the time Westminster School was popular amongst families belonging to England’s Whig political party. Many intelligent boys from families of a lower social status attended, however. Cowper made lifelong friends from Westminster, he read through the Iliad and the Odyssey, which ignited his lifelong scholarship and love for Homer’s epics. He grew skilled at the interpretation and translation of Latin, which he put to use for the rest of his life, he wrote many verses of his own. After education at Westminster School, Cowper was articled to Mr Chapman, solicitor, of Ely Place, Holborn, to be trained for a career in law. During this time, he spent his leisure at the home of his uncle Bob Cowper, where he fell in love with his cousin Theodora, whom he wished to marry.
But as James Croft, who in 1825 first published the poems Cowper addressed to Theodora, wrote, "her father, from an idea that the union of persons so nearly related was improper, refused to accede to the wishes of his daughter and nephew." This refusal left Cowper distraught. In 1763 he was offered a Clerkship of Journals in the House of Lords, but broke under the strain of the approaching examination. At this time he tried three times to commit suicide and was sent to Nathaniel Cotton's asylum at St. Albans for recovery, his poem beginning "Hatred and vengeance, my eternal portions" was written in the aftermath of his suicide attempt. After recovering, he settled at Huntingdon with a retired clergyman named Morley Unwin and his wife Mary. Cowper grew to be on such good terms with the Unwin family that he went to live in their house, moved with them to Olney. There he met curate John Newton, a former captain of slave ships who had devoted his life to the gospel. Not long afterwards, Morley Unwin was killed in a fall from his horse.
At Olney, Newton invited Cowper to contribute to a hymnbook. The resulting volume, known as Olney Hymns, was not published until 1779 but includes hymns such as "Praise for the Fountain Opened" and "Light Shining out of Darkness" which remain some of Cowper's most familiar verses. Several of Cowper's hymns, as well as others published in the Olney Hymns, are today preserved in the Sacred Harp, which collects shape note songs. In 1773, Cowper experienced an attack of insanity, imagining not only that he was eternally condemned to hell, but that God was commanding him to make a sacrifice of his own life. Mary Unwin took care of him with great devotion, after a year he began to recover. In 1779, after Newton had moved from Olney to London, Cowper started to write poetry again. Mary Unwin, wanting to keep Cowper's mind occupied, suggested that he write on the subject of The Progress of Error. After writing a satire of this name, he wrote seven others; these poems were collected and published in 1782 under the title Poems by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq.
In 1781 Cowper met a sophisti
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, is a maritime museum in London. The historic buildings form part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, it incorporates the Royal Observatory and 17th-century Queen's House. In 2012, Her Majesty the Queen formally approved Royal Museums Greenwich as the new overall title for the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory and the Cutty Sark; the museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, the National Maritime Museum does not levy an admission charge, although most temporary exhibitions do incur admission charges; the museum was created by the National Maritime Act of 1934 Chapter 43, under a Board of Trustees, appointed by H. M. Treasury, it is based on the generous donations of Sir James Caird. King George VI formally opened the museum on 27 April 1937 when his daughter Princess Elizabeth accompanied him for the journey along the Thames from London.
The first Director was Sir Geoffrey Callender. Since earliest times Greenwich has had associations with the navigation, it was a landing place for the Romans. The home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian since 1884, Greenwich has long been a centre for astronomical study, while navigators across the world have set their clocks according to its time of day; the Museum has the most important holdings in the world on the history of Britain at sea comprising more than two million items, including maritime art, manuscripts including official public records, ship models and plans and navigational instruments, instruments for time-keeping and astronomy. Its holdings including paintings relating to Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson and Captain James Cook. An active loans programme ensures; the museum aims to achieve a greater understanding of British economic, social and maritime history and its consequences in the world today. The museum plays host to various exhibitions, including Ships Clocks & Stars in 2014, Samuel Pepys: Plague, Revolution in 2015 and Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity in 2016.
The collection of the National Maritime Museum includes items taken from the German Naval Academy Mürwik after World War II, including several ship models and flags. The museum has been criticized for possessing what has been described as "looted art"; the museum regards these cultural objects as "war trophies", removed under the provisions of the Potsdam Conference. The museum awards the Caird Medal annually in honour of Sir James Caird. In late August 2018, several groups were vying for the right to purchase the 5,500 RMS Titanic relics that were an asset of the bankrupt Premier Exhibitions; the National Maritime Museum, Titanic Belfast and Titanic Foundation Limited, as well as the National Museums Northern Ireland, joined together as a consortium, raising money to purchase the 5,500 artifacts. The group intended to keep all of the items together as a single exhibit. Oceanographer Robert Ballard said he favored this bid since it would ensure that the memorabilia would be permanently displayed in Belfast and in Greenwich.
The museums were critical of the bid process set by the Bankruptcy Court in Florida. The minimum bid for the 11 October 2018 auction was set at US$21.5 million and the consortium did not have enough funding to meet that amount. The museum was established in 1934 within the 200 acres of Greenwich Royal Park in the buildings occupied by the Royal Hospital School, before it moved to Holbrook in Suffolk, it includes the Queen's House, an early classical building designed by Inigo Jones, the keystone of the historic "park and palace" landscape of maritime Greenwich. It includes the Royal Observatory, an active scientific institution until the 1950s, when it was removed to Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex; the gardens to the north of the museum were reinstated in the late 1870s following construction of the cut-and-cover tunnel between Greenwich and Maze Hill stations. The tunnel comprised part of the final section of the London and Greenwich Railway and opened in 1878. Flamsteed House, the original part of the Royal Observatory, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke and was the first purpose-built scientific institution in Britain.
All the museum buildings have been subsequently upgraded. A full redevelopment of the main galleries, centring on what is now the Neptune Court, designed by Rick Mather Architects and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, was completed in 1999. In May 2007 a major capital project, "Time and Space", opened up the entire Royal Observatory site for the benefit of visitors; the £16 million transformation features three new modern astronomy galleries, four new time galleries, facilities for collections conservation and research, a learning centre and the 120-seat Peter Harrison Planetarium designed to introduce the world beyond the night sky. In 2008, the museum announced that Israeli shipping magnate Sammy Ofer had donated £20m for a new gallery. 1937 to 1946 – Geoffrey Callender 1947 to 1966 – Frank George Griffith Carr 1967 to 1983 – Basil Jack Greenhill 1983 to 1986 – Neil Cossons 1986 to 2000 – Richard Louis Ormond CBE 2000 to 2007 – Rear Admiral Roy Clare 200
National Portrait Gallery, London
The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery in London housing a collection of portraits of important and famous British people. It was the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856; the gallery moved in 1896 to its current site at St Martin's Place, off Trafalgar Square, adjoining the National Gallery. It has been expanded twice since then; the National Portrait Gallery has regional outposts at Beningbrough Hall in Yorkshire and Montacute House in Somerset. It is unconnected to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, with which its remit overlaps; the gallery is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. The gallery houses portraits of important and famous British people, selected on the basis of the significance of the sitter, not that of the artist; the collection includes photographs and caricatures as well as paintings and sculpture. One of its best-known images is the Chandos portrait, the most famous portrait of William Shakespeare although there is some uncertainty about whether the painting is of the playwright.
Not all of the portraits are exceptional artistically, although there are self-portraits by William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds and other British artists of note. Some, such as the group portrait of the participants in the Somerset House Conference of 1604, are important historical documents in their own right; the curiosity value is greater than the artistic worth of a work, as in the case of the anamorphic portrait of Edward VI by William Scrots, Patrick Branwell Brontë's painting of his sisters Charlotte and Anne, or a sculpture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in medieval costume. Portraits of living figures were allowed from 1969. In addition to its permanent galleries of historical portraits, the National Portrait Gallery exhibits a changing selection of contemporary work, stages exhibitions of portrait art by individual artists and hosts the annual BP Portrait Prize competition; the three people responsible for the founding of the National Portrait Gallery are commemorated with busts over the main entrance.
At centre is Philip Henry Stanhope, 4th Earl Stanhope, with his supporters on either side, Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay and Thomas Carlyle. It was Stanhope who, in 1846 as a Member of Parliament, first proposed the idea of a National Portrait Gallery, it was not until his third attempt, in 1856, this time from the House of Lords, that the proposal was accepted. With Queen Victoria's approval, the House of Commons set aside a sum of £2000 to establish the gallery; as well as Stanhope and Macaulay, the founder Trustees included Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Ellesmere. It was the latter. Carlyle became a trustee after the death of Ellesmere in 1857. For the first 40 years, the gallery was housed in various locations in London; the first 13 years were spent at Westminster. There, the collection increased in size from 57 to 208 items, the number of visitors from 5,300 to 34,500. In 1869, the collection moved to Exhibition Road and buildings managed by the Royal Horticultural Society. Following a fire in those buildings, the collection was moved in 1885, this time to the Bethnal Green Museum.
This location was unsuitable due to its distance from the West End and lack of waterproofing. Following calls for a new location to be found, the government accepted an offer of funds from the philanthropist William Henry Alexander. Alexander donated £60,000 followed by another £20,000, chose the architect, Ewan Christian; the government provided the new site, St Martin's Place, adjacent to the National Gallery, £16,000. The buildings, faced in Portland stone, were constructed by Son. Both the architect, Ewan Christian, the gallery's first director, George Scharf, died shortly before the new building was completed; the gallery opened at its new location on 4 April 1896. The site has since been expanded twice; the first extension, in 1933, was funded by Lord Duveen, resulted in the wing by architect Sir Richard Allison on a site occupied by St George's Barracks running along Orange Street. In February 1909, a murder–suicide took place in a gallery known as the Arctic Room. In an planned attack, John Tempest Dawson, aged 70, shot his 58 year–old wife, Nannie Caskie.
His wife died in hospital several hours later. Both were American nationals. Evidence at the inquest suggested that Dawson, a wealthy and well–travelled man, was suffering from a Persecutory delusion; the incident came to public attention in 2010 when the Gallery's archive was put on-line as this included a personal account of the event by James Donald Milner the Assistant Director of the Gallery. The collections of the National Portrait Gallery were stored at Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire during the Second World War, along with pieces from the Royal Collection and paintings from Speaker's House in the Palace of Westminster; the second extension was funded by Sir Christopher Ondaatje and a £12m Heritage Lottery Fund grant, was designed by London-based architects Edward Jones and Jeremy Dixon. The Ondaatje Wing opened in 2000 and occupies a narrow space of land between the two 19th-century buildings of the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, is notable for its immense, two-storey escalator that takes visitors to the earliest part of the collection, the Tudor portraits.
In January 2008, the Gallery received its largest single donation to date