Laurence Oliphant (author)
Laurence Oliphant was a South African-born British author, traveller and Christian mystic. He is best known for his satirical novel Piccadilly. Oliphant was Member of Parliament for Stirling Burghs. Laurence Oliphant was born in Cape Town, Cape Colony, the only child of Sir Anthony Oliphant, a member of the Scottish landed gentry and his wife Maria. At the time of his son's birth Sir Anthony was Attorney General of the Cape Colony, but he was soon appointed Chief Justice in Ceylon. Laurence spent his early childhood in Colombo, where his father purchased a home called Alcove in Captains Gardens, subsequently known as Maha Nuge Gardens. Sir Anthony and his son have been credited with bringing tea to Ceylon and growing 30 tea plants brought over from China on the Oliphant Estate in Nuwara Eliya. In 1848 and 1849, he and his parents toured Europe. In 1851, he accompanied Jung Bahadur from Colombo to Nepal, which provided the material for his first book, A Journey to Katmandu. Oliphant from there went to England to study law.
Oliphant left his legal studies to travel in Russia. The outcome of that tour was his book The Russian Shores of the Black Sea. Between 1853 and 1861 Oliphant was secretary to Lord Elgin during the negotiation of the Canada Reciprocity Treaty in Washington, companion to the Duke of Newcastle on a visit to the Circassian coast during the Crimean War. In 1861 Oliphant was appointed First Secretary of the British Legation in Japan under Minister Plenipotentiary Rutherford Alcock, he arrived in Edo at the end of June, but on the evening of 5 July a night-time attack was made on the legation by xenophobic ronin. His pistols having been locked in their travelling box, Oliphant rushed out with a hunting whip, was attacked by a Japanese with a heavy two-handed sword. A beam, invisible in the darkness, interfered with the blows, but Oliphant was wounded and sent on board ship to recover, he had to return to England after a visit to Tsushima Island, where he discovered a Russian force occupying a secluded bay and obtained its withdrawal.
The attack on the legation left him with permanent damage to one of his hands. Oliphant returned to England, resigned from the Diplomatic Service and was elected to Parliament in 1865 for Stirling Burghs. While he did not show any conspicuous parliamentary ability, he was made a great success by his novel Piccadilly, he fell under the influence of the spiritualist prophet Thomas Lake Harris, who in about 1861 had organised a small community, the Brotherhood of the New Life, settled in Brocton on Lake Erie, subsequently moved to Santa Rosa, California. After having been refused permission to join Harris in 1867, he was allowed to join his community and Oliphant left Parliament in 1868 to follow Harris to Brocton, he lived there for several years engaged in what Harris termed the'Use', manual labour aimed at forwarding his utopian vision. Members of the community were allowed to return to the outside world from time to time to earn money for the community. After three years Oliphant worked as correspondent for The Times during the Franco-German War, afterwards spent several years in Paris in the service of the paper.
There he met, through his future wife, Alice le Strange. They married at St George's, Hanover Square, London, on 8 June 1872. In 1873 Oliphant went back to Brocton with his mother, he and his mother had a falling out with Harris and demanded their money back. This forced Harris to sell the Brocton colony and his remaining disciples moved to their new colony in Santa Rosa, California. In 1879, Oliphant left for Palestine, he saw these settlements as a means of alleviating Jewish suffering in Eastern Europe. He visited Constantinople in the hopes of obtaining a lease on the northern half of the Holy Land and settling large numbers of Jews there, he did not see this as an impossible task in view of the large numbers of Christian believers in the United States and England who supported this plan. With financial support from Christadelphians and others in Britain, Oliphant amassed sufficient funding to purchase land and settle Jewish refugees in the Galilee. Oliphant and his wife, settled in Palestine, dividing their time between a house in the German Colony in Haifa, another in the Druze village of Daliyat al-Karmel on Mount Carmel.
Oliphant's secretary Naftali Herz Imber, author of the Israeli national anthem, lived with them. In 1883, Oliphant wrote Altiora Peto. In 1884, he and his wife collaborated on Sympneumata: Evolutionary Forces Now Active in Man together; the following year, Oliphant wrote Masollam. In December 1885, Oliphant's wife became ill and died on 2 January 1886. Oliphant stricken, was too weak to attend her funeral, he was persuaded that after death he was in much closer contact with her than when she was still alive, believed that she inspired him to write Scientific Religion. In November 1887, Oliphant went to England to publish the book. In 1888, he traveled to the United States and married his second wife, Rosamond, a granddaughter of Robert Owen in Malvern; the couple planned to return to Haifa, but Oliphant took sick at York House, Twickenham and died there on 23 December 1888. His obituary in The Times said of him, "Seldom has there been a more romantic or amply filled career. Mrs Oliphant, Memoir of the Life of Laurence Oliphant and of Alice Oliphant, his Wife (18
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland. They put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union, agreed on 22 July 1706, following negotiation between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries. By the two Acts, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland—which at the time were separate states with separate legislatures, but with the same monarch—were, in the words of the Treaty, "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain"; the two countries had shared a monarch since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne from his double first cousin twice removed, Queen Elizabeth I. Although described as a Union of Crowns, until 1707 there were in fact two separate Crowns resting on the same head. Prior to the Acts of Union there had been three previous attempts to unite the two countries by Acts of Parliament, but it was not until the early 18th century that both political establishments came to support the idea, albeit for different reasons.
The Acts took effect on 1 May 1707. On this date, the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament united to form the Parliament of Great Britain, based in the Palace of Westminster in London, the home of the English Parliament. Hence, the Acts are referred to as the Union of the Parliaments. On the Union, the historian Simon Schama said "What began as a hostile merger, would end in a full partnership in the most powerful going concern in the world... it was one of the most astonishing transformations in European history." Despite attempts by Edward I to conquer Scotland in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the two countries were separate. However, when Elizabeth I became Queen of England in 1558, a union became likely as she neither married nor had children. From 1558 onwards, her heir was her Catholic cousin Mary, Queen of Scots who pledged herself to a peaceful union between the two kingdoms. In 1567, Mary was forced to abdicate as Queen of Scots and replaced by her infant son James VI, brought up as a Protestant and became heir to the English throne.
After Elizabeth died in 1603, the two Crowns were held in personal union by James, now James I of England, his Stuart successors, but England and Scotland remained separate kingdoms. When James became King of England in 1603, the creation of a unified Church of Scotland and England governed by bishops was the first step in his vision of a centralised, Unionist state. On his accession, he announced his intention to unite the two realms so he would not be "guilty of bigamy; the 1603 Union of England and Scotland Act established a joint Commission to agree terms but the English Parliament was concerned this would lead to the imposition of an absolutist structure similar to that of Scotland. James dropped his policy of a speedy union, the topic disappeared from the legislative agenda while attempts to revive it in 1610 were met with hostility; this did not mean James abandoned the idea. The problem was that the two churches were different in both structure and doctrine; the religious policies followed by James and his son Charles I were intended as precursors to political union.
The 1639–1640 Bishops' Wars confirmed the primacy of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland or kirk and established a Covenanter government in Scotland. The Scots remained neutral when the First English Civil War began in 1642, but grew concerned as to the impact of Royalist victory on Scotland after Parliamentary defeats in the first year of the war. Religious union with England was seen as the best way to preserve a Presbyterian kirk; the 1643 Solemn League and Covenant provided Scottish military support for the English Parliament in return for a religious union between the Church of England and the kirk. While it referred to'union' between England and Ireland, it did not explicitly commit to political union which had little support among their English supporters. Religious union was fiercely opposed by the Episcopalian majority in the Church of England and Independents like Oliver Cromwell; the Scots and English Presbyterians came to see the Independents who dominated the New Model Army as a bigger threat than the Royalists and when Charles I surrendered in 1646, they agreed to restore him to the English throne.
Both Royalists and Covenanters agreed the institution of monarchy was divinely ordered but disagreed on the nature and extent of Royal authority versus that of the church. After defeat in the 1647–1648 Second English Civil War, Scotland was occupied by English troops which were withdrawn once the so-called Engagers whom Cromwell held responsible for the war had been replaced by the Kirk Party. In December 1648, Pride's Purge confirmed Cromwell's political control in England by removing Presbyterian MPs from Parliament and executing Charles in January 1649. Despite this, in February, the Kirk Party proclaimed Charles II King of Great Britain.
1847 United Kingdom general election
The 1847 United Kingdom general election saw candidates calling themselves Conservatives win the most seats, in part because they won a number of uncontested seats. However, the split among the Conservatives between the majority of Protectionists, led by Lord Stanley, the minority of free traders, known as the Peelites, led by former prime minister Sir Robert Peel, left the Whigs, led by Prime Minister Lord John Russell, in a position to continue in government; the Irish Repeal group won more seats than in the previous general election, while the Chartists gained the only seat they were to hold, Nottingham's second seat, held by Chartist leader Feargus O'Connor. The election witnessed the election of Britain's first Jewish MP, the Liberal Lionel de Rothschild in the City of London. Members being sworn in were however required to swear the Christian Oath of Allegiance, meaning Rothschild was unable to take his seat until the passage of the Jews Relief Act in 1858. Craig, F. W. S. British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302 Rallings, Colin.
British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, Ashgate Publishing Ltd Spartacus: Political Parties and Election Results
James Erskine, Lord Grange
James Erskine, Lord Grange was a Scottish advocate and politician. He served as a Lord of Justiciary; the son of Charles Erskine, Earl of Mar, by his spouse Lady Mary, eldest daughter of George Maule, 2nd Earl of Panmure, he was brother of John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar. Educated as an advocate, he was raised to the bench on 18 October 1706, he was nominated a Lord of Justiciary in place of Lord Crocerig on 6 June the same year, took the title Lord Grange. On 27 July 1710 he succeeded Adam Cockburn of Ormiston as Lord Justice Clerk, he took no part in the Jacobite rising of 1715, although there is little doubt that at times he was in communication with the Jacobites. In 1724 he, David Erskine, Lord Dun purchased the forfeited Earldom of Mar from the government, which they promptly reorganised, sold off, he is more famous, owing to the story of his wife's disappearance. This lady, Rachel Chiesley, was a woman of disordered intellect. In January 1732 she was conveyed with great secrecy from Edinburgh to the Monach Islands for two years, thence Hirta in St Kilda, where she remained for about ten years, thence she was taken to Assynt in Sutherland, to Skye.
To complete the idea that she was dead her funeral was publicly celebrated, but she survived until May 1745. Meanwhile, in 1734 Grange resigned his offices in the Court of Session and Justiciary, became a Member of Parliament where he was a bitter opponent of Sir Robert Walpole, his objective of being appointed Secretary of State for Scotland was a failure. For a short time after leaving parliament he returned to the Bar. Erskine stood in opposition to the Witchcraft Act 1735, which made it a crime for a person to claim that any human being had magical powers or was guilty of practising witchcraft; the only figure to offer significant opposition to the Act was Erskine. Erskine not only fervently believed in the existence of witchcraft, but, it has been argued held beliefs that were rooted in "Scottish political and religious considerations" and which caused him to reject the Act, his objection to the Act "marked him out as an eccentric verging on the insane" among Members of Parliament, in turn his political opponents would use it against him.
He died in London on 20 January 1754. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Mar, John Erskine, 6th or 11th Earl of s.v. James Erskine". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 666–667. Edinburgh Magazine, 1817. An Historical Account of the Senators of the College of Justice of Scotland, by Sir David Dalrymple of Hailes, Bt. with some further editing and additions, Edinburgh, 1849. Davies, Owen. Witchcraft and Culture 1736-1951. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-5656-7
1859 United Kingdom general election
In the 1859 United Kingdom general election, the Whigs, led by Lord Palmerston, held their majority in the House of Commons over the Earl of Derby's Conservatives. This election is considered to be the first to be contested by the Liberal Party—a name unofficially adopted to cover the alliance of Whigs, Peelites and Irish Brigade who had voted against the Derby administration in the House of Commons that had led to the election, it was the last general election entered by the Chartists, before their organisation was dissolved. As of 2019 this is the last election in which the Conservatives won the most seats in Wales, as well as being the last election to date in which the Conservative Party took less than a third of the vote in England; the election was the quietest and least competitive between 1832 and 1885, with most county elections being uncontested. The election saw the lowest number of candidates between 1832 and 1885, with Tory gains being the result of a lack of opposition as much as a change in public opinion.
Spartacus: Political Parties and Election Results
1708 British general election
The 1708 British general election was the first general election to be held after the Acts of Union had united the Parliaments of England and Scotland. The election saw the Whigs gain a majority in the House of Commons, by November the Whig-dominated parliament had succeeded in pressuring the Queen into accepting the Junto into the government for the first time since the late 1690s; the Whigs were unable to take full control of the government, owing to the continued presence of the moderate Godolphin in the cabinet and the opposition of the Queen. Contests were held in 95 of the 269 English and Welsh constituencies and 28 of the 45 Scottish constituencies. See British general election, 1796 for details; the constituencies used were the same throughout the existence of the Parliament of Great Britain. The first general election held since the Union took place between 30 April 1708 and 7 July 1708. At this period elections did not take place at the same time in every constituency; the returning officer in each county or borough fixed the precise date.
List of Parliaments of Great Britain 2nd Parliament of Great Britain List of MPs elected in the British general election, 1708 British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher.. History of Parliament: Members 1690–1715 History of Parliament: Constituencies 1690–1715
Archibald Campbell (British Army officer, born 1739)
Major-General Sir Archibald Campbell KB served as governor of Jamaica and Georgia. He was a major Scottish landowner, Heritable Usher of the White Rod for Scotland and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1774 and 1791. Archibald was baptized 24 August 1739 at Scotland, he was the second son of James Campbell 3rd of Tuerechan, Commissary of the Western Isles of Scotland, Elizabeth, daughter of James Fisher, Provost of Inveraray. He grew up with his family at Dunderave Castle, enjoyed the patronage of both Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll and Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville. Educated at Glasgow University, afterwards at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. In 1758, he was commissioned into the Royal Engineers, he was wounded at the Siege of Quebec. He participated in a number of raids along the coast of France, as well as in expeditions in the West Indies. A decade in 1768, Colonel Campbell, was made chief engineer of the British East India Company at Bengal, was employed by the company to head the works on Fort William in Calcutta.
In Calcutta, Campbell laid the foundation of his wealth. With Captain Henry Watson, he invested in a dockyard at Kidderpore, the two men acted as contractors for building and repairing ships until the government bought their concern, he made a fortune trading in silk. Campbell used his wealth to become a major landowner in his native Argyll, he spent over £30,000 purchasing the estates of Danna, Knap and Ulva. He purchased the houses of Inverkeithing and Queensferry. In 1774, after an unusually bitter electoral battle with Colonel James Masterton, of Newton, Colonel Archibald Campbell became the Member of Parliament for the Stirling Burghs, aided by his guardian, Viscount Melville. James Boswell acted as Campbell's legal advisor. Following his exciting electoral victory, Colonel Campbell left his elder brother, Sir James Campbell of Killean, to keep his parliamentary seat warm and sailed for America in command of the 71st Regiment of Foot, Fraser's Highlanders, where the American Revolutionary War was in progress.
In 1776, after a battle aboard a vessel in Boston Harbor, Campbell was captured by the Americans and held prisoner until 1778. Campbell's capture coincided with the British capture of the American Patriot hero Ethan Allen and the American General Charles Lee. Rumours spread that they were being mistreated by the British, which had a direct effect on Campbell. In February 1777, from Concord Jail, an outraged Campbell complained to Viscount Howe of his situation. There ensued complaints and correspondence between Howe and George Washington on Campbell's behalf. By the following month Washington intervened and Congress protested that it had not intended to cause undue suffering to Campbell. By May, Campbell was living at the jailer's tavern, a marked improvement to his previous solitary confinement. Soon afterwards he was granted total freedom within the confine of the town of Concord, it should be noted that during these years as a prisoner of war he was able to purchase the Knap estate back in Argyll.
On 6 May 1778, he was released in exchange for Ethan Allen. Six months after his release, Campbell was ordered to lead 3,000 men from New York to Georgia, in late December his army won the Battle of Savannah, followed by another victory at Augusta, Georgia. Contemporaries on both sides paid tribute to the restraint shown by Campbell; the American patriot Alexander Green, one of Lee's Legion and aide-de-camp to Major-General Nathanael Greene referred to Campbell's concern for the civil population and lack of bitterness towards his former captors. He revealed how the Patriots feared Campbell as a commander of great ability. Greene related of Campbell: As conqueror of Savannah, his immediate care was to soften the asperities of war, to reconcile to his equitable government, those who had submitted, in the first instance, to the superiority of his arms. Though but released from close and rigorous confinement, which he had suffered in consequence of indignities offered to General Charles Lee, a prisoner at New York, he harboured no resentments, considered his sufferings rather the effect of necessity, than wilful persecution.
Oppression was foreign to his nature, incompatible with his practice. He made proper allowance for an attachment to cherished principles nor with-held his applause from those who bravely supported them, he used no threats to no artifice to ensnare them. Such of the inhabitants as voluntarily made a tender of service, were favourably received, he had too seen them lavished of professions of permanent support, leaving their deluded adherents to the mercy of the government, which, in an evil hour, they had abandoned. The friends of our independence had everything to dread from his wisdom and humanity, but their alarm was short of duration. Lieutenant Colonel Campbell had too nice a sense of honour to be made instrument of injustice and oppression, he was speedily called upon to relinquish his command, to a superior, less scrupulous and better disposed to second the harsh measures of the Commander in Chief, he became provisional governor of Georgia and named Jacques Marcus Prevost his lieutenant and successor before returning to England.
Returning to England, in July 1779, he married Amelia, daughter of Allan Ramsay of Kinkell