William Blake

William Blake was an English poet and printmaker. Unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. What he called his prophetic works were said by 20th-century critic Northrop Frye to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language", his visual artistry led 21st-century critic Jonathan Jones to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has produced". In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. While he lived in London his entire life, except for three years spent in Felpham, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich œuvre, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God" or "human existence itself". Although Blake was considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, he is held in high regard by critics for his expressiveness and creativity, for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work.

His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of the Romantic movement and as "Pre-Romantic". A committed Christian, hostile to the Church of England, Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American Revolutions. Though he rejected many of these political beliefs, he maintained an amiable relationship with the political activist Thomas Paine. Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake's work makes him difficult to classify; the 19th-century scholar William Michael Rossetti characterised him as a "glorious luminary", "a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or surmisable successors". William Blake was born on 28 November 1757 at 28 Broad Street in London, he was the third of seven children. Blake's father, was a hosier, he attended school only long enough to learn reading and writing, leaving at the age of ten, was otherwise educated at home by his mother Catherine Blake. Though the Blakes were English Dissenters, William was baptised on 11 December at St James's Church, London.

The Bible was an early and profound influence on Blake, remained a source of inspiration throughout his life. Blake started engraving copies of drawings of Greek antiquities purchased for him by his father, a practice, preferred to actual drawing. Within these drawings Blake found his first exposure to classical forms through the work of Raphael, Maarten van Heemskerck and Albrecht Dürer; the number of prints and bound books that James and Catherine were able to purchase for young William suggests that the Blakes enjoyed, at least for a time, a comfortable wealth. When William was ten years old, his parents knew enough of his headstrong temperament that he was not sent to school but instead enrolled in drawing classes at Pars's drawing school in the Strand, he read avidly on subjects of his own choosing. During this period, Blake made explorations into poetry. On 4 August 1772, Blake was apprenticed to engraver James Basire of Great Queen Street, at the sum of £52.10, for a term of seven years.

At the end of the term, aged 21, he became a professional engraver. No record survives of any serious disagreement or conflict between the two during the period of Blake's apprenticeship, but Peter Ackroyd's biography notes that Blake added Basire's name to a list of artistic adversaries – and crossed it out; this aside, Basire's style of line-engraving was of a kind held at the time to be old-fashioned compared to the flashier stipple or mezzotint styles. It has been speculated that Blake's instruction in this outmoded form may have been detrimental to his acquiring of work or recognition in life. After two years, Basire sent his apprentice to copy images from the Gothic churches in London, his experiences in Westminster Abbey helped form his artistic style and ideas. The Abbey of his day was decorated with suits of armour, painted funeral effigies and varicoloured waxworks. Ackroyd notes that "...the most immediate would have been of faded brightness and colour". This close study of the Gothic left clear traces in his style.

In the long afternoons Blake spent sketching in the Abbey, he was interrupted by boys from Westminster School, who were allowed in the Abbey. They teased him and one tormented him so much that Blake knocked the boy off a scaffold to the ground, "upon which he fell with terrific Violence". After Blake complained to the Dean, the schoolboys' privilege was withdrawn. Blake claimed, he saw Christ with his Apostles and a great procession of monks and priests, heard their chant. On 8 October 1779, Blake became a student at the Royal Academy in Old Somerset House, near the Strand. While the terms of his study required no payment, he was expected to supply his own materials throughout the six-year period. There, he rebelled against what he regarded as the unfinished style of fashionable painters such as Rubens, championed by the school's first president, Joshua Reynolds. Over time, Blake came to detest Reynolds' attitude towards art his pursuit of "general truth" and "general beauty". Reynolds wrote in his Discourses that the "disposition to abstractions, to generalising and classification, is the great glory of the human mind".

Samuel Glasse

Samuel Glasse D. D. was Fellow of the Royal Society. He was of High Church views, in the circle of William Jones of Nayland, a Hutchinsonian, a loyalist of the unrest in the 1790s; the son of the Rev. Richard Glasse of Purton and his wife Elizabeth, he was a scholar of Westminster School from 1749 to 1752, he was elected a junior student of Christ Church, Oxford on 4 June 1752, proceeded B. A. in 1756, M. A. in 1759, accumulated the degrees of B. D. and D. D. on 7 December. Glasse's first preferment was the rectory of St. Mary's, Middlesex, in 1780, he resigned Hanwell in favour of his son, George Henry Glasse, in 1785. The church was rebuilt during his residency, he contributed towards the new edifice. In 1782 he became vicar of Epsom, four years rector of Wanstead, Essex, he was appointed to the prebend of Shalford in Wells Cathedral in 1791, which he retained until 1798, when he was installed as prebendary of Oxgate in St Paul's Cathedral. In 1764 Glasse became a fellow of the Royal Society, in 1772 chaplain in ordinary to George III.

Besides William Jones of Nayland, he knew George Horne among the High Church group, a close friend. He died in his home at 10 Sackville Street, London, on 27 April 1812, aged 78. Glasse was active in the last quarter of the 18th century with sermons for charities. A Justice of the Peace he published in 1787 A Narrative of Proceedings tending towards a National Reforming previous to, consequent upon, his Majesty's Royal Proclamation for the Suppression of Vice and Immorality. In a Letter to a Friend, &c. by a Country Magistrate, London, 1787. The Piety and Policy of promoting Sunday Schools, London, 1786, an article in the Gentleman's Magazine of January 1788, were ways in which Glasse supported the work of Robert Raikes. In 1777 Glasse translated and edited a French work by Louis-Antoine Caraccioli, as Address from a Lady of Quality to her Children in the Last Stage of a Lingering Illness, Gloucester, 1778, 2 vols. Attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Stephen, Leslie.

"Glasse, Samuel". Dictionary of National Biography. 21. London: Smith, Elder & Co

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

The Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial is a memorial dedicated in 1994 recognizing the dead of the Port Chicago disaster, the critical role played by Port Chicago, California during World War II, in serving as the main facility for the Pacific Theater of Operations. The memorial is located at the Concord Naval Weapons Station near Concord, California, in the United States; the 1944 Port Chicago disaster occurred at the naval magazine and resulted in the largest domestic loss of life during World War II. 320 sailors and civilians were killed on July 17, 1944, when the ships they were loading with ammunition and bombs exploded. The majority of the deaths were African American sailors working for the racially segregated military; the explosion and its aftermath led to the largest Naval mutiny in US history, it and the subsequent trial became major catalysts for the United States Navy to desegregate following the war. The national memorial, administered by the National Park Service, was authorized by Public Law 102-562 on October 28, 1992.

The memorial was dedicated in 1994 and is located on the grounds of the Military Ocean Terminal Concord the Tidal Area of the Concord Naval Weapons Station. The memorial is only open to the public through reserved guided tours. On October 28, 2009, the Memorial became an official unit of the National Park System; the Port Chicago Committee is working toward expanding the current memorial to encompass 250 acres of the former Port Chicago waterfront. The memorial site could include some of the railroad revetments and old boxcars from the 1940s period, as well as the existing memorial chapel, with stained-glass windows depicting the World War II operations. Other Navy memorials Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park The National Parks: Index 2001–2003. Washington: U. S. Department of the Interior. Press Release. Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial Becomes 392nd Unit of National Park System Official NPS website: Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial Port Chicago Committee