Québec (Province). Legislature.

Sessional papers online

. (page 10 of 25)
Online LibraryQuébec (Province). LegislatureSessional papers → online text (page 10 of 25)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

1817. "Sir,

*^ I am instructed by the Right Hon. the I^rd
Mayor to acquaint you that he is truly sorry that Mr.
White should have so long delayed answering the letter
you previously wrote to him, the contents of which had
been communicated to his Lordship ; and as it may pos-
sibly forward the design you have kindly suggested, the
Lord Mayor will, if necessary, transmit a profile like-
ness in bronze colour, by Myers, and a most excellent
three-quarter mezzotinto engraving that has recently
been published for the benefit of the three unfortunate
Irishmen. Should either or both of the above be likely
to answer your purpose, a line directed to his Lordship,
acquainting him to what agent or house in London you
would wish them to be sent, that they may be forwarded
to you, shall immediately be attended to.
" I remain. Sir,

" Your most humble servant.


" Mansion House, 2l8t Jan., 1817

At this period a Captain Mudie, who, I understood,
had accompanied the army of the Duke of Wellington
through Spain, called upon me to say that he intended
to publish a series of medals commemorative of the late
war, calling the series the " National Series ;" that their
number would be about 30 to 40 ; and as he was not a
manufacturer of medals, he proposed that they should be
made at my manufactory. I informed him that two
things were essential for their success — a long purse, and

Digitized by VjOOQIC

A SiTOA/v Colored fransptvreni: ifnitati^iot J^asi^, (^ itz iAe
2^2/^ JBrillicc^tt Style; ami siipposed to ie ih^ la?yest and lest
^a^eci^i'^ed knowTi, olofte a^t Ihe Aul^hor's £sta>6lishr?teytt.

Digitized by


Digitized by



a refined classical taste ; and unless that was proved to 1817.
me, I must decline the proposal, and continue my own
ideas of a more confined series which I had already com-
menced. He replied that his esteemed friend, Sir
Charles Forbes, of Edinglaisse, Aberdeenshire, Scot-
land, would see him through the expense of the series ;
and, as to the second point, he assured me that the
designs would be given to him by the Baron Denon, of
Paris, in whose house his daughter resided as Governess
of the Baron's children. I acquiesced in his proposal in
that great work, and I permitted any of my best artists,
die engravers, to give him any occasional assistance, there
not being more than about five or six in this country,
and it would take some years to complete the dies. It
was his intention to have all the reverse dies engraved
at Paris, the whole of the French artists of this class
being much at liberty. I doubted the policy of this
mode, as the public would not think they were done by
Englishmen. Captain Mudie did not see it in this light,
and repaired to Paris, bringing over each die as com-
pleted, so that the series might proceed, and to be
delivered as they came out. These medals are called
the " National Medals of the late War." The dies cost
Captain Mudie, according to the words of his petition to
the House of Parliament, £10,000. He obtained a
grant of land in New South Wales, where he went to
reside ; and I purchased the dies.

In June, in this year, a most singular and daring
robbery took place in the day time at the establishment
of Messrs. Rundell and Bridges, the King's jewellers,
in Ludgate Hill, the whole being unique in adroitness
and self-possession, and said to be unparalleled of its
nature. I take the opportunity to record it here from

Digitized by VjOOQIC


1817. drawings and explanations sent to me at the time by
this most wealthy and respectable house, and particu-
larly as it may be a caution to the principal jewellers
in Birmingham ; and also as exhibiting, by the draw-
ings of the diamond brilliant necklace, bracelets, and
ear-rings, the character and style of such a splendid
suite, with the weight marked on each circle of the
quantity of carats that each stone weighed. It must,
however, be borne in mind, that the circles are marked
in the engraving large, to admit the figures to be in-
serted of the weights. I believe the necklace was sup-
posed to be valued at £15,000, and the ear-rings at
8,000 guineas ; the whole were brilliants.

The manner in which the robbery was conmiitted was
as follows : — A foreigner, named Simon Bloum, accom-
panied by his interpreter, also a foreigner, stated to
Messrs. Rundell and Bridges that he required a suite of
brilliants for a marriage in the family (it was reported)
of the King of Sardinia, and that he was prepared to
pay for the same provided they could agree about the
price. At length the whole of the articles required were
selected ; and it was agreed, upon the proposal of Simon
Bloum, that they should be placed into a small box
which he had brought with him, to be sealed with the
respective seals of each party, and to be left until the
following morning, when Mr. Simon Bloum was to call
with the funds, and take the box away. The whole
being carefully (in the presence of Messrs. Rundell) put
into the box, a candle was brought with wax, that the
seals might be attached, Simon Bloum, on sealing the
box, dropped it, from the heat of the wax, and imme-
diately aU parties stooped, with every politeness, to pick
it up. During this little confusion, and exchanges of

Digitized by VjOOQIC

Digitized by


Digitized by



regret at the circumstance, Simon Bloum changed the 1817.
box for one exactly similar, and already sealed. No
suspicion was excited; but finding that the foreigners
had left their Hotel without calling at Ludgate Hill, it
was agreed on, after serious and long consultation, to
unseal the box, when, to the great dismay of all pre*
sent, nothing was found in the box but some trumpery
jewellery of about the same weight. The noise that
the same circumstance made in all the papers in Europe,
and the size, figure, and dress of the parties being set
forth, with a reward of 1 ,500 guineas for their discovery,
led the police to be active in all countries, and the parties
were ultimately found in France, and three-fourths of the
property recovered. The following is a copy of the
advertisement : —

" 1,500 Guineas Reward.

" London, June 26, I8I7.
<< Whereas, a small paper box, containing a number
of valuable jewels (particulars as stated below) was
stolen, on Tuesday, the 17th instant, from a jeweller's
shop in the City, by a person calling himself Mr. Simon
Bloum, of Geneva, who, in company with another man
acting in the capacity of an interpreter, selected them
under pretence of purchasing for a foreign market.
Whoever will apprehend the same Simon Bloum shall,
on his conviction, receive the above reward by applying
to Mr. Blackford, at Goldsmiths* HalL The above men-
tioned Simon Bloum is a stout, well-made man, about
five feet ten inches high, swarthy complexion, marked
with the small pox, black curly hair, thick lips, and
rather a flat nose ; small gold wire ear-rings in his ears ;
converses in French, with somewhat of a German accent.
Gave his address at the Huntley Coflee House, Leicester

Digitized by VjOOQIC


1817. Square, where it appears he lodged only a few nights.
In the Alien Office his address was entered No. 6,
Duke's Place, Hounsditch. He obtained a passport for
France at the above office some days before the robbery
was committed. The interpreter is about five feet
seven inches high, pale complexion ; wore powder, large
silver spectacles, black coat, blue pantaloons, and top-

" The box contained— A necklace of 22 brilliants ;
a pair of bracelets of 40 brilliants ; a pair of ear-rings,
with tops and drops ; another necklace of 40 brilliants ;
a pair of ear-rings ; a pearl necklace of 36 very large
pearls, weight 996 grains, with brilliant clasp; 31^
carats of loose brilliants ; two rows of pearls, together
1,680 grains/'

I mentioned the death of Mr. Boulton, of Soho, in 1809,
and my having perfected a medal of him, the largest
medal supposed extant. Although it was now above
seven years since, and the medal had gone forth esteemed
the largest, being somewhat upwards of four inches in
diameter, the Danish Ambassador was rather an-
noyed at this generally received opinion, and produced
one executed at the Danish Mint in honour of some
naval victory in I6775 which was five inches in diameter.
Consequently, I presented one to Sir Joseph Banks,
President of the Royal Institution, and I received from
him the following reply : —

•• Soho Square, July 6th, I8I7.

" I return to you my thanks for the medal of
my much respected friend Mr, Boulton, and most fully

Digitized by VjOOQIC


applaud that feeling of gratitude which has induced you 1817.
to make the sacrifice you have done to the memory of
one of the best and most useful men that has appeared
in my life time in any country in Europe.

" You are, however, under a mistake in supposing
your medal to be the largest medal that has hitherto
been struck. It is larger than the great Russian medal,
the diameter of which is three inches and six-tenths, but
the great Danish medal, struck in honour of a naval
victory gained in the year I677, is five inches, English,
in diameter, being in size compared to yours as twenty-
five to sixteen.

** I am. Sir,

" Your obliged and obedient humble Servant,

j!^. ^ /S laxH/^U^

I applied to the Hon. Mr. Shirley, the private secre-
tary of the Duke of Sussex, for the loan of a bust of him
as the President of the Society of Arts. See his reply.


" I laid your letter before H. R. H. the Duke
of Sussex yesterday, and am commanded by him to say
he has no model or bust that he considers fit for the
medal you intend to execute as a deserving compliment
to him as promoter of the Arts j I am commanded to say
that H. R. H. will shortly have one done by Mr.
Chantrey, when you may have a cast ; anything I can

Digitized by VjOOQIC


1817. do to serve you or the town will ever be my most
anxious wish.

" I am, Sir,
'•Your obliged humble Servant,

"Park Street, July 9th, I8I7/'

In July, 18 17, I gave a lecture at our Philosophical
Institution upon the Cornish minerals ; and Mr. John
Taylor, hearing that I was not in possession of a specimen
of the micaceous ore of Uranium, and of the rich
cobalt ore firom Tunaberg, in Sweden, very kindly pre-
sented me with them. See his letter.

"Stratford, Essex, lyth July, I8I7.
" Mr. Taylor presents his compliments to Mr. Tho-
mason, and he sends him a specimen of the micaceous
ore of Uranium, which has but lately been found in Corn-
wall, and is in but few hands ; he likewise encloses a
sample of the rich cobalt ores from Tunaberg, in Sweden.
He begs to add his best respects."

The following is a letter from Mr. Coutts Trotter : —

"Strand, London, 3d Oct., 1817.
"Dear Sir,

"The obliging attention you lately
shewed me at Birmingham encourages me to enclose you
an extract from a letter written to Mr. Coutts by a very
amiable friend of his, the Comte de Grave. The object

Digitized by VjOOQIC


of it is to procure for the bearer of this, who is a man of 18I7.
science, some information as to the manufactories of this
country, I know not how far we think it right to keep
a knowledge of these secret — ^if they are so kept. I feel
the propriety of the regulation, but if there are any that
are not, perhaps you will allow Mr. M erisnel to see them ;
and, at all events, I hope I may solicit for him the
pleasure of conversing with you on subjects of which you
are so great a judge.

" I am, dear Sir,
" Your most obedient humble servant,

Just at this time there was discovered, at Paris, a
novel metallic substance, called the moirS metalliquej
or silk metal. I had seen a specimen in the hands of a
foreign Prince, and knowing that Dr. Hamel, the cele-
brated Russian, was in Paris, I informed him that I
could not discover the mode of making it, nor any one
else, in England, that I had heard of ; and that as he
was at Paris seeking any novelty in chemistry, I would
not mind a trifle to be informed of the secret. See his

"Paris, 10th Dec, 18 17.
" Dear Sir,

" I have some days ago received your
letter of the 30ih ult. M. Thierry, chymist, who had
oflered the secret of making the moir6 metalliquey and
given me the specimens which I sent you (which were
not well varnished), asked 6OOO francs for the commu-

Digitized by VjOOQIC


1817. nication. I have, however, obtained it through another
channel for a much less sum, and am happy to communi-
cate it to you.

" The thing is very simple. The figures we admire
so much exist in every tin, where they are formed
during the process of tinning the sheet iron. If you
look at the plate of tin obliquely, you will perceive an
indication of figures. It is only necessary to remove the
pellicula which covers them, and this is done by means
of an acid, and for this purpose a weak aqua regis is the
best. The person who sold me the process gave me the
following receipt : — Decrepitated muriate of soda, one
pound ; distilled water, four pounds ; aqua regis, four
pounds ; nitric acid, six ounces. But this is a foolish
mixture, and, it seems, purposely made complicated, in
order to appear the more curious. You will see at once
that it is nothing more nor less than aqua regis. Common
aquafort, with a little culinary salt, answers all the pur-
poses. I have even found that the other mineral acids
answer. To do the thing, the plate is first cleansed, by
means of whiting, from grease and other impurities, then
laid on a table, and the acid rubbed on by means of
cotton, or something like it, when the figures begin
instantly to appear, and in a little time become very dis-
tinct, when the plate is plunged into water to wash off
the acid. The first varnish is then laid on as soon as
possible, to keep off the air, in order to preserve the
brilliancy, and then it is worked into the shape wanted,
and the finished article receives the latter coats of var-
nish, which may be of any desired colour.

" Not every tin has equally good figures ; they prefer
here the English, and particularly that marked Ponty-
pool, I believe. The French has but bad figures. But

Digitized by VjOOQIC


even the best English tin gives only the large figures, as 1817.
you saw in the specimen which I had in Birmingham.
There is now a new method to make a moiri with small
and beautiful figures, stars, &c. This is done by
heating the plate to such a degree that the tin melts,
and then by allowing it to cool more slowly or sud-
denly it crystallizes into a variety of beautiful little
figures, which appear only after the acid has removed
the pellicula. Stars and other figures are produced by
approaching the tin with a hot iron from underneath, so
that the tin melts in certain parts, and crystalizes anew
in cooling, which becomes visible after the process of

" Here, then, you have the whole secret at once, which
has cost me a great deal of trouble, and occasioned a very
considerable expense. I, therefore, beg you will allow
me to draw on you for £10 or £15 at least, or send
me in your next a bill on some one here to that
amount ; when you make the moire en grands you will
then, perhaps, allow me something more. I am sure
you will make thousands by it, because the thing is just
in your line. Besides lamps, they make here now all
sorts of nick-nack things, ladies* work-boxes, tobacco-
boxes, souvenirs, candlesticks, and an infinite variety of
other things. If you choose, I can send you specimens
by couriers to London. For the small things, the new
moire, prepared by heating the plates previously, either
wholly or partly, serves generally for lamps ; the other,
might be called natural. For you the prepared might
be the most interesting ; and it is to be questioned whe-
ther this process was known to the people who took the
patent for England, and, at any rate, their patent can-
not be made valid, as specimens of the natural moire

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


1817. were sold in the shops of London (in the shape of
Maelzel's time-measurer for music) as long ago as last
year. I advise you to set about making it immediately,
and I will send you any further details you may wish.
Mr. Allard makes an enormous deal of money. A
plate of tin, worth twelve or thirteen sous, he sells for
six or seven francs. A small souvenir sells for forty or
fifty francs in the Palais Royal. These are made with
the small figured moirS. Shall I send you some as pat-
terns ? I forgot to say, that there is a way of making a
difierent moirS still, which resembles granite. This is
done by hammering the plate of tin before the opera-
tion with the acid, which breaks the figures in small
square and otherwise shaped particles. Excuse the
haste in which I have written this letter for want of
time, and be assured that I shall always be ready to
serve you in whatever lays in my power.

"Believe me, dear Sir,

" Yours trulv,

" P.S. I was thinking of making the process known
to some learned society in London, but shall wait your
letter, whether you have no objection."

In December, I completed the medal of Alderman
Wood, as mentioned in June last, as complimentary to,
and highly honourable of, his exertions in saving the
lives of three unfortunate Irishmen who were condemned
to be hanged.

The Obverse of the medal is a fine likeness of the Al-
derman in his robes of state as Lord Mayor. The

Digitized by VjOOQIC


Legend — The Hon. M. Wood, twice Lord Mayor of 1817,
London, mdcccxvi. and mdcccxvii.

On the Reverse — ^The %ure of Britannia, resting with
one hand upon the shield of Justice, ready to perform
the act, hut, tempered with Mercy, listens to a %ure
imploring to he heard, whilst another figure unmasks the
conspiracy. Legend. — Indigence relieved ; innocence
protected ; conspiracy defeated. In the Exergue —
" The cause which he knew not he searched out.*' — Job.

This year I had the honour to he elected the High
Bailiff of Birmingham. See the following letter : —

^^^^"^^y^^h^ ^t^>^^ P^^^tS his 1818.

hest compliments to the High Bailiff of Birmingham,
and begs to inform him that the address to the Prince
Regent, on the occasion of her late Majesty the Queen^s
death, has been, or will be, presented through Lord
Sidmouth, which is considered the most delicate and
respectful mode in an event so melancholy and dis-
tressing to the family of the Prince. The Lord Mayor
just now informs Alderman Bridges that the city of
Oxford, which has especial privileges on these occasions,
likewise adopts the same mode of presenting their

"London, 4th Jan., 1818/*

" Whitehall 6th March, 1818.

" I am directed by Lord Sidmouth to ac-
knowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant,
inclosing one from an anonymous writer dated from Saint

Digitized by VjOOQIC


1818. Etienne, in France, giving information that an attempt
is now making to entice artificers from this country to
carry on some works in the neighbourhood of that
town for the manufacture of steel ; and I am to acquaint
you that his Lordship has thought it right to transmit
the same for the information of the Lords of the Com-
mittee of Council for Trade.
" I am, Sir,

" Your obedient, humble servant,

" Mr. Edward Thomason, Birmingham.*'

** T. Walker presumes that it will scarcely be
necessary to do more than mention the names of Mr.
Raikes, of St. Petersburg, and Mr. Thornton, of London,
to command Mr. Thomason's attention. T. W. will only
add, that anything in which he can gratify their curiosity
will be deemed an obligation by Mr. Bouiton, as well as
" Birmingham, Friday Evening. 18th April, 1818.
" Edward Thomason, Esq."

" Soho Square, 12th June, 1818.
"Dear Sir,

" The Baron de Landesberg, exceedingly
desirous of viewing the wonders of Birmingham, accom-
panied by the Prince de Lippe, has requested to be
introduced to you, of whose works and polite attention
to myself I have had occasion warmly to mention to him.

Digitized by VjOOQIC


Permit me to present them to your notice, and to request 1818.
that you will have the goodness to shew them your esta-
blishment, and, if I might add, to afford facilities to their
further gratification in viewing Soho, the Proof House,
the boring and nail manufactories, &c

" I ought not, nor can I thus intrude on your good
nature and valuable time without apologizing for a
liberty which could only be induced from a desire to do
towards these strangers as you have done to me under
similar circumstances.

" I have called on my friend Sir Isaac Coffin, in the
hope of his introducing these gentlemen to Mr. Watt^
but unfortunately he has quitted London to secure his
election in the country.

" Mrs. Trotter joins me in best compliments to Mrs.
Thomason and yourself, and

" I am, dear Sir,

" Truly yours.

In the beginning of this year. Dr. Brewster entrusted
his newly invented kaliediscope in the hands of a Bir-
mingham manufacturer to make him one or two to look
at, and consider what may be done with it. He informed
me that he went to Mr. Watt, of Soho, to ask of him
to recommend to him a manufacturer likely to make
them, when Mr. Watt mentioned Mr. Bingley. Now
Mr. Bingley's manufactory was quite of a different cast,
viz., the making of patent steel edge scythes and axes,
and such like articles.

Mr. Bingley kept it by him many weeks, and then
wrote him that it being out of his line he had given

Digitized by VjOOQIC


1818 given the model to his neigbhour, Mr. Carpenter, a
working optician. Mr. Carpenter, perceiving the pro-
bability of a great sale of them, agreed with Dr.
Brewster. Some mismiderstanding arose, when Dr.
Brewster was desirous that I should take it up. I
clearly perceived that the invention would be the fashion
of only a moon, and, in fact, some persons were privately
making them at the moment I therefore declined Dr.
Brewster's proposal. If the Doctor had brought the in-
vention first to myself, and proved that it was only known
to himself, I would have ventured to have made 10,000
before any were introduced, and such would have been
the demand for the novelty that the whole would have
sold in one week for an enormous profit. I am convinced
that Dr. Brewster might have made many thousand
pounds, in the short period of a few months, had the
thing been properly managed ; but I believe that he did
not reap a tithe of the profit his invention merited.


" I am this moment favoured with your letter
of the l6th June ; and I suspect that you must have
either misunderstood Mr. Carpenter, or, what I trust
is not the case, that Mr. Carpenter may have uninten-
tionally misled you. The kaliediscopes which I offered
you the licence of making are by no means the inferior
instruments ; and in proof of this it will be sufficient to
state that Mr. Bate, of London, has made all those which
he has manufactured without a lens and draw tube, and
his are among the best and most expensive instruments
that have been manufactured. With a stand and box
they sell at £6 : l6s. 6d. In like manner, Mr. Dolland
made several very fine instruments, without a lens and

Digitized by VjOOQIC


draw tube, and most of the London opticians do the 1818
same. It is quite true that when the instrument has a
lens and draw tube it is more complete than without it ;
but the great body of purchasers are entirely ignorant
of this advantage^ and many who are acquainted with it
do not estimate it sufficiently. My offer to you, there-
fore, includes the very best instruments, with boxes,
with stands, with any number of objects, but with the
exception only of the Jens. Even this exception it will
be in my power to remove, if Mr. Carpenter shall not
fulfil his obligation to supply the public with that kind
of instrument

" Your great respectability, the extent of your esta-
blishment, and the means you enjoy above all others of
getting up the instrument in the most elegant manner,
makes it very desirable for me that you should accept of
my offer, and, when I consider the enormous demand
for the instrument, I have no doubt that it may be an
object to yourself as well as to me to undertake the
manufacture. Events may occur which may enable me
to throw a still greater part of the manufacture into your
hands ; for I am satisfied that Mr. Carpenter has not an
establishment which will enable him to fulfil the obliga*
tion which he has come under to me.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Online LibraryQuébec (Province). LegislatureSessional papers → online text (page 10 of 25)