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" London, 26th August, 1813.
"Dear Sir,

" In answer to your favour, to which we
should sooner have replied had we not been in hopes to
have communicated something respecting the diamonds,
we are sorry to state that the book which Lord Damley
saw at our house was left with us for one day by a gen-
tleman, who took it away at the appointed time, and we
have not been able to see him since we heard from you,
though, from the enquiries we have made, we are inclined
to think he has presented it to the East Lidia Company.
If we should at any future time have an opportunity of
seeing either him or the book, we shall have great
pleasure in communicating any information we may be
able to obtain. We congratulate you upon your dis-
covery, which, though not likely to be of as great use as
• many other of your inventions, is, nevertheless, very

interesting, particularly if, in impregnating the glass
sufficiently to increase its weight, you do not destroy its
transparency.

" We have the pleasure to remain, with great re-
spect,

" Dear Sir, your much obliged

" And faithful servants,
"RuNDELL, Bridges, & Rundell.**

And to show in what credit my manufactory stood in
the article of buttons, see the following letter from
the Commissary-in-Chief 's Office : —



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" Commissary-in-Chief s Office, 1813.

"London, 15th November, 1813.
"Sir,

" I have to desire that you will inform me
by twelve o'clock on Thursday, the ^th instant, at what
prices and in what time you will engage to furnish 6,000
gross of coat buttons, and 2,500 gross of waistcoat
buttons, conformable to patterns, at the Storekeeper.
GeneraVs Warehouse, Bridge Yard, Tooley Street.

*• Payment for these buttons will be made by bill at
ten days sight, on the articles bemg delivered to the
Storekeeper-General, and approved of by him.
" I am. Sir,

" Your humble servant,
" In the absence of the Commissary-in-Chie(




"Mr. Thomason, Button Maker,
" Birmingham/'

Oct 6, 1813, I received a letter from the Hon.
Henneage L^ge, of Aston Hall ; but dated from his
Town-house, Putney, volunteering me the loan of a bust
of the Princess Charlotte, to make a fine medal of the
Princess, which I cheerfully accepted, and put the dies
in hand.

"Putney 6th Oct., 1813.

"Sir,

" I have got a small cast of the Princess Char-
lotte of Wales, and if you would like to strike a medal
ft^m it (which I should think would answer well), I will



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1813. send it down by any person whose care you can depend
upon, and will call for it at my lodgings. No. 13, Mount
Street, Grosvenor Square.

"lam. Sir,

" Your humble servant.




" N.B. If you have any friend coming to town soon,
he might both bring Lord Wellington and carry back
the Princess. I must tell you that the cast is sent me
from Windsor, and the greatest care must be taken
neither to dirt nor damage it"

In the latter end of June, 181S, there was much talk
that the Earl of Warwick had at last permitted a
model of the splendid vase, at Warwick Castle, to be
modelled on the spot, provided Lord Lonsdale would
have it made in silver; to this Lord Lonsdale ac-
quiesced, and his Lordship thought he had settled with
Messrs. Rundell and Bridges that the charge, including
all expenses, would not exceed £30,000. Messrs. Run-
dell and Bridges, before completing the contract, requested
to send down their principal modeller to the Castle to
make a wax model of it; the difficulty and expense
which they perceived they should have to encounter in
the casting of so large a surface in silver led them to
state to his Lordship, that the estimate must be £30,000,
£5,000 Tnore or less! Now Lord Lonsdale did not
approve of the words "more or less ;'* and seeing that
there were doubts of the possibility that this gigantic
specimen of plate could ever be effected, the treaty was
abandoned altogether. What charge Messrs. Rundell



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and Bridges made for the great model, which was near 1814.
completion, 1 never satisfactorily heard, hut I think
Messrs. Rundell and Bridges were quite consistent ^in
requiring the latitude mentioned*

In the heginning of January, 1814, I finished the
fine medal die of the Princess Charlotte, from the hust
lent me hy Mr. Legge, of Aston HalL I sent three
medals, the first struck, to the Marquis of Hertford,
Lord Chamherlain to the Prince Regent, one of silver
gilt, one of silver, and one of hronze, requesting his kind
influence to present one to his Royal Highness, one to
her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte, and the other
I hoped he would do me the honour to accept for him-
self. I received the following letter from the Marquis
of Hertford, dated Jan. 13, 1814 :—

"Sir,

" I received a few days ago a small parcel from
you, covering three beautifiil^medals, which do much
honour to your manufacture, and I have only to apolo-
gize for not acknowledging it hefore, which I was pre-
vented doing hy a rheumatic complaint, which has
rendered writing very painfuL I shall, with the utmost
satisfaction, execute your commission, and I heg leave
to thank you for the mark of distinction with which
you have favoured me.

" I remain. Sir,

" Very truly,
" Your obliged and very obedient servant.



Jis^^ ^Wflf(n<c{.



« Ragley, Jan. ISth, 1814."

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1814. This medal of the PriDcess Charlotte I presented to
the Earl Percy, when I received from his Lordship the
following letter : —

'' Sion, 12th Jan., 1814.
"Sir,

*^ I am much ohliged to you for a very fine hronze
medal of the Princess Charlotte, which arrived here safe
this day. It is a spirited likeness, and very weU cut.

** For some time past I had intended writing to en«
quire whether you had produced any new inventions at
your manufactory, and whether you have heen permitted
to erect the steam engine. I wish you would inform me
whether there is any house in town that you are in the
habit of communicating with, as I have been desired to get
six good circular dice-boxes ; nothing can answer better
than that which I procured from your manufactory.
Whenever the Society publish any of their lectures, 1
beg you will send me a copy.

« I am, Sir,

" Your obedient servant.



^




I had made many things for the Earl of Darlington.
In January, 1814, I received the following flattering
testimony : —

" Raby Castle, Jan. 22d, 1814.
"Sir,

" Having two accounts of yours before me, dated
in August and September last, I beg to remit you the
amount of the two, except twelve shillings, which I must



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coQtiiiue in your debt until I have some opportunity of 1814»
remitting it to you, w until you receive a further order
from, Sir,

*• Your obedient, &c.,




" The articles you sent me have been greatly admired.**

A letter from Sir William Congreve, dated April 23d.
It was respecting my being represented to the Russian
Government as a fit person to hold the Russian consul-
ship in Birmingham.

"Dear Sir,

** I had it in contemplation to write you a
line, to request you would give me a call to-morrow
morning, in Cecil-street, about nine. I have seen
Count lieven to-day, and am yours truly.




^J?t^t>^>t-<<>



^ 23d April.**



Colonel Murray called upon me on March 17th, 1814.
He had lost his hand or arm in the war, and had just
seen an invention for a substitute of a knife and fork for
a single-handed person.



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64>

that when he had last the pleasure of seemg Mr.
Thomason in Birmingham, in conversation Mr. T.
mentioned he had not seen a knife which Lieut-CoL
M. described for the use of one-handed people. Lieut.-
CoL M., therefore, takes the liberty of sending one that
he has for the inspection of Mr. Thomason, and he
requests he will try it with his left hand. It is the best
invention of the kind. Should Mr. Thomason wish for
a pattern, he can keep the knife till nine o'clock to-
morrow morning, but Lieut-Col. M. regrets he cannot
leave it longer, as he has only two with him, and he
cannot do without them.

" The original of these knives was sold by Palmer, in
St James's Street, but Lieut-Col. M. believes there is
no patent.

" Dog Inn, Birmingham,
"Thursday evening, lyth March, 1814.*'

In May, 1814, 1 obtained a passport, through a friend
in the Foreign Office, to take me to Paris. Louis the
Eighteenth had sailed only a few days. I took with me
Mrs. Thomason and my son (quite a child), and so
rapid were we, that the triumphal arches in every town
had not been taken down. Arriving at Paris on the
the Saturday, we went to the Halle des Marechaux, to
see the IQng pass on his way to the Royal Chapel.
It happened to have been the case that Louis the
Eighteenth, Count d'Artois, and many of the royal
family, visited Birmingham a few months before, to
inspect some of the manufactories. I attended them



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over mine and others, and my little boy was permitted 1814.
to accompany the King, who, in a very friendly manner,
frequently took him by the hand, and noticed him. The
consequence was, tliat his Majesty recognised us in the
Halle des Marechaux in the most affable manner, and
desired the Marshal on duty to conduct us to seats in
the Royal Chapel.

Many little attentions were paid to us during our month's
stay at Paris. Amongst the rest. Baron Denon waited
upon us, and conducted us over his exhibition of extra-
ordinary antique curiosities, also the Louvre, Marshal
Soult's pictures, &c. I expected that I should have seen
in the Louvre some very large metallic bronze vases,
somewhat in accordance with the one at Warwick
Castle, of which I had much conversation with the
Baron. I expressed my surprise not to see one large-
sized real bronzed vase in the exhibition. He ob-
served that it was a singular fact that in all his
travels in Egypt, Greece, Italy, &c., he knew not of one
of any magnitude j and remarked, that had the Emperor
Buonaparte been successful m conquering England,
which many of the French generals presumed upon, the
first note entered in his pocket-book was to possess him-
self of the marble vase at Warwick Castle!

I observed, " Since that is not the case, and you doubt
if B.faosimile could be made in bronze of the Warwick
vase, I will, on my return, solicit Lord Warwick to
permit my artists to make a wax model of it.**

I inspected most of the manufactories at Paris, and I
was'pkased to find the little progress they had made in
the metallic art I was surprised, however, at their
secret of superior gilding of the time-pieces. I was
admitted into one gilding establishment, and I found



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1814. the medium was similar to ours, mercury ; nevertheless,
the French did gild the large ornaments and figures of
the chimney-piece clocks with one-half the gold we could
at Birmingham, and produced a more even and finer
colour. They would only let me witness the operation,
hut would not he tempted, hy any moderate premium, to
sell their chemical secret of colouring.

On my return through London, I waited upon Mr.
Huskisson, and related all that I had seen. I regretted
that we could not have a treaty of commerce upon the
same hasis as the last (Mr. Eden's) ; if such could have
heen accomplished, I was convinced that in three years we
should destroy their hopes of manufacturing. Mr. Hus-
kisson was for the over liberal system, assuring me that
the French could never in any manner compete with us,
and, therefore. Lord Castlereagh had not pressed it.
Indeed, I had the mortification to hear at Paris, that, at
a diplomatic dinner of the Ministers of the different
coimtries, on the question being mooted, and the point
being proposed by the French Minister of a treaty of
reciprocity, lowering the duties on French wines, brandy,
&c.. Lord Castlereagh should reply, that there were
matters of much more importance to be discussed prior
to the secondary considerations of commerce I

I returned home highly gratified with the sight and
purchase of the Buonaparte medals, so superior in
classical taste and execution to those in England;
and I made up my mind that every degree of liberal
feeling should actuate me, whatever might be the ex-
pense, in the improvement of my artists in the medal
department of my manufactory, for I was mortified to
see that great disparity of excellence and good taste
in the numismatic art between the two countries.



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In June of this year, there was a greaty<?te given by 1B14.
Mr, S. Fereday, and his co-partners, to their numerous
workpeople, being about five thousand, the greatest
number that was supposed to have ever been employed
by any one firm ; and I made for Mr. Fereday five
thousand medals, one of which he presented to each work-
man. The/Ste was given at Mr. Fereday's, Ettingshall
Park, near Bilston.

I was given to understand that the Emperor of Russia
would pay a visit to England, prior to his return to his
dominions. I obtained a fine likeness of him, and my
best die engraver, Webb, was able to accomplish in time,
before the Emperor arrived in England, a fine medal of
the Emperor. The legend round the head, on the ob-
verse,

ALEXANDER IMP. ROSSICI AVTOCRATOR.

On the reverse, within a beautiful wreath,

ORBIS TE LAVDAT. PECATVS. MDCCCXIV.

It occurred, however, that Her Imperial Highness the
Grand Duchess of Oldenburgh, and sister to the Em-
peror, arrived in this coimtry a few days before the
Emperor, and almost immediately came, with her suite,
to Birmingham, to visit the different establishments.
She was a lover of works of art, endowed with a most
refined and cultivated taste, and possessed much science,
even to chemical analysis. I had the honour to conduct
Her Imperial Highness through my manufactory. She
was an extraordinary observer of every machine, and
absolutely anticipated the results. She even requested
to work or move some of the machines with her own
hands, and seemed delighted with the proceeding. I
confess that I never attended a lady over my manufac-
tory with so much gratification. It took about four

F 2

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1814. hours to pass through the works ; hut towards the con-
clusion, when we arrived at the room called the medal
die-sinking shop, my artist was just finishing off the
die of the Emperor, with which she was much enchanted,
and understanding from me that the first medal would he
struck firom it on the following day, ready for me to have
the honour of presenting to the Emperor in person on
his arrival in London, Her Imperial Highness induced me
to forego my intention, and permit her to have the grati-
fication, which she did, as the Emperor was ascending
the principal staircase at the Pulteney Hotel.

On the 4th of June came the following letter to me
from Her Imperial Highnesses Secretary, G. Busshman,
by command : —

"Sir,

" I have the commands of Her Imperial Highness
the Grand Duchess of Russia, Princess of Oldenburgh,
to acknowledge your letter and the box with medals sent
by you. Her Imperial Highness has been much pleased
with this highly finished specimen of your art, and will
present the golden medal to the Emperor, her august
brother, according to your desire. She has ordered me
to return you her most sincere thanks, in doing which

" I have the honour to be. Sir,

" Your most obedient humble servant,

" Secretary to Her Imperial Highness.
"Pulteney Hotel, London,
"3d of June, 1814.''

On the day that the gold medal was struck off, I also



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had one struck in bronze, which I presented to Earl 1814.
Percy, and also the Duke of Gordon.

*• Northumberland House, 6th June, 1814.

"Sir,

" On my return to this place from Paris, I
received the parcel containing the things from your
manufactory, as well as a beautiful medal of the Empe-
ror of Russia. In addition to its being remarkably well
struck, the likeness is one of the best I have seen.

" To-morrow I understand that the Emperor of
Russia and the King of Prussia will arrive in town ;
Blucher and Platow, who are on their way, will proba-
bly accompany them. If you should strike off any
medals with Platow^s likeness, I shall want a dozen, set
in glass cases, to wear at the button hole, for the Cos-
sacks who have already arrived with the Ataman's
horses.

" The prints of Platow being all of them unlike, I
should advise that no medal be made until there appears
a good likeness of him. If you have any artist in Lon-
don whom you employ, I think I can put him in the
way of taking a likeness of Blucher and Platow.

" I should like to have six more of the dice-boxes sent
as soon as possible.

" As the post is going out, I have only time to seal
my letter.

" Your obedient servant,



^



" When I hear that the great personages are likely
to visit Birmingham, I will send you the earliest infor-
mation.**

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70

C:^ -^.^ ^^^^^ry^ ^^ received

the medal Mr. Thomason has heen so ohliging to send
him, and returns him many thanks. It appears to be a
most excellent piece of workmanship indeed, and does
him infinite credit.

The Duke wishes to know if any have been struck
off for sale.

23, New Norfolk Street, June 7th, 1814.

In a few days many of the suite of the Emperor and
the King of Prussia came down to inspect my manufac-
tory, and others.

The Princess Lucien Buonaparte, knowing that I had
just returned from Paris, directed her Secretary, the
Abb6 Charpenter, to address the following letter to
me : —

" June 20th, 1814.
« Sir,

" The Princess Lucien Buonaparte will be to-
morrow night in Birmingham. She will sleep at the
same inn where her Excellency was the last time she
was there. She will be very glad to see you, having
several commands to intrust you with. I am afraid she
will not have time to see your manufactories.
" I have the honour to be,
"Dear Sir,

" Your humble servant,

"Hanckley, Sunday night.**



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As it was said that the Emperor of Austria and the 1814.
King of Prussia were arrived, with the Hetman Platoff
and Marshal Blucher, (the Emperor of Austria did not
come) a thought struck me that there was no medal
made that came, in price, within the compass and means
for the artisans to partake of the general rejoicing.
My die engraver could not, in the few days required,
cut or engrave a medal die in alto relievo, hut he could
manage one in bas relievo. I had, on the obverse, the
four profile heads of the Prince Regent, the Emperor
of Russia, the Emperor of Austria, and the King of
Prussia. The likenesses were excellent, and the die
cut most exquisitely, the relief being only the height of
our crown pieces. The legend was, " We shall never
see their like again ;" and on the reverse the emblem
of peace. Silver medals were presented to the Royal
visitors, and white medals to the difierent charity
schools around. The medal seemed to please more
than any of the expensive ones, and the die was literally
worn out in striking for the demand. A general illu-
mination was agreed upon at a public meeting convened,
and all was joy, happiness, and congratulations. Almost
every principal house and establishment had a trans-
parency, every draughtsman having been put in requi-
sition, and all the glass manufacturers to produce
coloured lamps.

The Birmingham paper of Monday, 13th June, 1814,
was almost filled with the explanation of the allegorical
subjects. The peaceable and orderly populace was the
constant theme of conversation. The mention of my
residence in the paper is as follows : —

" At Mr. Thomason's, in Colmore Row, the four first
story windows were filled with allegorical transparencies.



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1814. "The first contained two swords, broken, and under-
neath them a plough-share.

" The second, the earth represented by a globe, and a
dove with an olive branch descending upon it.

" The third, a seaport, with vessels coming into the
harbour, and busy scene of commerce on the quay.

" The fourth, a figure of Plenty, holding in her right
hand a cornucopia, and in her left hand ears of com.

** The whole was surmounted by a large and beautiful
transparency of 22 feet in length, representing Britannia
in the attitude of adoration to Providence, arched over
with the following inscription : — * Not unto us, O God I
but unto Thee, be the Glory.' "

When Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess
of Russia and Oldenburgh was at Birmingham, she en-
quired of me if there was a Russian Consul appointed
for the town ? I informed Her Imperial Highness that
there was not, and I should be much obliged and grati-
fied to be honoured with the appointment. She promised
me to speak to the Emperor. I afterwards made many
enquiries of the Chevalier Dubatche&ky, the then Rus-
sian Consul-General, respecting Her Imperial Highnesses
promised communication. I was well convinced and
informed, that the recommendations to this appointment
must emanate from the most respectable source, and
Earl Percy, the Hon. Cecil Jenkinson, M. P., Mr. G.
Lambton, M. P., and many others in high situations,
did me the favour to wait upon the Chevalier Dubat-
chefsky, who explained the difficulties and exertions
always essential to obtain any such favour, as the follow-
ing letters will shew : —



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" London, 3d May, 1815. 1815.
** My dear Sir,

" I had the pleasure to receive your favour of
the ^9th ult, and lost no time in calling on my friend,
Le Chevalier Duhatchefsky, to speak to him upon the
subject. This gentleman did not seem to have received
as yet any intimation of the intention of the Russian
Government you allude to, and though he has the autho-
rity to appoint the Vice Consuls, yet he thinks that to
be confined to the seaport towns. He imagines that
the Duchess of Oldenburgh might have originated this
business ; but if any instructions about it have been sent
to the Russian Ambassador, he may have forgot to com-
municate them to the Consul General. Mr. D. pro-
mised that he would sound the Ambassador whether he
had been written to about this subject, and that if such
a measure should really be ordered by the Court, you
would have all his interest as well in this as any other
matter of business. Mr. D. will write to you himself
upon the subject. Meantime I am much gratified by
your thinking of me on this occasion, and hope you will
always command me whenever you think I can make
you any return for your repeated polite attentions. I
beg my best respects to Mrs. Thomason and your son,
and remain,

« Dear Sir,
" Your most obedient servant,




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1815. «« London, 45, Gt. Coram Street, Russell Square,

the 5th May, 1815.
"Sir.

" In acknowledging the honour of your letter
of the 2d mst, on hehalf of Mr. Edward Thomason, I
beg leave to tell in answer, that my august Sovereign's
thoughts of establishing a Vice-Consul at Birmingham
are not known to me, and I rather presume that nobody
is, nor cannot be designated for that situation, the said
town being no seaport ; otherwise, your respectable tes-
timony alone of Mn Thomason's full and complete com-
petency for the imagined situation would be considered
by me as quite sufficient ; but flattered as I am with, I
dare not give you my word for contributing in any way
towards taking efiect of your recommended friend's soli-
citation.

** I have the honour to be,
"Sir,
" Your most obedient humble servant.




"To the Hon. CecilJenkinson, M.P.**

" Dear Sir,

" I was duly favoured with yours of the 29th.
I have this day seen the Russian Consul-General, who
is perfectly satisfied with the references made, and desired
me to say, that he was just now too much engaged to
write to you, but that he should in a day or two; and, in
the meantime, you might consider the matter as settled,
and beg you will accept my congratulations on the
the respectable appointment.



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''If you ore inclined to send an adventure out to 1815.
Bombay, we shall have a ship, the Lord Castlereagh,
going out about the latter end of this month.
" I remain,

"Dear Sir,
" Your very obedient servant,




"London, 5th May, 1815.'*

I had manufactured this year a large quantity of
tokens for Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, Bart., who is the
sole possessor and king, as he called himself, of the Mag-
dalen islands, situated in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in



Online LibraryQuébec (Province). LegislatureSessional papers → online text (page 5 of 25)