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sidered as a simple individual In office or out, he was
still the same Pitt to whom we looked up for safety, and,
as Walter Scott truly said,

* Hadst thou but lived, though stripped of power,

A watchman on the lonely tower.

Thy thrilling trump had roused the land.

When fraud or danger were at hand ;

By thee, as by the beacon light.

Our pilots had kept course aright ;

As some proud column, though alone.

Thy strength had propp'd the tottering throne.

Now is the stately column broke.

The beacon light is quenched in smoke.

The trumpet's silver sound is still.

The warder silent on the hill I '

«* With every good wish, believe me to remain,

•* Your very obedient servant, ^

" Edward Thomason, Esq.**

In the month of July I obtained permission from the

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Earl of Warwick to allow my modelling artists to have 1816.
ingress and egress to the Conservatory in the Castle Gar-
dens to model in wax a real shze facsimile of his lordship's
celebrated Warwick vase, as the Earl of Lonsdale had
been induced, in consequence of the difficulties set forth
by Messrs. RundcU and Bridges, and the great expense to
perfect one in silver in every point B^Jac-similef and which
was 21 feet in circumference, to abandon his intention. I
was well aware that the condition on which the Earl per-
mitted his vase to be modelled was, that it should be
cast in silver. I assured his lordship that he must be
convinced that it would not suit the pocket of such an
humble individual as myself to make one in silver ; and,
again, I felt confident that his lordship would agree with
me that a facsimile made in bronze would be in better
taste than if made in silver. His lordship acquiesced in
my opinion, but still thought the attempt of too gigantic
and of too expensive a nature to be achieved by any one
individual merely to gratify his own taste and feelings ;
and expressed strong doubts of the practicability of per-
fecting it I gave his lordship my word and honour that
if, in the course of my making it, I should discover the
least doubt of complete success, I would not pursue it
further, but break into fragments what advance I might
have already done ; and I also invited the honour of his
lordship's investigation during the presumed lengthened
process. With this understanding his lordship kindly
gave me permission. I had the necessary scafiblding
placed round the vase for convenience, and it took four
of my artists (Mr. Rollings and his three sons) up-
ward of eight months to complete all the models prepa-
ratory for the casting, &c. &c. Thus far during 1816.
The other part of the processes will be spoken of
under their proper dates.

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1816. In March, 1816, I received the honourahle appoint-
ment of Vice-Consul to Louis the Eighteenth of France.

" Consulate General de France en Angleterre.

"Nous, Armand Louis Maurice Siguier, Cheva-
lier de Saint Louis, Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur.
Lieutenant Colonel de Cavalerie, Consul.G6n6ral de
France en Angleterre, ayant reconnu n^ssaire au
hien du service de sa Majesty tr^s Chr6tienne, et utile
aux N6gocians et Navigateurs Fran9ais d*6tablir dans
la ville de Birmingham, un agent de notre Consulat-
66n6ral, et 6tant inform^ de Pintelligence, du z^le, et
de la probity du Sieur Edward Thomason, en vertu des
pouvoirs resultans de notre charge, I'avons nomm6 et
nommons par les pr6sentes, agent du dit Consulat-
G6n6ral. En consequence nous enjoignons aux Capi-
tains de Bdtimens Fran9ais, et k tons n^gocians, naviga-
teurs, et autre sujets de sa Majesty tr^s Chr6tienne de
le reconnoitre en la dite quality, et de lui ob^ir con-
form^ment aux lois, ordonnances, et r6glemens concer-
nant le commerce et la navigation. En mSme temps
nous invitons les autorit^s, civiles et militaires, de la ville
de Birmingham k Tassister en tant que de besoin dans
Texercice des fonctions qui lui sont del^gu^es par les

" Fait en notre C^onsulat-Gen^ral k Londres, le 12
Mars, 1816.

" Par M. le Consul.

" Nettemeur, Chancelier.**

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On the 23rd of the same month, I received the ap- 1816
pointment of Vice-Consul for Austria.

** Know all men by these presents, that I, the tmder-
signed. His Imperial Austrian Majesty's Consul-General
for Great Britain and Ireland, residing at London, have
constituted and appointed, and by these presents do con-
stitute and appoint, Edward Thomason, Esq., merchant
and manufacturer, at Birmingham, to be my agent, and
to act as my deputy in the said town and its depen-
dencies, in aiding and assisting with his best advice all
such Austrian subjects as, in the pursuit of their lawful
concerns in the said town and its dependencies, may
stand in need thereof ; and to all and every such act
and deed as I could or might do for the good of his
Imperial Austrian Majesty's subjects if I were present,
ratifying and confirming hereby everything my said
Deputy do in and about the said premises.

*' In witness whereof I have heretmto set my hand
and seal of office in London, 23d March, 1816.

" H. Impl. M. of Austria's

The same month, 1816, I was honoured by the ap-
pointment of Vice-Consul for both Portugal and the
Brazils, by His Royal Highness the Prince Regent of
Portugal and the Brazils.

<<Saibad Lodos os que a presente virem que Eu,
Joaquim Andrade, Consul Geral de Sua Alteza Real o

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1816. Principe Regente de Portugal e Brazil, na Gram Bre-
tanha e Irlanda, residente em Londres, tenho feito,
ordinado, constituido, e nomeado, e pela presente fa90,
ordeno, constituoy e nomeo a Edwardo Thomason, Esc.,
residente em Birmingham, no condado de Warwickshire,
para fer menagente e exercer as fun9oens de meu Dipu-
tado e Vice Consul da na^ao Portugueza, na acima men-
cionada cidade de Birmingham ; para ajudar, e assister a
aquelles vassalos Portuguezes que d'isso necessitarem
ou aquelles que tiverem que viajar, ou transactar, algum
negociona acima mencionada cidade, seja na compra de
fazendas, ou em qualqua outra especula9ad ; de prestar-
thes assistencia e darthes consethos contribua6 aos sens
interesses, ou a facilitarthes as suas transaccoens ; e fazer
em favor delles todos aquelles actos que Eu mesmo
possa, ou podesse fazer a beneficio dos vassalos de Sua
Alteza Real o Principe Regente de Portugal, em cazo de
estar presente pessoalimento, ratificando e confirmando
tudo o que meu dito deputado, legalmente fizer ou ordinar
fer feito concemente ao acima especificado. Em fe do
que mandu passar a prezente pormimassenada e lettada
com o meu letto de officio em Londres, aos nove dias de
Teverciro, no anno do nosso Senhor mil oito contos e


OL^Ci^iy^^^-iy v.y^T^z^>t^ci.ifce. ^

" Por ordem do Consul Gcnral,

" Alif. Axdrade, Sec."

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In April, I was honoured with the joint appointments 1816.
of Vice-Consul for Sweden and Vice-Consul for Norway.

" lag, Carl Tottie, Hans Kongl. Majts. Konungens
af Sverige och Norrige General Consul i Stora Britan-
nien, Irrland, och dartil horande oar, gor harmed vet-
terligt for allum och en hvar som det anga kan, att
Herr Edward Thomason, i Birmingham, ar harmedelst
utnamnd och antagen att vara Svensk och Norrsk Vice-
Consul a forenamnde stalle samt underliggande lagen-
heter. Till folje hvaraf han ager att med rad och
handrackning hjelpa och hispringa alia de af Kongl.
Majts. af Sverige och Norrige undersatare, som i lagliga
arender stadde aro och honom darom anlita mSga.

" Till ytt^rmera visso, hafver jag detta egenhandigt
underskrefvet och med Kongl. Consulatets sigill bekrafta
latit, som skedde i London den tionde dagen i April,
manad i det ett tusende atta hundrade och sextonde
aret eft^r Vars Herres Jesu Christi Bord.

" FuUmagt for Herr Edward Thomason, att vara
Svensk och Norrsk Vice-Consul i Birmingham."

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1816. At this period I was honoured with the appointment
of Vice-Consul for Prussia.

" Know all men, hy these presents, That I, the under-
signed. His Prussian Majest/s Consul-General for
Great Britain and Ireland, residing at London, have
constituted and appointed, and by these presents do con-
stitute and appoint, Edward Thomason, Esquire, to be
my agent, and to act as my deputy, at Birmingham,
and its dependencies, in aiding and assisting all such
Prussian subjects as may stand in need thereof, and to
take care of their ships and effects, in case they should
be driven on shore by stress of weather, or otherwise
come to be damaged or endangered. In short, to do all
and every such act and deed as I could or might do,
for the good of His Prussian Majesty's seafaring sub-
jects, if I were personally present j ratifying and con-
firming hereby evei7thing my said deputy shall lawfully
do in and about the said premises.

" In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand
and seal of office, London, this 30th September, 1816.

On the 27th of August, I8I6, in conjunction with a
small Dutch force of five frigates under Admiral Van
Capellan, Lord Exmouth, with about ten sail of men of
war, sailed to attack Algiers, and demand the imme-
diate release and delivery up of all the Christian slaves.
The expedition, although of so hazardous a nature, was
completely successful, and the Admiral sailed from

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Algiers, on the Sd of September, with the cheering 1816.
conyiction that he had not left behind one Christian pri-
soner. I caused a medal to be struck off in commemora-
tion of the eyent, and called one of the national medals;
but understanding that Sir Sidney Smith had, for above
twelve months prior to this event, used all his energies
to induce our Government, as well as that of France, to
unite in such an expedition which would be worthy the
character of both nations, as the triumph would not be
made available for the purpose of aggrandizement, but
to advance the general interests of humanity, I con-
ceived that Sir Sidney's exertions, which no doubt led
to the adoption of the expedition, were worthy of being
recorded. I made one of the finest class, with an appro-
priate inscription.

In September, I addressed a letter to Sir Sidney, at
Paris, mentioning the medal I had made of himself, and
requesting to be informed of his agent's address in Lon-
don, who would take charge of a silver medal.

On the 30th of September, I received a packet from
the General Post Office, with the following note :-

presents his

compliments to Mr. Thomason, and has great pleasure
in sending, under his frank, a packet which Sir Sidney
Smith has consigned to Mr. Freeling's care.
General Post Office, Sept. 30, 1816.

H 2

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lftl6- « Paris, 99, Rue du Faubg. St. Honors,

Sept 26, 1816.
** Dear Sir,

" I am duly sensible of your obliging
attention towards me personally, and no less so of the
interest you continue to take in the objects I have so
earnestly at heart towards the final and complete abo-
lition of African slavery, white and black. The medal
you are so good as to offer me, and for which I beg you
to accept my best thanks, can be conveyed to me as 1
send this to you, under cover to Mr. Freeling, with a
request that he will send it to Downing Street, to go by
a messenger, as my postage ruins me. My expenses of
that sort, including stationery, since I have been in the
service, have cost me more than my pay annually, par-
ticularly lately, when every man in Europe who thinks
as I do on the slavery of the whites in Barbary, thinks
it also right to participate his ideas, and hopes, and
wishes, to the centre of the machinery which, it is
known, I have set and keep in motion towards the final
accomplishment of the great work in hand. I have
adopted your method of addressing the many by medals,
which, passing from hand to hand in Africa, with short
pithy, moral sentences, extracted from the Koran, there-
on, and verses easily remembered, occasion the inhabi-
tants to be of one mind with us as to the utility and
necessity of eradicating the evils (piracy and slavery
on the coast and in the interior) which bar the
approach and prevent the circulation of more licit
commerce than that in human flesh, which latter, as
well as monopoly of grain, is strictly interdicted in the^

** In return for your flattering present, I beg your

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acceptance of a series of some medals I have had en- IB 16.
graved and struck here, in the Royal Establishment,
which favours my views towards the object of humanity
all in its power. The metal is what they call * cuivre
jnune^ lacquered with a gold varnish, the same as what
is used to prevent the conductors of electrical apparatus
from oxygenating, and giving a coppery odour on the
touch. I presume it must be too hard to allow the die
to strike many, as a large one, having thereon the sen-
tence of the Koran which describes the Christians as
a good and friendly people^ (which I meant for the
Christian tribes in the interior of Atlas to shew to their
powerful, inimical neighbours in the plains, and to pre-
vent the success of the appeal of the Algerines to the
fanaticism of the Mahometans against us) broke on the
first blow. Was I to make a new set of these, with the
additional sentences to increase the number of charges,
I should think your white metal, imitating silver, would
be better ; in that case there should be more volume of
muslin at the sides of the turban.

" Was I not still in your debt, and unable to pay you,
or even assign a time when I can pay anybody, till Go-
vemment reimburses me the money I have sunk to
realize the objects confided to my discretion as to the
mode of attaining them, or the spot in which I could
wait, for or expect to receive precise instructions and
precious * authonzation^^ on every point connected there-
with, I should not hesitate to request of you to send me
a few of these in the same, or white metal, as the price
they ask here for these is nearly as much as the same
weight in silver, which is, of course, beyond the means
of the funds of a charily already much in debt to me.
I send vou a few more loose numbers. No. XI. answers

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1816. the question which may be put to you how to procure
the entire series.

" Coutts is the banker of the Knight Liberators.
" Your obliged and faithful servant,

" Mr. Thomason.**

In the beginning of December, the Grand Duke
Nicholas of Russia visited my manufactory, and having
already a die of the Emperor, his august brother, I
made, with all dispatch, an obverse die, commemorating
the visit to Birmingham ; and when the Grand Duke
arrived at that department in my works called the
medal press-room, and everything being previously pre-
pared, I solicited His Imperial Highness to move the
balance-wheel of the great machine, which produced a
fine medal in silver, and which the Grand Duke, with
every courtesy, accepted.

I dispatched two by the same day's mail, one for the
Ambassador, Count de Lieven, and the other for the
Consul-General of Russia, which brought, by return
of post, the following letter : —

** London, 37, Great Coram Street,

9th Dec, 1816.

" I beg you to accept my best acknowledgement
for your obliging remembrance in sending, as well to me
as to the Ambassador, Count de Lieven, the medal
struck off the 3d inst, the very moment His Imperial
Highness the Grand Duke Nicolas Paulovitch was visit-
ing your excellent and, in every respect, admirable
manufactory. I will keep it with a particular pleasure.

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not only as a recollection of the High Visitor's instruc- 1816.
tive travels, but even as a fine specimen of the improved
machinery by your taste, and unfatigued and, I dare
say, unrivalled application and assiduity, in contributing
to the preferment of fine arts and ingenious works in
your industrious and dexterous country.

" My bearing of such a just testimony of your cele-
brated activity may be indifferent to you, Sir ; but still,
being frank, and united to that of other versed travellers
and connoisseurs who had the good fortune of inspecting
your establishment, it can by no means be considered as
a kind of flattery, without which, but with great esteem,
believe me,

" Sir,
" Your most obedient humble servant,

** Edward Thomason, Esq.,

" Church Street, Birmingham."

There had been established in Birmingham, for about
fifteen years, a society called the Birmingham Philoso-
phical Society. It was commenced by six gentlemen, of
whom I was one, in the year 1800, merely as a confined
private society, for the improvement of each other in the
sciences of electricity, pneumatics, mechanics, &c. This
little society was decided upon in consequence of a sale
of the effects of the Marquis of Donegal, at Fisher-
wick, near Lichfield, in which catalogue was advertised
— " A complete new air pump, with very extensive appa-
ratus to exemplify the newest experiments, packed in a
very large mahogany case with cloth divisions, never
having been unpacked.^*

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1816. " A complete electrical machine, with very extensive
apparatus, adapted for every known experiment, quite
new, and never having been unpacked/'

We purchased these philosophical apparatus, and
hired a room, and met weekly to experiment, confining
our meetings, during the first few months, to pneumatics,
electricity, and mechanics, which naturally led to a thii-st
for information in the other sciences, as geology, mine-
ralogy, metallurgy, chemistry, &c. This could not be
accomplished, merely as a beginning, without ample funds,
therefore, in January, 1803, we increased our society to
twenty members, or fellows, each paying the sum of
twelve guineas to the treasurer, and an annual subscrip-
tion of four guineas, and the society to be called ** The
Birmingham Philosophical Society.** The rules, which
were printed, consisted of twenty clauses.

Rule I. was — ** That the number of members shall be
limited to twenty." It consisted of

Walter W. Capper John Petty Dearman

Samuel Lloyd William Cope

Thos. Robinson, jun. Charles Plimley

George Barker William Francis

John Blount Thomas Welch

Edward Thomason Richard Lawrence

James Woolley J. Johnstone, M.D.

Robert Bree, M.D. George Freer

E. M. Noble Samuel Dickenson

William Whitmore Francis Rogers, M.D.

Rule III. '* That this Society shall have two sessions
in the year. The first from the third Monday in Janu-
ary to the last Monday in May ; and the second to com-
mence the first Monday in September, and to terminate
the second Monday in December.**

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Rule XI. " That every member shall, in his turn, 1816.
(which turn shall be determined by the quorum) lecture
upon some philosophical subject, to be chosen by himself,
and approved of by the quorum of the committee/'

I'his was the state of the society in 1803. The appli-
cations for admittance soon became so numerous, that it
was increased to the numb^ of about two hundred ; a
lar^e toilding was purchased, and a theatre added to it,
with a gallery that would, with the floor, accommodate
above three hundred. The seats were crimson cushioned,
and it became the fashion even for the ladies to attend,
and the meetings were generally filled to overflowing.
The annual income arising from subscriptions in the year
1812 was between £700 and £800. I delivered a lecture
in my turn upon the steam engine, the vitrification of
coloured glass, several on mineralogy, and this year I
delivered a lecture upon the diamond.

Nmember^ 1816.

A Lecture delivered hy Edward Thomason, a Fellow
of the Birmingham Philosophical Society^ called the
Philosophical Institution.

Our lecture for this evening win be on the subject of
Mineralogy. I have already given four lectures upon
this brandi of science.

The Isty an Introduction to Mineralogy in general.

The @d, on the Generic Characters of Fossils.

The 3d» on the External Characters of Fossils.

The 4th, on Chrystallography, or regular forms of

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1816. And, in continuity of the science, I arrived at that
hranch called the Constituent Principles of Fossils ; that
is, we should decompose and chemically analyze fossils to
discover their constituent principles ; for, as simple com-
bustihle substances constitute the first order of classifica-
tion, how are we to know where to place the diamond if
we are unacquainted with its constitution ?

When we wish to class natural bodies, we must
necessarily seek some principle by which this determU
nation shall be regulated ; but this principle must like-
wise exist in the nature of these bodies, because their
order or succession must be natural

We have now to examine where these relations occur
in natural bodies ; but we find a diflference in them, for
they resolve themselves into two principal kinds, of
which the relations of the one, meaning plants^ exist in
their formation^ or mode of aggregation ; whilst fossils,
in their mode of constitution, or combination of their
constituent principles.

It is true both are as natural bodies aggregated, and
their parts chemically constituted.

But plants are aggregated of parts diflferent from each
other, called organs, in which their relations exist ;
fossils, on the contrary, are aggregated of wholly simple
and uniform parts, and their relations, therefore, cannot
exist in their aggregation, but must necessarily be found
in their constitution.

As a proof of this, if a plant be divided into any possible
number of small parts, neither of these single parts can
be said to constitute the same plant, because each of the
single parts no longer possesses the same relation which
constituted this whole to this plant. It is on the contrary
with fossils, for if a fossil be divided, each of its parts.

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even the smallest atom which can possibly be obtained 1816.
by mechanical division, will still and ever be the same

But when a fossil is chemically resolved into its con-
stituent principles, each single constituent principle will
no longer form the samejbssilt becauses it possesses not
the same relation which it possessed by its constitution.
For instance, if cinnabar (red sulphurate of mercury)
be resolved into quicksilver and sulphur^ which are its
constituent parts, neither of these constituent principles
can be said to form the same fossil of whose constitution
it before formed a part. The relations of fossils must,
of course, necessarily exist in their constitution.

It is, therefore, fortunate for botanists and geologists,
that, on the subjects of botany and geology, they can
immediately find the relations of the exterior of these
bodies, and when they class them according to their con-
formation, or the association of their external parts, they,
at the same time, also describe their external characters,
and thus accomplish both together.

Mineralogists, on the contrary, have a very different
task, for, in the^r^^ place, in order to class fossils, they
must determine their constitution by the result of
chemical investigation ; and, in the second place, in
order to describe them, they must discover their natural
external characters. The exteraal characters I have
already explained in our former lectures.

The lecture this evening will be only the commence-
ment of a series upon the constitution or constituent
principles of fossils, for there are about 350 distinct
specimens to be examined, by chemical analysis, before
we can arrive at the clear method for arrangement or
classification for the cabinety viz : —

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1816« 1. Earthy substances — such as limes, which

constitute .... 76 species

2. Strontian • - - - 2

3. Barytes - - - - 5

4. Magnesia - - - - 24

5. Zircone - - - - 2

6. Glucine - - - - 3

7. Alumine - - - - 46

8. SUex 48

9* Saline substances - - - 9

10. Inflammable substances - - 25

11. Metallic substances - - - 96

12. Rocks- . - . -22

Total - . - 358

It will be seen, then, that to exemplify about 360
species will occupy a period of several lectures.

And my motive for selecting only one of these substances
to lecture upon and explain this evening is, because

Online LibraryQuébec (Province). LegislatureSessional papers → online text (page 7 of 25)