Buckingham, Marquis of, 1 tidal letter from.
Bunt, Thomas Gamlen (1794-1872). He died on 1st June 1872 at his home at 7 Nugent Place in the city of Bristol. Little of Bunt's early or private life is known. The eldest son of Thomas Bunt and Anna Gamlen of Tiverton, he was quiet an unassuming, a man of 'retiring habits' ([Obituary], p.6) who 'shunned notoriety and cultivated but a limited circle of acquaintance' ('The late Mr. Bunt', p.5). He was also of strict, even severe, religious faith. He opened a timber and land surveying business on Small Street Court in Bristol in 1827, executing surveys for private and government contractors such as the course of the Bristol & Exeter railway in 1834. He revised and expanded Abraham Crocker's text on land surveying in 1841, principally as a guide for students. He married in 1843 and had no children.
Though Bunt's principal vocation was land surveying, he spent much of his leisure time in scientific and mechanical pursuits. Two friends, Dr Alfred Day and Mr William C. Burder, the author of Architectural Antiquities of Bristol (1851) and Meteorology of Clifton (1863) contributed to Bunt's early interest in science. In 1832 Bunt constructed a 'Planetarium', which demonstrated the positions and nodes of the planetary orbits, their distance from the sun, and predicted the transits of Mercury and Venus. William Whewell would later write flatteringly of Bunt's invention, showing it to both John Herschel and George Biddell Airy (Whewell Papers, R.6.20135 ). Its initial notice in a lecture by the Revd Lant Carpenter, a founding member of the Bristol Literary and Philosophical Society, first introduced Bunt to Bristol scientific culture.
The Bristol Literary and Philosophical Society was attached to the Bristol Institution, a highly exclusive and notoriously aloof body with membership requiring the purchase of £25 shares. As shares dwindled in the 1830s, the membership became more democratised and instrument makers, booksellers and others gained access. Bunt was nominated 29 November 1832 and unanimously elected an 'associate' of the Society on 14 February 1833. Associates did not have to pay the annual subscription of two guineas, but still had full access and free admission to all parts of the Bristol Institution except on special occasions when tickets were required. Bunt assisted in the installation of scientific instruments for the Institution, and was eventually introduced, through the Curator of the Museum, Samuel Stutchbury, tot he study of tides.
The range of the tide in the Bristol Channel is the second highest in the world, and as commercial ships grew in size and acquired increasingly deeper hulls, their entrance into the Bristol docks up the River Avon became more and more treacherous. By the late eighteenth century, Liverpool had overtaken Bristol as the leading port on Britain's west coast, largely owing to the severe tides in the River Avon. The Bristol Institution took an early interest in tidal studies because most of its early members made their living through the port of Bristol; they were intent on keeping the port safe and open to river navigation. When John William Lubbock and William Whewell began their tide investigations in the early 1830s, Samuel Stutchbury hired Captain James Shirreff of the Royal Navy to install a self-registering tide gauge on the rive Avon. Shirreff placed the tide gauge on the property of Richard Bright FRS and founding member of the Bristol Institution, and placed the maintenance of the gauge under the care of Bunt. Bunt helped with its initial construction, but found it wanting in measuring the massive tide variations near Bristol. Bunt was a clever mechanician, and as he would often do with surveying instruments, he decided to build his own machine based on his own design.
He erected his own improved version of a self-registering tide gauge on the property of the Society of Merchant Venturers at the Hotwells a mile below Bristol in 1837. The instrument was made locally in Bristol. The wheel of the cylinder was constructed by Mr Muston, a chronometer and clockmaker, and all of the principal parts by Mr Braham, a mathematical instrument maker living in Bristol. Bunt's improved version also measured the time of the tide, the direction of the wind and the barometric pressure. It was Bunt's gauge that was copied and recopied, and eventually erected at several ports in Britain and as far away as India and South Africa. According to Whewell, it was 'incomparably the most accurate and complete of any that has yet been employed' (Whewell Papers, R.6.206), and he had a description of Bunt's gauge published in the Philosophical Transactions in 1838. The Bristol Industrial Museum has a beautiful model of Bunt's gauge on display, and a small model is on display at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London.
Bunt used the data from his tide gauge to construct tide tables for the port of Bristol, filing a commercial void left by the death of the previous tide table calculator, Mr Willett. Bunt's name was widely known among those who made their living through the port of Bristol as the author of 'Bunt's Tide Tables'. Using Whewell's researches as the theoretical foundation of his tables, Bunt undertook a complete overhaul of the Bristol predictions, incorporating the parallax and declination of the sun and moon as well as the diurnal inequality. As with many of the global, geophysical sciences in the early Victorian era, however, the influence between theorist and calculator worked both ways, as the natural philosophers needed accurate, local data to test their theories. Bunt was introduced to Whewell by Samuel Stuchbury in October 1835, and began extended and extensive correspondence with him until Whewell's death in 1866.
Bunt's self-registering tide gauge added significantly to early Victorian tidal theory. It recorded the tides throughout their rise and fall for extended periods of time, and, once duplicated, standards were set and tidal curves compared. Bunt had the added advantage that, in reading the tides directly from his tide gauge, his results were already in the form of curves. He was therefore in a propitious position to use and even advance upon Whewell's Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1840). Bunt's methods were so important that Whewell quoted Bunt in full in his 'Researches on the tides - Ninth Series', read before the Royal Society on 14 June 1838 and published in the Transactions that same year. George Biddell Airy, when discussing Whewell's method of curves in his article on 'Tides and Waves' in the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana p369 (494), quoted not Whewell, but Whewell's quoting of Bunt. Perhaps the most telling testimony of Bunt's scientific contributions is Whewell's relentless lobbying for funds from the British Association to hire Bunt as a tide calculator.
Whewell was quite successful in acquiring grants from the British Association, and he used most of the monies to hire Bunt to 'discuss' not only the Bristol tide observations, but also those of Plymouth, Portsmouth and many others arriving in the Hydrographic Office from all around the world. Bunt proved an excellent calculator, advancing on most of Whewell's methods and suggesting new research topics. In January 1841 Bunt suggested to Whewell that they compare the height of the tides with atmospheric pressure. Bunt found the barometric effect, and through the use of Whewell's method of residuals, was able to give its mathematical proportion. He also determined that the contemporaneous barometric effect should be used, not, as with other inequalities, those preceding the day of high water. In 1866, the year of Whewell's death, G. B. Airy read Bunt's paper on the diurnal inequality of the tides to the Royal Society of London. The paper, published the following year in the Philosophical Transactions, corrected John William Lubbock's earlier researches that suggested the diurnal inequality was 'inappreciable' on the coasts of England (Lubbock, p. 40). In 1867 the British Association set up a committee to improve the harmonic analysis of tides under the leadership of Sir William Thomson. Owing to his interest and publications on the tides, Bunt served as a member of the committee.
Bunt's previous work as Whewell's calculator, his obvious mechanical and mathematical acumen, and his own experience as a land surveyor also led him to be employed on levelling operations conducted under the supervision of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS). In 1834 the BAAS voted the sum of £500 to determine the permanence of the earth's surface and to find the level of the sea. The money went unspent, and was voted again in 1835 and in 1836. That year the BAAS held their meeting in Bristol, and, under Whewell's highly favourable recommendation, they selected Bunt to perform the levelling. Finding the level of the sea was one of the motivating factors initiating governmental funding of the science of the tides, as a constant zero point was needed for levelling operations, including the Ordnance Survey of Britain and Ireland, and for the construction of canals and railroads. Sailors and surveyors took the level of the sea to be low water, an indefinite level that varies by more than twenty feet on different parts of the British coast. Through Bunt's meticulous levelling operations, he found that the mean tide level should be used as the level of the sea. Though this result had been surmised previously by Whewell and others, it had yet to be confirmed from accurate data from several different places. Whewell noted the practical implications of Bunt's surveying work in his address to the British Association. One no longer had to survey between two points perhaps separated by hundreds of miles. Accurate levels between two distances near the sea could be made by examining the tides for a fortnight, determining the mean level of the tide, and continuing the survey inland to the desired points.
Like William Radcliff Birt or Joseph Foss Dessiou, Bunt represents those calculators and surveyors who worked as 'associate labourers' for the theorists, discussing the data and suggesting new research topics. They were the first to bring data to the natural philosophers, and also the first to apply the results to the construction of tables and thus to the testing of theory. Bunt faithfully attended the meetings of the Bristol Institution - though not as a member, but always as an 'associate' - was a lifetime member of the British Association, but rarely decked the halls of the Royal Society. Between 1836 and 1845 Whewell secured hundreds of pounds sterling for Bunt's tidal computations and levelling operations. His scientific interests were not limited, however, to these researches; he also was versed in musical theory and an accomplished horologist.
Bunt died of old age in June 1872. His scientific instruments and personal belongings, which included brass transit instruments and two balances of his own design along with numerous letters from William Whewell, George Biddell Airy, Sir Francis Beaufort and John William Lubbock, were bequeathed to his brother-in-law George Pope, but have not been recovered. Over sixty letters from Bunt to William Whewell concerning tides and levelling operations are housed in the Whewell Papers, Trinity College, Cambridge. Numerous letters between Bunt and Airy are located in the Royal Greenwich Observatory archives, and correspondence between Bunt and Sir Francis Beaufort in the Hydrographic Office, Taunton.
by Michael S. Reidy PhD.
(1806-1872) Staff Commander RN. Compiled the first published Azimuth tables, later
completed as Brown's. Upon Dessiou's retirement from the Hydrographic Office in
about 1847, Burdwood succeeded him as naval assistant. Then when Ross died in
1853, Beaufort strongly recommended that Burdwood should succeed Ross, with an increased annual stipend of £200. He computed tide-tables for the English and
Bushby, G. A. Officiating Secretary to the East India Company.
Bushey, M. 1f
Bywater, Thomas 7f
Campbell, Colin 1f
Campbell, Capt. William 1f
Carne, Joseph (1782-1858), geologist, born at Truro, Cornwall, was educated at the Wesleyan school, Keynsham, near Bristol. He married Mary Thomas. Elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 28 May 1818. Carne was an honorary member of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. He wrote 1 tidal letter.
Carpenter, Lant (1780-1840), unitarian divine, born at Kidderminster. Nicholas Pearsall, who adopted him, sent him to school at Stourbridge, and then in Kidderminster. In 1797 Carpenter entered the dissenting academy at Northampton. In 1798 Carpenter with entered Glasgow College, his studies there, interrupted at the outset by an attack of rheumatic fever, lasted till 1801. He took the arts course (but did not graduate), adding chemistry and anatomy, for he had a scientific turn, and at one time thought of combining the duties of a physician and a dissenting minister. He accepted the offer of a librarianship at the Liverpool Athenæum. He brought out in 1806 a popular manual of New Testament geography. Applying to Glasgow in 1806 for the degree of M.A. by special grace, he was at once made LL.D. He was one of the chief organisers of the Bristol Literary and Philosophical Institution in 1822. He was drowned on the night of 5 April 1840 while going by steamer from Leghorn to Marseilles. He married Anna Penn. Of Carpenter there is an excellent portrait prefixed to his ‘Memoirs;’ but perhaps the best likeness of him is a small porcelain bust. He wrote 1 tidal letter.
Cerquero, Don Jose Sanchez (1784-1850) entered very young into the Spanish naval service. He was actively engaged during the war; but his whole leisure, from boyhood up to his appointment, in 1816, to a subordinate post in the observatory of San Fernando, was devoted to the study and application of mathematics. In 1825, he was promoted to be Director of the Observatory, and immediately undertook the task of bringing it up to the existing state of science. For this purpose he came to England, and made a close inspection of the Observatory at Greenwich, an account of which was found among his manuscripts; he also visited France and Belgium. In the midst of the cares which the choice and mounting of instruments threw upon him, he undertook the improvement of the Nautical Almanac, and the extension of its size. In addition to the almanac, he wrote on the various methods for obtaining latitude at sea by observation of altitudes, on the formulae for reduction of observations, and on the calculation of eclipses. He was an elegant scholar, and well acquainted with English, French, Italian, and German He wrote one tidal letter.
Challis, James (1803-1882), astronomer, was born at Braintree, Essex. From Mill Hill School he, in October 1821, entered Trinity College, Cambridge, as a sizar. Elected a scholar in 1824, he graduated in the following year as senior wrangler and first Smith's prizeman, and became fellow in 1826. Ordained in 1830 he held the college living of Papworth Everard until 1852, vacating, however, his fellowship by his marriage in 1831. On Airy's appointment as astronomer royal, he was elected, 2 Feb. 1836, his successor as Plumian professor of astronomy and experimental philosophy in the university, and became at the same time director of the Cambridge observatory, where he resided, and exercised a genial hospitality during twenty-five years. He resigned the latter post in 1861, but retained the Plumian professorship, and continued to live at Cambridge. He was re-elected to his fellowship in 1870.
Courteous in manner, kindly in disposition, simple and unassuming in character, Challis was nevertheless thrown into a position of intellectual antagonism to many of his most distinguished contemporaries by the peculiarity of his scientific views. A striking proof of the amiability of his disposition is afforded by the fact that he never lost consideration for an opponent, or allowed disagreement to degenerate into hostility. For some slight acerbity in the mode of carrying on a controversy with Mr. Adams in 1854 on points connected with the lunar theory (Phil. Mag.. viii. 98), he, fifteen years later, publicly expressed regret, while acknowledging the justice of the criticism he had then repudiated (Introduction to Principles, p. xxiv).
His aim was a lofty one. It was nothing less than the co-ordination of all the known facts of science under one general theory of physical action. Certain hydrodynamical theorems, which he believed himself to have demonstrated, admitted, in his firm conviction, of application to the observed laws of light, heat, gravity, molecular attraction, and electricity. The conclusion pointed to was that the physical forces are mutually related, because all are modes of pressure of the same ethereal medium. The work in which these views were most fully embodied, and for the sake of concentrating all his faculties on which he resigned, at some pecuniary inconvenience, his position at the observatory, was published in 1869, with the title, ‘Notes on the Principles of Pure and Applied Calculation; and Applications of Mathematical Principles to Theories of the Physical Forces.’ It cannot be said, however, to have reached its aim. A generalisation akin to, though of far wider scope than Newton's, rendering all physical phenomena mathematically deducible from a few simple laws, if attainable, has yet to be attained.
The early sets of lectures delivered by Challis as Plumian professor (of which a syllabus appeared in 1838) were devoted to hydrodynamics, optics, and pneumatics, special attention being directed to the mathematical theories of light and sound. In 1843 he published a syllabus of a course on practical astronomy, which he continued to deliver until within a few years of his death, and issued from the University Press in 1879 with the title ‘Lectures on Practical Astronomy and Astronomical Instruments.’ This work was designed for general utility, but applied more particularly to the instruments existing at Cambridge. It is pervaded by the effort towards accuracy which distinguished Challis as a practical astronomer.
The chief scope of his twenty-five years' labours at the Cambridge observatory lay in determinations of the places of sun, moon, and planets, with the immediate object of increasing tabular accuracy, and the more remote one of testing the absolute and undisturbed prevalence of the Newtonian law. He followed the methods of his predecessor, but devised valuable improvements. The collimating eye-piece, amended from Bohnenberger's design at his request by William Simms, was introduced by him in 1850, and quickly adopted at Greenwich and elsewhere (Lectures, p. 69). He invented in 1849 the ‘Transit-Reducer,’ distinguished with a bronze medal at the exhibition of 1851 (ib. p. 387; Monthly Notices, x. 182). Also, in 1848, the ‘Meteoroscope,’ a kind of altitude-and-azimuth instrument in the form of a theodolite, designed for ascertaining the varying dimensions and positions of the zodiacal light, for measuring auroral arches, and determining rapidly the points of appearance and disappearance of shooting-stars (Report Brit. Assoc. 1848, pt. ii. p. 13).
He was admitted a member of the Royal Astronomical Society on 8 April 1836, of the Royal Society on 9 June 1848, and was appointed one of a committee of three to superintend the publication of the British Association Star-Catalogue after Baily's death in 1844. His contributions to scientific publications on various points connected with mathematics, physics, and astronomy numbered 225. He wrote 1 tidal letter.
Chazallon, Antoine-Marie-Rémi, (1802-1872) was born in Désaignes, where he also later died. He was educated at the Ecole Poltechnique of Paris, graduating in 1824 he became an ingénieur hydrographe. In 1842 he pioneered a form of harmonic analysis, this was 26 years before Kelvin's rigorous analysis. He created the French tide tables: Annuaire des marées des côtes de France por l'an 1839-1862. A member of the Bureau des longitudes and a candidate for l'Académie des sciences. He wrote one tidal letter. (David E. Cartwright, Remi Chazallon - a forgotten "ingenieur hydrographe", History of Oceanography, (2003), 15, 2-3.)
Chatham, Earl of, received 1 tidal letter.
Chevallier, Edgecumbe 1f
Children, John George (1777-1852), secretary of the Royal Society, was born at Ferox Hall, Tunbridge. He was educated at Eton and Queens' College, Cambridge, but left college in 1798 to marry a Miss Holwell. After her death Children travelled much, and studied mechanics and mineralogy, and in March 1807 was elected F.R.S. For experiments Children in 1828 received the Royal Institution medal. In 1816 Children accepted a post as librarian in the department of antiquities in the British Museum. He married his third wife, Mrs. Towers, after his second wife, Caroline Wise. In 1826-7, and again from 1830 to 1837, he was one of the secretaries of the Royal Society. For some years he was joint editor with R. Phillips of the ‘Annals of Philosophy,’ although his name never appeared on the title-page. He resigned his post at the British Museum in 1840, and occupied his closing years largely with astronomy. He received 1 tidal letter.
Christie, Samuel Hunter (1784-1865) mathematician, was born at 90 Pall Mall, London. He was educated at Walworth School in Surrey, where his great mathematical abilities were very early developed, his father entered him at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was admitted a sizar 7 Oct. 1800. In his third year he obtained a scholarship, and in 1805 took his degree of bachelor of arts as second wrangler and was bracketed as Smith's prizeman. Christie also threw himself with ardour into all the athletic amusements of the day; he inaugurated the Cambridge University boat club, and became captain of the grenadier company of university volunteers. In 1806 he was appointed third mathematical assistant at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. In 1812 he established the system of competitive examinations, but was unable fully to carry out his views in this and in other respects until his advancement to the post of professor of mathematics in 1838. Between 1806 and 1854, when Christie resigned the professor's chair, the Military Academy had been completely transformed owing to his energy. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 12 Jan. 1826, and served the office of secretary from 1837 to 1854, when, for the benefit of his health, he went to reside at Lausanne. He died at his residence, Ailsa Villa, Twickenham. He was twice married, first to Elizabeth Theodora Claydon, battler of Trinity College, Cambridge, and secondly Margaret Ellen Malcolm. He wrote 1 tidal letter.
Clarke, J. T. 3f
Clibborn, Edw. 1f
Coates, Thomas 3f 20t
Cohen, Lazarus of Exeter, wrote 2 tidal letters.
Coke, H. (fl. 1824) of the Admiralty Office wrote one letter to the BOL.
Colby, Thomas Frederick (1784-1852), major-general, and director of the ordnance survey. He was born at St. Margaret's-next-Rochester. His boyhood was passed at the family place, Rhosygilwen, near Newcastle Emlyn, South Wales, and at school at Northfleet, Kent, under the Rev. W. Crakelt, M.A., translator of Manduit's ‘Spherical Trigonometry,’ and adapter of various educational works. Thence he was transferred to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and passed out for the royal engineers before attaining the age of seventeen. His commissions were as follows: second lieutenant royal engineers, 2 July 1801; first lieutenant, 6 Aug. 1802; captain (second), 1 July 1807; brevet major, 19 July 1821; regimental lieutenant-colonel, 29 July 1825; regimental colonel, 10 Jan. 1837; major-general, 9 Nov. 1846.
At the beginning of the present century the system of triangulation carried on in 1784 and 1787 by General Roy, under the auspices of the Royal Society, for the geodetic connection of Greenwich and Paris observatories, and resumed after Roy's death by the board of ordnance for a survey of South Britain, had extended over the southern counties into Devonshire and Cornwall. It was becoming the custom to attach young engineer officers to the survey for a time to learn topographical drawing under the ordnance draughtsmen. Either in this way or through the good offices of his uncle, Colonel Hadden, royal artillery, at that time secretary to the master-general, young Colby attracted the notice of Major Mudge, director of the ordnance survey, who asked that he should be attached in some permanent manner to that duty. The request was granted the same day, 12 Jan. 1802, on which date commenced the future General Colby's connection with the ordnance survey, which ultimately extended over a period of forty-five years. Up to that date the British ordnance survey had helped little towards the solution of the great astronomical problem of the earth's figure, but the tardy completion of a new zenith-sector, a noble instrument, ordered by the board of ordnance from the famous maker, Ramsden, years before, induced Major Mudge to apply the projected extension northwards of the ordnance triangulation to the measurement of an arc of the meridian between Dunnose, Isle of Wight, and a station near the mouth of the Tees, and the young lieutenant's first services appear to have been in connection with the sector observations made at Dunnose in the summer of 1802. In December 1803, when on duty at Liskeard, Colby met with a fearful accident through the bursting of a pistol loaded with small shot with which he was practising, his left hand being so shattered as to necessitate amputation at the wrist, and part of the barrel or charge being permanently lodged in the skull, so as to seriously affect his health through life, and eventually to cause his death. Youth, a vigorous constitution, and the kind care of friends carried him through this trial, and he recovered sufficiently to resume his survey duties, and in the face of lifelong difficulties, which would have daunted any ordinary man, he persevered in his profession. In 1804 he was observing the pole star for azimuths at Beaumaris; in 1806 he was assisting Colonel Mudge in the measurement of a base-line on Rhuddlan Marsh, near St. Asaph, and in astronomical observations in Delamere Forest, Cheshire, and on the Yorkshire moors; later, again, he was selecting trigonometrical stations on the mountains in South Wales. The intervals were spent in the ordnance map office, in the Tower of London, in computing results and superintending the construction and engraving of the ordnance maps, the publication of which was, however, suspended during the continuance of the war. In 1811 appeared the third volume of ‘Trigonometrical Survey of England, An Account of the Trigonometrical Survey extending over the period 1800-1809 by Lieut.-colonel Mudge, Royal Artillery, and Capt. Colby, Royal Engineers,’ the first two volumes of the work containing accounts of the previous surveys reprinted from ‘Philosophical Transactions.’ Meanwhile, in July 1809, Colonel Mudge had been appointed lieutenant governor of the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and Colby became the chief executive officer of the survey.
In 1813 it was decided to extend the measurement of the meridional line between Dunnose and the mouth of the Tees into Scotland, in combination with a mineralogical survey entrusted to Dr. McCulloch. In that and the following year Colby and his chief assistant, James Gardner, were busily engaged in selecting stations in the south-west of Scotland, and observing from them with the great theodolite belonging to the survey. The Waterloo year brought extra work at the Tower map office, and the Scottish observations, completing the connection between Cumberland, Isle of Man, part of the north coast of Ireland and the south-west of Scotland as far as Ayr, were carried out by Gardner, but in 1816-17 Colby was again in the field carrying the triangulation round the eastern coast towards the Orkneys and Shetland, and in the latter year, in conjunction with Gardner, measured the base-line of Belhelvie Links, near Aberdeen, the only base-line in Scotland. He was also engaged in observations in Shetland with M. Biot, who had been deputed by the French Institute to make pendulum and other observations there in connection with the prolongation of the arc of the meridian, the measurement of which had been carried from the Balearic Isles, through France, to Dunkirk. Unfortunately, owing to petty causes, which have been discussed at some length by Colby's biographer (Portlock, Mem. of Colby, pp. 73-84), there was an utter want of harmony between the two observers. Colby, however, afterwards accompanied General Mudge to Dunkirk, and took part in the observations made, in conjunction with MM. Biot and Arago, with Ramsden's sector, which was set up in Dunkirk arsenal. In 1819 Colby was again engaged in Scotland, the season's work commencing, early in May, on Corrie Habbie, Banff, and ending in Caithness at the end of September. One of his subalterns, the late Lieutenant-colonel Dawson, has left some reminiscences of Colby's extraordinary activity and of the arduous character of the survey duties in the highlands (ib. pp. 131-53). During the summer, when exploring the eastern side of Inverness, Ross, and Caithness, and the mainland of Orkney, with a party of artillerymen, and afterwards the western sides of Ross and Skye with a fresh party, Colby traversed on foot 1,099 miles in forty-five consecutive days, including Sundays and other rest days, besides scaling many heights, as in the Coolin range in Skye, the ascent of which involved some mountaineering skill. While thus employed in Scotland Colby was made LL.D. of the university of Aberdeen and F.R.S. Edinburgh.
Early in 1820 General Mudge died, and the Duke of Wellington, then master-general of the ordnance, after consulting Sir Joseph Banks and other scientific authorities, appointed Colby to succeed him at the head of the survey (Mem. of Colby, pp. 106-7). On 13 April 1820 Colby became a fellow of the Royal Society of London. Later in the same year Lord Melville nominated him to a seat on the board of longitude, which he retained until the board was dissolved by act of parliament in 1828. He also became an associate and afterwards an honorary member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, in the proceedings of which he always continued to manifest active interest. Living constantly in London, then the headquarters of the survey, and possessing, in addition to his pay, moderate private means, he was a most untiring worker in the cause of science. His name appears among the proprietors of the London Institute, in Finsbury Circus, as early as 1818. He was one of the founders of the Royal Astronomical Society, and with Colonel Mark Beaufoy, Dr. Olinthus Gregory, Troughton, the mathematical instrument maker, and one or two more fellows of the Royal Society, was charged with the task of framing rules and regulations for its government. He was also one of the early members of the Athenæum Club. After General Mudge's death there was a cessation of the mountain work of the survey; but in 1821 Colby was employed in making observations in Orkney and Shetland, and on the two lone islets of Faira and Foula; and in 1821-3 he was deputed by the Royal Society, in conjunction with Captain H. Kater, late of 12th foot, an Indian geodesist of great experience, to co-operate with MM. Arago and Matthieu, acting on behalf of the French Institute, in verifying the observations made forty years previously for connecting the observations of Greenwich and Paris. The results are given in ‘Philosophical Transactions,’ 1828. To facilitate the observations across the Channel between Folkestone and Calais, Fresnel's compound lenses, then new to science, were used at night, and to Colby's notes thereupon, communicated to his friend Robert Stevenson, the engineer of the Bell Rock lighthouse, we owe the adoption of these lenses in British lighthouses (A. Stevenson, Treatise on Lighthouses, ii. 5, in Weale's series).
In 1824 a survey of Ireland was ordered after a very careful consideration of the subject before a select committee of the House of Commons, which recommended that the work should be entrusted to the ordnance (Parl. Reports, 1824, viii. 77, 79). The Duke of Wellington, as master-general, selected Colby to plan and execute the survey, and left the number and selection of persons to be employed thereon entirely to him (Wellington Supp. Despatches, iv. 219, 333). Into this, the great work of his life, Colby forthwith entered with all his energy and skill. Being intended to facilitate a general valuation of property throughout Ireland, with a view to secure a more equal distribution of local taxation, the survey was required to be so precise that the accuracy of the details should be unquestioned, while yet the cost was to be kept within reasonable limits. Colby determined to make it dependent on chain measurement, controlled by a very complete system of primary, secondary, and minor triangulation, allowing of the fixation of a trigonometrical point for each four hundred statute acres. He also decided to have the work carried on under direct official supervision, instead of by contracts with civil practitioners, a practice then largely followed in the ordnance survey of England. For this reason he adopted a military plan of organisation, and obtained the Duke of Wellington's approval of a plan for raising three companies of sappers and miners to be trained in survey duties. The cost of these three companies of 105 men each, who could at any time be made available for the ordinary service of the country, was defrayed out of the annual parliamentary grants for the survey.
The great difficulty at the outset was the want of a trained staff, training in such duties being a work of time. Hence the progress made was slow and unsatisfactory, and an idea arose that the methods adopted were too refined for the particular purpose in view (Wellington Supp. Despatches, iv. 331, 333). These representations led to the appointment of an engineer committee, with Sir James Carmichael Smyth at its head, which, after a vexatious inquiry, recommended the adoption of more rapid but less accurate methods than those in use.
To these results thus achieved must be added a very complete series of tidal observations, made under Colby's direction during the progress of the survey, at twenty-two different stations round Ireland, and extending over a period of two months. The astronomer royal, in a paper on the ‘Law of the Tides on the Coasts of Ireland,’ based on them, observed: ‘The circumstances of place, simultaneity, extent of plan, and conformity of plan appear to give them extraordinary value, and extent of time alone appears wanting to render them the most important series of tide observations that has ever been made’ (Philos. Trans. 1845, p. 1). Among other improvements introduced by Colby during its progress may be mentioned the now familiar process of electrotyping, whereby the maps can be reproduced from duplicate plates without wearing out the originals; the introduction of contours or equi-distant level lines on the six-inch maps. A monument was erected to him in St. James's cemetery, Liverpool.
Colby was a knight of Denmark, a distinction conferred in recognition of aid afforded by the ordnance survey to the Danish geodesists under Professor Schumacher; a LL.D. of the university of Aberdeen, a member of the Royal Irish Academy, fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, and of various learned societies of London and Dublin, and a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The best likeness of him is considered to be a bust in the ordnance map office, Southampton. He wrote 5 tidal letters and received 8 from Airy.
Collinson, Sir Richard (1811-1883), admiral, was a native of Gateshead. He entered the navy in December 1823, and in 1828 served as a midshipman of the Chanticleer with Captain Forster, in a surveying voyage round the coast of South America. In 1834 he was a mate of the Medea, one of the first steamers in the navy; was promoted in 1835, and appointed on 28 Sept. to the Sulphur, surveying vessel [see Beechey, Frederick William; Belcher, Sir Edward]. During the first Chinese war Collinson was employed as surveyor and pilot in seas and rivers till then unknown; and to his skill and ability was largely due the success of the operations both in the Canton river and in the Yang-tse-kiang. After commanding for some time the Bentinck brig on this service he was employed in the exact survey of the coast of China, from Chusan to Hongkong, the results of which afterwards formed the groundwork of the ‘China Pilot.’ He died at Ealing, and was buried at the adjacent hamlet of Perivale, where a monument to his memory has been erected by subscription. He wrote 1 tidal letter.
Conybeare, William Daniel (1815-1857), geologist and divine, was educated at Westminster and Christ Church. In connection with Sir Henry de la Beche he founded the Bristol Philosophical Institution and Museum. Conybeare's examination of the landslip at Culverhole Point, near Axmouth, in 1839, also illustrates his knowledge of physical science. He became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1832, and of the Geological Society of London in 1821. In 1842 Conybeare presented to the meeting of the British Association at Oxford a ‘Report on the Progress, Actual State, and Ulterior Prospects of Geological Science,’ in which he displayed the combined powers of the scholar and the man of science. He wrote 1 tidal letter.
Coode, Sir John (1816-1892), civil engineer, was born at Bodmin. He was educated at Bodmin Grammar School and after leaving school entered his father's office. In 1844 he set up in business for himself in Westminster as a consulting engineer, and remained there till 1847. In that year he was appointed resident engineer in charge of the great works at Portland harbour, which had been designed by Rendel. On the death of the latter in 1856 Coode was appointed engineer-in-chief, and retained that post until the completion of the work in 1872. This harbour provided the largest area of deep water of any artificial harbour in Great Britain, and was a work of the utmost national importance. The first stone of the great breakwater was laid by the prince consort on 25 July 1849, and the final stone was put in place by the prince of Wales in 1872, the work having therefore taken twenty-three years to complete and having cost about a million sterling. The honour of knighthood was conferred upon Coode in 1872 for his services in connection with this national undertaking.
While this work was going on Coode served as a member of the royal commission on harbours of refuge, and also drew out the plans for the harbour which was to be constructed in Table Bay, Cape Town, and for numerous other similar harbour works. He was consulted by several of the most important colonial governments, notably by those of the South African and Australian colonies, in reference to proposed harbour works, and he made several journeys to South Africa, Australia, and India in connection with the schemes upon which his advice was sought. In 1876 he was in Cape Colony and in Natal, and again in 1877, and in 1878 and 1885 he paid visits to Australia and New Zealand. Perhaps the harbour by which he will be best known after Portland is the great harbour of Colombo in Ceylon. This was commenced in 1874 and completed in 1885, and has been of enormous benefit to the colony of Ceylon and to the eastern trade of the empire. An account of the harbour is given in a paper written by the resident engineer (Proc. Inst. Civil Eng. lxxxvii. 76). The following other harbour works may be mentioned among the great number for which Coode was responsible: Waterford harbour, Portland harbour (Australia), Fremantle harbour, and plans for the Dover commercial harbour.
He was a member of the royal commission on metropolitan sewage discharge (1882-4), and of the international commission of the Suez Canal; on the latter he served from 1884 till his death in 1892. After he returned from his second visit to the Australian colonies he was made a K.C.M.G. in 1886, in recognition of the distinguished services he had rendered to the empire.
Coode was probably the most distinguished harbour engineer of the nineteenth century; it would be difficult to estimate too highly the value to the trade and mutual intercourse of the different parts of the British empire, of the harbour and river improvement schemes in every part of the world for which he was responsible.
He was elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1849, served for many years on the council, and was president from May 1889 to May 1891. He was also an active member of the Royal Colonial Institute, and sat on its council from 1881 till his death.
Corteen, Robert (1791-1853), was a remarkably clever and versatile man. Born in Maughold, his boyhood was spent as a clerk in an advocate's office at Ramsey, Isle of Man. He became a teacher of mathematics and navigation. For many years he made calculations for Jefferson's and other almanacs, which, like those of his successor, William Goldsmith, were remarkable for their accuracy. He was the first to publish a complete list of the lighthouses round the British coast, with their bearings, nature of their lights, &c., and, notwithstanding his multifarious occupations, he found time to acquire a knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. A. W. Moore, Manx Worthies, 1901; Farger's Directory. He wrote two tidal letters and received two.
Curwin, John, (fl. 1828) wrote to Pond, at the Board of Longitude, from Bombay.
Dall, P. 1f 1t
(1792-1868) Mémoire sur les Marées des Côtes de France. Connaissance
des Temps 1834
Davis, Charles Henry (1807-1877) :
a naval officer in charge of the coast survey from Rhode Island north and
published "A Memoir upon the Geological Action of the Tidal and Other Currents
of the Ocean" (Memoirs American Academy, vol.IV, n.s. 1849). and "The Law
of the Deposit of the Flood Tide" (Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge,
vol.III, 1852), supervised publication of the American Ephemeris and Nautical
Almanac. He wrote1 tidal letter and received 1.
: a naval officer in charge of the coast survey from Rhode Island north and published "A Memoir upon the Geological Action of the Tidal and Other Currents of the Ocean" (Memoirs American Academy, vol.IV, n.s. 1849). and "The Law of the Deposit of the Flood Tide" (Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, vol.III, 1852), supervised publication of the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac. He wrote1 tidal letter and received 1.