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and judgment with which all his works were executed una der his own eye, and by artists for the most part of bis own forming, have turned the current in this branch of commerce ; for, before his time, England imported the finier earthen wares; but for more than twenty years past, she has exported them to a very great annual amount, the whole of which is drawn from the earth, and from the industry of the inhabitants; while the national taste bas been improved, and its reputation raised in foreign countries.
It was about 1760 that he began his improvements in the Staffordshire potteries, and not only improved the composition, forms, and colours of the old wares, but likewise invented, in 1763, a new species of ware, for wbich he obtained a patent, and which being honoured by her majesty's approbation and patronage, received the name of queen's ware. Continuing his experimental researches, Mr. Wedgwood afterwards invented several other species of earthen-ware and porcelain, of which the principal are : 1. A terra cotta ; resembling porphyry, granite, Egyptian pebble, and other beautiful stones of the siliceous or crystalline order. 2. Basaltes, or black ware; a black porcelain biscuit of nearly the same properties with the natural stone, receiving a high polish, resisting all the acids, and bearing without injury a very strong fire. 3. White porcelain biscuit; of a smooth was-like appearance, of similar properties with the preceding. 4. Jasper ; a white porcelain of exquisite beauty, possessing the general properties of basaltes; together with the singular one of receiving through its wbole substance, from the admixture of metallic calces, the same colours which those calces give to glass or enamels in fusion; a property possessed by no porcelain of ancient or modern composition. 5. Bamboo, or cane-coloured biscuit porcelain, of the same nature as the white porcelain biscuit. And 6. A porcelain biscuit remarkable for great hardness, little inferior to that of agate; a property which, together with its resistance to the strongest acids, and its impenetrability to every known liquid, renders it well adapted for the formation of mortars, and many different kinds of chemical vessels. The above six distinct species of ware, together with the queen's ware first noticed, have increased by the industry and ingenuity of different manufacturers, and particularly by Mr. Wedgwood and his son, into an almost endless variety of forms for ornament and use. These, variously painted and em
bellished, constitute nearly the whole of the present fine earthen-wares and porcelains of English manufacture.
Such inventions have prodigiously increased the number of persons employed in the potteries, and in the traffic and transport of their materials from distant parts of the kingdom: and this class of manufacturers is also indebted to him for much mechanical contrivance and arrangement in their operations; his private manufactory having had, for thirty years and upward, all the efficacy of a public work of experiment. Neither was he unknown in the walks of philosophy. His communications to the royal society shew a mind enlightened by science, and contributed to procure him the esteein of scientific men at home and throughout Europe. His invention of a thermometer for ineasuring the higher degrees of heat employed in the various arts, is of the greatest importance to their promotion, and will add celebrity to his name.
At an early period of his life, seeing the impossibility of extending considerably the manufactory be was engaged in on the spot which gave bim birth, without the advantages of inland wavigation, he was the proposer of the Grand Trunk canal, and the chief agent in obtaining the act of parliament for making it, against the prejudices of the landed interest, which at that time were very strong. The Grand Trunk canal is ninety miles in length, uniting the rivers Trent and Mersey; and branches have been since made from it to the Severn, to Oxford, and to many other parts; with also a communication with the grand junction canal from Braunston to Brentford. In the execution of this vast scheme, he was assisted by the late ingenious Mr. Brindley, whom he never mentioned but with respect. By it he evabled the manufacturers of the inland part of Staffordshire and its neighbourhood, to obtain from the distant shores of Devonshire, Dorsetshire, and Kent, those materials of which the Staffordshire ware is composed ; affording, at the same time, a ready conveyance of the manufacture to distant countries, and thus not only to rival, but undersell, at foreign markets, a commodity which has proved, and must continue to prove of infinite advantage to these kingdoms; as the ware, when formeil, owes its value almost wholly to the labour of the honest and ivdustrious poor. Still farther to promote the interest and benefit of his neighbourhood, Mr. Wedgwood planned and carried into execution, a turnpike-road, ten miles in length, through that part of Staffordshire, called the pottery; thus opening another source of traffic, if, by frost or other impediment, the carriage by water should be interrupted, His pottery was near Newcastle-under-Lyne, in Staffordshire, where he built a village called Etruria, from the resemblance which the clay there dug up bears to the ancient Etruscan earth.
Ou one occasion he stept forward in favour of general trade, when, in his opinion, Mr. Pitt's propositions for adjusting the commercial intercourse between Great Britain and Ireland, threatened to be of very pernicious consequence to the British manufacturers. He was, therefore, in 1786, the founder and chief promoter of an association in London, called “ The General Chamber of the Manufacturers of Great Britain.” Mr. Wedgwood was very assiduous in writing and printing upon this great national subject, and in consequence of so firm an opposition the propositions were abandoned.
Mr. Wedgwood closed a life of useful labour, on January 3, 1795, in his sixty-fourth year. Having acquired a large fortune, his purse was always open to the calls of charity, and to the support of every institution for the public good. To the poor he was a benefactor in the most enlarged sense of the word, and by the learned he was bighly respected for his original genius and persevering industry in plans of the greatest national importance. He had been for many years a fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies.'
WEEVER, or WEAVER, (John), an industrious antiquary, is supposed to have been born in Lancashire in 1576; but the exact place of his birth does not appear to have been ascertained by his biographers. He was educated at Queen's college, Cambridge, where he was adiniited April 30, 1594, under doctor Robert Pearson, archdeacon of Suffolk, and shortly after went abroad in search of antiquities, a study to which he was peculiarly attached. He appears to have been at Liege and at Rome. At his return to England he travelled over must parts of that country, and of Scotland, under the protection and encouragement of sir Robert Cotton and the learned Selden. In 1631 he published his “ Funeral Monuments," and the next year died at his house in Clerkenwell-close, aged
I Gent. Mag. vol. LXV.
fifty-six. He was buried in St. James's, Clerkenwell, with an inscription, in Strype's Survey. The following epitaph is of his own composition :
Lancashire gave me breath,
A place with him in Heaven, Wood states him to have been a man of very diminutive size, and accuses bim of being “ too credulous in many matters.”
Weever's “Funeral Monuments” is a work of great information. It contains a variety of the most useful and entertaining matter, which must have cost the author much labour, but which he has not, as some say, executed with the greatest fidelity and diligence, being indeed very deficient in point of accuracy, especially in the numeral letą ters and figures. The title of the work is, “Ancient Fvnerall Monvments within the Viited Monarchie of Great Bri. taine, Ireland, and the islands adiacent, with the dissolved monasteries therein contained : their founders, and what eminent persons baue beene in the same interred, etc. Intermised and illustrated with variety of historicall observations, annotations, and briefe notes, extracted out of approued authors, infallible records, lieger bookes, charters, rolls, old manuscripts, and the collections of iudicious antiquaries, etc. : composed by the studie and trauels of John Weever. Spe labor levis. London, printed by Thomas Harper, 1631. And are to be sold by Lawrence Sadler, at the signe of the Golden Lion in Little Britaine.” Prefixed is an engraved title by Cecill : it contains pp. 871, exclusive of the dedication to king Charles, epistle to the reader, and index; and is illustrated with wood-cuts. The author dates his epistle “ from my house in Clerkenwell-close, this 28th of May, 1631.” It appears that, had he lived, he intended to have published Modern Monumental Inscriptions, as a companion to his former work, of which a second edition appeared 1661, Lond. folio, with a head of Weever, and a third in 1766, 4to, with some improvements, by the rev. William Tooke, F.R.S. There are many of bis original MSS. in the library of the Society of Antiquaries, and he is supposed to have been the author
ursuits, particol, the principal porn in 1726.
of a “History of Christ in verse," noticed in the Censura Literaria.?
WEISSE (Christian Felix), a modern German poet and miscellaneous writer of great fame in his country, was a native of Saxony, where he was born in 1726. He appears to have devoted the principal part of his life to literary pursuits, particularly poetry, the drama, and the principles of education. He obtained the place of electoral receiver for the circle of Upper Saxony, which probably made his circunstances easy, while it did not interrupt his numerous dramatic and other compositions. He died at Leipsic, Dec. 15, 1804, in the seventy-ninth year of his age. He wrote a great many tragedies and comedies, the former of which are esteemed by his countrymen equal to those of Racine, and his comedies had great success, although the German critics give the preference to his comic operas. They also speak in the highest terms of his Anacreontic odes, bis Ainazonian songs, and his translation of Tyrtæus. He was a long time editor of the “ Library of the Belles Lettres,” a much esteemed German literary journal. He published also a periodical work from 1776 to 1782, called the “ Friend of Children,” collected afterwards into volumes, and consisting of many interesting articles calculated to promote a love of virtue and of instruction in young minds. lo this he has had several imitators; and Berquin's " Ami des enfans” is said to be little more than a translation or imitation of Weisse's work. He published , also “ The correspondence of the family of the Friend of children,” in a periodical form, but which is said to be a new edition, in a more convenient shape, of his preceding work.
WELCHMAN (EDWARD), a learned English divine, was the son of John Welchman of Banbury in Oxfordshire. He was born about 1665, and became a coinmoner of Magdalen hall in 1679. He took his degree of bachelor of arts in April 1683, was admitted probationer fellow of Merton college in 1684, and master of arts in June 1688. After entering into holy orders, he was presented by the society of Merton college to the rectory of Lapworth, with which he held that of Solihull in Warwickshire. He be
| Gough's Topography.-Ath. Ox. vol. 1.-Gent. Mag. vols. LVIII. LXXVI. and LXXVII.--Warton's Hist. of Poetry.-Censura Literaria, vol. II.--Cole's MS. Atbenæ in Brit. Mus.
? Dict. Hist.