Henry Bell, a Scottish inventor, born at Tor-phichen, near Linlithgow, April 7, 1767, died March 14, 1830. A millwright by trade, he went to London when his apprenticeship expired, and while in Mr. Rennie's service conceived the idea of propelling vessels by steam, and in 1800 and 1803 made unsuccessful applications to the admiralty for assistance. He then returned to Scotland, and in 1811 launched a boat on the Clyde, making a steam engine for it with his own hands. The first trial took place on the Clyde in January, 1812. Three-horse power was successfully applied at first, subsequently increased to six. His first boat is preserved in the museum of Glasgow university. The city of Glasgow settled a small annuity on him, and the British government gave a small pension to his widow. A monument to his memory has been erected on the rock of Dunglass, a promontory on the Clyde, 2 1/2 m. from Dumbarton.
Henry Brooke Parnell Congleton, lord, a British statesman and author, born July 3, 1776, died June 8, 1842. His father was Sir John Parnell, chancellor of the Irish exchequer, who was second in descent from the poet Parnell. He entered parliament at an early age, and for nearly 35 consecutive years represented the constituencies of Queens county, Ireland, and Dundee, Scotland, in the house of commons. In 1841 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Congleton. He belonged to the most liberal section of the whig party, and was a cabinet minister under the Grey and Melbourne administrations. He was one of the first to advocate the repeal of the corn laws. He is the author of treatises on "The Principles of Currency and Exchange," "The Penal Laws against the Irish Catholics," "Paper Money, Banking, and Overtrading," "Financial Ke-form," etc. He suffered from alienation of mind in the latter part of his life, and died by his own hand.
Henry Cavendish, an English philosopher, born at Nice, Oct. 10, 1731, died in London, Feb. 24, 1810. He was a man of great wealth and of high attainments in chemistry and in general physics. He was the discoverer of the composition of water and of nitric acid, and proved that the electric spark will generate nitric acid from common air. He measured the density of the earth by direct comparison with balls of lead, and improved the modes of dividing astronomical instruments. He was the first chemical experimenter and discoverer in many important branches of that science. His writings may be found in the "Philosophical Transactions."
Henry Charles Fitzroy Somerset Beaufort, 8th duke of, an English soldier and politician, born in Paris, Feb. 1, 1824. He studied at Eton, and became successively aide-de-camp to Wellington, Hardinge, and the duke of Cambridge, retiring from active service in 1861 as lieutenant colonel. He was a tory member of parliament for Gloucestershire from 1846 to 1853, when on the death of his father, who had exercised great political influence by his immense wealth, he succeeded to the peerage.