Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Payne, published in 1637, the year she was launched. In this description, her length is stated at one hundred and twenty-eight feet, and her breadth at forty-eight: she had three flush decks, a forecastle, half-deck, quarter-deck, and round-house; and carried one hundred and seventy-six pieces of ordnance: she had five lanthorns, one of which would contain eleven persons standing upright; and eleven anchors, the largest weighing four thousand four hundred pounds.

The largest cables for men of war are made in an extensive Rope WALK, and on the lower part of the town is GUNPACK, containing vast quantities of cannon for the use of the navy, in tiers; there are often laid up eight thousand pieces of ordnance, besides innumerable mortars, shells, and other implements of destruction.

The military and civil branches of the Office of Ord. NANCE, have subsisted since the reign of George I. in this place, and have been very instrumental in its rapid increase of population. The nature of this institution has been so amply detailed in various publications, that it would be improper to dwell on the subject.

The Foundery for cannon, was originally at the back of Upper Moorfields, near Windmill Hill, at a place used afterwards as a Dissenting chapel by Mr. John Wesley. A dreadful accident happening there in consequence of recasting some cannon, in 1716, which had been previously mentioned by Mr. Andrew Schalch, a Swiss, from his experience in casting metals; that gentleman was sought out by public advertisement, and he was told that “ the Board of Ordnance had it in contemplation to erect a new foundery at a distance from the metropolis, and that through the representation which had been made of his ability, they of sered him a commission to make choice of any spot within twelve miles of London, for the erection of such a building, (having proper reference to the extensive nature of the works, and carriage of the heavy materials,) and also to engage him as superintendent of the whole concern.”

This proposal was too advantageous not to be readily accepted by Schalch, who immediately began his search for a proper place for the new establishment; and having inspected various spots, at length fixed on the Warren at Woolwich, as the most eligible situation. Here the new foundery was erected; and the first specimens of ordnance cast by Mr. Schalch, were so highly approved, that he was fixed in the situation of master founder, and continued to hold that office for about sixty years, when he retired to Charlton, having been assisted during the latter part of that term, by his nephew, Mr. Lewis Gaschlin; who, though more than eighty years old, is still employed in the arsenal, as principal modeller for the military repository. Mr. Schalch died in 1776, when about the age of ninety, and lies buried in the churchyard in this town: he had one daughter, who was married to general Belford, of the artillery. Some of the largest mortars now remaining in the arsenal, were cast under his direction, and have his name

them. His attention, andó scientific knowledge, were so successfully exerted, that not a single accident happened amidst all the hazardous processes in which he was engaged during the very long period they were dircted by him*. Thus rose the Royal ARSENAL, so stiled by his majesty George III. ·

The LABORATORY is under the care of a comptroller, and subordinate officers, and is appropriated for the making cartridges and fireworks for the use of thc navy.

The other structures in the arsenal are storehouses, workshops, in one of which is a planing machine, and offices of various descriptions. The number of artificers, labourers, and boys, employed in the various departments, is about three thousand ; exclusive of the convicts, for several of. fences against the public, belonging to one of the Hulks, which is stationed on the river, opposite to the arsenal: the other bulk lies before the dock yard. The convicts amount to about nine hundred; they are generally employed in the

* Beauties of England; extracted from Mr. Moser's Vestiges, &c.

upon them.

most

most laborious offices, as pile-driving, &c. under the care of proper persons *.

The ROYAL MILITARY ACADEMY is also under the comptrol of the Board of Ordnance; the master-general being always considered the governor of the academy, which is conducted at present by a professor of mathematics; a professor of fortification ; a professor of chemistry; mathematical masters; arithinetic, and other masters in the several branches of elegant education.

Though the building was erected about the year 1719, for the accommodation of the various branches of this establishment, the arrangements do not seem to have taken place till 1741, when George the Second, by warrants, dated on the thirtieth of April, and the eighteenth of November, directed the establishment to be for instructing persons belonging to the military part of the ordnance, in the several branches of the mathematics, fortifications, &c. proper to qualify them for the service of artillery, and the office of engineerst. Many improvements have been made in the institution, which has been particularly fortunate in the abilities of its mathematical professors; the first of whom, though prior to the regular establisment of the academy, was the rev. Dr. Derham. In 1743, Mr. Simpson was appointed. The present professor is the learned and venerable Charles Hutton, D.C.L. and F.R.S. The number of masters has been gradually increased with that of the pupils, who are called Cadets, and are of the most respectable families, amounting to about three thousand. " They must be four feet nine nches high at their admission, and sufficiently instructed in Latin grammar, and fractional arithmetic, to pass an examination; a further recommendation is a knowledge of the French tongue; the age of admission is from fourteen to sixteen, to which they are limited. An annual stipend of 451. 125. 6d. is immediately allowed to each of the young

* Beauties of England; extracted from Mr. Moser's Vestiges, &c. † Hutton's Philosophical and Mathematical Dictionary, Vol. I.

gentlemen,

gentlemen, as a sufficiency for every necessary, except linen. The new buildings for the academy have been recently erected by Mr. Wyatt, in a castellated form, at the expence of 150,0001. is furnished with a hall, and suitable apartments; it extends to the length of two hundred yards, and the principal front is towards the north.

" There is one particular in the design of this edifice," observes Mr. Brayley, in his description of this place *, “ which demands the severest reprehension. The inner extremities of the teaching rooms nearly unite in the middle of the building, but are prevented from actually doing so, by a staircase ascending from below, and opening into a sınall apartment, so disposed, that any person stationed in it, can overlook every part of the teaching rooms, as well the stations of the professors, as the desks of the scholars! This illiberal attempt to introduce a system of espionage into a national establishment, forcibly reminds a spectator, of general Bentham's plans for a penitentiary house, wherein the keeper's room was to be in the centre, and the other apartments so disposed in radii, that he could look into every one, whilst himself remained concealed to the honour of the magistracy, this design is said to have been rejected, because, “ inconsistent with the principles of British jurisprudence, and uncongenial to the feelings of Englishmen.” How striking the contrast! The professors are all men of liberal education and talent; and ought to be fully confided in, with respect to their sedulous application to the duties of their respective stations. If their conduct should really evince that they are undeserving of such confidence, let them be discharged; but let them not be irritated, and debased, by being rendered subject to answer accusations of which they know not the author."

The situation of this structure is on Woolwich ComMON, which commands an extensive and grand view down the river Thames: here is also seated THE BARRACKS. The Old Barracks belonging to Woolwich were built in 1706.

Beauties of England, Vol. VII. p. 535.

Those

Those we are now describing were constructed from the year 1783 to 1794; and consist of a principal front, which extends nearly four hundred, by a depth of two hundred and ninety yards, in which are six ranges of brick build. ings, united by an ornamental centre of stone, with Doric columns, the royal arms, and military trophies; four lower buildings fill up the divisions between each range: these have also stone fronts, with Doric colonnades, and a balJustrade above. These contain a library, and book room, for the officers, a mess room, a guard room, and a chapel ; but the interior of the latter is unfinished, and is intended to contain one thousand persons. The new Riding SCHOOL is erected of brick, from grand designs by Wyatt, on the model of an antient temple: length about fifty yards, breadth, twenty-one. The whole depth of the buildings, from the front of the barracks, runs nearly parallel with that of the new Military Academy.

The following will give an idea of the mode of quartering in these barracks:

Front Range, right wing: Quarters for the garrison, quarter-master, fourteen captains, and twenty-four lieutenants. Left wing. Quarters for brigade major, fourteen captains, and twenty-four lieutenants. Horse BarraCKS; quarters for thirty-two lieutenants.

AccoMMODATIONS FOR THE SOLDIERS. FRONT RANCE ; right and left wings, when complete, will contain one thousand one hundred and fifty-two men; when over complete, one thousand three hundred and forty-four. Horse BARRACKS; east and west squares, when complete, will contain eight hundred and seven men; when over complete, nine hundred and two. Loft BARRacks; east and west squares will contain, when complete, four hundred and forty-eight men; when over complete, four hundred and fify-six. GUN DRIVER BARRACKS; rear rank, six hundred men, &c. In 1807, the total amounted to four thousand two hundred and forty-eight men.

The PARISH CHURCH of Woolwich, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, is a spacious brick building, with

stone

« НазадПродовжити »