55

I think the answer to the headline question is "not very, which is why everyone thought Cavendish was a bit weird" :-) But focusing on the detailed question - from his entry in the revised 2004 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Almost misanthropic in his reserve, Cavendish never received strangers at his residence, and ordered his dinner by ...


20

I found the answer. In 1790, no error was found. Roy [who headed the survery] probably did not know that in 1785 Maskelyne [who was confident of the coordinates of Greenwich] had equipped his assistant Joseph Lindley with a number of watches and sent him on a secret "chronometer run" to Paris, to determine the time difference between the capitals. ...


19

No. there is no evidence to backup this claim. Like it says on Wikipedia: The Countess frequently appeared in men's clothing and even in military uniform. Some sources alleged that August the Strong made his own daughter his favorite; however, this cannot be proved. It was a rumor going around at the time. She was apparently of exceptional beauty and had ...


16

From the 1928 OED: Grecian: .... 2. One learned in the Greek language; a Greek scholar. [Attestations omitted] b. A boy in the highest class of Christ's Hospital (the Blue-coat school). Blue-Coat: Formerly the dress of servants and the lower orders; hence of almoners and charity children. [Attestations omitted] .... (More fully, Blue-coat boy): A scholar ...


15

It's important to note here a key distinction between British (army) officers and Continental officers. The former, overwhelmingly, had purchased their commissions into a specific regiment; and were required to purchase their promotions (usually within the regiment) as vacancies occurred which they were eligible for. The latter were, largely if not ...


14

Because they are Catholic. No other reason. Doesn't matter if you are a boy or girl. It's very common practise to give children many baptismal names, including Maria. To both girls and boys. Perhaps not today, but when I was baptized 60 years ago, it definitely was. My parents 'blessed' me with that name too. Being a boy, and attending a non-Catholic school, ...


8

Generally, for your time period and, indeed, into the 19th century, navigation on a naval vessel was the province of the ship's master, though the ship's captain would, or should, have the same skills. On smaller vessels the captain might serve both roles. For the basics see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_(naval) The master had his own berth, though ...


7

Writing out the question somehow jogged my memory and I found him: Francisco de Miranda. From Wikipedia: "Miranda led a romantic and adventurous life in the general political and intellectual climate that emerged from the Age of Enlightenment that influenced all of the Atlantic Revolutions. He participated in three major historical and political ...


7

I wasn't intending to write an answer here - but my comments got out of hand: Two things to remember on feeder service: A 10 mile walk was literally nothing, just a daily commute; and people were far more likely to ride a horse either owned or borrowed to travel a middling distance. There was unlikely to be any profit in feeder services except in high ...


6

In your timeframe there should have been routes from Charleston/Savannah to Boston/New York. The time of day would be based on the tide. A ship would leave Charleston when the tide was receding (from high to low, towards the ocean), since the receding water would assist the ships movement (otherwise it would have to fight against the water movement). For ...


5

At it's simplest, the answer is yes, commissioned officers could sail on vessels that weren't warships. In times of war, the Royal Navy would supplement its own warships with merchant vessels to perform roles that didn't require a warship, such as, transportation (of soldiers, horses, military supplies and victuals, etc.) In these cases, the RN would hire ...


5

This seems to be several different questions so I'll take each one in turn. Why didn't line infantry tactics try to keep up a constant volley of fire? I'm a little perplexed at the phrasing of the question because it implies that line infantry tactics did not "try to keep up a constant volley of fire". In fact linear infantry tactics were ...


4

As an amateur blacksmith I can 'educated guess' based on the link in the comment provided by T.E.D. The first five illustrations appear to show how an agricultural scythe would be converted for 'military' use. The attachment of the blade needs to be converted from horizontal to vertical since the weapon will be used for thrusting and chopping. The blade ...


3

The body of your question and the title don’t exactly match. It’s unlikely that anyone (noble or not) that could speak would communicate solely by written means with people that were within hearing distance. Even today with our electronic devices providing a quick and easy means of communicating, if people are within hollering distance, we generally speak. ...


3

In the paper "Patterns of smallpox mortality in London, England, over three centuries" authors deal with exactly this problem: We accessed original documents in London, England, in the Guildhall Library, the British Library, the Wellcome Library, and the London Metropolitan Archive. We digitized weekly reported birth and death records for London ...


2

As an officer of wardroom rank, the master would have access to the wardroom facilities on an equal basis with the other wardroom officers: the vessel's lieutenants, purser, and surgeon. Also, notwithstanding Wikipedia's claim, navigation despite it's importance would have taken up only a small fraction of a master's time onboard. Square-rig sailing was on ...


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