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Campbell John; Lives of the British Admirals Vols. 1 & 2

SKU: Campbell John AB0310108 $219.00
Lives of the British Admirals: containing a new and accurate Naval History from the earliest periods. By Dr. John Campbell. With a continuation down to the year 1779 including the naval transactions of the late war and an account of the recent discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere. Written under the inspection of Doctor Berkenhout. The whole Illustrated with correct maps: and frontispieces engraved from the original designs. In four volumes of which these are vols. 1 & 2. Printed for J. Murray No. 32 Fleet Street London in 1785. Vol. 1 frontispiece (plate I): Mars delivering Arms to Britannia points to a distant view of Shipping the source of her future Glory by Hamilton Delt & Caldwell Sculpt (London Jan. 1st 1779. Publish traded as the Act directs by A. Donaldson St. Pauls Churchyard). Vol. 2 frontispiece (plate II): Britannia is introduced by Mars to Neptune by Hamilton Delt & Caldwell Sculpt (London Jan. 1st 1779. Publish traded as the Act directs by A. Donaldson St. Pauls Churchyard). Full brown leather boards with crazing and cover loss to the spine. Vol. 1: front cover is hanging on by a thread (literally) and is an obvious candidate for recovering. Vol. 2: exhibits cracked hinges on both boards but still firmly attached. The spine has the same crazing and some additional leather loss at head and foot approx. 1 cm. Rubbing and bumped corners consistent with age. The bindings are tight on both vols. There are no inscriptions. The good news is the pages are white without foxing spotting tears or loss ( almost as new). Old English text is complete. Vol. 1 578 pages. Vol. 2 558 pages. Volumes measure: 13.5 cm. x 21.5 cm. (8vo). Not horrible but not the best. The contents make the difference. They are more than fine after 225 years. John Campbell was born in or before 1720 parish of Kirkbean near Dumfries Kirkcudbrightshire Scotland and died 16 December 1790 at his house at Charles Street Berkeley Square London. Campbell was a British naval officer navigational expert and colonial governor. Campbell joined the Royal Navy at an early age and sailed around the world in 1740 on the Centurion. He later became known as a navigational expert and was from 1782 to his death Governor and Commander-in-Chief in Newfoundland in 1782. In 1747 Campbell had his first direct involvement in the development of astronomical navigation as the first person to use a Hadley quadrant to measure the angular distance between the moon and fixed stars. The astronomer royal James Bradley was shown Campbell trades results and found them to correspond exactly with the actual distances in the sky and Bradley and Campbell together made frequent observations at Greenwich of the moon trades distance from the sun and stars and of the star trades distances from one another. In trials which would profoundly influence marine navigation for the next 250 years he compared the new Mayer reflecting circle instrument with the common wooden Hadley octant as means of observing lunar distances and in doing so found Mayer trades was much to heavy whereas Hadley trades though it could not measure angles beyond 90 degrees and was often unstable in its wooden frame was far more useful. From this he suggested modifications to the Hadley octant extending its arc from 45 degrees to 60 degrees (to allow the measurement of arcs up to 120 degrees) and making it of brass not wood. In 1759 John Bird commissioned by the Board of Longitude produced an instrument taking up both suggestions a sextant of 20 inches radius with a brass frame and 1/3 the weight of the 16 inch diameter reflecting circle which served as a prototype of the marine sextant still used today.