Anacharsis Cloots. L'Orateur du genre humain (Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope)
[Hannah Humphrey. 12 May 1794.]
Soft-ground etching in red. 214 x 176mm.
Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope FRS (1753-1816) was a British statesman and scientist. In politics he was a democrat. As Lord Mahon he contested the city of Westminster without success in 1774, when only just of age; but from the general election of 1780 until his accession to the peerage on 7 March 1786 he represented through the influence of Lord Shelburne the Buckinghamshire borough of High Wycombe. During the sessions of 1783 and 1784 he supported William Pitt the Younger, whose sister, Lady Hester Pitt, he married on 19 December 1774. He was the chairman of the "Revolution Society," founded in honour of the Glorious Revolution of 1688; the members of the society in 1790 expressed their sympathy with the aims of the French Revolution. Stanhope was an accomplished scientist. Electricity was another of the subjects which he studied, and the volume of Principles of Electricity which he issued in 1779 contained the rudiments of his theory on the "return stroke" resulting from the contact with the earth of the electric current of lightning, which were afterwards amplified in a contribution to the Philosophical Transactions for 1787. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society so early as November 1772, and devoted a large part of his income to experiments in science and philosophy. He invented a method of securing buildings from fire (which, however, proved impracticable), the printing press and the lens which bear his name (Stanhope Press) and a monochord for tuning musical instruments, suggested improvements in canal locks, made experiments in steam navigation in 1795-1797 and contrived two calculating machines.
[Ref: 12545] £95.00