Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/96

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Mansfield
Mansfield
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cent frigate with Captain James Saumarez [q. v.], whom he followed to the Orion, in which he was present in Lord Bridport's action off Lorient, at the battle of Cape St. Vincent, and at the battle of the Nile; after which he was promoted by Nelson to be acting-lieutenant of the Aquilon, a promotion which was confirmed by the admiralty to 17 April 1799. He subsequently served in the Channel and on the French coast, and at the reduction of the Cape of Good Hope, whence he was sent home by Sir Home Popham in command of an armed transport. He was flag-lieutenant to Sir James Saumarez in the Diomede, Hibernia, and Victory, and on 17 Sept. 1808 was promoted to the command of the Rose sloop, in which he took part in the capture of Anholt in the Baltic, 18 May 1809, and was at different times engaged with the Danish gunboats. In 1812 he was presented by the emperor of Russia with a diamond ring, in acknowledgment of his having piloted a Russian squadron through the Belt; and by the king of Sweden with the order of the Sword, 'in testimony of the esteem in which he held his services. In 1813 Mansell commanded the Pelican on the north coast of Spain, and on 7 June 1814 was advanced to post rank. It is stated that while in command of the Rose and Pelican he captured at least 170 of the enemy's vessels, some of them privateers of force. In 1837 he was nominated a K.C.H. and knighted. On 9 Oct. 1849 he became a rear-admiral on the retired list, and died in the early summer of 1868. In 1806 he married Catherine, daughter of John Lukis, a merchant of Guernsey, and by her had issue four daughters and four sons. These latter all entered the navy or marines. The second, Arthur Lukis, for some years commanded the Firefly, surveying ship, in the Mediterranean, and died, a retired vice-admiral, in 1890.

[O'Byrne's Nav. Biog. Dict.]

J. K. L.

MANSFIELD, Earls of. [See Murray, William, 1705–1793, first Earl; Murray, David, 1727–1796, second Earl.]

MANSFIELD, CHARLES BLACHFORD (1819–1855), chemist and author, was born on 8 May 1819 at Rowner, Hampshire, where his father, John Mansfield, was rector. His mother was Winifred, eldest daughter of Robert Pope Blachford of Osborne House, Isle of Wight. He was educated first at a private school at Twyford, Berkshire, and afterwards at Winchester College. When sixteen his health broke down, and he passed a year with a private tutor in the country. On 23 Nov. 1836 he entered his name at Clare Hall, but did not begin residence till October 1839. Owing to frequent absences from ill-health he did not graduate B.A. till 1846 (M.A. 1849). Meanwhile he read widely, and his personal fascination rapidly gathered many friends round him. With Kingsley, who was his contemporary at Cambridge, Mansfield formed a lifelong friendship (Memoir, pp. xii–xiv). Medicine attracted him for a time, and while still at Cambridge he attended the classes at St. George's Hospital; but when he settled in London in 1846 he definitely devoted himself to chemistry, occupying his leisure with natural history, botany, mesmerism, and with abstruse studies in mediæval science. Chemistry, he satisfied himself, was a suitable starting-point for the system of knowledge which he had already more or less clearly outlined, whose aim, in his own words, was ‘the comprehension of the harmonious plan or order upon which the universe is constructed—an order on which rests the belief that the universe is truly a representation to our ideas of a Divine Idea, a visible symbol of thoughts working in a mind infinitely wise and good.’ In 1848, after completing the chemistry course at the Royal College, he undertook, at Hofmann's request, a series of experiments which resulted in one of the most valuable of recent gifts to practical chemistry, the extraction of benzol from coal-tar (see Chemical Soc. Journal, i. 244–68, for experiments), a discovery which laid the foundation of the aniline industry (Meyer, Gesch. der Chimie, 1889, p. 434). He published a pamphlet next year, indicating some of the most important applications of benzol, among others the production of a light of peculiar brilliancy by charging air with its vapour (Benzol, its Nature and Utility, 1849). Mansfield patented his inventions, then an expensive process, but others reaped the profits.

In the crisis of 1848–9 he joined Maurice, Kingsley, and others in their efforts at social reform among the workmen of London, and in the cholera year helped to provide pure water for districts like Bermondsey, where every drop was sewage-tainted. He also wrote several papers in ‘Politics for the People,’ edited by the Rev. Frederick Denison Maurice [q. v.] and Mr. J. M. Ludlow, and afterwards in the ‘Christian Socialist.’ In September 1850 the description of a balloon machine constructed at Paris led him to investigate the whole problem of aeronautics, and in the next few months he wrote his ‘Aerial Navigation,’ still after forty years one of the most striking and suggestive works on its subject. In the winter of 1851–2 he delivered in the Royal Institution a course of lectures on the chemistry of the metals, remarkable for some brilliant generalisations and for an at- at-