Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.

the most active share in the operations which forced them to retire. But the most effective blows delivered against Spain were directed at her colonies. The British troops, left free by the recent success against the French in America, were employed in an attack on Havana. A powerful fleet left England on the 5th of March, bringing troops which were joined by others in the West Indies; Sir George Pocock, who had returned from the East Indies, was in command. Under his direction the fleet reached its destination without loss, and Havana was assailed. The citadel known as the Moro Castle made a stout defence, and some of the ships suffered severely in a bombardment. But the worst losses of the besiegers were due to the climate of Cuba, aided by bad sanitary arrangements. Of the 10,000 troops landed, three-fourths are said to have suffered from fever or dysentery, and the majority of the sick died. Yet the Moro was taken on the 3oth of September, and Havana, which could have made a longer resistance, surrendered on the 10th of October. Martinique, the last important possession of France in the New World except her half of San Domingo, had fallen in February. In the East Indies, where the surrender of Pondicherry had left other forces free, a combined expedition triumphed easily in October over the natives of Manila, under the direction of the archbishop, who acted as governor. The preliminaries of the peace of Paris were signed on the 3rd of November 1762.

See Beatson, Naval and Military Memoirs of Great Britain (London, 1804); Captain Mahan, Influence of Sea Power upon History; Lacour Gayet, La Marine militaire de la France sous le regne de Louis XV (Paris, 1902).

(D. H.)

SEVERIANA, VIA, an ancient highroad of Italy, running S.E. from Ostia to Terracina, a distance of 73 m. along the coast, and taking its name, no doubt, from the restoration of an already existing road by Septimius Severus, who was a great benefactor of Ostia. It ran along the shore at first, just behind the line of villas which fronted upon the sea, and are now half a mile inland, or even upon its edge (for an inscription records its being damaged by the waves). Farther S.E. it seems to have kept rather more distant from the shore, and it probably kept within the lagoons below the Circean promontory. As is natural in a sandy district where building materials are rare, remains of it are scanty.

See R. Lanciani in Monumenti dei Lincei, xiii. (1903), 185; xvi. (1906), 241; T. Ashby in Mélanges de l'École française de Rome (1905). 157 sqq. (T. As.)

SEVERINUS, pope in 640, successor of Honorius. He occupied the papal chair only three months after his consecration, having had to wait a year and a half for its ratification by the emperor. During this long vacancy the exarch of Ravenna, supported by the military body of Rome (exercitus Romanus), occupied the Lateran and seized the treasure of the Church.

SEVERN, JOSEPH (1793-1879), English portrait and subject painter, was born at Hoxton on the 7th of December 1793, his father, a musician, coming of an old Gloucestershire family. During his earlier years he practised portraiture as a miniaturist; and, having studied in the schools of the Royal Academy, in 1818 he gained the gold medal for his “ Una and the Red Cross Knight in the Cave of Despair.” In 1819 he exhibited at the Academy his “ Hermia and Helena.” He was an intimate friend of Keats the poet, whom he accompanied to Italy in 1820 and nursed till his death in 1821. His picture of “ The Death of Alcibiades ” then obtained for him an Academy travelling studentship, and he returned to Rome, where he lived till 1841, marrying in 1828 the daughter of Lord Montgomerie, a ward of Lady Westmoreland, one of his chief patrons, and mingling in the congenial art circles of the city. In 1861, after living in England for nineteen years, mainly for the education of his children, he was appointed British consul at Rome, a post which he held till 1872, and during a great part of the time he also acted as Italian consul. His most remarkable work is -the “ Spectre Ship” from the Ancient Mariner. He painted “ Cordelia watching by the Bed of Lear, ” the “ Roman Beggar, " “ Ariel, ” “ The Fountain, ” and “ Rienzi, ” executed a large altar-piece for the church of St Paul at Rome, and produced many portraits, including one of Baron Bunsen and several of Keats. He died at Rome on the 3rd~ of August 1879. He had six children, of whom Walter, Arthur and Ann (wife of Sir Charles Newton) were well-known artists.

See the Life and Letters, by William Sharp (1892).

SEVERN, a river of Wales and England. It rises on the N.E. side of Plinlimmon, on the S.W. border of Montgomeryshire, and flows with a nearly semicircular course of about 210 m. to the Bristol Channel; the direct distance from its source to its mouth is about 8o m. Its Welsh name is Hafren, and its Roman name was Sabrina. Through Montgomeryshire its course is at first in a S.E. direction, and for the first 15 m. it flows over a rough precipitous bed. At Llanidloes it bends towards the N.E., passing Newtown and Welshpool; this part of the valley bearing the name of the Vale of Powis. It receives the Vyrnwy near Melverley, and forms a mile of the Welsh border, and then turning in an E.S.E. direction enters Shropshire, and waters the broad rich plain of Shrewsbury, after which it bends southward past Ironbridge and Bridgnorth to Bewdley in Worcestershire. In Shropshire it receives a number of tributaries, the chief of which is the Tern. Continuing its southerly course through Worcestershire it passes Stourport, where it receives the Stour (left), and Worcester, shortly after which it receives the Teme (right). It enters Gloucestershire close to Tewkesbury, where it receives the Upper Avon (left), after which, bending in a S.W. direction, it passes the city of Gloucester, below which it becomes estuarine and tidal. A high bore or tidal wave, for which the Severn is notorious, may reverse the flow as high up as Tewkesbury Lock (131/2 m. above Gloucester), and has sometimes caused great destruction. The estuary merges into the Bristol Channel at the point where it receives on the left the Lower or Bristol Avon, and on the right the Wye.

The source lies at an elevation of about 2000 ft.; the fall from Llanidloes is about 550 ft., from Newtown 365 ft. and from Shrewsbury, 90 m. above Gloucester, 180 ft. The scenery of the upper valley is wild and picturesque, and that of the lower river isat some points very beautiful. The course between the height of the Wrekin and Wenlock Edge (despite the manufacturing towns on the banks at this point), the valley above Bewdley, where the Forest of Wyre borders the left bank, and the fine position of Worcester, with its cathedral rising above theriver, may be noticed. The distance from Gloucester to Avonmouth is 44 m., but the upper part of the estuary is tortuous, and, owing to the bores and shifting shoals, difficult of navigation; Qn this account the Gloucester and Berkeley Ship Canal, 163/4 rn. in length, was constructed, admitting vessels of 350 tons to Gloucester from the docks at Sharpness on the estuary. The navigation extends up to Arley, above Bewdley, 47 m. from Gloucester, but is principally used up to Stourport (43 m.), from which the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal gives access to the Wolverhampton industrial district and the Trent and Mersey navigation. The Berkeley canal and the Worcester and Birmingham canal are maintained by the Sharpness New Docks and Gloucester and Birmingham navigation company. There is connexion with the Thames by the Stroudwater canal from Framilode on the estuary, joining the Thames and Severn canal near Stroud. The Wye is in part navigable; the Bristol Avon gives access to the great port of Bristol, and the Upper Avon is in part navigable. The Severn is a good salmon river, and is famous for its lampreys, while many of the tributaries afford fine trout fishing, such as the Teme and the Vyrnwy. The drainage area of the Severn is 6850 sq. m., including the Wye and the Bristol Avon, or 4350 sq. m. without these rivers.

Severn Tunnel.—The first bridge above the mouth, of the Severn is that near Sharpness, which carries the Great Western and Midland joint railway between Berkeley Road and Lydbrook junction. But the Severn tunnel, carrying the Great Western railway under the estuary 14 m. below the bridge, forms the direct route between the south of England and South Wales. Before the tunnel was made there was a steam ferry at a point known as “ New Passage,” where a ferry had existed from early times. The steam ferry was opened in connexion with the Bristol and South Wales Union railway in 1863, and was subsequently taken over b the Great Western company. Parliamentary powers to construct tile tunnel were obtained by this company in 1872, and work began in the following year. The originator of the scheme and chief engineer was Mr Charles Richardson, and Sir John Hawkshaw was consulting engineer. The principal