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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

John Rennie the Younger
30 August 1794 – 3 September 1874

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John Rennie

John Rennie, the son of John Rennie, was born at 27 Stamford Street, Blackfriars Road, London, on 30 August 1794. He was educated by Dr. Greenlaw at Isleworth, and afterwards by Dr. Charles Burney at Greenwich. He subsequently entered his father’s manufactory in Holland Street, Blackfriars Road, where he acquired a practical knowledge of his profession, and in 1813 he was placed under Mr. Hollingsworth, resident engineer of Waterloo Bridge, the foundations of which he personally superintended. In 1815 he assisted his father in the erection of Southwark Bridge, and in 1819 he went abroad for the purpose of studying the great engineering works on the continent.

On the death of his father in 1821, John remained in partnership with his brother George, the civil engineering portion of the business being carried on by him, whereas the mechanical engineering was supervised by George.

Rennie along with Philip Richards designed Royal William Victualling Yard, Plymouth, (1823–33). Covering 14 acres (57,000 m2), this grand classical style ensemble built from Plymouth limestone and Dartmoor granite, consists of grand gateway surmounted by statue of King William IV, there is the Slaughterhouse, then around a central dock basin, to the south Melville Square, a warehouse with a central courtyard, it has a clock tower over the main entrance, to the west of the basin is the Bakery with its mill and to the east the Brewery, with its cooperage.

The most important of John Rennie’s undertakings, from 1824, was the construction of London Bridge, the designs for which had been prepared by his father. The bridge was opened in 1831, when Rennie was knighted, being the first of the profession since Sir Hugh Myddleton to be thus distinguished. He was responsible for the New River Ancholme Drainage Scheme in Lincolnshire, and Horkstow Bridge, which he designed to cross the river at Horkstow in 1835–6, is one of the earliest suspension bridges to survive and remains substantially as designed. As engineer to the admiralty, a post in which he succeeded his father, he completed various works at Sheerness, Woolwich, Plymouth, Ramsgate, and the great breakwater at Plymouth, of which he published an ‘Account’ in 1848. Many years of his life were spent in making additions and alterations to various harbours on different parts of the coast, both in England and in Ireland. One example would be his work in the 1850s designing a drydock for Joseph Wheeler at his Rushbrooke yard in Cork. He completed the drainage works in the Lincolnshire fens commenced by his father, and, in conjunction with Telford, constructed the Nene outfall near Wisbech (1826–1831). He also restored the harbour of Boston in 1827–8, and made various improvements on the Welland. He also re-modernised the Chatham Dockyards in 1862. Creating 3 huge basins and passageways.

Although Rennie and his brother were early in the field as a railway engineers – having been involved, with George Stephenson, in the design of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway – their practice in this department was not very large. The company did however supply a number of locomotives for the London and Croydon Railway in 1838 and 1839. In 1852 John laid out a system of railways for Sweden, for which he received the order of Gustavus Vasa, and in 1855 he designed a series of railways and harbours for Portugal, none of which were, however, carried out.

Rennie was elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on 25 June 1844, and he became president on 21 January 1845, retaining the office for three years. His presidential address in 1846 was a complete history of the profession of civil engineering. He also contributed papers on the drainage of the level of Ancholme, Lincolnshire, and on the improvement of the navigation of the Newry. He published, besides his Account of Plymouth Breakwater, (1848), the Theory, Formation, and Construction of British and Foreign Harbours (1851–54). He was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Rennie retired from the active duties of his profession about 1862, and died at Bengeo, near Hertford, on 3 September 1874, just after completing his 80th year.

Colonel Fitzwilliam’s Correspondence For your enjoyment, one of the Regency Romances I published.

It is available for sale and I hope that you will take the opportunity to order your copy.

For yourself or as a gift. It is now available in a variety of formats.

For just a few dollars this Regency Romance can be yours for your eReaders or physically in Trade Paperback.

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Witnessing his cousin marry for love and not money, as he felt destined to do, Colonel Fitzwilliam refused to himself to be jealous. He did not expect his acquaintance with the Bennet Clan to change that.    

Catherine Bennet, often called Kitty, had not given a great deal of thought to how her life might change with her sisters Elizabeth and Jane becoming wed to rich and connected men. Certainly meeting Darcy’s handsome cousin, a Colonel, did not affect her.   

 But one had to admit that the connections of the Bingleys and Darcys were quite advantageous. All sorts of men desired introductions now that she had such wealthy new brothers.    

Kitty knew that Lydia may have thought herself fortunate when she had married Wickham, the first Bennet daughter to wed. Kitty, though, knew that true fortune had come to her. She just wasn’t sure how best to apply herself.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

James Penny
– 1799

Penny was probably not a native of Liverpool and may have been born in Ulverston. He came to Liverpool to work as a mariner and was married to Ann Cooper in 1768. He is subsequently referred to as a mariner, ship’s captain and merchant in Liverpool directories.

Penny was active in the slave trade until the American War of Independence. He returned to the trade after the war as a shipowner and as a business partner with other traders. He was involved in several slave trading companies and was known for his knowledge of the African coast derived from his many journeys dating back to 1776.

When in 1788, the British government launched an inquiry into the slave trade, following public pressure from abolitionists, Penny was chosen to represent the views of slavers. According to local historian F.E. Sanderson, he was a “man of considerable stature in the town, highly regarded by his fellow merchants, his forthright views on the slave trade must have brought him to their notice as a likely delegate”.

In the evidence he gave the British Government, Penny claimed that “he found himself impelled, both by humanity and interest, to pay every possible attention both to the preservation of the crew and the slaves.” He stated that he allowed the slaves on the Atlantic Slave route to play games and dance and sing.

“If the Weather is sultry, and there appears the least Perspiration upon their Skins, when they come upon Deck, there are Two Men attending with Cloths to rub them perfectly dry, and another to give them a little Cordial…. They are then supplied with Pipes and Tobacco…. They are amused with Instruments of Music peculiar to their own country…and when tired of Music and Dancing, they then go to Games of Chance”

In the same body of evidence, he notes that the fatality rate for his slaves was one in twelve, and that “The average allowance of width to a slave is fourteen and two-thirds inches.” Penny also argued that abolition of the trade would destroy the economy of Liverpool; “it would not only greatly affect the commercial interest, but also the landed property of the County of Lancaster and more particularly, the Town of Liverpool; whose fall, in that case, would be as rapid as its rise has been astonishing.”

In 1792 he was presented with a silver epergne for speaking in favour of the slave trade to a parliamentary committee. He continued to be committed to the slave trade even when other merchants were moving away from it. With his eldest son, James, he was elected to the African Company of Merchants trading in Liverpool in July 1793. He died in 1799.

One of Penny’s daughters married the writer Christopher North.

First ECO Agents book available

Those who follow me for a long time know that I also write in other fields aside from Regency Romance and the historical novels I do.

A few months ago, before the end of last year and after 2011 NaNoWriMo, (where I wrote the first draft of another Regency) I started work on a project with my younger brother Douglas (All three of my brothers are younger brothers.)

The premise, as he is now an educator but once was a full on scientist at the NHI and FBI (Very cloak and dagger chemistry.) was that with the world having become green, and more green aware every week, why not have a group of prodigies, studying at a higher learning educational facility tackle the ills that have now begun to beset the world.

So it is now released. We are trickling it out to the major online channels and through Amazon it will be available in trade paperback. Available at Amazon for your Kindle, or your Kindle apps and other online bookstores. For $5.99 you can get this collaboration between the brothers Wilkin. Or get it for every teenager you know who has access to a Kindle or other eReader.

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Five young people are all that stands between a better world and corporate destruction. Parker, Priya, JCubed, Guillermo and Jennifer are not just your average high school students. They are ECOAgents, trusted the world over with protecting the planet.

Our Earth is in trouble. Humanity has damaged our home. Billionaire scientist turned educator, Dr. Daniel Phillips-Lee, is using his vast resources to reverse this situation. Zedadiah Carter, leader of the Earth’s most powerful company, is only getting richer, harvesting resources, with the aid of not so trustworthy employees.

When the company threatens part of the world’s water supply, covering up their involvement is business as usual. The Ecological Conservation Organization’s Academy of Higher Learning and Scientific Achievement, or simply the ECO Academy, high in the hills of Malibu, California overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is the envy of educational institutions worldwide.

The teenage students of the ECO Academy, among the best and brightest the planet has to offer, have decided they cannot just watch the world self-destruct. They will meet this challenge head on as they begin to heal the planet.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

John Joseph Stockdale
1777 – 16 February 1847

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John Joseph Stockdale

The son of John Stockdale and Mary neé Ridgway, John Joseph was brother to Mary Stockdale. He was educated privately at a boarding school in Bedfordshire and in 1793 started to work for his father, being admitted to the freedom of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers on 3 August 1802, and afterwards taking up the livery. In 1805 he married Sophia, a niece of Philip Box a successful banker, and he established his own business in Pall Mall in 1806, possibly with financial help from Box. He compiled and edited many books, including:

  • Richard Wellesley‘s Events and Transactions in India (1805);
  • Eaton Stannard Barrett’s All the Talents: A Satirical Poem (1806);
  • Don Pedro Cevallos’s Usurpation of the Crown of Spain (1808) and Sketches Civil and Military of the Island of Java (1811); and
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley’s second novel St. Irvyne; or, The Rosicrucian, A Romance (1810; reprinted in 1822).

Stockdale also sold copies of Original Poetry by Victor and Cazire by Percy Bysshe Shelley and his sister Elizabeth in 1810. In 1811, Stockdale, under the pseudonym of Thomas Little published an edition of John Roberton’s treatise on the pathology of the reproductive system On Diseases of the Generative System. Roberton was a radical and something of an outsider to the medical profession, and the book’s explicit anatomical plates, together with Stockdale’s louche reputation, meant that the book attracted some distaste and notoriety. Stockdale had in fact interpolated some additional sensational illustrations. In 1824, again as Thomas Little, Stockdale published The Beauty, Marriage Ceremonies and Intercourse of the Sexes in All Nations; to which is added The New Art of Love (Grounded on Kalogynomia), an augmented edition of Roberton’s 1821 book Kalogynomia, or the Laws of Female Beauty, a work that Roberton had himself published under the pseudonym T. Bell.

Stockdale was the publisher of the notorious Memoirs of Harriette Wilson (1826) which attracted a crowd ten deep outside his shop. Before publication, Stockdale and Wilson wrote to all those lovers and clients named in the book, including Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington and Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, offering them the opportunity to be excluded from the work in exchange for a cash payment. Wellington famously responded with, Publish and be damned.

Stockdale died at Bushey and his wife Sophia seems to have made a further attempt to blackmail Brougham after Stockdale’s death.

In 1839, HM Prisons Inspectors discovered a copy of On Diseases of the Generative System, well thumbed by the inmates of Newgate Prison. Official parliamentary reporter Hansard, by order of the House of Commons, printed and published the Report of the Inspectors of Prisons stating that an indecent book published by a Mr. Stockdale was circulating. Stockdale sued for defamation but Hansard’s defence, that the statement was true, succeeded. However, parliament ordered a reprint and Stockdale sued again but this time Hansard was ordered by the House to plead that he had acted under order of the Commons and was protected by parliamentary privilege.

The court of Queen’s Bench, led by Lord Denman, unanimously found that Hansard was not protected by privilege and awarded damages to Stockdale, HM Treasury defraying Hansard’s costs. However, when the Middlesex sheriffs attempted to enforce the court order, Hansard fell back upon parliament for protection. Accordingly the sheriffs and other persons who sought to carry out the orders issued by the law court against the Hansards were imprisoned by order of the House of Commons. These protracted and vexatious proceedings were brought to a close only by the passing in Parliamentary Papers Act 1840 by which it was enacted that proceedings, criminal or civil, against persons for the publication of papers printed by order of either house of parliament shall be stayed upon the production of a certificate to that effect. Stockdale was thus finally defeated, and the printer was indemnified.

A Trolling We Will Go Omnibus:The Latter Years

Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but I also have delved into Fantasy.

The Trolling series, is the story of a man, Humphrey. We meet him as he has left youth and become a man with a man’s responsibilities. He is a woodcutter for a small village. It is a living, but it is not necessarily a great living. It does give him strength, muscles.

We follow him in a series of stories that encompass the stages of life. We see him when he starts his family, when he has older sons and the father son dynamic is tested.

We see him when his children begin to marry and have children, and at the end of his life when those he has loved, and those who were his friends proceed him over the threshold into death.

All this while he serves a kingdom troubled by monsters. Troubles that he and his friends will learn to deal with and rectify.

Here are the last two books together as one longer novel.

Trolling, Trolling, Trolling Fly Hides! and We’ll All Go a Trolling.

Available in a variety of formats.

For $5.99 you can get this fantasy adventure.

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The stories of Humphrey and Gwendolyn. Published separately in: Trolling, Trolling, Trolling Fly Hides! and We’ll All Go a Trolling. These are the tales of how a simple Woodcutter who became a king and an overly educated girl who became his queen helped save the kingdom of Torahn from an ancient evil. Now with the aid of their children and their grandchildren.

Long forgotten is the way to fight the Trolls. Beasts that breed faster than rabbits it seems, and when they decide to migrate to the lands of humans, their seeming invulnerability spell doom for all in the kingdom of Torahn. Not only Torahn but all the human kingdoms that border the great mountains that divide the continent.

The Kingdom of Torahn has settled down to peace, but the many years of war to acheive that peace has seen to changes in the nearby Teantellen Mountains. Always when you think the Trolls have also sought peace, you are fooled for now, forced by Dragons at the highest peaks, the Trolls are marching again.

Now Humphrey is old, too old to lead and must pass these cares to his sons. Will they be as able as he always has been. He can advise, but he does not have the strength he used to have. Nor does Gwendolyn back in the Capital. Here are tales of how leaders we know and are familiar with must learn to trust the next generation to come.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Frederick Adam
1781–1853

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Frederick Adam

a Scottish major-general at the Battle of Waterloo, in command of the 3rd (Light) Brigade. He was the fourth son of William Adam of Blair Adam and his wife Eleanora, the daughter of Charles Elphinstone, 10th Lord Elphinstone.

At the age of fourteen in 1795, Frederick Adam entered the British Army. He trained at the artillery school at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. In the same year he was commissioned as a first lieutenant and in 1796 he was promoted to second lieutenant.

He took part in the campaigns in the Netherlands and Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercromby, he was promoted to the rank of major in 1803 and a lieutenant colonel in 1804. From 1806 to 1811 he was stationed on Sicily. Between 1812 and 1813 he was in Spain fighting in the Peninsular War, where he was severely wounded at Alicante. On 12 April 1813, while commanding the Light Brigade in John Murray’s expeditionary force, Adam led a brilliant rearguard action against the corps of Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet at Biar. The following day, his 2/27th Foot battalion inflicted 350 casualties on Suchet’s 121st Line Regiment during the Battle of Castalla. He was wounded again in an action at Ordal on 13 September 1813.

On 18 June 1815, Adam commanded the 3rd British Brigade in Henry Clinton’s 2nd Division at the Battle of Waterloo. At the crisis of the battle, Adam’s 1/52nd (Light) Foot performed a left-wheel to enfilade the flank of the French Imperial Guard’s main attack while the British Guards engaged the head of the column. Under fire from two directions, the French guardsmen put up a brief resistance then fled. After their unsuccessful attack on the British centre, the Guard rallied to their reserves of three (some sources say four) regiments, just south of La Haye Sainte for a last stand against the British. But a charge from Adam’s brigade threw them into a state of confusion and those which were left retreated towards La Belle Alliance. It was during this stand that Colonel Hugh Halkett took the surrender of General Cambronne.

The French Imperial Guard made a last stand in squares on either side of the La Belle Alliance. General Adam’s Brigade charged the square which was formed on rising ground to the (British) right of La Belle Alliance and again threw them into a state of confusion. The other square was attacked by the Prussians. The French retreated away from the battle field towards France. The French artillery, and everything else belonging to them, fell into the hands of the British and Prussians.

From 1817 to 1824, Adam continued his career in the army. Between 1824 and 1832 he was a popular Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. His commissioning of the construction of public buildings on Corfu was appreciated by the local population. From 25 October 1832, to 4 March 1837, he was Governor of Madras and, in 1846, he was promoted to general.

Incomplete list of military commands:

  • 1813 – commanded Anglo-Allied Light Brigade at Biar and Castalla.
  • 1813 – commanded Anglo-Allied Advanced Guard at Ordal.
  • 1815 – commanded 3rd (Light) British Brigade at Waterloo.
  • 1829 – 1835 Colonel of 73rd Perthshire Regiment of Foot.
  • 1835 – Colonel of 57th Foot who were stationed in India.
  • 1843 – Colonel 21st Fusiliers.
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