Richard William Howard Vyse


Richard William Howard Vyse

Infobox Military Person
name= Vyse, Richard William Howard


caption=
born= birth date|1784|7|25
died= death date and age|1853|6|8|1784|7|25
placeofbirth= Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, England
placeofdeath= Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, England
placeofburial=
placeofburial_label=
allegiance= United Kingdom
rank= Major-General
unit=
commands=
battles=
awards= KCMG
relations=
laterwork= High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire
anthropologist and Egyptologist

Major-General SirRichard William Howard Vyse (25 July 17848 June 1853) was a British soldier, anthropologist and Egyptologist. He was also Member of Parliament for Beverley (from 1807 to 1812) and Honiton (from 1812 to 1818).

Early life

Born Richard William Vyse on 25 July 1784 at Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, ["1851 England Census" HO107/1718; Folio: 579; Page: 17] was the only son of General Richard Vyse and his wife, Anne, the only surviving daughter and heiress of Field-marshal Sir George Howard. Richard William Vyse, assumed the additional name of "Howard" by royal sign manual dated 14 September 1812, on inheriting the estates of Boughton and Pitsford in Northamptonshire through his maternal grandmother, Lucy, daughter of William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford.Dictionary of National Biography states that her father the 2nd Earl of Strafford was "Thomas "Wentworth]

Military career

Howard Vyse was commissioned as cornet into the 1st Dragoons in 1800. He transferred to the 15th Light Dragoons as a Lieutenant in 1801 and was promoted Captain in 1802 and Major in 1813. In 1815 he transferred to the 87th Foot and in 1816 to the 2nd Life Guards, and then also to the 1st West India in 1819. He was promoted brevet Lieutenant-Colonel in 1825, later nominated to rank put onto half-pay in 1825, [LondonGazette |issue=18174 |date=1825-09-10 |startpage=5 |endpage=5 |accessdate=2008-07-31] Colonel in 1837, [LondonGazette |issue=19456 |date=1837|1|10 |startpage=7 |endpage=8 |accessdate=2008-07-31] and Major-General in 1846. [LondonGazette |issue=20670 |date=1846|11|20 |startpage=3 |endpage=3 |accessdate=2008-07-31]

In 1809 he acted as aide-de-camp to his father on the staff of the Yorkshire district, and on 5 July 1810 received the honorary degree of D.C.L. from Oxford University.

On 2 October 1840, Vyse undertook an official duty as the Colonel of the Life Guards in the mourning party for HRH Princess Sophia-Augusta. [LondonGazette |issue=19902 |date=1840|10|7 |startpage=2 |endpage=3 |accessdate=2008-07-31]

Parliamentary career

Vyse was returned to parliament for Beverley on 8 May 1807. In October 1812 he exchanged this seat for Honiton in Devonshire, which he retained till the dissolution of 1818. In 1824 he served the office of High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire and again in 1830. [LondonGazette |issue=18628 |date=1829|11|13 |startpage=2085 |accessdate=2008-07-31] [LondonGazette |issue=18653 |date=1830|2|5 |startpage=262 |endpage=262 |accessdate=2008-07-31]

Egyptologist

At Giza he and John Shae Perring worked with gunpowder forcing their way into several monuments, including the burial chamber of the pyramid of Menkaure. [Mark Lehner, "The Complete Pyramids", 1997.]

Vyse's gunpowder archaeology made one highly notable discovery in the Great Pyramid of Giza. Giovanni Battista Caviglia had blasted on the south side of the stress-relieving chamber (Davison's chamber) on top of the Kings chamber, a chamber discovered by Nathaniel Davidson in 1765, hoping to find a link to the southern air channel. But while Caviglia gave up, Vyse suspected that there was another chamber on top of Davison's chamber, since he could thrust a yard long reed though a crack up into a cavity. He therefore blasted straight up on the northern side, over three and a half months, finding four additional chambers.

Vyse named these chambers after important friends and colleagues; Wellington's chamber (Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington), Nelson's chamber (Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson), Lady Arbuthnot's chamber ("Anne Fitzgerald", wife of Sir Robert Keith Arbuthnot, 2nd Baronet) and Campbell's chamber (Patrick Campbell, the British agent and Consul General in Egypt).

Just as amazing as the chambers were Vyse's discovery of numerous graffiti in the chambers, in red paint, dating from the time the pyramids was built. Along with lines, markers and directional notations were work gangs names, including cartouches of several pharaohs, concentrated in Lady Arbuthnot's & Nelson's chamber, but all four chambers contained graffiti. The previously discovered Davison's chamber contained no graffiti.

The now famous single instance of Pharaoh Khufu's name, compounded in a work gang inscription is found on the south ceiling towards the west end of Campbell's chamber. Today this chamber also contains a fair amount of 19th & 20th century graffiti. The other similar famous "Khnum-Khuf", also part of work gang graffiti, is found in Lady Arbuthnot's chamber. Several other compound cartouches can be found in this chamber too.

The following description's from the page of the Minnesota State University.

„...Although the story sounds very true there were a lot of speculations that came around much later. Many years later Zecharia Sitchin believed there was something missing with Vyse's find. Sitchin believed that the hieroglyph was from a different period than Khufu's Reign. In fact, the hieroglyph wasn't created until well after Khufu's death. Sitchin inquired about this and came to the conclusion that Vyse had gone into the pyramid and drawn the glyph on a stone. When Vyse was in the pyramid alone he had brought with him a book of a certain period of ancient glyphs. And the glyph that was found match almost perfectly with the one that was in the book. Also, when looking back at Vyse's journal entries from his expedition, there was thorough examination of the relieving rooms but no mention of the hieroglyphics.

Vyse's second "great discovery" was a flat iron plate, 12' by 4' and 1/8' thick. The plate was removed from a joint in the masonry at the place where the southern airshaft of the king's chamber exits to the outside. Experts conclude that it was left in the joint during the building of the pyramid and couldn't have been inserted afterwards. This is highly significant since the date for Iron Age in Egypt is around 650 B.C., though some believe it was in some use earlier and the accepted date for the building of the great pyramid is 2589 B.C. to 2566 B.C....”

Family and later life

Vyse was knighted, Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, year unknown, though late in his life.Vyse died at Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, on 8 June 1853. He married, 13 Nov, 1810 Frances, [ [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=008-howard-d121&cid=1-28-1#1-28-1 Abstract of the marriage settlement of Richard William Howard-Vyse and Frances Hesketh [no ref.] 24 Oct 1810 at Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies] ] second daughter of Henry Hesketh of Newton, Cheshire. By her he had eight sons and two daughters. His will was proved on 13 August 1853 [ [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?queryType=1&resultcount=1&Edoc_Id=14009 PROB 11/2177 Will of Richard William Howard Howard Vyse, Major General in Her Majesty's Army of Stoke Place , Buckinghamshire] ] at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

Controversy

There has been some degree of controversy regarding the validity of the graffiti discovery and its potential forgery by Vyse and his colleagues, [ [http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/information/biography/uvwxyz/vyse_richard.html Richard William Howard Vyse] Brief biography at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Has incorrect date of death.] however given its precarious location, some traces into the cracks and joints of the walls, it is hard to argue it could have been inscribed after construction. [Werner, Miroslav. "The Pyramids – Their Archaeology and History", p. 455.]

Publications

* "Operations Carried on at the Pyramids of Gizeh in 1837", published London, 4to., two volumes, 1840.
* [http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&id=ih0GAAAAQAAJ "Appendix to Operations carried on at the Pyramids of Gizeh in 1837"] published London, 4to., 1842, volume three, 1842. Devoted to Perring's researches. Full text at Google Books.

References

External references

* [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/searches/subjectView.asp?ID=P14694 Vyse, Richard William Howard Howard (1784-1853) Major General MP] at National Register of Archives.
* [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=008-howard-d121&cid=1-52#1-52 Howard-Vyse Manuscripts] at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies.

Persondata
NAME = Vyse, Richard William Howard
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Howard Vyse, Richard William
SHORT DESCRIPTION = British Army general
DATE OF BIRTH = 25 July 1784
PLACE OF BIRTH = Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, England
DATE OF DEATH = 8 June 1853
PLACE OF DEATH = Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, England


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