- Sir William Congreve, 1st Baronet
Lieutenant GeneralSir William Congreve, 1st Baronet (d. 1814)
During the second half of the 18th century, the British government became increasingly concerned over the volume and quality of
gunpowderproduced by the private manufacturers. It became involved directly in the process starting with the purchase of the powder mills at Favershamin 1759.
In April 1783, the British
Board of Ordnanceappointed MajorWilliam Congreve to be responsible for the manufacture and proof of gunpowder in Britain. In his previous post of Deputy Comptroller (acting Comptroller) of the Royal Laboratories at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, he had already demonstrated his remarkable ability for invention and organisation. He set about making the government manufacturing facilities model factories and encouraged private companies to follow the innovations he introduced.
His previous work in experimentation allowed him to make the transition between research and production a smoother process and to introduce manufacturing changes that would have far-reaching implications on the quality and quantity of output.
His work to 'establish a proper mode of proof' was important to the armed forces at the time who complained about the consistency of the powder. Congreve felt that the quality of ingredients was at the root of problems and set about building refining capability into his factories.
He became involved in political wrangles with the
Prime Ministerof the time, William Pitt, who, prompted by private manufacturers, asserted that government powder was more expensive and of inferior quality. Congreve not only argued for the continuation of government manufacturing at Favershamby showing that stronger, cheaper powder was produced there but he achieved his aim of purchasing a second plant, the mill at Waltham Abbey. He purchased the facility from the Walton family in 1787 for the sum of £10,000. This became known as the Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills.
Congreve reviewed the
process of corning black powderand established the advantaged of using larger grain (measure)powders in cannonsand finer grain powders in small arms, overturning the Board of Ordnance policy of a single grain size for all weapons.
Congreve continued to develop new production methods. This included detailed experiments in 1785 at the Faversham Mill into the different types of wood used to produce
charcoal, the most variable of the three ingredients of powder. In collaboration with Dr Watson, Bishop of Llandaff and following a method proposed by George Fordyce, he established that stronger powder could be made from charcoal produced in sealed iron retorts or cylinders.
Congreve was made a
Baronetin 1812 and died in 1814. He was succeeded in his posts by his son, William Congreve (inventor)of the Congreve Rocket.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Sir William Congreve, 2nd Baronet — (May 20 1772 ndash; May 16, 1828), was an English inventor and rocket artillery pioneer distinguished for his development and deployment of Congreve rockets. He was son of Lt. General Sir William Congreve, 1st Baronet, the Comptroller of the… … Wikipedia
Sir Charles Pole, 1st Baronet — Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles Morice Pole, 1st Baronet (18 January 1757 – 6 September 1830) naval officer and colonial governor born England and died Denham Abbey, Hertfordshire, England. Pole entered the Royal Academy in 1770 and served in… … Wikipedia
William Congreve (disambiguation) — William Congreve (1670 1729) was an English playwright and poet.William Congreve may also refer to:*Sir William Congreve, 1st Baronet (died 1814), father of the inventor *Sir William Congreve, 2nd Baronet (1772 1828), inventor *Billy Congreve… … Wikipedia
Congreve Baronets — Sir William Congreve, 1st Baronet … Wikipedia
William — /wil yeuhm/, n. 1. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter W. 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning will and helmet. * * * (as used in expressions) Huddie William Ledbetter Aberhart William George William… … Universalium
Members of the 1st UK Parliament from Ireland — 1st Parliament (1801) 2nd Parliament (1802) 3rd Parliament (1806) This is a list of the Irish MPs who were co opted from the former Parliament of Ireland, to serve as Members of the 1st UK Parliament from Ireland, or who were elected at… … Wikipedia
Ракета Конгрива — Из разработок Конгрива, 1814 год. Ракета Конгрива (англ. Congreve rocket) боевая ракета, разработанная Уильямом Конгревом (1772 182 … Википедия
1670 in England — Events from the year 1670 in England.Incumbents*Monarch Charles II of EnglandEvents* 1 June the secret treaty of Dover signed between King Charles II of England and France.cite book|last=Williams|first=Hywel|title=Cassell s Chronology of World… … Wikipedia
List of Old Harrovians — The following is a list of some notable Old Harrovians, graduates of Harrow School in the United Kingdom. * Royalty*King Faisal II of Iraq *Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein of Jordan *Prince Hassan bin Al Talal of Jordan *King Hussein of Jordan… … Wikipedia
Dublin — /dub lin/, n. 1. Gaelic, Baile tha Cliath. a seaport in and the capital of the Republic of Ireland, in the E part, on the Irish Sea. 422,220. 2. a county in E Republic of Ireland. 1,001,985; 356 sq. mi. (922 sq. km). Co. seat: Dublin. 3. a city… … Universalium