Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon"
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Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon"


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 "Banks" to "Bassoon" Author: Various Release Date: December 10, 2008 [EBook #27480] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ENCYC. BRITANNICA, VOL 3, PART 1-3 *** Produced by Don Kretz, Juliet Sutherland, Keith Edkins and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was made using scans of public domain material from the Robinson Curriculum.) Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek or Hebrew will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version. Volume and page numbers are displayed in the margin as: v.03 p.0001 THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION ELEVENTH EDITION VOLUME III AUSTRIA LOWER to BISECTRIX [E-Text Edition of Volume III - Part 1 of 2, Slice 3 of 3 - BANKS to BASSOON] [v.03 p.0333]BANKS, GEORGE LINNAEUS (1821-1881), British miscellaneous writer, was born at Birmingham on the 2nd of March 1821. After a brief experience in a variety of trades, he became at the age of seventeen a contributor to various newspapers, and subsequently a playwright, being the author of two plays, a couple of burlesques and several lyrics. Between 1848 and 1864 he edited in succession a variety of newspapers, including the Birmingham Mercury and th e Dublin Daily Express, and published several volumes of miscellaneous prose and verse. He died in London on the 3rd of May 1881. BANKS, SIR JOSEPH, BART. (1743-1820), English naturalist, was born in Argyle Street, London, on the 13th of February 1743. His father, William Banks, was the son of a successful Lincolnshire doctor, who became sheriff of his county, and represented Peterborough in parliament; and Joseph was brought up as the son of a rich man. In 1760 he went to Oxford, where he showed a decided taste for natural science and was the means of introducing botanical lectures into the university. In 1764 he came into possession of the ample fortune left by his father, and in 1766 he made his first scientific expedition to Newfoundland and Labrador, bringing back a rich collection of plants and insects. Shortly after his return, Captain Cook was sent by the government to observe the transit of Venus in the Pacific Ocean, and Banks, through the influence of his friend Lord Sandwich, obtained leave to join the expedition in the "Endeavour," which was fitted out at his own expense. He made the most careful preparations, in order to be able to profit by every opportunity, and induced Dr Daniel Solander, a distinguished pupil of Linnaeus, to accompany him. He even engaged draughtsmen and painters to delineate such objects of interest as did not admit of being transported or preserved. The voyage occupied three years and many hardships had to be undergone; but the rich harvest of discovery was more than adequate compensation. Banks was equally anxious to join Cook's second expedition and expended large sums in engaging assistants and furnishing the necessary equipment; but circumstances obliged him to relinquish his purpose. He, however, employed the assistants and materials he had collected in a voyage to Iceland in 1772, returning by the Hebrides and Staffa. In 1778 Banks succeeded Sir John Pringle as president of the Royal Society, of which he had been a fellow from 1766, and held the office until his death. In 1781 he was made a baronet; in 1795 he received the order of the Bath; and in 1797 he was admitted to the privy council. He died at Isleworth on the 19th of June 1820. As president of the Royal Society he did much to raise the state of science in Britain, and was at the same time most assiduous and successful in cultivating friendly relations with scientific men of all nations. It was, however, objected to him that from his own predilections he was inclined to overlook and depreciate the labours of the mathematical and physical sections of the Royal Society and that he exercised his authority somewhat despotically. He bequeathed his collections of books and botanical specimens to the British Museum. His fame rests rather on what his liberality enabled other workers to do than on his own achievements. See J. H. Maiden, Sir Joseph Banks (1909). BANKS, NATHANIEL PRENTISS (1816-1894), American politician and soldier, was born at Waltham, Massachusetts, on the 30th of January 1816. He received only a common school education and at an early age began work as a bobbin-boy in a cotton factory of which his father was superintendent. Subsequently he edited a weekly paper at Waltham, studied law and was admitted to the bar, his energy and his ability as a public speaker soon winning him distinction. He served as a Free Soiler in the Massachusetts house of representatives from 1849 to 1853, and was speaker in 1851 and 1852; he was president of the state Constitutional Convention of 1853, and in the same year was elected to the national House of Representatives as a coalition candidate of Democrats and Free Soilers. Although re-elected in 1854 as an American or "Know-Nothing," he soon left this party, and in 1855 presided over a Republican convention in Massachusetts. At the opening of the Thirty-Fourth Congress the anti-Nebraska men gradually united in supporting Banks for speaker, and after one of the bitterest and most protracted speakership contests in the history of congress, lasting from the 3rd of December 1855 to the 2nd of February 1856, he was chosen on the 133rd ballot. This has been called the first national victory of the Republican party. Re-elected in 1856 as a Republican, he resigned his seat in December 1857, and was governor of Massachusetts from 1858 to 1861, a period marked by notable administrative and educational reforms. He then succeeded George B. McClellan as president of the Illinois Central railway. Although while governor he had been a strong advocate of peace, he was one of the earliest to offer his services to President Lincoln, who appointed