Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 10.djvu/378
separated from both parents, and for nearly three years she lived under his roof, but in March 1821, finding her beyond the control of servants, he thought himself justified in placing her temporarily in the convent of Bagna-Cavallo, twelve miles from Ravenna, paying double for her maintenance to insure her proper care, and inquiring as to the possibility of removing her to Switzerland. Claire, justly distrustful of the management of Italian convents, olBfered energetic remonstrances, which Byron overruled with unfeeling harshness. The coldness between the two had deepened into a bitter antipathy, of which Allegra became the victim. During all this period Claire, except when living with Mary Wollstonecraft's old pupil Lady Mountcashell, had continued with the Shelleys, and her equivocal situation had given rise to a fresh set of calumnies, fabricated by a discharged servant, of which Byron stooped to avail himself as an excuse for thwarting Claire's wishes. She was forming wild schemes for carrying Allegra off from the convent, when, on 19 April 1822, the hapless child died of tjrphoid fever. Byron's grief was mingled with remorse ; Claire's was at first intense, but ere Shelley's death in the following July she had become, according to him, 'vivacious and talkative.' After this catastrophe she repaired to her brother at Vienna, and soon afterwards went as governess to Russia, where she met with many discomforts, graphically described in letters to Mrs. Shelley. About 1830 she was again in Italy, teaching the descendants of Lady Mountcashell. She subsequently lived at Paris, and finally at Florence, where he died 19 March 1879. Her latter years were made comfortable by a legacy from Shelley, though much of it was lost by an unfortunate investment. She had become a Roman catholic, and 'contemplated writing a book to illustrate, from the lives of Shelley and Byron, the dangers and evils resulting from erroneous opinions on the subject of the relations between the sexes.' She left a favourable impression upon her Florentine acquaintance, who describe her as handsome to the last, kindly in disposition and agreeable in manner, but eccentric and given to romancing. Her errors and misfortunes, indeed, chiefly sprang from her determination to be a heroine of romance at any cost. She transgressed the laws of society without the excuse of either passion or conviction, but with the resolution to obtain by her adventures the celebrity which she could not obtain by her abilities. She was, however, clever, well informed, wrote excellent letters, and would have been an attractive person but for her continual discontent and lemning. Shelley's letters to her, first published by Professor Dowden, are generally couched in a very affectionate strain, and he seems to have set real value upon her sympathy.
[Dowden's Life of Shelley ; Shelley's other biographers and his correspondence, passim; Kegan Paul's Life of Godwin, vol. ii. ; Moore's Life and Letters of Lord Byron ; private information.]
CLANCARTY, Earl of. [See MacCarthy, Donogh, fl, 1688.]
CLANCARTY, Earl of. [See Trench, Richard le Poer, 1767-1837.]
CLANNY, WILLLAM REID, M.D. (1776-1860), medical writer and inventor of a safety-lamp, was born in 1776 at Bangor, co. Down, Ireland. He completed his medical education at Edinburgh, and served as assistant surgeon in the navy, being present in the action at Copenhagen. Leaving the navy he graduated M.D. at Eklinburgh in 1803, and after a short residence at Durham settled at Bishopwearmouth, Sunderland, where he practised medicine till his death on 10 Jan. 1850.
Clanny's medical writings were unimportant. His claim to remembrance rests on his efforts to diminish the loss of life from explosions in collieries. Without any very great knowledge of chemistry he conceived the idea of insulating a candle by enclosing it in a metal lamp, with water chambers above and below it, through the lower of which air should be forced by bellows, and from the upper of which the surplus air should be expelled by the same action. This lamp was completed in 1812, and successfully tried in the Harrington Mill pit, a very fiery mine, on 16 Oct. and 20 Nov. 1815. A paper by Clanny was read before the Royal Society on 20 May 1813, 'On the Means of procuring a Steady Light in Coal Mines without the Danger of Explosion' (Phil. Trans. ciii. 200). He claimed that the gases might explode within his lamp without communicating the explosion externally. No details of experiments are given, and the lamp was exceedingly cumbersome; nevertheless considerable credit is due to Clanny, which he was not slow to claim. Sir H. Davy's first paper on the subject was read on 9 Nov. 1816, after seeing Clanny's experiments with his lamp. In 1816 and 1817 he received from the Society of Arts their large gold and silver medals for modifications of his original lamp. He afterwards modified his lamp so as to bring it down to a weight of thirty-four ounces, and in this form it was practically used in several collieries in Durham and Northumberland. A purse of gold.