Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol III (1901).djvu/96

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Layard
Layard
82

culturists on 4 Sept. 1900. The portrait by Mr. Herkomer, painted by subscription in 1893, hangs at Rothamsted. A reproduction of it appears in the 'Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society' for 30 Sept. 1900, with a memoir. Lawes married, on 28 Dec. 1842, Caroline, daughter of Andrew Fountaine of Warford Hall, Norfolk, and by her, who died in 1895, left issue one daughter and one son, Charles Bennett (b. 1843), who succeeded to the baronetcy.

[Journal Royal Agric. Soc. 1900, pp. 511-24 (memoir, with portrait), and earlier vols. quoted above ; Agricultural Gazette, 2 Jan. 1888, p. 13 (autobiographical note of his earlier years); Transactions Highland and Agricultural Society, 1895 (portrait, and summary of experiments) ; Reminiscences of Sir John Lawes (three articles in Agricultural Gazette for 17 and 24 Sept. and 8 Oct. 1900, by R. Warington, F.R.S., a former assistant in the Rothamsted laboratory). Lawes and his experiments are constantly referred to in the agricultural literature of the second half of the nineteenth century.]

E. C.-e.

LAYARD, Sir AUSTEN HENRY (1817-1894), excavator of Nineveh and politician, born in Paris on 5 March 1817, of Huguenot descent, was son of Henry Peter John Layard, of the Ceylon Civil Service, and of Marianne, daughter of Nathaniel Austen of Ramsgate. Daniel Peter Layard [q.v.] was his great-grandfather. His youth was mainly spent in Italy. When sixteen years old he entered the office of his uncle, Henry Austen, who was a solicitor in London. There he remained for six years, but law did not attract him, and in 1839 he decided to leave England for Ceylon, as a relative living in the island held out to him a prospect of more congenial employment He had made the acquaintance of Edward Mitford, a young man about ten years older than himself, who was setting out for the same destination, and, as Mitford disliked the sea, they hit upon the plan of making the journey overland through Asia. Leaving England on 8 July 1839, Layard joined Mitford at Brussels, and they travelled together through Roumelia to Constantinople. In August 1840 they reached Hamadan, where they parted company. Layard abandoned the journey to Ceylon, and remained for a time in Persia. In the following year it became necessary for him to obtain fresh funds from home. Having written to his friends in London from Baghdad, he descended the Tigris to Basra, and paid a second visit to Khuzistan. His expenses were not heavy, as he adopted the Bakhtiyari dress and travelled alone or with one servant. On returning to Baghdad he found letters from his friends which necessitated his return to England, and in the summer of 1842 he set out for Constantinople on the return journey. On his way he spent several days at Mosul with Emil Botta, who had recently been appointed French consul there, and who had already begun his excavations in the great mounds opposite the city which mark the site of the ruins of Nineveh. Botta had opened trenches in the largest of the mounds, known as Kuyunjik, and Layard visited and examined with him the spot where he himself was subsequently to undertake excavations for the trustees of the British Museum.

On his arrival at Constantinople, Layard called at the British embassy to deliver a letter entrusted to him by Colonel Taylor, the British resident at Baghdad. At this time the relations between Turkey and Persia were strained owing to disputes concerning the frontier, and Layard hoped that his recent travels in Khuzistan and his knowledge of the region in dispute would procure him employment in some form or other at the embassy. His first reception there was not encouraging ; but when his funds were exhausted, and he was about to leave for England, he received an offer from Stratford Canning (afterwards Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe) [q. v.], the British ambassador to Turkey, that he should travel unofficially through Western Turkey and report to him on the state of affairs. This offer, which he readily accepted, was the turning-point in Layard's fortunes. His financial difficulties ceased, and in Canning he obtained an influential patron who put him in the way of his future discoveries. Continuing to employ Layard privately, Canning, in the spring of 1844, sent him on a mission to Northern Albania. Meanwhile he had recommended him for an appointment at the embassy, but, as the suggestion met with opposition at the foreign office, he found other employment for his protégé. Canning took a keen interest in archæology. He had read the memoir of Claudius James Rich [q. v.] on the site of Nineveh, and when Layard described to him the mounds which he had examined with Botta he decided to undertake the exploration of that site. He used his influence with the Porte to obtain the necessary firman; he paid Layard a salary of 200l. a year ; and he placed at his disposal an additional sum for defraying the cost of excavation (see Lane-Poole, The Life of Stratford Canning, ii. 137 f.) In the early part of October 1845 Layard received his final instructions, and left Constantinople for Mosul.