Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 40.djvu/230

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


bitious work is in Ackerman's ‘Religious Emblems,’ 1809, to which two more of Bewick's old pupils, Clennell and Hole, also contributed. ‘Hope Departing,’ ‘Joyful Retribution,’ ‘Sinners Hiding in the Grave,’ are among the best of these. Nesbit besides engraved a cut (‘Quack’) for Puckle's ‘Club,’ 1817; and a large specimen block (‘Rinaldo and Armida’) for Savage's ‘Practical Hints on Decorative Printing,’ 1818. The design, like those in the ‘Religious Emblems,’ was by John Thurston. He also executed a smaller block for Savage's book.

By this date, however, Nesbit had returned to his native place. He continued, nevertheless, to work as an engraver for the London and Newcastle booksellers. One of his best efforts is a likeness of Bewick, after Nicholson, which was prefixed to Emerson Charnley's ‘Select Fables’ of 1820, and he also executed some excellent reproductions of William Harvey's designs to the first series of Northcote's ‘Fables,’ 1828. In 1830 he went back to London, and worked upon the second series, 1833; upon Harvey's ‘Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green,’ 1832; White's ‘Selborne,’ 1836; and Latrobe's ‘Scripture Illustrations,’ 1838. Among others of his works not yet mentioned must be included a block for Rogers's ‘Pleasures of Memory,’ 1810, p. 30; cuts for Stevens's ‘Lecture on Heads;’ Somervile's ‘Chase,’ 1795, and ‘Rural Sports,’ 1813; and various head-pieces, &c., for the Lee Priory Press, all of which last are collected in Quillinan's ‘Woodcuts and Verses,’ 1820. Nesbit died at Queen's Elm, Brompton, on 11 Nov. 1838, aged 63. As a wood-engraver pure and simple, he was the best of Bewick's pupils.

[Robinson's Thomas Bewick, his Life and Times, 1887; Thomas Bewick and his Pupils, 1884, by the author of this article; Miss Boyd's Bewick Gleanings, 1886; Chatto's Treatise on Wood Engraving, 1839; Linton's Masters of Wood Engraving, 1889; Bewick's Memoir (Memorial Edition), 1887.]

A. D.

NESBIT, JOHN COLLIS (1818–1862), agricultural chemist, son of Anthony Nesbit [q. v.], was born at Bradford, Yorkshire, 12 July 1818. He was educated at home, and assisted his father in his school. At an early age he turned his attention to chemistry and physical science, and when only fifteen he constructed a galvanic battery which was purchased by the Manchester Mechanics' Institute for thirty guineas. He studied chemistry under Dalton, and also attended Sturgeon's lectures on electricity and galvanism. He commenced lecturing at an early age, and he acquired great facility as a speaker upon scientific subjects. He took a leading part in the management of his father's school upon its removal to London, and he was one of the first to introduce the teaching of natural science into an ordinary school course, the instruction being given partly by himself, and partly by Charles Johnson (1791–1880) [q. v.], John Morris (1810–1886) [q. v.], and George Fleming Richardson. Particular attention was paid to chemistry, especially as applied to agriculture, and each pupil received practical instruction in the laboratory. Eventually the school was converted into a chemical and agricultural college under his sole direction, and as the use of superphosphates and other artificial manures became general, Nesbit began to undertake commercial analyses for farmers and manufacturers. New laboratories were built, and he obtained a large practice as a consulting and analytical chemist. He was elected a fellow of the Geological Society and of the Chemical Society in 1845. Reasoning from certain geological indications, he was led to suspect the existence of phosphatic deposits in the Ardennes, and in the summer of 1855 he discovered several important beds of coprolites in that region. For many years he was a prominent member of the Central Farmers' Club, which in 1857 presented him with a microscope and a service of plate in recognition of his services to agricultural chemistry (Farmers' Magazine, May 1856, p. 415; January 1858, p. 6).

Nesbit wrote: 1. ‘Lecture on Agricultural Chemistry at Saxmundham,’ 1849. 2. ‘Peruvian Guano: its history, composition, and fertilising qualities,’ 1852. This was translated into German, with additions, in 1853 by C. H. Schmidt. 3. ‘Agricultural Chemistry and the Nature and Properties of Peruvian Guano,’ 1856. This consisted mainly of lectures delivered at various times. 4. ‘History and Properties of Natural Guanos,’ new edit. 1860.

His contributions to periodical literature include: 1. ‘On an Electro-Magnetic Coil Machine,’ in Sturgeon's ‘Annals of Electricity,’ 1838, ii. 203. 2. ‘Analysis of the Mineral Constituents of the Hop,’ in ‘Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society,’ 1846, vii. 210. 3. ‘On the Presence of Phosphoric Acid in the Subordinate Members of the Chalk Formation,’ in ‘Journal of the Geological Society,’ 1848, iv. 262. 4. ‘On the Quantitative Estimation of Phosphoric Acid, and on its Presence in some of the Marls of the Upper Greensand Formation,’ in ‘Journal of the Chemical Society,’ 1848, i. 44. 5. ‘On the Phosphoric Acid and Fluorine contained in