Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/1009

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
983
STRANGFORD—STRANRAER

the exclusion of engravers from the Royal Academy, he published an attack on that body, entitled An Enquiry into the Rise and Progress of the Royal Academy of Arts at London, and prefaced by a long letter to Lord Bute. In 1787 he engraved West's " Apotheosis of the Princes Octavius and Alfred," and was rewarded with the honour of kinghthood. He died in London on the 5th of July 1792.

After his death a splendid edition of reserved proofs of his engravings was issued; and a catalogue of his works, by Charles Blanc, was published in 1848 by Rudolph Wcigel of Leipzig, forming part of Le Graveur en taille douce.

See Memoirs of Sir Robert Strange, Knt., and his Brother-in-law Andrew Lumisden, by James Dennistoun of Denhistoun (1855).


STRANGFORD, VISCOUNT, an Irish title held by the family of Smythe, from 1625, when it was conferred upon Sir Thomas Smythe (d. 1635) of Ostenhanger and Ashford, Kent, until 1869, when it became extinct. From Sir Thomas the title passed down to his descendant, Percy Clinton Sydney Smythe (1780-1855), who succeeded his father, Lionel, as 6th viscount in 1801. Entering the diplomatic service in 1802, Smythe represented his country at Lisbon, in Brazil, at Stockholm, Constantinople and St Petersburg, and in 1825 he was created a peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Penshurst. He had literary tastes, and in 1803 published Poems from the Portuguese of Camoens, with Remarks and Notes, Byron at this time describing him as " Hibernian Strangford "; he died on the 29th of May 1855.

His eldest son George Augustus Frederick Percy Sydney Smythe (1818-1857), who now became the 7th viscount, was associated with Disraeli and Lord John Manners in the conduct of the " Young England " party. He entered parliament in 1841, and was under-secretary for foregin affairs in 1845-1846, losing his seat at Canterbury in 1852. In 1852 he fought a duel at Weybridge with Colonel Frederick Romilly (1810-1887), the last encounter of this kind in England. Like his father, Smythe had literary tastes, and he is thought to be the original of Disraeli's Coningsby. In 1844 he wrote Historic Fancies, a collection of poems and essays, and his novel Angelo Pisani was published posthumously, with a memoir of the author in 1875. As a journalist he wrote in the Morning Chronicle. He died on the 23rd of November 1857, and was succeeded by his brother Percy Ellen Frederick William Sydney Smythe (1826-1869) as 8th viscount.

Born at St Petersburg on the 26th of November 1826, during all his earlier years Percy Smythe was nearly blind, in con- sequence, it was believed, of his mother having suffered very great hardships on a journey up the Baltic in wintry weather shortly before his birth. His health through life was very delicate, but did not prevent his showing quite early most re- markable powers of mind. His education was begun at Harrow, whence he went to Merton College, Oxford. From the very first he gave proofs of extraordinary ability as a linguist, and was nominated by the vice-chancellor of Oxford in 1845 a student- attache at Constantinople. A very interesting account of his colleagues, more especially of Mr Almerick Wood, who was a man of phenomenal capacity, was written by him later in life, and is to be found in the two volumes of his collected essays published by his widow. While at Constantinople, where he served under Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, Percy Smythe gained a mastery not only of Turkish and its dialects, but of almost every form of modern Greek, from the language of the literati of Athens to the least Hellenized Romaic. Before he went to the East he had a large knowledge both of Persian and Arabic, but until his duties led him to study the past, present and future of the sultan's empire he had given no attention to the tongues which he well described as those of the international rabble in and around the Balkan peninsula. He made, while in the East, a careful study of these, and was the first English- man to see that the Bulgarians were much more likely than the Servians to come to the front as the Ottoman power declined. He avowed himself a Liberal in English politics, and those with whom he chiefly lived were Liberals; but he was not an anti-Turk, as so many Liberals afterwards became. On succeeding to the peerage in 1857 he did not abandon the East, but lived on at Constantinople for several years, immersed in Oriental studies. At length, however, he returned to England and began to write a great deal, sometimes in the Saturday Review, sometimes in the Quarterly, and much in the Pall Mall Gazette. A rather severe review in the first of these organs of the Egyptian Sepulchres and Syrian Shrines of Emily Anne Beaufort (d. 1887) led to a result not very usual — the marriage of the reviewer and of the authoress. One of the most interesting papers Lord Strangford ever wrote was the last chapter in his wife's book on the Eastern Shores of the Adriatic. That chapter was entitled " Chaos," and was the first of his writings which made him widely known amongst careful students of foreign politics. From that time forward everything that he wrote was watched with intense interest, and even when it was anonymous there was not the slightest difficulty in recognizing his style, for it was unlike any other. He died in London on the 9th of January 1869, when his titles became extinct. A Selection from the Writings of Viscount Strangford on Political, Geographical and Social Subjects was edited by his widow and published in 1869. His Original Letters and Papers upon Philology and Kindred Subjects were also edited by Lady Strangford (1878).

See E. B. de Fonblanque, Lives of the Lords Strangford through Ten Generations (1877).


STRANRAER, a royal and police burgh and seaport of Wigtownshire, Scotland. Pop. (1901), 6036. It is situated at the head of Loch Ryan, an arm of the North Channel (Irish Sea), 59 m. S.S.W. of Ayr by the Glasgow & South-Western railway, with a station in the town and at the harbour. It lies 39 m. E. by N. of Larne in Co. Antrim, Ireland, with which there is daily communication by mail steamer. Stran- raer, originally called St John's Chapel, became a burgh of barony in 1596, and a royal burgh in 1617. In the centre of the town are the ruins of the castle of the 15th century, occupied for a time by John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, when he held the office of sheriff of Galloway (1682). The principal buildings within the parish are the old town hall, now used as a volunteer drill hall and armoury; the county buildings, containing the town hall and court house; the academy; reformatory and the Wigtownshire combination poor- house. Dairy utensils and implements are made; there are several nurseries; brewing and milling are carried on, but the bulk of the trade is in farm and dairy produce. Pier and harbour accommodation has been extended and the shipping is brisk. The oyster beds, for which Loch Ryan was once noted, are not cultivated, but the fisheries (white fish and herrings) are still of some consequence. Three miles east of Stranraer is Lochinch, the residence of the earl of Stair, a modern structure in the Scots Baronial style. It stands in grounds 4000 acres in extent, which include the White and Black Lochs and the ruins of Castle Kennedy, finely situated on the isthmus between the lakes. This castle was erected in the reign of James VI. for the earls of Cassilis, and passed into the hands of the Stair family in the 17 th century. It was struck by lightning in 1 7 16 and burned down and never rebuilt. The estate is famous for its plantations and Dutch gardens, the pinetum con- taining the most representative collection of araucarias, deodars and other conifers in Europe. A mile south are the green mounds marking the site of the abbey of Saulseat, founded for Premonstratensian monks by Fergus, " king " of Galloway, early in the 12 th century. It stood on the banks of a small loch and was known as the Monastery of the Green Lake from the mass of confervae with which the water was continually covered. Four miles west by north of Stranraer is situated Lochnaw Castle, the ancient seat of the Agnews, who were hereditary sheriffs of Galloway till 1747, when heredi table jurisdictions were abolished. The five-storied embattled tower in the centre dates from 1426, and the modern mansions from 1820. On the coast, i\ m. south-west of Stranraer by rail, lies Portpatrick, formerly called Port Montgomerie. Owing to its proximity to Ireland (215 m. to Donaghadee), it was for more than 200 years a starting-point