<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Rice, Edmund Nagle, -1801

A plan of mathematical learning taught in the Royal Academy, Portsmouth : performed by a student there 177[blank].

Portsmouth, England, approximately 1798-1799.
Physical Description:
518 pages : illustrations, diagrams, maps ; 37 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
V522.P67 R53 1798+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.

Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Archives & Manuscripts
The will of Edmund Nagle Rice, Midshipman on board the H.M.S. Topaze, written January 14, 1801, bequeaths his worldly possessions to his mother, Susana Maria Rice (widow), of 61 Cumberland Street, Portsea. From 1733 to 1837, the Royal Naval Academy, in Portsmouth, England served as a school for the standardized training of officers for the Royal Navy.
Inscribed, on paper affixed to the front pastedown: "Edmund Nagle Rice joined the Topaze Frigate, Capt. Church, Dec. 1799. The above died with the yellow fever at the West Indies, 12 June, 1801."
Bound in contemporary dark blue quarter morocco and marbled boards.
Manuscript exercise book, by Edmund Nagle Rice, circa 1798-1799, containing notes and instructions for the training of a naval officer. It covers such subjects as geography, astronomy, navigation, fortification, and gunnery. The text is interspersed with hundreds of diagrams and charts in pen and black ink (some with wash), numerous charts, plans and maps, and 19 drawings of landscapes and seascapes (5 full-page and 14 half-page) in watercolor or wash. The title leaf is engraved and dated 177[blank], but all evidence in the volume suggests it was created in the final years of the eighteenth century.
On the verso of the watercolor between pages 294-295 is an note signed by Richard Livesay, drawing master at Portsmouth Academy (from 1796 to 1811), saying that the drawings had been shown to Earl Spencer, First Lord of the Admiralty (from 1794 to 1800), who was "pleased to honour them with his approbation." Livesay hopes that his approval will "excite a general spirit of diligence and improvement."
Pages 1-59 cover arithmetic, with exercises on weights and measures, fractions, proportion, powers and roots, and logarithms. Pages 60-107 treat geometry, with definitions and theorems from Books 1-5 of Euclid's Elements. The section on plane trigonometry (p. 108-125) culminates in a full-page diagram on "The construction of the plane scale."
The next group of lessons are devoted to aspects of geography, beginning with "The description and use of the terestrial globe" (p. 126-130). Under the general heading "Geography" are lessons on "the natural division of the Earth," "division of the Earth into zones," "division of the Earth by climates," and brief descriptions of the known continents. Pages 143-154 include lessons in Chronology, "the art of estimating and comparing together the times when remarkable events have happen'd, such as are related in history."
Logically, a large section is devoted to Navigation (p. 155-261). It begins with a full-page mariner's compass, and focuses on the topics of plane sailing, traverse sailing, oblique sailing, windward sailing, current sailing, and globular sailing. This section includes several fine maps, including a folded "Mercator's chart" of the Atlantic Ocean (between pages 242 and 243). A considerable portion of this section is devoted to the issue of longitude. There follows a section on Spherics, which includes two full-page watercolors of village scenes, signed by Rice and dated 1798.
A chapter on astronomy (p. 295-342) includes finely executed full-page diagrams on "The Copernican or Solar System" and projections on the plane of the Meridian, Equator, and horizon, along with "Tables for finding the apparent latitudes & longitudes of Zodiacal stars." There follows chapters on latitude and longitude (p. 343-391). Ensuing sections treat practical matters of sailing. Under the heading "Days works" (p. 392-414) are lessons on leeway, variation of compass, and a final section on "A journal of a voyage from England &c.," which is dated July 12 to July 20, 1799. This is followed by a chapter on marine surveying, which concludes with a handful of intricate coastal charts.
Final sections of the volume focus primarily on martial subjects. A chapter on fortification (p. 441-470) includes a number of plans of varieties of ramparts. A chapter on gunnery (p. 471-497) places emphasis on calculations for the weights of various metals, along with calculations for shooting in cannon and mortars. The final lessons in the volume, on matters of mechanics (p. 498-518), cover the workings of levers, wheels, screws, pulleys, and wedges.
Subject Terms:
Arithmetic -- Problems, exercises, etc.
Arithmetic -- Study and teaching.
Artillery -- Problems, exercises, etc.
Artillery -- Study and teaching.
Astronomy -- Problems, exercises, etc.
Astronomy -- Study and teaching.
Fortification -- Problems, exercises, etc.
Fortification -- Study and teaching.
Geography -- Problems, exercises, etc.
Geography -- Study and teaching.
Geometrical drawing -- Problems, exercises, etc.
Geometrical drawing -- Study and teaching.
Geometry -- Problems, exercises, etc.
Geometry -- Study and teaching.
Great Britain. Royal Navy -- Officers -- Training of -- 18th century.
Livesay, Richard, -1823?
Nautical training-schools.
Naval art and science -- Problems, exercises, etc.
Naval education -- Great Britain -- 18th century.
Naval education.
Navigation -- Problems, exercises, etc.
Navigation -- Study and teaching.
Portsmouth (England). Royal naval college.
School notebooks -- Great Britain -- 18th century.
Spencer, George John Spencer, Earl, 1758-1834.
Exercise books.
Ink drawings.
Nautical charts.
IIIF Manifest:

Spreading Canvas - Eighteenth - Century British Marine Painting (Yale Center for British Art, 2016-09-09 - 2016-12-04) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Line of Beauty : British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century (Yale Center for British Art, 2001-05-19 - 2001-08-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.