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THOMAS WILMER DEWING (1851- )

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Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 140 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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THOMAS WILMER DEWING (1851- ), American figure painter, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the 4th of May 1851. He was a pupil of Jules Lefebvre in Paris from 1876 to 1879; was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1888; was a member of the society of Ten American Painters, New York; and received medals at the Paris Exhibition (1889), at Chicago (1893), at Buffalo (1901) and at St Louis (1904). His decorative genre pictures are notable for delicacy and finish. Among his portraits are those of Mrs Stanford White and of his own wife. Mrs Dewing (b, 1855), nee Maria Oakey, a figure and flower painter, was a pupil of John La Farge in New York, and of Couture in Paris. DE WINT, PETER (1784-1849), English landscape painter, of Dutch extraction, son of an English physician, was born at Stone, Staffordshire, on the 21st of January 1784. He studied art in London, and in 1809 entered the Academy schools. In 1812 he became a member of the Society of Painters in Water-colours, where he exhibited largely for many years, as well as at the Academy. He married in 1810 the sister of William Hilton, R.A. He died in London on the 3oth of January 1849. De Wint's life was devoted to art; he painted admirably in oils, and he ranks as one of the chief English water-colourists. A number of his pictures are in the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum. DE WINTER, JAN WILLEM (1750-1812), Dutch admiral, was born at Kampen, and in 1761 entered the naval service at the age of twelve years. He distinguished himself by his zeal and courage, and at the revolution of 1787 he had reached the rank of lieutenant. The overthrow of the " patriot " party forced him to fly for his safety to France. Here he threw himself heart and soul into the cause of the Revolution, and took part under Dumouriez and Pichegru in the campaigns of 1792 and 1793, and was soon promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. When Pichegru in 1795 overran Holland, De Winter returned with the French army to his native country. The states-general now utilized the experience he had gained as a naval officer by giving him the post of adjunct-general for the reorganization of the Dutch navy. In 1796 he was appointed vice-admiral and commanderin-chief of the fleet. He spared no efforts to strengthen it and improve its condition, and on the 11th of October 1797 he ventured upon an encounter off Camperdown with the British fleet under Admiral Duncan. After an obstinate struggle the Dutch were defeated, and De Winter himself was taken prisoner. He remained in England until December, when he was liberated by exchange. His conduct in the battle of Camperdown was declared by a court-martial to have nobly maintained the honour of the Dutch flag. From 1798 to 1802 De Winter filled the post of ambassador to the French republic, and was then once more appointed commander of the fleet. Ike was sent with a strong squadron to the Mediterranean to repress the Tripoli piracies, and negotiated a treaty of peace with the Tripolitan government. He enjoyed the confidence of Louis Bonaparte, when king of Holland, and, after the incorporation of the Netherlands in the French empire, in an equal degree of the emperor Napoleon. By the former he was created marshal and count of Huessen, and given the command of the armed forces both by sea and land. Napoleon gave him the grand cross of the Legion of Honour and appointed him inspector-general of the northern coasts, and in 1811 he placed him at the head of the fleet he had collected at the Texel. Soon afterwards De Winter was seized with illness and compelled to betake himself to Paris, where he died on the 2nd of June 1812. He had a splendid public funeral and was buried in the Pantheon. His heart was enclosed in an urn and placed in the Nicolaas Kerk at Kampen. DE WITT, CORNELIUS (1623-1672), brother of John de Witt (q.v.), was born at Dort in 1623. In, 165o he became burgomaster of Dort and member of the states of Holland and West Friesland. He was afterwards appointed to the important post of ruwaard or governor of the land of Putten and bailiff of Beierland. He associated himself closely with his greater brother, the grand pensionary, and supported him throughout his career with great ability and vigour. In 1667 he was the deputy chosen by the states of Holland to accompany Admiral de Ruyter in his famous expedition to Chatham. Cornelius de Witt on this occasion distinguished himself greatly by his coolness and intrepidity. He again accompanied De Ruyter in 1672 and took an honourable part in the great naval fight at Sole Bay against the united English and French fleets. Compelled by illness to leave the fleet, he found on his return to Dort that the Orange party were in the ascendant, and he and his brother were the objects of popular suspicion and hatred. An account of his imprisonment, trial and death, is given below. DE WITT, JOHN (1625-1672), Dutch statesman, was born at Dort, on the 24th of September 162 5. He was a member of one of the old burgher-regent families of his native town. His father, Jacob de Witt, was six times burgomaster of Dort, and for many years sat as a representative of the town in the states of Holland. He was a strenuous adherent of the republican or oligarchical states-right party in opposition to the princes of the house of Orange, who represented the federal principle and had the support of the masses of the people. John was educated at Leiden, and early displayed remarkable talents, more especially in mathematics and jurisprudence. In 1645 he and his elder brother Cornelius visited France, Italy, Switzerland and England, and on his return he took up his residence at the Hague, as an advocate. In 165o he was appointed pensionary of Dort, an office which made him the leader and spokesman of the town's deputation in the state of Holland. In this same year the states of Holland found themselves engaged in a struggle for provincial supremacy, on the question of the disbanding of troops, with the youthful prince of Orange, William II. William, with the support of the states-general and the army, seized five of the leaders of the states-right party and imprisoned them in Loevestein castle; among these was Jacob de Witt. The sudden death of William, at the moment when he had crushed opposition, led to a reaction. He left only a posthumous child, afterwards William III. of Orange,and the principles advocated by Jacob de Witt triumphed, and the authority of the states of Holland became predominant in the republic. At this time of constitutional crisis such were the eloquence, sagacity and business talents exhibited by the youthful pensionary of Dort that on the 23rd of July 1653 he was appointed to the office of grand pensionary (Raadpensionaris) of Holland at the age of twenty-eight. He was re-elected in 1658, 1663 and 1668, and held office until his death in 1672. During this period of nineteen years the general conduct of public affairs and administration, and especially of foreign affairs, such was the confidence inspired by his talents and industry, was largely placed in his hands. He found in 1653 his country brought to the brink of ruin through the war with England, which had been caused by the keen commercial rivalry of the two maritime states. The Dutch were unprepared, and suffered severely through the loss of their carrying trade, and De Witt resolved to bring about peace as soon as possible. The first demands of Cromwell were impossible, for they aimed at the absorption of the two republics into a single state, but at last in the autumn of 1654 peace was concluded, by which the Dutch made large concessions and agreed to the striking of the flag to English ships in the narrow seas. The treaty included a secret article, which the states-general refused to entertain, but which De Witt succeeded in inducing the states of Holland to accept,by which the provinces of Holland pledged DEWLAP themselves not to elect a stadtholder or a captain-general of the union. This Act of Seclusion, as it was called, was aimed at the young prince of Orange, whose close relationship to the Stuarts made him an object of suspicion to the Protector. De Witt was personally favourable to this exclusion of William III. from his ancestral dignities, but there is no truth in the suggestion that he prompted the action of Cromwell in this matter. The policy of De Witt after the peace of 1654 was eminently successful. He restored the finances of the state, and extended its commercial supremacy in the East Indies. In 1658-59 he sustained Denmark against Sweden, and in 1662 concluded an advantageous peace with Portugal. The accession of Charles II. to the English throne led to the rescinding of the Act of Seclusion; nevertheless De Witt steadily refused to allow the prince of Orange to be appointed stadtholder or captain-general. This led to ill-will between the English and Dutch governments, and to a renewal of the old grievances about maritime and commercial rights, and war broke out in 1665. The zeal, industry and courage displayed by the grand pensionary during the course of this fiercely contested naval struggle could scarcely have been surpassed. He himself on more than one occasion went to sea with the fleet, and inspired all with whom he came in contact by the example he set of calmness in danger, energy in action and inflexible strength of will. It was due to his exertions as an organizer and a diplomatist quite as much as to the brilliant seamanship of Admiral de Ruyter, that the terms of the treaty of peace signed at Breda (July 31, 1667), on the principle of uti possidetis, were so honourable to the United Provinces. A still greater triumph of diplomatic skill was the conclusion of the Triple Alliance (January 17, 1668) between the Dutch Republic, England and Sweden, which checked the attempt of Louis XIV. to take possession of the Spanish Netherlands in the name of his wife, the infanta Maria Theresa. The check, however, was but temporary, and the French king only bided his time to take vengeance for the rebuff he had suffered. Meanwhile William III. was growing to manhood, and his numerous adherents throughout the country spared no efforts to undermine the authority of De Witt, and secure for the young prince of Orange the dignities and authority of his ancestors. In 1672 Louis XIV. suddenly declared war, and invaded the United Provinces at the head of a splendid army. Practically no resistance was possible. The unanimous voice of the people called William III. to the head of affairs, and there were violent demonstrations against John de Witt. His brother Cornelius was (July 24) arrested on a charge of conspiring against the prince. On the 4th of August John de Witt resigned the post of grand pensionary that he had held so long and with such distinction. Cornelius was put to the torture, and on the 19th of August he was sentenced to deprivation of his offices and banishment. He was confined in the Gevangenpoort, and his brother came to visit him in the prison. A vast crowd on hearing this collected outside, and finally burst into the prison, seized the two brothers and literally tore them to pieces. Their mangled remains were hung up by the feet to a lamp-post. Thus perished, by the savage act of an infuriated mob, one of the greatest statesmen of his age. John de Witt married Wendela Bicker, daughter of an influential burgomaster of Amsterdam, in 1655, by whom he had two sons and three daughters.
End of Article: THOMAS WILMER DEWING (1851- )
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