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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 8 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARIE DOLORES ELIZA ROSANNA [" LOLA MONTEZ "] GILBERT (1818-1861), dancer and adventuress, the daughter of a British army officer, was born at Limerick, Ireland, in 1818. Her father dying in India when she was seven years old, and her mother marrying again, the child was sent to Europe to be educated, subsequently joining her mother at Bath. In 1837 she made a runaway match with a Captain James of the Indian army, and accompanied him to India. In 1842 she returned to England, and shortly afterwards her husband obtained a decree nisi for divorce. She then studied dancing, making an unsuccessful first appearance at Her Majesty's theatre, London, in 1843, billed as " Iola Montez, Spanish dancer." Subsequently the fleet; on the 3oth of July he was off the north coast of Newfoundland; on the 3rd of August he arrived off the present St John's, and selected this site as the centre of his operations; on the 5th of August he began the plantation of the first English colony in North America. Proceeding southwards with three vessels, exploring and prospecting, he lost the largest near Cape Breton (29th of August); immediately after (31st of August) he started to return to England with the " Golden Hind " and the " Squirrel," of forty and ten tons respectively. Obstinately refusing to leave the " frigate " and sail in his " great ship," he shared the former's fate in a tempest off the Azores. " Monday the 9th of September," reports Hayes, the captain of the " Hind," "the frigate was near cast away yet at that time recovered; and, giving forth signs of joy, the general, sitting abaft with a book in his hand, cried out unto us in the ` Hind," We are as near to heaven by sea as by land.'.... The same Monday night, about twelve, the frigate being ahead of us in the ` Golden Hind,' suddenly her lights were out, .... in that moment the frigate was devoured and swallowed up of the sea." See Hakluyt, Principal Navigations (1599), VOL iii. pp. 135-181; Gilbert's Discourse of a Discovery for a New Passage to Cataia, published by George Gascoigne in 1576, with additions, probably without Gilbert's authority; Hooker's Supplement to Holinshed's Irish Chronicle; Roger Williams, The Actions of the Low Countries (1618) ; State Papers, Domestic (1577-1583) ; Wood's Athenae Oxonienses; North British Review, No. 45; Fox Bourne's English Seamen under the Tudors; Carlos Slafter, Sir H. Gylberte and his Enterprise (Boston, 1903), with all important documents. Gilbert's interesting writings on the need of a university for London,anticipating in many ways not only the modern London University but also the British Museum library and its compulsory sustenance through the provisions of the Copyright Act, have been printed by Furnivall (Queen Elizabeth's Achademy.) in the Early English Text Society Publications, extra series, No. viii.
JOHN GILBERT (1810-1889)

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