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1ST BARON HERCULES GEORGE ROBERT ROBI...

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Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 739 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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1ST BARON HERCULES GEORGE ROBERT ROBINSON ROSMEAD (1824-1897), British colonial administrator, was born on the 19th of December 1824. He was of Irish descent on both sides; his father was Admiral Hercules Robinson, his mother a Miss Wood of Rosmead, County Westmeath, from which he afterwards took his title. Passing from Sandhurst into the 87th Foot, he attained the rank of captain; but in 1846, through the influence of Lord Naas, he obtained a post in the Board of Public Works in Ireland, and subsequently became chief commissioner of fairs and markets. His energy in these positions, notably during the famine of 1848, and the clearness and vigour of his reports, secured for him at the age of thirty the office of president of the island of Montserrat. Subsequently he was governor of St Christopher, from 1855 to 1859, when he was knighted in recognition of his services in introducing coolie labour into the island; of Hong-Kong; of Ceylon (K.C.M.G. in 1869); and in 1872 of New South Wales. It fell to his lot to annex the Fiji Islands to the British Empire, and his services were rewarded in 1875 by promotion to G.C.M.G. In 1879 he was transferred to New Zealand, and in 188o he succeeded Sir Bartle Frere as high commissioner of South Africa. He arrived in South Africa shortly before the disaster of Majuba, and was one of the commissioners for negotiating a peace which was personally distasteful to him. It left him with the task of conciliating on the one hand a Dutch party elated with victory, and on the other hand a British party almost ready to despair of the British connexion. He was called home in 1883 to advise the government on the terms of the new convention concluded with the Transvaal Boers in February 1884. On his return to South Africa he found that a critical situation had arisen in Bechuanaland, where Boer commandoes had seized large tracts of territory and proclaimed the "republics" of Stella and Goshen. They refused to retire within the limits of the Transvaal as defined by the new convention, and Robinson, alive to the necessity of preserving this country—the main road to the north—for Great Britain, deter-mined on vigorous action. John Mackenzie and later Cecil Rhodes were sent to secure the peaceful submission of the Boers, but without immediate result, partly owing to the attitude of the Cape ministry. Robinson's declaration that the advice of his ministers to patch up a settlement with the filibustering Boers was equivalent to a condonation of crime, led to the expedition of Sir Charles Warren and the annexation of Bechuanaland early in 1885. The difficulties of Robinson's position were illustrated by the dispute which arose between him and Warren, who declared that the high commissioner's duties to the home government were at times in conflict with the action which, as governor of Cape Colony, he was bound to take on the advice of his ministers in the interests of the colony. Sir Hercules Robinson succeeded in winning the confidence of President Kruger by his fair-mindedness, while he seconded Rhodes's efforts to unite the British and Dutch parties in Cape Colony. His mind, however, was that of the administrator as distinguished from the statesman, and he was content to settle difficulties as they arose. In 1886 he investigated the charges brought against Sir John Pope-Hennessy, governor of Mauritius, and decreed his suspension pending the decision of the home authorities, who eventually reinstated Pope-Hennessy. In 1887 Robinson was induced by Rhodes to give his consent to the conclusion of a treaty with Lobengula which secured British rights in Matabele and Mashona lands. In May 1889 Robinson retired. In his farewell speech he declared that there was no permanent place in South Africa for direct Imperial rule. This was interpreted to mean that South Africa must ultimately become independent—an idea repugnant to him. He explained in a letter to The Times in 1895 that he had referred to the " direct rule of Downing Street over the crown colonies, as contrasted with responsible colonial government." He was made a baronet in 1891. Early in 1895, when he had entered his 71st year and was not in robust health, he yielded to the entreaties of Lord Rosebery's cabinet, and went out again to South Africa, in succession to Sir H. Loch. His second term of office was not fortunate. The Jameson Raid produced a permanent estrangement between him and Cecil Rhodes, and he was out of sympathy with the new colonial secretary, Mr Chamberlain, who had criticized his appointment, and now desired Robinson to take this opportunity of settling the whole question of the position of the Uitlanders in the Transvaal. Robinson answered that the moment was inopportune, and that he must be left to choose his own time. Alarmed at the imminent danger of war, he confined his efforts to inducing the Johannes-burgers to lay down their arms on condition that the raiders' lives were spared, not knowing that these terms had already been granted to Jameson. He came home to confer with the government, and was raised to the peerage as Baron Rosmead. He returned to South Africa later in the year, but was compelled by ill-health, in April 1897, to quit his post, and died in London on the 28th of October 1897, being succeeded in the title by his son. ROSMINI-SERBATI, ANTONIO (1797-1855), Italian philosopher, was born at Rovereto in Italian Tirol on the 25th of March 1797. He belonged to a noble and wealthy family, but at an early age decided to enter the priesthood. After studying at Pavia and Padua, he took orders in 1821. In 1828 he founded a new religious order, the Institute of the Brethren of Charity, known in Italy generally as the Rosminians. The members might be priests or laymen, who devoted themselves to preach.. ing, the education of youth, and works of charity—material, moral and intellectual. They have branches in Italy, England, Ireland, France and America. In London they are attached to the church of St Etheldreda, Ely Place, Holborn, where the English translation of Rosmini's works is edited. His works, The Five Wounds of the Holy Church and The Constitution of Social Justice, aroused great opposition, especially among the Jesuits, and in 1849 they were placed upon the Index. Rosmini at once declared his submission and retired to Stresa on Lago Maggiore, where he died on the 1st of July 1855. Before his death he had the satisfaction of learning that the works in question were dismissed, that is, proclaimed free from censure by the Congregation of the Index. Twenty years later, the word " dismissed " (dimittantur) became the subject of controversy, some maintaining that it amounted to a direct approval, others that it was purely negative and did not imply that the books were free from error. The controversy continued till 1887, when Leo XIII. finally condemned forty of his pro-positions and forbade their being taught. In 1848 Rosmini took part in the struggle which had for its object emancipation from Austria, but he was not an initiator of the movement which ended in the freedom and unity of Italy. In fact, while eager for the deliverance of Italy from Austria, his aim was to bring about a confederation of the states of the country, which was to be under the control of the pope. The most comprehensive view of Rosmini's philosophical stand-point is to be found in his Sistema filosofico, in which he set forth the conception of a complete encyclopaedia of the human knowable, synthetically conjoined, according to the order of ideas, in a perfectly harmonious whole. Contemplating the position of recent philosophy from Locke to Hegel, and having his eye directed to the ancient and fundamental problem of the origin, truth and certainty of our ideas, he wrote: " If philosophy is to be restored to love and respect, I think it will be necessary, in part, to return to the teachings of the ancients, and in part to give those teachings the benefit of modern methods " (Theodicy, n. 148). He examined and analysed the fact of human knowledge, and obtained the following results: (I) that the notion or idea of being or existence in general enters into, and is presupposed by, all our acquired cognitions, so that, without it, they would be impossible; (2) that this idea is essentially objective, inasmuch as what is seen in it is as distinct from and opposed to the mind that sees it as the light is from the eye that looks at it; (3) that it is essentially true, because " being " and " truth " are convertible terms, and because in the vision of it the mind cannot err, since error could only be committed by a judgment, and here there is no judgment, but a pure intuition affirming nothing and denying nothing; (4) that by the application of this essentially objective and true idea the human being intellectually perceives, first, the animal body individually conjoined with him, and then, on occasion of the sensations produced in him not by himself, the causes of those sensations, that is, from the action felt he perceives and affirms an agent, a being, and therefore a true thing, that acts on him, and he thus gets at the external world,—these are the true primitive judgments, containing (a) the subsistence of the particular being (subject), and (b) its essence or species as deter-mined by the quality of the action felt from it (predicate); (5) that reflection, by separating the essence or species from the subsistence, obtains the full specific idea (universalization), and then from this, by leaving aside some of its elements, the abstract specific idea (abstraction) ; (6) that the mind, having reached this stage of development, can proceed to further and further abstracts, including the first principles of reasoning, the principles of the several sciences, complex ideas, groups of ideas, and so on without end; (7) finally, that the same most universal idea of being, this generator and formal element of all acquired cognitions, cannot itself be acquired, but must be innate in us, implanted by God in our nature. Being, as naturally shining to our mind, must therefore be what men call the light of reason. Hence the name Rosmini gives it of ideal being; and this he laid down as the fundamental principle of all philosophy and the supreme criterion of truth and certainty. This he believed to be the teaching of St Augustine, as well as of St Thomas, of whom he was an ardent admirer and defender. Of his numerous works, of which a collected edition in 17 volumes was issued at Milan (1842–44), supplemented by Opere postume in 5 vols. (Turin, 1859–74), the most important are the New Essay on the Origin of Ideas (Eng. trans., 1883) ; The Principles of Moral Science (1831); The Restoration of Philosophy in Italy (1836); The Philosophy of Right (1841–45). The following have also been translated into English: A Catholic Catechism, by W. S. Agar (1849) ; The Five Wounds of the Holy Church (abridged trans. with introd. by H. P. Liddon, 1883) ; Maxims of Christian Perfection, by W. A. John-son (1889) ; Psychology (Anonymous) (1884–88) ; Sketch of Modern Philosophy, by Lockhart (1882); The Ruling Principle of Method Applied to Education, by Mrs W. Grey (Boston, Mass., 1887) ; Select. Letters, by D. Gazzola. Rosmini's Sistema filosofico has been translated into English by Thos. Davidson (Rosmini's Philosophical System, 1882, with a biographical sketch and complete bibliography) ; see also Lives by G. S. Macwalter (1883) and G. B. Pagani (1907); C. Werner, Die Italienische Philosophie des 19. Jahrhunderts (1884); F. X. Kraus, " Antonio Rosmini: sein Leben, seine Schriften," in Deutsche Ruedschau, liv. Iv. (1888) ; " Church Reformation in Italy " in the Edinburgh Review, cxiv. (July 1861); and numerous recent Italian works, for which Baldwin's Dictionary of Philosophy or Pagliani's Catalogo Generale (Milan, 1905) should be consulted.
End of Article: 1ST BARON HERCULES GEORGE ROBERT ROBINSON ROSMEAD (1824-1897)
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