Richard William Howard Vyse bigraphy, stories - British Army general

Richard William Howard Vyse : biography

25 July 1784 - 8 June 1853

Major-General Sir Richard William Howard Vyse, KCMG (25 July 1784 – 8 June 1853) was a British soldier, anthropologist and Egyptologist. He was also Member of Parliament for Beverley (from 1807 to 1812) and Honiton (from 1812 to 1818).

Family life

Born Richard William Vyse on 25 July 1784 at Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire,1851 England Census HO107/1718; Folio: 579; Page: 17 was the only son of General Richard Vyse and his wife, Anne, the only surviving daughter and heiress of Field-marshal Sir George Howard. Richard William Vyse, assumed the additional name of Howard by royal sign manual dated 14 September 1812, on inheriting the estates of Boughton and Pitsford in Northamptonshire through his maternal grandmother, Lucy, daughter of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1672–1739).Dictionary of National Biography states that her father the 2nd Earl of Strafford was Thomas Wentworth. He was the first Earl of the second creation, the mistake probably comes from a misinterpretation to the reference to her that states she is the 2d(aughter) Earl of Strafford.

Vyse was knighted, Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, year unknown, though late in his life. Vyse died at Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, on 8 June 1853. He married, 13 Nov 1810 Frances, 24 Oct 1810 at Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies] second daughter of Henry Hesketh of Newton, Cheshire. By her he had eight sons and two daughters. His will was proved on 13 August 1853 at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

Military career

Howard Vyse was commissioned as cornet into the 1st Dragoons in 1800. He transferred to the 15th Light Dragoons as a Lieutenant in 1801 and was promoted Captain in 1802 and Major in 1813. In 1815 he transferred to the 87th Foot and in 1816 to the 2nd Life Guards, and then also to the 1st West India in 1819. He was promoted brevet Lieutenant-Colonel in 1825, later nominated to rank put onto half-pay in 1825,

 Colonel in 1837, and Major-General in 1846. 

In 1809 he acted as aide-de-camp to his father on the staff of the Yorkshire district, and on 5 July 1810 received the honorary degree of D.C.L. from Oxford University. On 2 October 1840, Vyse undertook an official duty as the Colonel of the Life Guards in the mourning party for HRH Princess Sophia-Augusta.


Pyramids of Giza

At Giza he and John Shae Perring worked with gunpowder forcing their way into several monuments, including the burial chamber of the pyramid of Menkaure.Mark Lehner, The Complete Pyramids, 1997.

Vyse's gunpowder archaeology made one highly notable discovery in the Great Pyramid of Giza. Giovanni Battista Caviglia had blasted on the south side of the stress-relieving chamber (Davison's chamber) on top of the King's chamber, a chamber discovered by Nathaniel Davison in 1765, hoping to find a link to the southern air channel. But while Caviglia gave up, Vyse suspected that there was another chamber on top of Davison's chamber, since he could insert a reed "for about two feet" upwards through a crack into a cavity. London: James Fraser, Regent Street. He therefore blasted straight up on the northern side, over three and a half months, finding four additional chambers.

Vyse named these chambers after important friends and colleagues; Wellington's chamber (Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington), Nelson's chamber (Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson), Lady Arbuthnot's chamber (Anne Fitzgerald, wife of Sir Robert Keith Arbuthnot, 2nd Baronet) and Campbell's chamber (Patrick Campbell, the British agent and Consul General in Egypt).

Just as amazing as the chambers were Vyse's discovery of numerous graffiti in the chambers, in red paint, dating from the time the pyramids were built. Along with lines, markers and directional notations were work gangs names, including cartouches of several Pharaohs, concentrated in Lady Arbuthnot's and Nelson's chamber, but all four chambers contained graffiti (or more correctly "quarry-marks" as Vyse called them). The previously discovered Davison's chamber contained no graffiti.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine