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Captain Frederick Polhill 1st King’s Dragoon Guards 1825
On November the 9th 1825, this officer, for a wager, rode ninety-fivemiles in four hours and seventeen minutes. On the 17th April 1826 Captain Polhill, having undertaken for a match of 100 sovereigns to walk 50 miles, to drive 50 miles, and to ride 50 in the space of twenty-four hours, commenced his arduous task on Monday morning at one o'clock on Haigh Park Racecourse. As his feat had excited much interest in the town, it occasioned the attendance of a numerous and respectable concours of equestrians and pedestrians. At five minutes past eight p.m. the Captain completed his undertaking, having four hours and fifty-five minutes to spare. He immediately stepped into a coach, and amidst respected cheers was drawn to the barracks (a distance of upwards of four miles) by the assembled multitude. Upon arriving at the Barracks, the coach was drawn up at the officers’ door, and after the Captain had alighted, the company sang the National Anthem. The whole distance was completed in 186 rounds of three quarters of a mile and 104 yards each. He commenced by walking 19½ miles at the rate of 5¾ an hour. He then drove 10½ miles and so proceeded, walking, driving and riding in succession. The whole time occupied in walking being 10 hours and 21 minutes, at the rate of 4 5/6ths miles an hour; in driving 4 hours and 24 minutes, at 11⅓ miles an hour; and in riding 2 hours and 42 minutes at 18½ miles an hours. Mr Polhill ran the last round, and appeared very little the worse for the exertion.
He was my 1st cousin five times removed.
An 18th century instrument designed to measure the blueness of the sky called a Cyanometer. The simple device was invented in 1789 by Swiss physicist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt who used the circular array of 53 shaded sections in experiments above the skies over Geneva, Chamonix and Mont Blanc. The Cyanometer helped lead to a successful conclusion that the blueness of the sky is a measure of transparency caused by the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.