MONCRIEFF, Sir Alexander (1829–1906), army officer & engineer. ALS re conferral of Brazilian Order

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[MONCRIEFF, Sir Alexander (1829–1906), army officer and engineer]. ALS from Pereira de Audiuda to E.H. Bramah Esq, 50 Great Cumberland Place, 2nd October 1872, 4to bifolium, 2 sides, confirming that Major Moncrieff has been made “Knight of the Imperial Order of the Roze” by the Emperor, as published in the Gazette of Rio de Janeiro on the 21st of July, and that the “accustomed diploma” will be presented to him when received by the legation. Top and bottom edges of paper grubby.

Alexander Moncrieff was an army officer and engineer, who following observations of action in the Crimea in 1855 conceived of the idea of mounting guns on curved elevators, which would allow them to recoil backwards and downwards, the recoil energy being used to raise a counterweight returning the gun to the firing position. Attached to the Royal Arsenal 1867-1875, Moncrieff worked out the details of his “disappearing carriage” for heavier and lighter guns, publishing in 1873 a pamphlet on the system which he explained and defended in lectures and journals. He received £15,000 for his invention, and the “Moncrieff system” was adapted to siege and fortress guns, and was widely used in the coastal defences of Britain and the colonies. Moncrieff was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, was elected FRS in 1871, and was made CB in 1880 and KCB in 1890. (ODNB)

The Imperial Order of the Rose is a Brazilian order of chivalry instituted by Emperor Pedro I in 1829. This letter is confirmation of Emperor Pedro II (1825-1891) having conferred the Knighthood of this Order upon Moncrieff, about whose achievements the Emperor had learned on his European visit in 1871-1872.

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