In he left his position in a London law office and began an adventuresome journey on horseback through Anatolia and Syria. In the British ambassador at Istanbul, Sir Stratford Canning, employed him for unofficial diplomatic missions. Spending much time in the vicinity of Mosul , Ottoman Mesopotamia now in Iraq , Layard became increasingly interested in locating and unearthing the great cities of biblical renown. These included sculptures from the reign of King Ashurnasirpal II and a huge winged bull that remain among the most valued treasures of the British Museum. After his celebrated and unprecedented success, he turned his attention in to the mound opposite Mosul on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, where he found Nineveh.
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Family[ edit ] Layard was born in Paris, France , to a family of Huguenot descent. His mother, Marianne, daughter of Nathaniel Austen, banker, of Ramsgate , was of partial Spanish descent. Edgar Leopold Layard the ornithologist was his brother. On 9 March at St. Their marriage was happy. They were childless. After spending nearly six years in the office of his uncle, Benjamin Austen, he was tempted to leave England for Sri Lanka Ceylon by the prospect of obtaining an appointment in the Civil Service, and he started in with the intention of making an overland journey across Asia.
In , encouraged and assisted by Canning, Layard left Constantinople to make those explorations among the ruins of Assyria with which his name is chiefly associated. Layard at Kuyunjik. Drawing by Solomon Caesar Malan , Layard remained in the neighbourhood of Mosul, carrying on excavations at Kuyunjik and Nimrud , and investigating the condition of various peoples, until ; and, returning to England in , published Nineveh and Its Remains 2 vols.
From Drawings Made on the Spot After spending a few months in England, and receiving the degree of D. He is credited with discovering the Library of Ashurbanipal during this period. His record of this expedition, Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon,  which was illustrated by another folio volume, called A Second Series of the Monuments of Nineveh, was published in During these expeditions, often in circumstances of great difficulty, Layard despatched to England the splendid specimens which now form the greater part of the collection of Assyrian antiquities in the British Museum.
Political career[ edit ] Caricature from Vanity Fair , Aug captioned "He combines the love of truth and art with equal devotion and success" Layard now turned to politics. Elected as a Liberal member for Aylesbury , Buckinghamshire in , he was for a few weeks Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs , but afterwards freely criticised the government, especially in connection with army administration. He was present in the Crimea during the war , and was a member of the committee appointed to inquire into the conduct of the expedition.
In he refused from Lord Palmerston an office not connected with foreign affairs, was elected lord rector of Aberdeen University , and on 15 June moved a resolution in the House of Commons defeated by a —46 majority  declaring that in public appointments merit had been sacrificed to private influence and an adherence to routine. After being defeated at Aylesbury in , he visited India to investigate the causes of the Indian Mutiny.
He unsuccessfully contested York in , but was elected for Southwark in , and from to was Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the successive administrations of Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell. There he took up residence in the sixteenth-century palazzo on the grand canal named Ca Cappello , just behind Campo San Polo , and which he had commissioned historian Rawdon Brown , another long-time British resident of Venice, to purchase for him in In he published, from notes taken at the time, a record of his first journey to the East, entitled Early Adventures in Persia, Susiana and Babylonia.
Layard also from time to time contributed papers to various learned societies, including the Huguenot Society, of which he was first president. After a post mortem autopsy his remains were cremated at the Woking Crematorium in Surrey. Publications[ edit ] Layard, A.
Nineveh and Its Remains
After spending nearly six years in the office of his uncle, Benjamin Austen, he was tempted to leave England for Sri Lanka Ceylon by the prospect of obtaining an appointment in the Civil Service, and he started in with the intention of making an overland journey across Asia. What more noble forms could have ushered the p 3 people into the temple of their gods? Their marriage was happy but childless. Edgar Leopold Layard the ornithologist was his brother. Elected as a Liberal member for AylesburyBuckinghamshire inhe was for a few weeks Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairsbut afterwards freely criticised the government, especially in connection with army administration.
Sir Austen Henry Layard
Austen Henry Layard
Nineveh and its remains