He was war correspondent to in the early days of the Franco-German War, but after Sedan he returned to Paris, where he became secretary to Gambetta and superintended the refugees in Paris.
His talent for electrical engineering was soon shown, and his progress was rapid; so that in 1852 he was appointed engineer to the Magnetic Telegraph Company, and in that capacity superintended the laying of lines in various parts of the British Isles, including in 1853 the first cable between Great Britain and Ireland, from Portpatrick to Donaghadee.
A body called the Nove della Milizia, of whom Michelangelo Buonarroti was a member, was charged with the defence of the city, and Michelangelo (q.v.) himself superintended the strengthening of the fortifications.
He also collected and emended valuable MSS., which his monks were instructed to copy, and superintended the translation of various Greek works into Latin.
Both before and after his elevation to the deanery of St Patrick's these ladies continued to reside near him, and superintended his household during his absence in London.
Nearly Ioo stone implements were excavated - axes, hammer axes, stone hammers and mauls - which, according to Dr Gowland, who superintended the work, had been used not only for breaking the rude blocks into regular forms, but also for working down their faces to a level or curved surface.
His mother, now in extreme old age, lived with him, as did also his cousin, Miss Jane Douglas, who superintended his household.
Von Lambsdorff, director of the 1st cadet corps and exgovernor of Courland, a man of character and wide knowledge, who superintended it for the next fifteen years.
He himself superintended all the preparations, visiting Darnley with Mary on the night of the crime, Sunday, 9th of February 1567, attending the queen on her return to Holyrood for the ball, and riding back to Kirk o' Field to carry out the crime.
The reform of the Nautical Almanac in 1829 was set on foot by his protests; he recommended to the British Association in 1837, and in great part executed, the reduction of Joseph de Lalande's and Nicolas de Lacaille's catalogues containing about 57,000 stars; he superintended the compilation of the British Association's Catalogue of 8377 stars (published 1845); and revised the catalogues of Tobias Mayer, Ptolemy, Ulugh Beg, Tycho Brahe, Edmund Halley and Hevelius (Memoirs R.