Towards the end of his life he was occupied with experimental inquiries into the laws of the conduction of heat in bars, and his last piece of work was to show that the thermal conductivity of iron diminishes with increase of temperature.
He retired from parliament in 1892, and died on the 29th of January 1896, his last piece of work being the drafting of a report for the royal commission on Irish financial relations, of which he was chairman.
No one was admitted to mastership until he had served his apprenticeship, nor, as a rule, until he had shown that he could accomplish a piece of work to the satisfaction of the gild.
The description of the gold and silver retable given to the high altar of Ely by Abbot Theodwin in the 11th century, shows it to have been a large and elaborate piece of work decorated with many reliefs and figures in the round.
The invention of the apparatus, legalized in 1879, for the determination of the flash-point of petroleum, was another piece of work which fell to him by virtue of his official position.