Original Signature “William Congreve”, taken from the end of a letter, and dated. 2½ x 4½ inches, mounted, in good condition. 8 October 1822. Sir William Congreve, 2nd Baronet (1772-1828) was an English inventor and rocket artillery pioneer distinguished for his development and deployment of Congreve rockets. Parliament authorized Congreve to form two rocket companies for the army in 1809. Congreve subsequently commanded one of these at the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. Congreve rockets were used for the remainder of the Napoleonic Wars, as well as the War of 1812 — the “rockets’ red glare” in the American national anthem describes their firing at Fort McHenry during the latter conflict. They remained in the arsenal of the United Kingdom until the 1850s.