Page:The parochial history of Cornwall.djvu/17

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PREFACE.

graphical dictionary and other books. The account of seventy-two parishes arranged alphabetically, from Advent to Helston inclusive, was printed in folio in ten numbers, which are extremely scarce. The publication is said to have been suspended for want of purchasers; occasioned by the scurrilous anecdotes it contained, and reflections thrown on some of the principal families. It is probable, however, that the inaccuracies with which it abounds, and the tedious legends of saints to whom the churches are dedicated, which occupy at least half the work, would have operated more to the prejudice of its sale than the scandalous anecdotes which occasionally occur, many of which had been omitted by the editor. The most valuable part of the work is the account of families and the descent of property; but in these he is frequently inaccurate; and, as Dr. Borlase observes, 'what he says should not have too great stress laid upon it, when it stands upon his single authority.'

"Contemporary with Hals, as a collector of materials for a parochial history of Cornwall, was THOMAS TONKIN, Esq. of Trevaunance, some time member for Helston, a gentleman of an ancient family, who had made great progress in preparing such a history for the press, and had completed several parishes. Mr. Tonkin began to write his parochial history in 1702, at which time he had the use of Hals's collections. Dr. Borlase seems to have supposed that Hals's collections were brought down from 1702 to 1736 by Tonkin; the truth is, that they both brought down their collec-