Page:The parochial history of Cornwall.djvu/21

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
xiii
PREFACE.

churches, monuments, etc. and with views of towns, and of romantic scenery. One is astonished at the great labour bestowed on this work, and still more so when it is recollected, that the author has distinguished himself in every branch of elegant literature, and most of all in that department, where the fire of genius is believed somewhat to diminish the aptitude for patient toil.

The next work on Cornwall deserves particular attention on various grounds, its extensive plan, arrangement, and parochial history, and the situation in life of its author, Mr. C. S. GILBERT, who at the time of his executing "An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall; to which is added a complete 'Heraldry of the same, with numerous engravings," resided as a druggist in Plymouth or Devonport; and he is said to have acquired a knowledge of this trade by accompanying one of those itinerant doctors in medicine, who are in the habit of attracting customers by exhibitions little suited to the gravity of a profound science.

Mr. Gilbert is understood to have collected in- formation which induced him to believe, that he might claim a descent from the Gilberts of Compton Castle; and under that persuasion he applied himself to the study of antiquities, with genealogy, heraldry, and every collateral science, which led him by degrees to undertake the History of Cornwall, and to complete it in two quarto volumes, usually bound in three; all which he executed with such eagerness, zeal, and disregard of ex- pense, as to involve him during the latter part of