"The retrospect of life recalls to my view many opportunities of good neglected, much time squandered upon trifles, and more lost in idleness and vacancy. I leave many great designs unattempted, and many great attempts unfinished; but, my mind being free from the burden of any heavy crime, I compose myself to tranquillity: I endeavour to abstract my thoughts from hopes and cares, which, though reason knows them to be vain, still try to keep their old possession of my heart: I humbly expect the hour which Nature cannot long delay; and with the most profound adoration of the Divinity, I hope to possess in a better state of existence, that happiness which here I could not find, and that virtue which here I have been unable to attain."
Davies Gilbert, 1837.
I have to acknowledge my obligations to various gentlemen for assistance in the progress of this work, but especially to the following:
To Richard Taunton, Esq. M.D. for his loan of Mr Hals's Manuscript.
To the late Right Honorable Francis Basset, Baron De Dunstanville, for his supplying me with Mr. Tonkin's Manuscript.
To Henry S. Boase, Esq. M.D. for his most liberal communication of an abstract for each Parish, taken from an accurate and minute