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                                 Newspaper reports from the West Briton and Cornwall Gazette. 


19 August 1836, Friday

Book Review - The Mining Review and Journal of Geology, conducted by Henry English, Esq., No. VIII, Simpson, London - Three hundred and fifty pages; contain essays on a dozen subjects connected with mining.  Mr. Burr has given "a very, very good paper" on metalliferous and mineral deposits, in many of the details of which we fully concur, whilst there are some to which we cannot subscribe.
    "Many contemporaneous veins occur in the mining districts of Cornwall, some of which are metalliferous, being chiefly productive of tin.  The most remarkable instance of their occurrence is in the neighbourhood of St. Austell, in the granite tract to the north-east of the town.  The granite here is of a peculiar character; it contains a large proportion of feldspar, generally in a state of decomposition and but little mien.  This rock is traversed in some places by numerous small veins containing tin, and having all the characters of contemporaneous veins.  Numerous workings have been carried on upon these veins, one of which is the remarkable excavation, Carclaze Mine."
    Mr. Burr might have gone further and said a very similar spot occurs at Ballaswidden, in St. Just, where the proportion of feldspar is by no means unusually large; and of similar small strings at Wheal Music Mine in Saint Agnes, where there is an excavation resembling, but on a small scale, that at Carclaze, but with this difference - the veins contain ores of copper.  It will thus be seen that tin is not the only metal which occurs in numerous small veins; nor is it requisite that the granite should abound with feldspar, for Wheal Music is worked in slate.  Numerous attempts have been made, but with little success, to draw distinctions between the characters of small and large metalliferous veins - the former being supposed contemporaneous with the rock, the latter of posterior origin.  Mr. Burr has not met with better fortune than his predecessor in making this evident; for there is not that we know, a single character possessed by one that does not occur in the other; and in this opinion we are satisfied ninety-nine in a hundred of the miners in this county will concur.
    Mr. Burr again appears "on the occurrence of the precious metals in Great Britain", giving an excellent summary of the produce of various parts of the kingdom, among which Cornwall claims a considerable eminence.  He observes "The total quantity of silver produced by the mines of Great Britain is not, perhaps, very accurately known, being derived from such fluctuating and scattered sources, but may, I believe, at the present time, be estimated at about 12,000 or 13,000 pounds troy, and may therefore amount in value to nearly £40,000."
    There is a very short abstract of a lecture on "Improvements in Mining" by Mr. John Taylor... "At first a bushel of coal raised but 5,000,000 pounds of water a foot high; now several engines raise nearly 80,000,000; and one is said for a short period to have raised 125,000,000 - that of Messrs. West and Petherick, at the Fowey Consols and Lanescot Mines. So that one bushel of coal now does as much work as sixteen used to do."
    A geological survey of the Carn Menelis district, Cornwall, is afforded by Mr. Thomas, whose numerous and very valuable labours on similar subjects are so well known. Among the notices there are several short articles of very great interest, with which we shall occasionally enrich our pages; and on taking leave of the work, we hope we many expect the future numbers to appear with greater regularity than Mr. English has heretofore preserved, and we cordially congratulate him and public on the increasing value of the publication.

1 MARCH 1839, Friday

SIR CHARLES LEMON'S MINING SCHOOL - It is hardly necessary to repeat the observation that the proposed course of instruction is not undertaken with the view of teaching Mining, for that can only be acquired in the mine itself, and the best opportunities are already afforded in various and extensive works through-out the County. But with respect to those arts and sciences, which, from their close connection with mining, are most valuable to a Cornishman, equal facilities do not abound, nor are they generally within the reach of that large class of mining agents, engineers, and others, who would be chiefly benefited by them. It is proposed experimentally to supply this deficiency; and to afford facilities for attaining useful scientific and practical knowledge in the midst of the Cornish mining district, on the following plan:

The principal course will commence early in July, with appropriate separate series of lectures and examinations in Mathematics, Mechanics, Metallurgic chemistry, and Mineralogy. A detailed programme of this course will be submitted to the public in due time. At present it is only necessary to point out by what steps the student may prepare himself to enter on these studies with the best effect.

Probably two classes will be formed according to the attainments of the pupils. But, as the Professors conducting this course remain in the County only a few months, it is of the greatest importance that, as far as possible, the students should be prepared at once, to take their places in the higher class. To afford the means of such preparation, Mr. Dickenson, a gentleman well versed in the practical applications of science, will reside at Truro, from the end of the month, till the commencement of the principal course, or longer, if it should be found expedient. Probably he will superintend his class four days in the week, at such hours as may best suit the convenience of the students, and at other times, instruct private pupils.

The fee for the preliminary course will be one guinea; and each student will be required to provide himself with a few articles, such as books and instruments, the expense of which will be kept as low as possible.

The subjects taught by Mr. Dickenson will comprise Algebra; the elements of Geometry, which forms the only basis on which an accurate knowledge of planning and drawing sections of mines or machinery can be obtained, and which is indispensable in the execution of many most important works connected with mining. The ELEMENTS of LAND and MINE SURVEYING will be studied with reference to general principles; and the students will also be required to assist in actual Surveys, and will be instructed in the construction of Geological plans and sections.

It is particularly requested that those who wish to attend Mr. Dickenson's class, will lose no time in sending in their names to Mr. W. M. Tweedy, Dr. Carlyon, or Dr. Barham, at Truro; specifying whether it is their intention to go and return each day, or to reside in Truro.

It is not at present in contemplation to form any class at Redruth; but if a demand should exist, arrangements have been made by which that want may be immediately supplied. Some, without doubt, who may wish to take advantage of the July course will find it inconvenient to attend either at Truro, or Redruth; and such persons will do well by other means to make themselves acquainted with Algebra as far as the solution of simple equations, and with two or three books of Euclid.

3 JANUARY 1840, Friday

DEATH of DAVIES GILBERT, ESQ. - We have this week the melancholy task of announcing the decease of DAVIES GILBERT, Esq., D.C.L., late President of the Royal Society, which took place on Tuesday, the 24th ult., at his seat, Eastbourne, Sussex. Mr. Gilbert had another seat at Tredrea, in this county, and was Hon. F.R.S.E., F.A.S., F.L.S., F.G.S., F.R.A.S., President of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, Hon. Member of most of the provincial Societies in the Kingdom, and of many on the Continent; he was also many years Member of Parliament for Bodmin, our county town, and was truly known as the Father of British Science.

..........."In his native County, to which he ever clung with most tenacious affection, in 1814, Mr. Gilbert founded the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall (with a single exception) the oldest Provincial Philosophical Society in England, and continued to preside over it until his decease; conferring on it an importance which it would not have otherwise attained, and extending its utility where, without him, it would have been unknown. To the other philosophical, literary, and charitable institutions of Cornwall, he was equally a liberal and enlightened patron."........

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4 October 1844, Friday

CONTRIBUTIONS BY RICHARD THOMAS TOWARDS FORMING A GEOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE LAND'S END AND TREGONING HILL DISTRICTS. These districts extend from the Land's End to the eastern side of Tregoning Hill, and take in a space of 121 square miles, comprehending parts of the parishes of Phillack, Gwinear, Crowan, nearly all Breage, and all the parishes west of them. In this space are the granite ranges of the Land's End and Tregoning Hill, besides the detached granite mass forming the southern part of St. Michael's Mount. The Land's End granite range extends from the Land's End to near St. Ives, and occupies 68 square miles. It projects into the sea and forms the cliffs from Mousehole round the Land's End to Cape Cornwall, except a mass of hornblende slate which appears to overlay the granite at Tetterdew, two small patches near Sennen Cove, and the promontory with some of the adjoining cliffs at Cape Cornwall; and also projects into the sea between Pendeen Cove and Polmear Cove. The Tregoning Hill granite range extends from Godolphin Hill to Trewavas Head, and occupies about 5 1/4 square miles. It forms the cliffs for about one mile on each side of Trewavas Head. The elevations above low water are given for some of the hills as follow:- Carn Minnis, 805 feet; Pertinny, 689 feet; Tregoning Hill, 642 feet; Godolphin Hill, 544 feet. The above particulars are extracted from the introduction, which, with the references, extends over about thirty closely written pages, and are accompanied by two maps coloured geologically, with an elevation of the interesting formation of granite veins at the cliff of Tremearne and about 500 geological specimens.

27 SEPTEMBER 1844, Friday

ROYAL CORNWALL GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY. The annual meeting of this society was held in their rooms at Penzance, on Friday last, when the tables of the museum were, as usual, covered with the contributions of members and friends. Amongst them we noticed a few specimens out of more than five hundred that had been sent by Mr. RICHARD THOMAS, of Falmouth, illustrative of the Land's End and Tregonning hill districts; specimens of the hornblende slate and its associated rocks in the Meneage district; native copper and condurrite, &c., and also a very beautifully constructed model of a portion of the Grassington mines, Yorkshire, sent by Captain STEPHEN EDDY, formerly of this county, and one of the associates of the society. The meeting was tolerably well attended, and it was honoured by the presence of Dr. PARIS, the President of the Royal College of Physicians, and the founder of the society, it having been originated by him thirty years ago. The learned gentleman had a narrow escape of his life in coming down, for he travelled by the day mail on the previous Wednesday, and was inside at the time the coach upset near Okehampton. Fortunately, he sustained no injury from the accident. At twelve o'clock, Sir CHARLES LEMON took the chair, and was supported by Dr. Paris and E. W. W. PENDARVES, Esq., M.P., F.R.S., &c., and also by JOSEPH CARNE, Esq., F.R.S, F.G.S., RICHARD TAYLOR, Esq., F.G.S., and many members of the Council; while in the body of the room, we noticed many gentlemen who have attained to geological eminence.

14 JULY 1848, Friday

THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAND - On Monday last, the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland arrived at Truro, and stopped at the Royal Hotel. They were waited on by MR. W. M. TWEEDY and DR. BARHAM, who accompanied them to the museum of the Royal Cornwall Institution, and showed them the public buildings of the town. They then departed for Penzance, where they arrived in the afternoon. Alighting at the Union Hotel, the Duke dispatched a note to MR. E. H. RODD, who was known to his Grace, requesting his attendance; and Mr. Rodd escorted the Duke to the rooms of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, the museum of the Natural History Society, &c.

On Tuesday morning the party visited the Land's End, and had a fine day for enjoying the magnificent scenery of that district. They called at Botallack, and then returned to the Union Hotel at Penzance, after which they left for Helston. They remained for the night at the Angel Hotel, and on Wednesday visited Kynance Cove and the Lizard, afterwards proceeding to Falmouth, whence they went up the river to Truro. They remained the night at the Royal Hotel in that town, and on Thursday proceeded to Perran Porth.

19 July 1850

WESTERN DISTRICT COTTAGE GARDENING SOCIETY. The committee of management met at the Geological Society's Rooms, Penzance, on the 10th inst., when the treasurer's account for the past year, showing a balance due to him of £7 5s. 11d., was examined and allowed. The Rev.J. PUNNETT was elected president, and the vice-presidents appointed for the year were Mr. W. BOLITHO, Colonel SCOBELL, Rev. H. BATTEN, and Colonel ROBYNS. It was resolved that the exhibition should take place earlier this year than usual, to be the more favourable for a show of horticultural specimens.

29 NOVEMBER 1850,

THE PROPOSED NEW MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, PENZANCE. - We understand that the subscriptions for the promotion of this object are progressing satisfactorily. On Tuesday last several handsome donations were received for the purpose. Mr. PENDARVES is amongst the list of subscribers - having promised a donation of £50.

7 February 1851, Friday

THE GREAT EXHIBITION - A meeting of the Cornwall Central Committee was held at Truro, on Wednesday last, Sir C. LEMON, Bart., M.P., in the chair. MR. TWEEDY informed the meeting that Mr. ROBERT HUNT, of the Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn-street, St. James's, London, late Secretary of the Polytechnic Society, was preferred to act as agent for all Cornish productions in receiving, unpacking, and arranging them in the building. The meeting resolved to recommend the several local committees and individual exhibitors to avail themselves of Mr. Hunt's services, and undertook hereafter to apportion Mr. Hunt's remuneration amongst the committees and exhibitors in proportion to what each might exhibit.

29 July 1853

ANECDOTE OF SIR HUMPHRY DAVY. - When Davy was in Sicily, he was studying geology, and the rap and clapper of his hammer among the rocks astonished the Catanian peasants, who accounted him mad. They told their priest of their danger from the maniac, but Davy had seen the priest before them; his reverence quietly intimated to the peasants that it was a foreign gentleman from a far-off land, who was practising a penance! Davy was then regarded by the Catanians as a saint.

20 JANUARY 1854, Friday

SCILLY INSTITUTE - The Rev. R.J. FRENCH, of Trescow, delivered an instructive and excellent lecture on "Geology" on Wednesday evening the 11th instant, with illustrative diagrams. In conveying a vote of thanks to the lecturer, Mr. Augustus SMITH spoke of the uses of a knowledge of geology, and the bearing of theoretical science on practical utility, as illustrated in the working of mines, &c.

10 FEBRUARY 1854, Friday

GOLD IN CORNWALL - At the meeting of the Royal Geological Society, in London, on the 1st inst., Mr. S. R. PATTISON, F.G.S., formerly of Launceston, read a paper on the Auriferous Quarts in North Cornwall. In the parish of Davidstowe, in the north of Cornwall, slate rocks, with veins of coarse quartz, and interrupted by trap dykes, sweep round the northern flank of the granite boss of Roughtor. These slates are a prolongation of the Petherwyn beds, and belong to the Upper Devonian series. In the quartz veins of these slates the author sought for and discovered gold. In some places the quartz has ferruginous partings, and contains gossan, - it is this quartz, and in the vicinity of trappean intrusive rock, that was found to be auriferous.