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A Cornish Almanack

When Cornwall Shook the World

This volume comprises a day-to-day calendar for a Cornish year but extending over more than 800 years.

It records major events or the birth or death of someone who made an impact in Cornwall or elsewhere.

A Cornish Almanack recounts financial and sexual scandals, political intrigue as well as the births and deaths of artists, scientists and politicians who had close connections to Cornwall.

There is one event, birth or death for every day of the Cornish year.

Read the entire volume, day by day, here.

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Musically, Cornwall can be proud of its adopted and pressed slave, Joseph Antonio Emidy (pictured top left), who established the Truro Philharmonic Orchestra; the acclaimed opera singer, Charles Incledon; the folk singer, Brenda Wootton and the conductor, Sir David Willcocks; whilst Davies Gilbert and Thomas Merritt compiled anthologies of Cornish Christmas carols many of which are now standard across the world.

If asked to name a Cornish scientist, most people could name Sir Humphry Davy (pictured below left), discoverer of at least seven chemical elements and the inventor of the Miners Safety Lamp but the county was also the birthplace of the discoverer of the planet, Neptune, John Couch Adams, and his brother, William Grylls Adams, who discovered solar power and invented the very first solar cell. The element, titanium, was first discovered in Manaccan (on the Helford River) whilst the rich mineralogy of the county, which is more closely related to that of Brittany than Devon, was studied and samples collected by numerous Cornish geologists and mineralogists whose collections are now displayed across the world.

Because of its mineralogy, Cornish mining became the saviour of the county when the pilchard industry disappeared with the fish vanishing.

Mining led to enormous engineering developments which benefited the entire country: William Murdoch became the first to develop domestic gas lighting; the man engine to lift miners up the shaft after a dirty, hot, ten hour shift mainly spent in darkness, illuminated only by candles, was first constructed here; and the county was the birthplace of the world famous engineer, Sir Richard Trevithick Tangye.

The subsequent decline in mining led to the formation of Cornish diasporas in America, Australia and South Africa and one, Francis Oats, became the chairman of the De Beers diamond mining company

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