Davies Gilbert

Davies Gilbert bigraphy, stories - Scientist and mathematician. President of the Royal Society, M.P.

Davies Gilbert : biography

March 6, 1767 – December 24, 1839

Davies Gilbert (born Davies Giddy) FRS (6 March 1767 – 24 December 1839) was a British engineer, author, and politician. He was elected to the Royal Society on 17 November 1791 and served as President of the Royal Society from 1827 to 1830.


Books and publications written or edited by Davies Gilbert include:Sources: British Library Integrated Catalogue and Cornwall County Library Catalogue

  • Plain Statement of the Bullion Question (1811)
  • Some ancient Christmas Carols, with the Tunes to which they were formerly sung in the West of England. Collected by D. Gilbert. London : J. Nichols and Son, (1822).)This collection and the second edition (1823) includes the first publication of the well-known carols: A Virgin Most Pure and The First Nowell That The Angel Did Say.
  • Some ancient Christmas Carols, with the tunes to which they were formerly sung in the west of England. pp. x. 79. J. Nichols and Son: London, 1823
  • "On the vibrations of heavy bodies in cycloidal and in circular arches, as compared with their descents through free space; including an estimate of the variable circular excess in vibrations continually decreasing." By Davies Gilbert, .. London : printed by William Clowes, [1823] 15,[3]p. ‘Extracted from the Quarterly Journal, Vol. XV’.
  • A Cornish Cantata. [Names of places in Cornwall arranged in the form of verses.] [Privately printed? East-Bourn?] 1826.
  • Mount Calvary; or, the History of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, written in Cornish (as it may be conjectured) some centuries past. Interpreted in English, in … 1682, by J. Keigwin . Edited by D. Gilbert. pp. xxii. 96. Nichols and Son: London, 1826.
  • "On the expediency of assigning Specific Names to all such Functions of Simple Elements as represent definite physical properties; with the suggestion of a new term in mechanics; illustrated by an investigation of the Machine moved by Recoil" … From the Philosophical Transactions. pp. 14. [Privately printed:] London, 1827.
  • "Some Collections and Translations respecting St. Neot, and the former state of his Church." In : Hedgeland (J. P.) A Description … of the … decorations … in the Church of St. Neot, etc. 1830.
  • A Cornish dialogue between Tom Pengersick and Dic. Trengurtha. East-Bourn : Davies Gilbert, [ca. 1835](In verse.)
  • the manuscript histories of Mr. William Hals and Mr. Thomas Tonkin; with additions and various appendices, by D. G. [including copious extracts from J. Whitaker, D. and S. Lysons, &c. and geological notices by Dr. Boase]. 4 vol. London, 1838.

Marriage and family

On 18 April 1808 he married Mary Ann Gilbert, and in 1816 he took his wife’s surname, Gilbert, to perpetuate it.Change of name: ODNB states 1817. says 1816:12:10 This enabled the couple to inherit the extensive property in Sussex of her uncle, Thomas Gilbert, who had no male heir.(via Google Books)

Three daughters and a son survived him. Their son, John Davies Gilbert (5 December 1811 – 16 April 1854) was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in April, 1834 . He was described as "a Gentleman much attached to Science being desirous of admission into the Royal Society". but he does not seem to have published any scientific work.

Their eldest daughter, Catherine, married John Samuel Enys (b. 1796) on 17 April 1834. (via (Google Books) She was the mother of the notable New Zealand naturalist, John Davies Enys (11 October 1837 – 7 November 1912)., accessed November 7, 2006

Their second daughter, Annie, married Rev. Henry Owen, rector of Heveningham, Suffolk on 4 December 1851.(via Google Books)

The other daughters were Mary Susannah and Hester Elizabeth.