Running through the ‘Last Great Cornish Engineer’ is the text of ‘A sketch of the life of William West of Tredenham‘. This sketch forms the framework upon which my study of the engineer’s life is hung. Its uncritical view of West’s life was published closes to his death by an unknown author. However, in the forward of the Cornish Studies Library reprint of the sketch Richard Nicholls Worth is identified as being the possible author.
Richard Nicholls Worth (1837-1896) was a well known Plymouth Journalist and writer, working for Brendon & Son, printers and publishers. He used his spare time to research the history and geology of the west of England,and publishing many papers. He was twice President of the Plymouth Institution and in 1891 of the Devonshire Association.
Richard Nicholls Worth published about 140 papers between 1869 and his death, and his books included:
History of the Town and Borough of Devonport, Plymouth, 1870
History of Plymouth, Plymouth, 1871
The West Country Garland, selected from the Writings of the Poets of Devon and Cornwall, Plymouth, 1878
Richard Nicholls Worth was the father of Richard Hansford Worth, a civil engineer and a founding member of the Marine Biological Assocation. Hansworth is best known for ‘Worths Dartmoor’ , published in 1953.
Reference: The PLYMOUTH ATHENAEUM website