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Davies Gilbert (1767-1839), Scientist and antiquary; President of the Royal Society

Sitter in 9 portraits
Gilbert (born Giddy) was a significant figure in the scientific community of his day. Although he published little, his importance to the development of science lay in his tireless parliamentary promotion of scientific ventures. An MP from 1804, he entered debate on numerous political questions. However, scientific matters and Cornish concerns were always paramount to him. He was also a firm opponent of measures to extend the franchise, voting against them consistently. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society from 1791 and was elected its President in 1820. The same year saw him elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a reflection of his research into antiquarian, literary, and historical matters.