A K Hamilton
Prolific Cornish historian and author
20th August, 1980
St Euny church Redruth
Born at Trewirgie House at the edge of Redruth in 1900, just a short walk from the St Euny churchyard where he is buried, Alfred Hamilton-Jenkin's life nevertheless encompassed much more than this small area. After his studies in literature at University College, Oxford, he was a prolific author and historical recorder of a Cornwall that was changing as more modern technology came in to the tin and copper mining operations that dominated the economy and landscape.
It is largely thanks to his meticulous interest in, and recording of, living conditions and working practices in the early 20th Century that we know so much about the way people lived and worked: A Cornish Miner, published in 1927, is a classic text. He published extensively throughout his life, including the 16-volume 'Mines and Miners of Cornwall' covering all areas of the county, and books on the mines of Devon, too.
He was a founding bard of the Gorseth Kernow in 1928, and helped to persuade Cornwall Council to set up the Cornish Record Office in the 1950s. In 1954 he was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and President of the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies in 1959-60; he was President of the Royal Institution of Cornwall in 1958-59. Twice married, with two daughters from his first marriage, the work of his lifetime is a record for us all to cherish and reflect upon.