John Thomas Blight was born on 7th October 1835 in Redruth.

His father, Robert, a teacher, moved the family to Penzance and introduced his sons to the study of nature, antiquities and folklore.

By the age of 20, Blight had published a book on the antiquities of Penwith and a large collection of drawings. His expansion of this work, in two volumes, was at first encouraged by the Rev. R. S. Hawker and then the cause of a prolonged argument.

John Blight’s second patron, James Halliwell, was similarly unhelpful, never paying him for his vast labour in illustrating Halliwell”s projected edition of William Shakespeare”s Works.

In the mid-1860s, Blight had a mental breakdown and was incarcerated for the remainder of his life in Bodmin Mental Hospital.

Blight’s recording of Cornish antiquities includes many that no longer exist. His descriptions and illustrations of them provide a most valuable source for archaeologists and local historians.

His enduring and most substantial works remain as ‘Ancient Crosses and Other Antiquities in the East of Cornwall‘ (1872), ‘Ancient Crosses and Other Antiquities in the West of Cornwall’ (1856) and ‘A Week at the Land’s End’ (1861)

Links:

John Thomas Blight on Wikipedia