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Robert Morton Nance (born 1873 in Cardiffmarker of Cornish parents - died 1959) was a leading authority on the Cornish language, and joint founder the Old Cornwall Society.

He wrote many books and pamphlets on the Cornish language, including a Cornish dictionary, which is a standard work, and edited magazines and pamphlets about Cornwallmarker, including the journal of the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies. Nance was also a nautical archaeologist of distinction and was an originator of the Society for Nautical Research. His insight and learning were displayed in his book 'Sailing Ship Models' which appeared in 1924. He studied art in Britain and Francemarker and was both painter and skilled craftsman.

Chronology of his life

In 1898 he wrote "The Merry Ballad of the Cornish Pasty"

He moved from Walesmarker and settled at Nancledramarker near St Ivesmarker in 1906 .

In 1911 he jointly founded the Society for Nautical Research.In 1920, together with Henry Jenner, he founded the first Old Cornwall Society at St Ivesmarker.The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies was established in 1924 and in 1925 the Federation established the periodical 'Old Cornwall'.In 1928 he jointly founded the Gorseth Kernow which was inaugurated at Boscawen-Unmarker, where he took the bardic name Mordon ('Sea Wave').He published 'Cornish for All' using the 'Unified' Middle Cornish spelling system in 1929.

He was President of the Royal Institution of Cornwall for 1951 - 1955 .

A list of works

A Glossary of Celtic Words in Cornish Dialect.(1923) Publisher: Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society

The Cledry plays: Drolls of Old Cornwall for village acting and home reading.(1956) Publisher: Federation of Old Cornwall Societies. ISBN B0000CJH1W

Cornish for all: A guide to unified Cornish.(1961) Publisher: Federation of Old Cornwall Societies.ISBN B0000CKWG1

Cornish-English Dictionary.(1955) Publisher: Federation of Old Cornwall Societies.ISBN 0-902660-05-5

Classic Sailing-ship Models in Photographs.Reprinted in 2000 by Dover Publications.ISBN 0-486-41249-0

See also

External links


  1. Hall, Stephen (2001) The Cornish Pasty. Agre Books, Nettlecombe, UK, 2001 ISBN 0 9538000 4 0
  2. Brian Murdoch, `Nance, Robert Morton (1873-1959)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 15 Nov 2007

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