Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Basset, John

BASSET, JOHN (1791–1843), writer on subjects connected with mining, was son of the Rev. John Basset, rector of Illogan and Camborne, and Mary Wingfield of Durham, his wife, and was born 17 Nov. 1791. He was M.P. for Helston (1840) for a short time, and deeply interested himself in Cornish mining and the welfare of the miner. In 1837 he was sheriff of Cornwall. In 1836 he published some treatises on the mining courts of the duchy, and in the same year ‘Thoughts on the New Stannary Bill.’ In 1839 appeared his ‘Origin and History of the Bounding Act,’ and in 1842 his ‘Observations on Cornish Mining.’ But perhaps his most valuable contribution towards Cornish mining literature was a treatise, published in 1840, entitled ‘Observations on the Machinery used for Raising Miners in the Hartz,’ in the ‘Report of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society’ for that year (p. 59), which had for its result the substitution of a man-engine for the nearly vertical ladders used by the miners as they ascended or descended the mine. John Basset died at Boppart-on-the-Rhine, 4 July 1843.

[Gent. Mag. (1855), xx. 323.]

W. H. T.