On 17th November 1791 Davies Giddy was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In the list of fellows he is shown as Davies Gilbert, the name he adopted in 1816 to allow he and his wife, Mary Ann Gilbert, to inherit a substantial property from her uncle (for more on this and the birth of Davies Giddy see OTD 6 March 1767).
Giddy's election citation reads:
Davies Giddy MA of Tredrea in the County of Cornwall a gentleman devoted to mathematical and philosophical pursuits being desirous of the honour of election into the Royal Society, We whose names are underwritten, do from our personal knowledge recommend him as worthy of that honour and likely to become a usefull and valuable Member.
Thos Hornsby; G Shuckburgh; Nevil Maskelyne; George Atwood; James L Macie; George Shaw; George Staunton; J E Smith; Hen Fly; Rd Penneck
Davies Giddy's citation and list of sponsors on his election as Fellow of the Royal Society in 1791
(image courtesy of the Royal Society)
Who are these sponsors?
Quite a lot of influence and learning there. Networks and patronage were very important and Giddy's go back into his childhood. He had been educated by Malachy Hitchins before leaving Cornwall to join the mathematical academy of Benjamin Donne in Bristol. Hitchins was the rector of St Hilary but more importantly he was also a colleague of Nevil Maskelyne, working with him on the Nautical Almanac as a 'computer'. (For more on Hitchins see OTS 10 March 1801). Early in his career Hitchins had worked with Benjamin Donne on the creation of a map of Devon, published in 1765, and subsequently was introduced to Maskelyne by Thomas Hornsby.
Giddy was clearly a valued Fellow of the Royal Society, in 1827 he was elected President which post he held for three years. As a mathematician his opinion and knowledge was also sought by the engineers of his day including Hornblower, Trevithick, Telford and Brunel.
St Erth, birthplace of Davies Giddy, is a small obscure place at the far west end of Cornwall yet in same year, 1791, two men associated with St Erth were elected Fellows of the Royal Society. The other was John Hawkins who, like Giddy, would go on to play a significant role in the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall.
More information the people mentioned in this article can be found in the archives of the Royal Society which are available on the internet at: https://royalsociety.org/ Biographies of most of them can be found on Wikipedia.