Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 12,, 2016.
Webpage updated: March 12, 2016

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Richard Nicholls Worth was born at Devonport on July 19th 1837, the son of Richard Worth, a Devonport builder, and Elizabeth Nicholls.  He married Lydia Amelia Davies at Stoke Damerel Parish Church on March 22nd 1860.

He was apprenticed in 1851 to Mr R C Smith of "The Devonport and Plymouth Telegraph".  When that paper was merged into the "Western Morning News" in 1863, he became chief reporter and special article writer for that paper.  He left the Morning News in 1866 to become editor of the "Northern Daily Express" at Newcastle but returned to Plymouth the following year and re-joined the "Western Morning News", where he served under Mr Groser until 1876, when he resigned.  The following year he joined the local publishing and printing business of Messrs Brendon & Son.

Soon after returning to Plymouth he published his first local history book, "History of the borough and town of Devonport" (1870).  This was followed in 1871 by the first edition of his "History of Plymouth".  It was so successful as it just beat into publication a similar book by Mr Llewellynn Jewitt, the librarian of the Plymouth Proprietary Library, that a second edition (1873) was soon issued containing amendments to the earlier one.

Encouraged no doubt by this success he went on to produce a third edition (1890) running to over 700 pages.  Having in the course of his research catalogued all the old documents in the Plymouth archives, he went on to issue his "Calendar of the Plymouth Municipal Records" in 1893.  He wrote other smaller books and was a regular contributor of articles to the Transactions of the Devonshire Association, of which he was President in 1891, and the Plymouth Institution, which honoured him with presidency on two occasions.

In between all that, he became chairman of the Compton Gifford Local Board (later a District Council) in 1881 and as such led the opposition to the take-over of that area by Plymouth.

R N Worth had one son, Richard Hansford Worth, born in Plymouth on November 5th 1868, and a daughter.  On July 3rd 1896, R N Worth died suddenly at Shaugh Prior and he was buried there.