Over the last few days, I have been attempting to find a definitive link between the Bryn Estyn estate in Wrexham, and the virtually unknown ‘other’ Bryn Estyn estate, which was built at New Norfolk, Tasmania, by Lieutenant Henry Lloyd during 1840.
After a lot of digging, I have now found that link, (the details of which will appear in the book I am currently writing) and upon discovering what I needed, I happened upon an article , ‘The Life of Artist Henry Grant Lloyd (1830-1904) and his December 1857 Illawarra Watercolours’, by Dr. Joseph Davis B. A. (Hons), Dip. Ed., PhD and published on the academia.edu website in April this year.
Academia.edu, according to it’s ‘about’ page: ‘is a platform for academics to share research papers. The company’s mission is to accelerate the world’s research. Academics use Academia.edu to share their research, monitor deep analytics around the impact of their research, and track the research of academics they follow. Over 96 million academics have signed up to Academia.edu, adding 23 million papers. Academia.edu attracts over 62 million unique visitors a month.’
Now those numbers by anyone’s reckoning, are staggering, wouldn’t you agree? and if true, would give anyone who’s work appears on the site, a massive platform on which to present their research to the wider world of academia.
So with that in mind, I was somewhat perplexed when parts of Dr Davis’ article seemed very familiar to me, in fact, I could have written them myself.
This paragraph for example, which on first reading only stood out because I had noticed that the name ‘William Middleton Massie Lloyd’ was not one I had encountered before, and for good reason, as Dr Davis appears to have made an error in his identification of ‘Richard Myddleton Massie Lloyd’ (1751-1814), who actually commissioned Joseph Turner to build the first “Bryn Estyn Hall”.
I must admit, it did have me scratching my head at first, and thought the name mix-up was a simple error, or typo, but the paragraph’s wording, and it’s familiarity was something I simply could not ignore, as it was too similar to a paragraph that I had written for my book, which has not yet been published.
The above excerpt, from my book ‘Investiture Hill’ is indeed similar in its wording, but not markedly so, but when you consider that what is going to appear in the book is a more polished version of what I originally wrote, then things will hopefully become clearer.
Reading through the rest of Dr Davis’ paper, I noticed that he had also included a number of images that were also very familiar to me, two of which are freely available on the internet, and therefore could have any number of sources, but one image Dr Davis has used – pictured below – I can state, with all confidence, has only one source.
That source is me.
I can state this because I created the image myself for inclusion in my book, in order to highlight the true location of the original Bryn Estyn Hall, and its proximity to other buildings in the parish, using an 1840 map of Beiston.
So where had Dr Davis, obtained the image?
At first, I admit I could not answer that question, but then I remembered a video I had uploaded to Youtube during July 2018, ‘The Forgotten History of the Bryn Estyn Estate – A Photographic Journey (1620-2018)’, which contained the image in question.
There is another image in that video, which left me in no doubt whatsoever, that Dr Davis has used information from my video to include in his paper, (which has appeared on academia.edu), because due to an typing error on my part, was also the source of his error in using ‘William’ (Middleton Massie Lloyd), instead of Richard, which I mentioned at the start of this article.
I have no objection whatsoever to anybody quoting my research in order to add something to an article or paper or book they have published, however, when an ‘academic’ publishes part of that work to a well-respected academic website with a readership of millions each month, and does not include the source of said information, i.e: myself – then that is an entirely different matter.
There is really no excuse not to quote the source of the information that Dr Davis has used, as my name was clearly stated below the Youtube video, but on the plus side, I had not previously noticed my error, and as a consequence have now removed the video.
So in conclusion, my original typographical error, has fortuiously proved that some ‘academics’, however qualified they may appear, are not only reluctant to quote the source of some of their research, but fail to cross-reference the information they use, and ultimately publish.