Thomas Day’s death from a riding accident in September 1789 was significant for two
main reasons. Firstly, his passing reminded the other members of the Lunar Society
that they, too, were mortal. And secondly, his characteristic kindness meant that
Day had become the unofficial moderator, facilitator and so, to some degree, manager
of the Lunar Society, smoothing ruffled feathers and generally making molehills out
of potential mountains. That he was not commercially minded meant that he was no
threat to those members who were, and he could with conviction take the part of honest
It is undoubtedly the case that ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone’
and this was reflected in the fulsome tributes paid to Day by the surviving Lunaticks.
James Keir wrote his work, celebrating Day’s life and works and dedicated to Day’s
widow, and it was published in 1791, some two years after Day’s death.
Original copies of Keir’s book are difficult to find, but Google Books have scanned
a copy and this is available free. Just click on the title page above, and a .pdf
file will download which contains the full text.
Please note, though, that as the original work contains 161 pages, the file size
is a chunky 5MB
AN ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF THOMAS DAY, ESQ.
By James Keir
Published 1791 by James Stockdale , Piccadilly, London