SOME IRISH NATURALISTS: A BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE-BOOK
R. Lloyd Praeger, Sc.D., D.Sc., M.R.I.A.
W.Tempest, Dundalgan Press, Dundalk, 1949
BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES > A to D >
E to K >
L to S >
T to Z
CHARLES DU BOIS LARBALESTIER
Larbalestier was born in Jersey in 1838, took his B.A. degree at Cambridge in 1863, and became tutor in the family of Mitchell-Henry, of Kylemore Castle in Connemara. He collected lichens assiduously in Ireland, the Channel Islands, and Cambridge, sending his finds to Nylander and Leighton, the former recording them in Flora and the latter in his well-known Lichen Flora. He also issued nine fascicles of a lichen-herbarium. Miss Lorrain Smith named Microgloena larbalestieri after him.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 180. Knowles in Proc. R.I. Acad., 38 8,186.
SIR THOMAS AISKEW LARCOM
Larcom was a Royal Engineer. After a brilliant career at Woolwich Academy he was selected for the Ordnance Survey, and was transferred in 1826 to Ireland. Here, working under Portlock, he developed the plan for the mapping of Ireland, and was responsible for the attempt to produce a comprehensive survey embracing everything connected with the natural history and economics of the country. This grandiose scheme proved far more expensive than the Irish Government would sanction. One volume - on the Parish of Templemore, in Co. Londonderry - was published, and the plan was abandoned. This Templemore Memoir is a model of what such a survey should be, and is still of the greatest value. With the remainder of Larcom's active and useful official life as Under-Secretary for Ireland we are not here concerned; it is the natural history sections of the Templemore Memoir, though not written by himself, and the fact that he was so largely responsible for the Ordnance maps which are a requisite of every naturalist, that need notice here. He was made K.C.B. in 1860.
Proc. Roy. Soc., 29, x-xv. Dict. Nat Biogr., 32, 143. Colby: Memoir the City and North-western Liberties of Londonderry, Parish of Templemore. 1835.
MARY E. LEEBODY
Mary Elizabeth Leebody was born at Portaferry in Co. Down, and became the wife of Prof J.R. Leebody of Foyle College, Londonderry. She was a diligent field botanist, and enhanced considerably our knowledge of the flora of counties of Deny and Donegal. She added the second Irish station Kilrea - to the range of the interesting American orchid Spiranthes romanzoffiana, and was the discoverer of Dryas octopetala on Muckish, Teesdalia nudicaulis on Lough Neagh, Malaxis on Slieve Snacht, etc.
Irish Nat., 20,218. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2. 184. Personal knowledge.
HELENA LEFROY (née Trench)
Miss Trench's claim to fame is her finding at Garruis Cove near Tramore in Waterford in 1839 of the only specimen of the rare southern spurge Euphorbia peplis ever seen in Ireland. There is little doubt that it was the last survivor of a native colony.
Mackay in Proc. Dub. Univ. Zool. and Bot. Assoc., 1, and Nat. Hist. Rev. 6, 1859.
H. W. LETT
Canon Henry William Lett, MA., was a County Down man, born at Hillsborough, and he spent a long life as a country rector within thirty miles of his birth-place. He was a son of a clergyman of the Church of Ireland, and he in turn was ordained. He joined the Belfast Field Club in 1878, but it was not till 1881 that, at the age of forty-five, he published anything showing an interest in natural science. He then read a paper drawing attention to a remarkable submerged warp that extends along much of the southern and western shores of Lough Neagh. Other contributions followed, dealing chiefly with cryptogamic plants, which he continued to collect and study throughout his life. He published a List of British Hepaticae (1902). The whole of the cryptogams, indeed - Fungi, Musci, Hepaticae, Lichenes Alga - received much attention, and he was familiar also with the Vascularia and the flowering plants. At the brambles he worked especially, and he is commemorated in the Rubus lettii of Moyle Rogers. Five years before his death a Census Report on the Mosses of Ireland, his most important work, was published by the Royal Irish Academy. "Possessed of an energetic and sanguine temperament, he ranged far, but sometimes lacked the caution and patience necessary when dealing with critical plants, thus bringing down on himself the criticism of that prince of caution, S. A. Stewart. He was an excellent companion, full of country lore and quaint experience."
Irish Nat, 30, 41. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 186. Personal knowledge.
H. C. LEVINGE
Harry Corbyn Levinge D.L., J.P., 9th son of Sir Richard Levinge, 6th baronet, of Knockdrin Castle near Mullingar, belonged to an old Westmeath family. Somewhat late in life, on his retiring from a long period in the Indian Civil Service, when he collected ferns, he became interested in the Irish flora, and published in the Irish Naturalist three important papers on the flora of his home county, previously but little explored, and in the Journal of Botany made some additional contributions to the Irish flora. His beautifully prepared herbarium is in the National Museum in Dublin. J. G. Baker dedicated to him the fern Adiantum levingei. He added Chara denudata to the Irish flora.
Irish Nat., 5, 107. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 186. Personal knowledge.
Edward Lhwyd, Lhuyd, or Lloyd, published in the Philosophical Transactions (27, 524-526, 1712) a paper, " Some further Observations relating to the Antiquities and Natural History of Ireland " in which are recorded for the first time from that country some rare plants, such as Arenaria ciliata, Potentilla fruticosa, Saxifiaga " Geum," Dabeocia polifolia. Irish plants collected by him are in the Sloane Herbarium in London. He was one of the first to botanize in Ireland. Lhwyd was Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and held the M.A. degree of that University. Salisbury dedicated to him the genus Lloydia which he discovered on the Snowdon range. He was elected F.A.S. in 1708.
Dict. Nat. Biogr., 33, 217. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2. 187.
A. A. LISNEY
Arthur Adrian Lisney was born at Shankill, Co. Dublin. He passed through Trinity College, taking the degrees of M.A. and M.D. in Dublin University. Since qualifying in medicine in 1931 he has specialized in preventive medicine in the English Public Health Service. In zoology he is a student of British and Irish Lepidoptera, especially their distribution and ecology, and is at work on a complete distributional survey and bibliography.
Miss Lister did not reside in Ireland save for occasional visits, but her name merits inclusion in an Irish list on account of the good work that she has done on the interesting but little-worked group of the Mycetozoa. She verified the names of most of the species found in Ireland by recent workers, and in 1912 published in the Clare Island series (Proc. R.I. Acad., 31, part 63) a complete list with localities of all found in the country up to that date.
EDWARD LLOYD - see Edward Lhwyd
Logan was an Irish quaker born at Lurgan, Co. Armagh. who went to America with Perm in 1699 and became Governor of Pennsylvania in 1739. He wrote a book, Experimenta de Plantarum Generatione, which was published at Leyden in 1739, and an edition in English in London in 1747. Robert Brown dedicated to him the genus Logania. He retired in 1747. He published several works printed by his friend, Franklin. He bequeathed his library to Philadelphia.
Dict. Nat. Biogr., 34, 81. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 192.
JAMES B. LOUGHNANE
Born, Crinkle, near Birr, Co Offaly. Educated Cistercian College, Roscrea. In 1924 he completed the course in Agriculture at Albert College. Became teacher of agriculture at Mount Mellery. Spent remainder of Academic career at in Albert College, attached to the Dept of Plant Pathology. Special training in plant virus diseases in Cambridge. In 1956 awarded D.Sc., by N.U,I. In 1966 became Professor of Plant Pathology. He published papers on flax, potato, cereal and sugar beet diseases. Formed the Soc Irish Plant Pathologists in1968.
Information from Plant Pathology Bulletin 1970 (M.Scannell).
Lynam is noteworthy as the discoverer of the American Sisyrinchium angustifolium in Ireland (at Woodford, Co. Galway, 1845). He was born in Co. Carlow and died in Galway. He was a civil engineer, and Corresponding Secretary to the Botanical Society of London, 1852.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 196.
MARY J. LYNN
Miss Mary Johnstone Lynn was born at Carrickfergus. She entered Queen's University, Belfast, taking the B.Sc. degree in 1914, and the D.Sc. (by thesis) in 1937, and carried out post-graduate work at Manchester. She is now Senior Lecturer in Botany at Belfast. She has worked especially at the phyto-ecology of the tidal zone in Northern Ireland; her full results (with 100 maps) are not published as yet, though foreshadowed in the Irish Naturalists' Journal, volt 4 to 6.
JAMES MAC ADAM
He was a keen geologist, who published several papers in the Journal of the Geological Society of Dublin. "Mac Adam was fortunate in his period, that of the birth of railways, and the blastings and cuttings for the various railway systems converging on Belfast gave him a unique opportunity for research of which he readily availed himself." Though engaged in business in Belfast, he found time to attend lectures at Trinity College, Dublin, and took the B.A. degree at the age of 35. When Queen's College, Belfast, was inaugurated he was appointed first librarian. He was one of the founders of the Natural History Society of Belfast, and of the Botanic Garden there.
Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc., 18 (Proc.), xxxvii. Belfast Nat. Hist. and Phil. Soc. Centenary Volume, 89, portrait. 1924. Belfast Lit. Soc. Hist. Sketches, 88. 1902.
McAlla (or MacCalla) was born at Roundstone in Connemara, and died there thirty-five years later. He was a schoolmaster who taught himself botany, and became a skilled and successful algologist, corresponding with and sending seaweeds, etc., to Harvey, Hooker and others. He was the discoverer in 1835 of Erica mackayana, which he transmitted to Mackay; this plant, now known to be a good species, is found only in the Roundstone district and the mountains of Castile and Asturia. He issued a set of exsiccata under the title Algae Hibemicae (1845). The seaweed Cladophora macallana was named after him by W. H. Harvey.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 197
McArdle was the son of a former gardener at Glasnevin, and spent his life in Dublin in the service of the Botanic Garden there as plant-collector and clerk. Encouraged by his chief, David Moore, to take up the study of Irish cryptogams, he became expert in the mosses and hepatics, and with financial assistance from the Royal Irish Academy he collected in a number of regions in Ireland, and eventually published a "List of the Irish Hepaticae " (1904) which is still the main source of information on the group. As a worker he was deliberate rather than brilliant, and he found little that was unexpected during his long life of eighty-five years.
Irish Nat. Journ. 5, 182.
E. W. McBRIDE
Ernest William MacBride, D.Sc., F.R.S., was born in Belfast, son of a linen manufacturer. He studied at Queen's College, Belfast, took the degree of B.A. at Cambridge, worked at zoology there and at Naples, and was appointed Professor of Zoology at McGill University, Ottawa, in 1897; two years later he became Assistant Professor of Zoology in the Imperial College of Technology in London, succeeding to the professorship after five years more. He was early attracted to the Echinodermata, and did brilliant work on them and in other subjects, greatly increasing our knowledge of the Invertebrate.
Obit. Notices Roy. Soc., 3, 747, portrait, bibliography.
WILLIAM MAC CALLA - See William MacAlla
SIR LEOPOLD McCLINTOCK
Admiral Sir Francis Leopold McClintock, K.C.B., F.R.S., D.C.L., LL.D., was born at Dundalk. He entered the Navy in 1831, where he had a long career which included much work in the Arctic. He is best known as leader of the final expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, which, in the "Erebus " and "Terror" at last cleared up the history of Franklin's fatal last voyage. McClintock presented a large collection of arctic animals, fossils, and rocks to the National Museum in Dublin; also valuable collections from Barbadoes and Jamaica, obtained when he was stationed there.
Dict. Nat. Biogr., 20, 191. Irish Nat. 17, 42, 1908. Markham: Life of Admiral Sir Leopold McClintock. 1909.
SIR FREDERICK M'COY
M'Coy was born in Dublin and studied medicine there and at Cambridge; but was drawn off when quite young to the pursuit of natural science. He worked under Sir Richard Griffith at paleontological investigation required for the latter's geological map of Ireland. He was appointed Professor of Geology, Queen's College, Belfast, in 1852, but left two years later to assume the Chair of Natural History in the new 13-iversity of Melbourne. He became F.A.S., Hon. D.Sc. of Cambridge, and in 1891 K.C.M.G., published zoological and paleontological works, and was recognized as the leading man of science in Australia.
Proc. Roy. Soc., 75 (obit.), 43-45. Dict. Nat. Biogr., Suppl. III 119. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 198.
The name of MacHenry is a familiar and honoured one among Irish geologists. He was a northerner, born at Bally-castle in Co. Antrim, educated in Dublin. Contact with Beete Jukes and W. H. Baily led to his appointment to the Geological Survey, first as fossil-collector, later as Geologist (1890); one of his ablest services being the disentangling and mapping of the folded and contorted rocks of Donegal and the west of Ireland. Later he was engaged on the survey of drifts of the areas around Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Limerick. His wide knowledge of Ireland and its geology and his genial disposition caused him to be appealed to whenever information was desired, and his death removed one of the most experienced and helpful of Irish scientists. With W. W. Watts he produced a Guide to the Collection of Rocks and Fossils belonging to the Geological Survey of Ireland (1895).
Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. 76 (Proc.), 60. Irish Nat., 28, 102.
J. T. MACKAY
1775 ? - 1862
The Board of Trinity College, Dublin, acquired in 1806 three acres of ground (afterwards increased to seven) at Ball's Bridge, then outside the city boundary, for the purposes of a Botanic Garden, and James Townsend Mackay, already on the staff of the college, was appointed Curator. He was a native of Kirkcaldy and an industrious and talented man. Although he had the laying out and stocking of the Garden on his hands, he began in 1806 to publish papers on the It* flora, which culminated in 1836 in his Flora Hibernica, a work in which all the plants known from Ireland, from phanerogams to alga, were duly set forth. The second part of the book (Musci, Hepaticas, Lichenes), was the work of Thomas Taylor, who was Professor of Botany in the Royal Cork Scientific Institution. This is an accurate and valuable work which only by degrees has been superseded. Mackay published supplementary notes in 1859 and 1860. Already in 1804-05, when he was Assistant Botanist to the college, he had been dispatched on exploring expeditions to the south and west of Ireland; these resulted in the addition to the Irish flora of Sibthorpia, the endemic Arabis brownii, etc., and a subsequent visit to Connemara added Erica mediterranea and others. Harvey dedicated to him the genus Mackaya.
The University of Dublin conferred on him in 1850 the degree of LL.D., and he was an Associate of the Linnean Society. His portrait is in the Botanical Magazine Dedications (Roy. Hort. Soc., 1891).
Colgan: Flora of the County of Dublin xxvi-xxviii.
Rev. Prof. Macloskie was born at Castledawson in Tyrone and educated at Queens College, Belfast; he held degrees in law, theology, and science. After twelve years in the ministry in an Irish parish he went to Princeton, New Jersey, where in 1875 he was appointed to the Chair of Geology in the University. There he spent the remainder of his life. While in Ireland he wrote a paper on the silicified wood of Lough Neagh (Journ. Geol. Soc. Dublin, 3, 163. 1873). His best-known American work was on the flora of Patagonia.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 201. Nature, 104, 540. 1920.
NORA FISHER MACMILLAN
Mrs. Macmillan, better known to naturalists by her maiden name of Nora Fisher, was born in Belfast. She is a product of the Junior Section of the Belfast Field Club, with which she gained a good knowledge of marine moth/sea and of flowering plants, afterwards enlarged by work in the Municipal Museums of Belfast (1929-33) and Liverpool (1935-38). While in Belfast she was an active in working out the local distribution of plants and animals. She has written a good deal, mostly in the form of short papers and notes, zoological and botanical, in various English and Irish publications. Her paper " On the occurrence of Pliocene shells in Wicklow" (Proc. Liverpool Geol. Soc., 17, 255-266, plate) is an interesting contribution to the study of Irish derived fossils.
Personal information and personal knowledge.
WILLIAM RAMSAY McNAB
W. R. McNab was born in Edinburgh, where his father and grandfather had been in turn Curators of the Royal Botanic Garden. He graduated M.D. in his native city. He did not practice there long, but was appointed Professor of Natural History at Cirencester, and in 1872 became Professor of Botany at the Royal College of Science in Dublin, where he remained until his death. He published two botanical textbooks, and many scientific papers in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy and elsewhere.
Dict. Nat. Biogr., 35, 238. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 202.
EDMUND JOSEPH McWEENEY
McWeeney was born in Dublin. Entering the Royal University, he took the medical courses, taking M.A. and M.D. in 1891. He then studied in Vienna and Berlin, and returned to become Professor of Pathology in the Cecilia-street Medical School of the Catholic University. Dr. McWeeney did much work at the Fungi, especially of the Dublin area, publishing, sometimes in conjunction with Greenwood Pim, notes and lists of species obtained, and he often exhibited at the Dublin Microscopical Club. His contributions appeared mainly in the Irish Naturalist. He added at least one new species to the known fungus flora - Stysanus ulmariae, found during a Field Club excursion to Braganstown bog in Louth.
Lancet June 27,1925. Brit. Med. Journ., July 4, 1925. Personal knowledge.
SAMUEL M. MALCOMSON
S. M. Malcomson was born in Belfast and, passing through Queen's University, obtained the M.D. degree in 1879, and practised in his native town. He worked in collaboration with Joseph Wright on material dredged on excursions of the Belfast Field Club and other occasions, Wright being responsible for the Foraminifera and Malcomson for the Ostracoda. He published his results with the Belfast Club (Appendix, 1884-85); his list of 100 species was an important contribution to the local fauna, and included three species new to science. He was a well-known member of the Club, conversant with both animals and plants of various groups. He took part in the R.I. Academy's 1885 deep-sea dredging expedition, and reported on the Ostracoda and Copecoda. He died when only twenty-nine years old.
Proc. Belfast Nat FirId Club, 1886-87, 531. Personal knowledge.
Robert Mallet, who achieved eminence as a civil engineer, was born in Dublin, and took the B.A. and M.A. degrees in the university there. He studied deeply the phenomena connected with earthquakes, and many of the papers, over 90 in number, which he contributed to the scientific literature of the day, dealt with this subject. His great earthquake catalogue prepared for the British Association, was completed in 1858. He was elected P.R.S. in 1854, and received an honorary LL.D. from Dublin University in 1864, and was awarded the Cunningham Medal of the Royal Irish Academy in 1862.
Dict. Nat. Biogr. 35, 429. Quart. journ. Geol. Soc. 33 (Proc.), M.
H. N. MARTIN
Henry Newell Martin was born in Newry. After brilliant university courses in London (B.Sc., M.B., and later D.Sc.) and Cambridge he became assistant to Huxley, in collaboration with whom the well-known Practical Biology was produced. He was appointed to the newly established Professorship of Biology in Johns Hopkins University in 1876, "where he carried out many valuable physiological researches, wrote several text-books, and trained a number of talented pupils." His health failed in 1893 and he returned to England, where he died three years later.
Irish. Nat., 6, 103, Proc. Roy. Soc., 60, xx-xxiii.
ANNE L. MASSY
Miss Massy I first met in 1894; at that time she had not yet published anything, but was an interested member of the Dublin Field Club, with a good knowledge of birds and marine mollusca. Her acquaintance with the latter group obtained for her in 1901 a ' temporary " post in the Fisheries department, which continued until her death twenty-five years later. She became a skilled and experienced conchologist, producing a series of valuable monographic papers on the molluscan fauna of the Irish coasts, and also on Holoothurians and Brachiopods of various parts of the world. She did valuable further work in naming the Mollusa of several Antarctic and other expeditions. Of her deep interest in the Irish avifauna she gave practical proof by assuming the secretaryship of the Irish Society for the Protection of Birds when it was in difficulties, and by serving on its Committee until her death.
Nature, 128, 59. Irish Nat. Journ., 3, 215, bibliography. Personal knowledge.
HERBERT BRANTWOOD MAUFE
Made was appointed Geologist on the staff of the Irish Geological Survey in 1901. He and his colleague W. B. Wnght demonstrated the occurrence of a pre-glacial raised beach along the south coast of Ireland. He soon resigned from the Irish Survey to become Director of the Geological Survey of Southern Rhodesia, which post he held till 1935. He was awarded the Lyell Medal of the Geological Society of London.
Flett: First Hundred Years of the Geological Survey, 253. Personal knowledge.
WILLIAM RUTLEDGE MEGAW
Rev. W. R. Megaw, B.A., was born at Carrowdore in County Down, and was educated at Queen's College Belfast, and at Princeton, U.S.A. He obtained the B.A. degree in the Royal University of Ireland, was ordained in the Presbyterian Church, and installed at Newtownbreda, Belfast, in 1919. He has been a student of mosses for thirty years and bas published papers and notes upon them; he edited the Musci and Hepaticae for the Second Edition of Stewart and Corry's Flora of the North-east of Ireland (1938), which involved extensive revision and many additions.
ROBERT DESMOND MEIKLE
R. D. Meikle was born at Newtownards in Co. Down, and passed through Trinity College, Dublin, 1940.1945, obtaining the B.A. and LL.B. degrees. He entered the Herbarium, Royal Gardens, Kew, in 1946. He is an accomplished field botanist, and shares with E. N. Carrothers the credit of being the discoverer of the rare Hierochloe odorata in Ireland (Lough Neagh, 1946).
CARL LUDWIG METZLE - see Sir Charles Lewis Giesecke
Millen was one of the most active of the band of Ulster mid-nineteenth century botanists who did much to elucidate the local flora (see Tate, FL Belfastiensis and Dickie, FL Ulster). Among his fellow-workers in this field were W. H. Ferguson, J. S. Holden, W. Macmillan, Dr. William Mateer and some others who are noticed separately in these pages. Beyond their plant-records in the two books cited they left little trace behind them.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2 124. Phytologis, 363,4, 185.
JAMES NAPIER MILNE
J. N. Milne was of Scottish birth; was a school teacher at Armoy, Londonderry and Culmore successively, and finally lived in Belfast. He was an accomplished conchologist and entomologist, and made noteworthy additions to the fauna especially of the north-eastern counties, which he preferred that other workers should publish.
Irish Nat. 27, 129. Personal knowledge.
GEORGE FRANCIS MITCHELL
1912 - 1997
G. F. Mitchell was born in Dublin, entered Trinity College in 1930, and took in Dublin University the degrees of M.Sc. (1935) and M.A. (1937); in 1944 he was elected to a Junior Fellowship. He became Assistant to the Professor of Geology in 1934.. Following on work in Copenhagen under Prof. Jessen, he devoted himself to research on the glacial and post-glacial flora of Ireland, with noteworthy results, as shown in his papers read before the Royal Irish Academy and elsewhere.
While predominantly a geologist, Mitchell developed interests in other areas such as botany and archaeology and he also played an active role in university administration. He wrote a series of books on Ireland's geology, landscape and prehistory, the most recent with Michael Ryan Reading the Irish Landscape. When Trinity College Dublin sold Townley Hall, Frank Mitchell acquired the house and it became a study centre, funded by him personally and which facilitated research in many disciplines, particularly archaeological investigations at Knowth.
Mitchell received many honours during his lifetime. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was a Cunningham Medallist of the Royal Irish Academy and a Boyle Medallist of the Royal Dublin Society. He was President of the Royal Irish Academy in 1976-79 and of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland from 1957-60. He was president of An Taisce from 1991-93 and the International Quarternary Association from 1969-73.
MARGARITA DAWSON MITCHELL - see Margarita Dawson Stelfox
CHARLES BETHUNE MOFFAT
Moffat's extreme modesty and self-effacing instinct kept him throughout his life from being recognized for what he was - the most accomplished naturalist that Ireland has produced, capable of ranking beside Gilbert White himself. He was born in the Isle of Man, and when a year and a half old his parents came to reside permanently in Ireland, at Ballyhyland in Co. Wexford. He entered Trinity College at the age of 16, and had a highly distinguished course in Dublin University. He left the law for the practice of journalism almost at once, and for many years was connected with Dublin newspapers. From boyhood he was a keen student of plants and animals, and a singularly methodical one; from 1881 on he kept a diary which is full of original observations. He travelled very little, and most of his manifold observations were made at Ballyhyland, which remained in the family until 1919, when Moffat moved to Dublin. As compared with his encyclopaedic knowledge of Irish birds and mammals, he wrote little, but everything that he published contains some new observation or some new question. Perhaps his college training in philosophy accounts for the broad and essentially logical outlook which he brought to bear on every scientific problem. The only book which he produced was his biography of A. G. More. This was a labour of love, a memorial to an old friend and helper, financed by More's surviving sister, and expanded to a size which, I have reason to believe, he considered excessive. It is his various papers mostly on zoological subjects, published in the Irish Naturalist, which illustrate best the tireless observing, the close reasoning and sometimes delicate humour which were characteristic of Moffat and his work.
Perhaps the best monument which he left behind him was the Irish Society for the Protection of Birds and the notable work which it accomplished during his long tenure of office as its Honorary Secretary, which lasted for over twenty years and only terminated at his death.
Irish Naturalists' Journal, 8, 349-370, Portraits. Persona! knowledge.
SIR THOMAS MOLYNEUX
Thomas Molyneux, M.D., F.A.S., was born in Dublin, took his medical degree in Dublin University, in which city he practised; was elected F.A.S. in 1687, and created a baronet in 1730. He was a good zoologist, publishing the first account of the structure of the Sea Mouse, of the " Irish Elk " and of an elephant's jaw found in Cavan. In 1717 he became Professor of Medicine in Dublin University and Physician to the State. He was a man of wide interests and knew many of the famous men of his day. He supplied to Thrclkeld's Synopsis Stirpium Hibernicarum an Appendix of 22 pages.
Dict. Nat. Biogr., 38, 137. Webb: Compend. Irish Biogr., 344. Colgan: Flora of the County Dublin, xxi. 1904. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 218.
1807-1879 Plate 9
David Moore (alien Muir) was born at Dundee. He came to Dublin at the age of twenty-one as assistant to). T. Mackay, Director of Trinity College Botanic Garden. Five years later he was appointed as botanist on the staff of the Ordnance Survey, under the grand but short-lived scheme which proposed to include in the Survey an account of the natural history of Ireland in its widest sense. Work began in the north, and Moore collected in Derry and Antrim with noteworthy and well-known results, including the finding of Carex buxbaumii. Then, with the publication of a Memoir of one parish in Derry (Templemore), the scheme collapsed. Moore returned to Dublin and a horticultural post in 1838 as Curator of the Botanic Garden at Glasnevin, and there he died forty-one years later. The strenuous work of the Glasnevin post did not prevent his continuance of field-work. He visited many parts of Ireland and added many plants to the flora, especially among the mosses and liverworts, so that when A. G. More proposed to him in 1864 a Cybele Hibernica, on the lines of Watson's Cybele Britannica, with Moore and More as editors, it was possible to publish the book two years later, the task of arranging all previous records being done largely by More, who like Moore had been carrying out much field-work. The result was a remarkable advance in the knowledge of the distribution of the higher plants in Ireland. Working on at the Muscineae, Moore produced an account of Irish mosses, and another of Irish liverworts, which remained the standard works of reference on these groups for half a century. He died two years after the publication of the latter paper. On the horticultural side his work was equally important. A successful grower of rare and difficult plants, the Glasnevin garden was recognised as possessing one of the more important collections in Europe of both hardy and tender species. Moore's portrait appears appropriately in the Botanical Magazine Dedications volume which was issued by the Royal Horticultural Society in 1931. His eminence was recognized by a number of scientific bodies abroad such as the University of Zurich and Natural History Societies in Vienna and Strassborg. Baker named Rosa moorei in his honour. "He was one of a brilliant galaxy of men who were both botanists and gardeners, and who have constituted an era in natural science."
Dia. Nat. Biogr. 38, 345. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 219. Stewart and Corry: N.B. Ireland, xviii-xx. 1888. Praeger in Irish Nat. Journ., 5, 302, portrait.
SIR F. W. MOORE
Frederick William Moore was born in Dublin, and succeeded his father David Moore as Keeper of the Botanic Garden at Glasnevin, in 1879, which post he held until 1922. He ranked high as a horticulturist. He received the degree of M.A. from the Royal University of Ireland, Sc.D. front Dublin University, knighthood in 1911, and the Victoria Medal of Honour from the Royal Horticultural Society. He was President of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland and of the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland. His influence as a horticulturist extended far beyond the confines of his native country and under his care the Glasnevin Garden enjoyed a high reputation abroad.
Who's Who. Personal knowledge.
A. G. MORE
The name of Alexander Goodman More will long be esteemed by Irish naturalists especially as a stimulator and adviser for many years of the younger zoologists and botanists of his time. He himself suffered much ill-health, but when the task of preparing a second edition of Cybele Hibernia devolved upon him he was able, by precept and example, to get many worthy helpers to explore the mountains, lakes, rivers and coasts of Ireland. These included G. E. H. Barrett-Hamilton, R. M. Barrington, N. Colgan, T. H. Corry, H. C. Hart, H. C. Levinge, R. W. Scully, S. A. Stewart, R. P. Vowel. Without their unstinted aid the new Cybele would have been shorn of half its value.135
More was born in London, and began to study birds while at Rugby. He passed on to Cambridge, but ill-health prevented his taking a degree. While a boy he had made the acquaintance of Walter Shawe-Taylor, and visits to him at his home in Co. Galway led to a lively interest in the Irish flora. In 1864 he proposed to David Moore a ;joint work on Irish flowering plants on the lines of Watson s Cybele Britannia; this resulted in the appearance of Cybele Hibernica, published two years later - an immesne advance on Mackay's Flora IHibemica of 1836. To the Cybele his own contributions were noteworthy, as will be seen by reference to its pages. He continued his work on the Irish flora, exploring Inishbofm, naming plants for numerous correspondents, and encouraging a large amount of research; but ill-health continued, and he died in 1895, bequeathing to his friends Colgan and Scully the task of combining all the results obtained. This they accomplished with conspicuous success in the new Cybele (1898).
In zoology, More's earlier interests included the Lepidopten, on which he worked in the Isle of Wight. When in 1867 he was appointed to an Assistantship in the Natural History section of the Dublin Museum of Science and Art and came to reside in Dublin, the whole of the Irish fauna and flora engaged his attention, but especially the mammals, birds, fishes and phanerogams. He succeeded Dr. Carte as Keeper of the Natural History Division in 1881; illness compelled him to retire in 1887.
A list of his writings is appended to the notice of his life in the Irish Naturalist, quoted below, and some of these items are reprinted in Moffat s Life and Letters. It was More's sister Frances M. More who added the interesting Mediterranean orchid, Neotinea intacta, to the Irish flora.
C. B. Moffat.. Life and Letters of Alexander Goodman More. 1898. (portrait. bibliography) (the last reprinted from Irish Nat.). Irish Nat. 4, 109, (portrait, bibliography). Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 220.
A. E. MUSKETT
Arthur Edmund Muskett was born at Ashwellthorpe, Norwich. He attended the Imperial College of Science, took the A.R.C.S. and B.Sc., and in 1938 obtained the D.Sc. (London) by research. He entered the Seed-testing and Plant Disease Division in Northern Ireland in 1922, of which he is now head, and in 1945 was appointed to the newly created Chair of Plant Pathology in Queen's University, Belfast. He is the author of numerous papers on mycology and plant pathology, and has materially extended our knowledge of the fungus flora of Ulster (see Proc. R.I.Acad., 40 B, 37, 42 B, 41 1931, 1934).
A. R. NICHOLS
Albert Russell Nichols came from England to Dublin in 1883 to take his place on the staff as Assistant in the Museum of Science and Art (now the National Museum). He had had a brilliant career at Cambridge, where he took his M.A. He was not a naturalist by nature - a mathematician if anything but, securing his post by competitive examination, he worked diligently at zoology throughout his forty-one years of service, eventually becoming Keeper of the Natural History Division. He took part in the ' Lord Bandon " dredging expedition of 1886, and in the biological surveys of Lambay and Clare Island, and compiled or revised lists of echinoderms, marine molluscand -birds of Ireland, issued by the Museum or by the Royal Irish Academy. In the Museum he did much work in the classifying and arranging of the invertebrates.
Irish Nat. journ, 4, 190. Personal knowledge.
R. D. O BRIEN
Robert Donough O'Brien belonged to the Limerick family which has contributed much to the history of Ireland. He himself was a close observer of nature, possessed of a wide if not technical knowledge of the local fauna and flora, and a helpful and delightful companion. To botanists he is known as discoverer of the very rare bulrush Scirpus triqueter and of other interesting local plants, and he had a wide knowledge of zoological problems. He preferred imparting knowledge to enquirers to publishing, and many benefited by his free information.
Irish Nat., 26, 113. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 232. Personal knowledge.
b.1889 - 1969
Patrick O'Connor was born in County Cork. He took the degrees of Ph.D. (National University, 1929) and B.Sc. (London, 1920) and obtained the A.R.C.S.I. He was Assistant in Botany in the Royal College of Science for Ireland (now incorporated in University College), 1914-1929, and was appointed Keeper of the Department of Botany in the National Museum in the latter year. He has written papers, mostly on leaf-fungi, and with J. Doyle on the inhibition of pollen growth.
PATRICK B. O'KELLY
P. B. O'Kelly (Dr O'Kelly) long known as a trader in the rare plants of the West of Ireland, lived at Glenarra house, Ballyvaughan in Clare, and specialized in supplying, to all and sundry, plants such as Gentiana verna and Neotinea intacta, of which he dug up and sent away hundreds of roots each year. But he had a more reputable side - as a field botanist; and was the first finder in Ireland, some fifty years ago, of the pondweed then named P. lanceolatus (now P. perpygmaeus), and of some other local rarities. He had an intimate knowledge of the Bora of Burten, and especially of the interesting "sports" of Scolopendrium that are frequent there.
Thomas Oldham, LL.D., F.A.S., was born in Dublin. He took the B.A. degree in the University there and studied engineering at Edinburgh. fie was appointed to the Geological Survey in Ireland in 1839 and to the Professorship of Geology at Dublin in 1845. He took his M.A. degree, and became Local Director for Ireland of the Survey. Oldham wrote a number of papers on Irish geology and had the good fortune to discover, in the Cambrian rocks of Bray Head, the "singular fossils or organic marks" which were named after him Oldhamia. In 1850 he was appointed Superintendent of the Geological Survey of India, where much work was carried out during the twenty-six years which elapsed before he returned to England. He was elected in 1848, received the LLD. degree from Dublin, and many other honours.
Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc., 35 (Proc.), 46. Dict. Nat. Biogr. 42, 111. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 233. Seymour in Econ.Proc. R.Dublin Soc., 3, 227.
It was this well-known botanist who added Naias flexilis to the Irish and British floras in 1850 - a very important species from the point of view of plant distribution.
Journ. Bot, 1917, 89. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 78.
E. O'Mahony was born in Dublin, and entered the service of the National Museum in 1922 as Technical Assistant in the department of zoology, which post he still holds. He has done much work at the Coleoptera and more recently at the Malophata (lice), and published an important list of additions to the Irish beetle fauna (Proc. R.I.Acad., 39 B, 2236, 1929). He discovered on the North Bull in Dublin Bay an interesting light-coloured form of the House Mouse.
REV. THADDEUS O'MAHONY
His claim to botanical fame rests on his being the discoverer of the very rare Simethis planifolia in Kerry in 1848. He published a paper on Clare plants (Proc. Nat. Hist. Soc. Dublin, 1, 30, 1860). O'Mahony graduated at Dublin in 1856, and held the Chair of Irish in Trinity College, 1861-1879.
London Journ. Bot., 1848, 571. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 233. Notes from the Bot school of TCD., 2, 44.
Born in Wexford O'Meara passed through Trinity College, Dublin, took the M.A. degree in 1858, and entered the Church. He was one of the founders of the Dublin Microscopical Club, and specialized in the Diatomaceae, on which he wrote many papers. He died at his rectory at Newcastle Lyons, Co. Dublin.
jeurn;Bot., 1880, 128. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 233.
J. P. O'REILLY
Joseph Patrick O'Reilly was born in Monaghan, whence his family removed to Dublin in 1849. O'Reilly studied engineering in Paris, and was engaged in mining work in Spain and in the Silvermines district of Tipperary. He was appointed to the Chair of Mineralogy and Mining in the Royal College of Science for Ireland in 1868, and that post he held td[ 1898, when Ill-health and advancing years compelled Ms retirement. O'Reilly was a prolific writer; a list of more dean sixty papers from his pen dealing with a large variety of scientific subjects, is appended to the notice of him by Cole and Seymour indicated below.
Irish Net.,14, 45, Portrait Personal knowledge.
Orr resided first in Belfast and later was employed at Glasnevin Botanic Gardens, Dublin, 1854-1882. While in the north he noted and allowed to be published by botanists of repute (e.g. by Dickie in Flora of Ulster) some very rare plants, both phanerogams and cryptogams, but they have never been refound in their reported habitats, and are not believed to have occurred. Braithwaite named the moss Fissidens orrii after him.
Stewart and Corry: Flora of the North-east of Ireland, 1888. Lett in Irish Nat. 22, 29. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 233.
HUGH LAMONT ORR
H. L. Orr was born at Gransha, Co. Down, and carried oil business in Belfast as mill-furnisher. He was a leading member of the Belfast Field Club, and a highly useful one at summer and winter meetings. Orr studied especially conchology and entomology, and made frequent short contributions to the Irish Naturalist (1894-1911). He was at work oil a list of the bees and wasps of north-cast Ireland when he died. His son JAMES ORR (1879-1946) followed in his father's footsteps as a keen zoologist and member of the Belfast Field Club (President, 1925-26).
Irish Nat., 22, 115. Personal knowledge.
D. R. PACK-BERESFORD
Denis Robert Pack-Beresford, B.A., O.B.E., D.L., of Fenagh House, Bagenalstown, was a fox-hunting squire who rather surprisingly became in later life ail authority oil Irish wasps, woodlice and spiders, and an excellent all-round naturalist. He was a Rugby and Oxford man, whose latent interest in natural history was aroused in the nineties by contact with G. H. Carpenter in the National Museum, in respect of that puzzling wasp Vespa austriaca. Then Scharff encouraged him to take up the woodlice, and Carpenter to work at spiders; in both of these groups he published comprehensive papers dealing with the Irish species and their distribution (in the case of the woodlice in collaboration with N. H. Foster), bringing up to date the well-known lists of Scharff and Carpenter. His work on the spiders was in particular a contribution of the highest value to the knowledge of the fauna of Ireland. Long before his enthusiasm for his chosen group was exhausted, failing sight compelled him to relinquish the use of the lens and microscope.
Irish Nat. Journ., 8, 38, portrait. Personal knowledge.
b. Dublin 3 Sept. 1833 d. Glasnevin, Dublin 28 Nov. 1906
Employed in Kew Herb., 1852–54 and assisted G.Bentham with his British Fl. Gardener, Vice-Regal Lodge Dublin and elsewhere, 1854. Foreman, Botanic Garden, Glasnevin, Dublin, 1868–1906. Knew British plants well, Grasses and mosses at National Bot. Gdns, Glasnevin.
Gdnrs Chron. 1906 ii 400. J. Kew Guild 1907, 382. E.C.Nelson and E.M.McCracken Brightest Jewel 1987
C. J. PATTEN
1870 Ballybrack -1949
Charles Joseph Patten, M.A., M.D., Sc.D., was born at Ballybrack, Co. Dublin, and had a brilliant career in Trinity College, where he took medical degrees, and specialized in anatomy. After holding various university posts, he was Emeritus Professor of Anatomy in the University of Sheffield. While in Ireland, and subsequently in England, he was an enthusiastic ornithologist, and took part in the Clare Island Survey. He wrote The aquatic birds of Great Britain and Ireland (1906), The story of the birds a guide to the study of avian structure and habits (1928) and other books, as well as numerous ornithological papers in the Irish Naturalist and English periodicals.
Who's Who. Irish Nat. Journ., 9, 265, portrait. Personal knowledge.
Robert Patterson spent his life in the mill-furnishing business in Belfast. Ile early developed a strong taste for natural history, which became the chief intellectual interest of his life; in 1821, when only nineteen, he was one of the eight founders of the Belfast Natural History Society. Throughout life he was a leader in local scientific activities. Of several books, his Zoology for Schools was the best known. fie pre-pared a set of large coloured diagrams illustrating the higher animals, which were extensively used for educational purposes; and was the author of many papers in scientific journals on zoological subjects. On the death of his friend William Thompson, he (with J. R. Garrett), prepared the final volume of the Natural History of Ireland for publication, in accordance with Thompson's will. He was elected F.R.S. without motion or knowledge on his own part, on the action of scientific friends and in recognition of his services to zoology; and he was the only recipient of the Templeton Medal, instituted by the Belfast Natural History Society to commemorate that distinguished naturalist.
Belfast Nat. Hist. and Phil. Soc. Centenary Volume, 94, portrait. 1924. Belfast Literary Soc. Hist. Sketches, portrait, 1902. Dic. Nat. Biogr., 14, 51. Webb: Compend. Irish Biogr., 432.
Robert Patterson, grandson of Robert Patterson above, had like his forebear a strong interest in natural history, birds being his main study. Engaged in business in Belfast, his leisure time was given to ornithology and to playing a leading part in the work of local scientific societies - the Natural History and Philosophical and the Naturalists' Field Club; he served as Secretary of both and President of the latter. The Ulster Fisheries and Marine Biology Association (q.v.) was instituted by him and Prof. Gregg Wilson, and through it dredging was done in local waters; unfortunately much of the material obtained was never worked out. He got together a good collection of zoological and other exhibits which were open to public exhibition in the People's Palace, Belfast, and became known as the Patterson Museum. These were ultimately transferred to the Municipal Museum. Patterson acted for some years as an editor of the Irish Naturalist. His latter years were spent in Surrey.
Irish Nat. Journ. 1, 19, portrait. Personal knowledge.
SIR ROBERT LLOYD PATTERSON
Second son of Robert Patterson the elder (q.v.) Like his father, he spent his life in business in Belfast, and like him, had a keen interest in natural history, but not on so wide a plane, being a student mainly of the local sea-birth and fishes. His book The Birds, Fishes and Cetacea of Belfast Lough provides an index to his field of observation; of these groups as represented locally, he had an intimate knowledge. He was knighted for civic services in 1902.
Belfast Nat. Hist. and Phil. Soc. Centenary Volume, 96, portrait, 1974. Personal knowledge.
G. H. PETHYBRIDGE
George Herbert Pethybridge, O.B.E., was born at Bodmin, Cornwall, and held the degrees of B.Sc. (London), Ph.D. (Gottingen). He received the Boyle Medal of the Royal Dublin Society. He taught science (1893-1897), studied in Germany (1898-1899), came to Dublin in 1900, and for ten years taught botany in the Royal College of Science and other institutions there. He then became Economic Adviser to the Department of Agriculture and head of the Seeds and Plant Diseases Division. In 1923 he was appointed Mycologist to the English Ministry of Agriculture, and a year later Director of their Plant Pathology Laboratory, retiring in 1936. While in Ireland he did much useful work at plant diseases, publishing mostly with the Royal Dublin Society, and joined the present writer in an ecological survey of south Co. Dublin (Priv. R.I.Acad., 1905); the first work of its kind carried out in Ireland.
Phillips was bon in Wiltshire, and became in turn Professor of Geology in London (King's College), Dublin (1844-56) and Oxford. Over a hunthed papers of his (mostly geological and astronomical) are listed in the Royal Society Catalogue, but he does not appear to have done field-work or observation in Ireland. He was President of the British Association in 1865, and of the Geological Society of London, 1858-60, by which body he was awarded the Wollaston Medal. He was elected F.A.S. in 1834, and held honorary degrees from Dublin, Cambridge and Oxford.
Flett: First Hundred Years of the Geol. Survey, 256. Quart. Journ. Geol Soc., 1875 (Proc.), xxxvii. Geol. Mag.. 1870, 301, portrait. Dict. Nat. Biogr., 45, 207.
ROBERT ALBERT PHILLIPS
Born at Courtmacsherry, Phillips entered the well-known firm of Guy & Co. of Cork at the age of 14, and remained there until his death ; in the interests of the firm he "travelled" the southern half of Ireland. By the early 'nineties he had become a good critical botanist, and about the same time took up the study of the land and fresh-water Mollusca, in which he became an expert. Usually spending the week-ends within his wide circuit, he had good opportunities for Irish field-work, of which he availed himself fully; he seldom penetrated beyond the limits mentioned. Flowering plants, mollusks, butterflies, ants, etc., all (the first two especially) came under his critical eye, and our knowledge of the Irish fauna and flora gained much thereby. He was the first finder in Ireland of at least a dozen species. He published little, usually worked alone. and much scientific information has perished with him.
Irish Nat. Journ. 8, 304, portrait Personal knowledge.
W. H. PHILLIPS
William Henry Phillips was a fern-lover, and for at least half a century collected and grew a large assortment of the British species and of the interesting sports" which arc developed to so peculiar a degree among the Filices. Engaged in business in Belfast, most of his work was done in Ulster. He was an original member of the Belfast Naturalists Field Club, founded in 183, of which he was Treasurer for twenty-five years, and subsequently President he often lectured or exhibited at the Club meetings, and was an active member of the British Pteridological Society, which issued a valuable series of "nature-prints" of British varieties. He was the finder of a number of interesting new forms, mostly in Down and Antrim. In conjunction with the present writer he published as an Appendix to the Proceedings of the Field Club, a list with localities of all species and varieties of ferns found in Ulster up to 1887.
Irish Nat, 32, 48. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 341. Personal knowledge.
Greenwood Pim, M.A. (Dublin, 1876), was one of the few resident mycologists which Ireland has possessed. He was born and died at Monkstown, Co. Dublin. He devoted himself to the study of Fungi soon after the completion of a notable career in Trinity College, and while his botanical and horticultural interests were wide, the Fungi were his main study throughout life; in his latter years he was joined by Dr. E. J. McWeeney, and separately or together they published many additions to the flora of Ireland. Grove dedicated the genus Pimina to him. For many years he was Secretary to the Conjoint Board of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons.
Irish Nat., 16, 169. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 204.
JOSEPH ELLISON PORTLOCK
Of Major-General Portlock's brilliant career we are concerned mainly with the Irish part. He was born at Gosport, passed through the Woolwich Academy, and received a commission in the Royal Engineers. He saw active service in Canada, and in 1824 was selected by Colby for employment on the Irish Ordnance Survey, where he took part in the main triangulation. His plans for a comprehensive memoir or series of memoirs to accompany the Survey maps were turned down as being too costly, but the earliest portion, his well-known Geology of Londonderry, Tyrone and Fermanagh, with portions of Adjacent Counties (1843), fortunately escaped the official axe. '"is great Memoir is a classic of Irish geology and is worthy to stand beside De la Beche's memoir on Cornwall and Devon" (Flett). From Ireland he went to Corfu, thence back to Cork, then to Woolwich, then to Dover, and retired from active service in 1857. He wrote many scientific papers and received many honours. In 1862 he settled at Blackrock near Dublin, where he died in 1864.
Prot. R. Soc., 14, xiii-xviii. Dict. Nat. Biogr., 46, 197. Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc., 21 (Proc.), xl.
Thomas Power, M.D., was lecturer in botany in the Cork School of Medicine. He was part author of The Fauna and Flora of County Cork (1845) which resulted from the Cork Meeting of the British Association in 1843. Power was responsible for the flowering plants, while W. H. Harvey wrote the Alga, and J. D. Humphreys the zoology. The work was issued by the Cork Cuvierian Society.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 248, Renouf in Irish Nat. Journ., 3, 238.
ROBERT LLOYD PRAEGER
b. 1865.5 – 1953
Robert Lloyd Praeger was born at Holywood near Belfast, the son of W. E. Praeger of The Hague and Maria, daughter of Robert Patterson F.A.S., from whom he inherited a taste for natural science, as did his uncle Sir R. Lloyd Patterson and his cousin Robert Patterson. He took his degree in engineering in the Royal University and used the opportunity of dock work in Belfast to study the Estuarine Clays exposed in the excavations and afterwards at various places in Ulster. In the course of this enquiry he demonstrated the climatic optimum of Neolithic times. After a couple of years of museum work he obtained a post in the National Library in Dublin, and remained there till his retirement in 1923. In his earlier years he worked at the raised beaches of the north, and (with Sollas) at glacial deposits chiefly about Dublin. In 1901, as the result of five years of intensive field-work throughout Ireland, he published Irish Topographical Botany and later The Botanist in Ireland and other books relating to the distribution of the higher plants. At the request of the Royal Horticultural Society he undertook monographs of Sedum and of Sempervivum.
He joined the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club at the age of eleven, and has taken an active part in the Field Clubs and in collective field-work since, organizing team-work like the Clare Island Survey, the Lambay Survey, and the Field Club conferences, and taking part in deep-sea dredging trips and the expedition to Rockall . The three Irish Universities have conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Science. He is best known by his more popular books The Way that I Went and A Populous Solitude. He was President of the Royal Irish Academy, 1931-1934, of the British Ecological Society, etc., and became first President of the National Trust for Ireland when it was established in 1947. He was an edior of the Irish Naturalist throughout its life of thirty-three years. Southern named the genus Praegeria (Polycliacta) after him.
SIR ARTHUR RAWDON
Sir Arthur Rawdon, who owned an estate at Moira in Co. Down, introduced many plants, sending his own gardener to Jamaica to collect. " He was inspired and encouraged by Sloane's consignments and distributions of foreign plants." The Sweet Flag, now abundant along the Lagan Canal, is believed to have been introduced in this way. Rawdon appears to have grown a large number of exotic species.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 253. Lett in Irish Nat., 22, 21. .
Miss Rawlins, during her stay in the south-east of Ireland in the early nineteen-forties (where she was engaged in tutorial work) botanized industriously in the counties of Kilkenny, Carlow, and Wexford, and added materially to our knowledge of the distribution of flowering plants in that area, finding new stations for a number of the rarer species of the district. She returned to England ill 1944. .
Praeger in Proc. R.I.Acad., 51 B, 27. 1946. .
MARGARET WILLIAMSON REA
Miss Rea was born in Belfast. She entered the University there, graduating B.Sc. in 1919 and M.Sc. in 1921. She has published botanical papers in the New Phytologist and Protoplasma, singly or with Prof. J. Small (1921, 1927), and has done a good deal of local collecting of Mycetozoa, as recorded in the Irish Naturalists' Journal (26, 57). .
Personal knowledge. .
THOMAS MELLARD READE
T. Mellard Reade was born in Liverpool and trained as an architect and civil engineer. In the latter part of his life he wrote important papers on geomorphic subjects. Earlier he was interested in glacial geology, and his connection with Ireland rests on his description and discussion of drifts observed on the eastern coasts and their relationship to those of western England and Scotland.
Quart Journ. Geol. Soc., 66 (Proc.), xlviii. Personal knowledge.
S. H. REYNOLDS
Sidney Hugh Reynolds was born in 1867, educated at Cambridge, and became Professor of Geology at Bristol, 1910-1934. He gained the Lyell medal of the Geological Society, and has written many geological papers. For his work in Ireland see under C. I. GARDINER.
LOUIS PERCY WATT RENOUF
Prof. Renouf was born at Lewisham. He took the BA. degree and the Diploma in Agriculture at Cambridge, where he became Demonstrator in Agricultural Zoology and later in Biology, and after lectureships, etc., at Glasgow and Bradford, was appointed Professor of Zoology in University College, Cork, which post he still holds. He founded the Biological Station at Lough hie, Co. Cork, of which fascinating spot he published a preliminary account in Journal of Ecology, 1931. He is the author of several books and many papers, dealing chiefly with zoological subjects. He is a D.Sc. of the National University of Ireland, and founder and editor of the Mendel and Pasteur Review.
Rev. George Robinson, MA., was rector of the parish of Tartaraghan, fronting the Co. Armagh shore of Lough Neagh, for thirty-three years, till illness compelled him to resign in 1882. An ardent naturalist, he devoted himself from early years to ornithology and botany especially; he added many plants and some birds to the county lists, and was well versed in its fauna and Bora. One had to obtain from himself the wide information he possessed, for he had no inclination towards publication; but he contributed many notes to Thompson's Natural History of Ireland, Cybele Hibernica, and Stewart and Corry's Flora of the North-east of Ireland. He followed Bishop Reeves as President of the now defunct Armagh Natural History and Philosophical Society.
W. P. Johnson in Irish Nat, 2, 296. Personal knowledge.
F. R. ROHU
Frederick Raynor Rohu was born at Inniscoe, Co. Donegal. He entered the service of Trinity House, but being interested in zoology he turned taxidermist and furrier, and built up in Cork a business which still remains in the family. He reported rare animals in the Irish Naturalist, and was for years Secretary of the Cork Naturalists Field Club. He assisted Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey with his well-known book The Fowler in Ireland.
Irish Nat. Journ, 3, 89. Information from his son P. B. Rohu.
Of Percy Russ, a distinguished lepidopterist, little is known. For some years he lived at Culleenamore near Sligo and managed the oyster beds there, and later moved to Rosses Point. W. G. Sheldon reports meeting him as a man of about seventy in 1887 or 1888. He worked especially at the Noctuidae, discovering "many interesting new or tare varieties," and most of his finds were given or sold to English entomologists, whose collections were much enriched thereby. The specimens that he retained are in the National Museum in Dublin. His published work consists of notes in English entomological magazines.
Beirne in Irish Nat. Journ., 8, 208.
ROBERT FRANCIS RUTTLEDGE
Major R. F. Ruttledge, of Cloonee, Ballinrobe, was born at Carlow. He joined the Indian army and served from 1918 till 1939; was recalled, and invalided out in 1942. He and his brother W. RUTTLEDGE have been devoted to natural history since childhood. Since 1916 he has published many papers and notes (chiefly on birds) in the Irish Naturalist, British Birds, etc., concentrating on the birds of Mayo and Galway, and with others on preparatory work for a standard book on the Irish avifauna. He has explored very fully the birds of the western Irish islands.
Rutty was a ysician, an MD. of Leyden University, who came to Du from Wiltshire in 1724. He took part in the activities of the Physico-Historical Society of Dublin, and directed the later activities of its botanical collector Isaac Butler (q.v.). After the decease of the Society mentioned, which had laboured to collect materials for a general description of Dublin, Rutty brought out in his own name the Essay towards a Natural History of the County of Dublin (in two volumes), 1772, which included its flora, fauna, geology, and meteorology; he published also Materia Medico and a history of the Quakers in Ireland. W. H. Harvey dedicated to him the genus Auttya.
Colgan: Flora of the County Dublin, xxii-xxiii. Dict. Nat. Biogr., 50, 31. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 265.
SIR EDWARD SABINE
General Sir Edward Sabine was born in Dublin. He was astronomer to Parry's arctic expedition, and collected plants in Melville Island and Greenland. He was P.R.S. (1818), K.C.B. (1869) and President of the Royal Society (1861-1871). R. Brown named Pleuropogon sabinii after him.
Dice. Nat. Biog., 50, 74. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2. 266.
WILLIELMA JANE SAYERS
Miss Sayers is a product of the popular-scientific atmosphere of the Belfast Field Club. Interested in the flowering plants, she acquired a good knowledge of them, and has spread the light by lecturing and demonstrating on them in the northern Field Clubs and elsewhere. She was President of the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club for the year 1929-30, and holds the Club's Commemoration Medal.
Mrs. Scharff is better known to zoologists as Miss Stephens, for her natural history work was done before .lier marriage to Dr. Scharff. She was born in Dublin, took the B.Sc. degree in the Royal University of Ireland, gained a Technical Assistantship in the National Museum in Dublin in 1905, and later became Assistant Naturalist. She soon specialized in the sponges. Most of what we know ob this group, whether marine or fresh-water, in Ireland, or off the Irish coasts, is due to her work. She wrote also on corals and coelenterates. She left the museum on her marriage in 1920.
ROBERT FRANCIS SCHARFF
Of German parentage, Dr. Scharff was born at Leeds, and equipped himself thoroughly for a scientific career by studying in Edinburgh, London and Heidelberg and at the Marine Biological Stations of St. Andrew's and Naples, taking the degrees of M.A., B.Sc., and Ph.D. He entered the Dublin Museum of Science and Art (now the National Museum) in 1887 as Assistant in the Natural History Division under A. G. More, becoming Keeper on More's resignation three years later. There he spent his working life. He was, on account of his broad zoological training, a remarkably all-round naturalist, capable of dealing, as behoved the custodian of a large zoological collection, with almost any group of animals; seals, birds, fishes, turtles, wood-lice, leeches, tapeworms, were among the groups on which he wrote. His knowledge of languages and his attendance at international conferences kept him in touch with continental developments. His most engrossing study was the geographical distribution of animals. In his books The History of the European Fauna, European Animals and The Distribution and Origin of Life in America, he developed his ideas on this subject, making much use of land-bridges, even across oceans, to account for present facts.
Scharff took a leading part for many years in the work of the Dublin scientific societies. He retired from the post of Acting Director of the Museum in 1921.
Irish Nat. Journ., 5, 153, portrait. Personal knowledge.
ROBERT SCOTT, M.D.
Was Professor of Botany in Trinity College, Dublin (1785-1808) and added the rare Bladderwort Uiriadaria intermedia to the flora of the British Isles by finding it in Fermanagh. But mosses were his chief interest and Dawson Turner his chief friend in these researches. The latter inscribed to him his Muscologiae Hibernicae Spicilegium (1804). Dicranum Scottianum, which he discovered in Co. Cavan, was named by Turner in his honour. The genus Scouter, which R. Brown named after him, is now combined with Bossiaea.
Dict. Nat. Biogr., 51, 122. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 271.
Scouter was born in Glasgow, and died there, and at Glasgow he took his M.D. (1827) and was awarded the LL.D. (1850) degrees. He became Professor of Zoology, Botany and Geology to the Royal Dublin Society, 1833-1854, prior to which he had visited the Pacific and north-west America, the latter as surgeon under the Hudson Bay Company. He published a good many papers, some of them dealing with Irish zoology and geology. The botanical genus Scouleria Hooker (an American Moss) and the mineral scoulerite were named after him.
Dict. Nat. Biogr., 51, 122. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 271. Roy. Soc. Cat. Sol. Papers.
REGINALD W. SCULLY
Dr. Scully, well known as the author of the excellent Flora of County Kerry (1916), took the medical course at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin, but did not practise. His interest in botany was stimulated by A. G. More. He was a man of retiring disposition, and acquired his knowledge of Irish flowering plants more by study and field-work than by participation in the scientific life of Dublin, where he resided for most of his life, making long summer sojourns especially in Retry. He was co-editor with Colgan of the second edition of Cybele Hibemica, but on the latter fell the brunt of that laborious undertaking. His own Flora of Kerry is, for fullness and critical accuracy, one of the best books on Irish botany that has appeared. In later years he went to live at Rushbrooke near Cork, and, though retaining to the last a keen interest in the flora of Ireland and especially of Retry (the writer was plant-hunting with him as late as 1931), he ceased, on account of laborious field-work after the publication of his master-piece.
Irish Nat.Journ., 5, 283, portrait. Personal knowledge.
COLIN M. SELBIE
Selbie's scientific career was very short, but it was fruitful. Born at Aberdeen, he took his B.Sc. degree in the University there and in 1911 obtained by examination the post of Assistant Naturalist in the Dublin Museum of Science and Art. On Scharff's suggestion he worked at the Crustacea and Myriapoda; and he reported at length on the Crustacea obtained during fifteen years by the Fisheries cruiser "Helga," mostly in deep water off the west coast of Ireland. On the outbreak of war in 1914 he enlisted; and he was killed on the Somme two years later.
Irish Nat. 25, 137, portrait, Personal knowledge.
H. J. SEYMOUR
Henry Joseph Seymour was born in Co. Cork, and was educated in Queens College, Belfast, and University College, Dublin, taking the degrees of B.A. and B.Sc. He was appointed Petrologist to the Geological Survey of Ireland in 1898, and became Geologist in the same service in 1901, taking part in the surveys of the drifts, etc. He was appointed Professor of Geology in University College, Dublin, in 1909, from which post he retired in 1946. He has published geological papers in various journals.
Flett: First Hundred Years of the Geological Survey, 258. Personal knowledge.
ALFRED and THOMAS SHEALS
The brothers Sheals succeeded their father, a well-known taxidermist of Belfast. They became highly skilled craftsmen and their work may be seen in many places, as in Cairo Museum and Lord Rothschild's collection at Tring. Their notebooks supplied to local naturalists much important information. Alfred Sheals died in 1929.
Irish Nat. Journ. 8, 242. Personal knowledge.
Sherard, founder of the Chair of Botany at Oxford, deserves mention here became of his visit to Ireland in 1694, when he transmitted to John Ray his finding of several plants, including Subularia aquatica in Lough Neagh (previously unknown in Britain as in Ireland) and other rare species. In the north he was the distinguished guest of Sir Arthur Roydon at Moira, whence he explored the Mourne Mountains and Lough Neagh. Dillenius named after him the genus Sherardia.
Dia. Nat. Bios., 52, 67. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 274. Stewart and Corry: Flora of the North-east of Ireland, ??i. 1888. Webb: Compend. lrish Biogr., 483.
SIR HANS SLOANE
Hans Sloane, M.D., F.A.S., first Baronet, President of the Royal Society and of the Royal College of Physicians, founder of the Chelsea Botanic Garden, whose collections, purchased by the nation, formed the nucleus of the future British Museum, was born in a modest house in the village of Killyleagh in County Down. On that account his name, which needs no eulogy, is entered here; he did no work in Ireland.
Jardine: Memoir of Sir Hans Sloane. Dict. Nat. Biogr., 52, 379. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 278.
James Small was born in Forfarshire, attended Birkbeck College, and took the D.Sc. degree in London in 1919. Pharmaceutical chemistry occupied his attention for some years. He was lecturer on botany in several English colleges, and was appointed Professor of Botany in Quern's University, Belfast, in 1920, which post he holds at present. He is a prolific writer, having published a Textbook of Botany and a number of other books, and over 200 papers. He demonstrated the occurrence of fen around Lough Neagh, and guided his students in making detailed ecological studies of peat and fen floras (see Proc. Roy. Irish Acad., 1930-32).
Rev. William Smith, who was born at Ballymoney in Antrim and died at Cork, became Professor of Natural History in the latter place in 1854. He published a Synopsis of British Diatoms, 1853-1856, and a number of papers on the same subject.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 281. Roy. Soc. Cat. Set. Papers, 5, 733.
L. B. SMYTH
Louis Bouvier Smyth was born in Dublin. He passed through Trinity College, taking the degrees of B.A. (1906), B.Sc. (1914), Sc.D. (1924). In 1906 he became Assistant to the Professor of Botany there, and passed on to the post of Naturalist to the Irish Fisheries Branch (1910); returning to Dublin University, he became Assistant to the Professor of Geology (1911), Lecturer in Palaeontology (1913), and in 1934 succeeded Joly in the Chair of Geology and Mineralogy. His life's work has been the stratigraphy and palaeontology of the Irish Carboniferous rocks, corals in particular, and he has published many papers in Irish and English geological journals.
W. J. SOLLAS
William Johnson Sollas, M.A., D.Sc., LL.D., PhD., F.A.S., was born at Birmingham, and passed through the Royal School of Mines and Cambridge University, where he became a Fellow of St. John's College (1882). He was Professor of Geology and Mineralogy in Dublin University from 1883 till 1897 and acted as Temporary Assistant Geologist in the Irish Geological Survey, 1893-1897, when he was appointed to the Chair of Geology and Palaeontology at Oxford. While in Ireland he investigated rocks of very different ages, from Cambrian and metamorphic to glacial and post-glacial (e.g., bog-flows) and led the expedition which bored the coral atoll of Funafuti. His numerous books and papers dealt not only with geology but with paleontology, zoology, mineralogy and anthropology. He was President of the Geological Society of London in 1898, from which body he received several medals.
Nature, 138, 959. Who was Who, 1929-1940. Fleet: First Hundred Years of the Geological Survey, 259. Obit. Notices Roy. Soc., 2, 265, portrait, bibliography. Personal knowledge.
By the death of Rowland Southern at the premature age of fifty-three, Irish natural history lost one of the most painstaking observers and acute investigators which it has had. Born in Lancashire and trained in chemistry at Bolton, he came to Dublin in 1902 to work in the laboratory of the City Analyst, Sir Charles Cameron. Developing an interest in zoology, he obtained a post in the National Museum, and took his B.Sc. in London University. In 1911 he transferred to the Fisheries Branch in Dublin, and in 1919 was promoted to the position of Assistant Insvector of Fisheries, which post he held till his death. Southern s biological work was marked by an almost meticulous thoroughness and accuracy, and he had a critical eye, a remarkable memory, and great industry. During his twenty-four years' work at marine zoology he investigated specially worms and their allies of many groups - Polychaeta, 01 igochaet, Platyhelmia, G ephyrea, Hitudinea, Nemathel mia Kinorhyncha, etc.; and especially in connection with the Care Island Survey he described and figured a very large number of new species. The migrations of fresh-water Crustacea was the subject of two important papers, as also the food and growth of Brown Trout, and the marine ecology of the Clam Island area. His death interrupted much further research, occurring unexpectedly as it did after a trivial operation.
Irish Nat. Journ., 6, 47, portrait, bibliography. Personal knowledge.
WILLIAM EDWARD STEELE
W. E. Steele, best known as for many years Director of the Science and Art Museum in Dublin, was born in Belfast, and took his MD. degree in Dublin University. His daim to admission here is his Hand-book of Field Botany (1847, 2nd ed. 1851). His bust is in the Dublin Museum.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 287.
A. W. STELFOX
5 December 1883 – 1972
Arthur Wilson Stelfox was born in Belfast, and was trained as an architect. From boyhood he was a member of the Belfast Field Club and there learned much concerning field biology. After some years as an architect in London and as a fruit-grower in Co. Down, he obtained in 1920 an Assistantship in the National Museum in Dublin, where he has worked specially at the land and fresh-water Mollusca, the Hymenoptera, and the animal remains of caves. He has a general knowledge of the Irish fauna surpassed by none, has done good work also among the higher plants, and is specially interested in questions relating to the distribution and history of the fauna and flora. He has published mainly with the R.I. Academy and in the Irish Naturalist. He retired from the National Museum under the age limit in 1948.
In the National Museum his room was the centre for all naturalists, whatever their particular discipline. Throughout his long life he gave unstintingly of his time to helping beginners of all ages. It was when he was taking part in the Royal Irish Academy’s Clare Island Survey that his interest in the genus Pisidium began. During this period he and his lifelong friend Robert Welch did some pioneer work on the Mollusca of a marl-deposit underlying a bog near Killough, Co. Down. Marl-samples taken near the margin yielded an Arctic fauna including the very rare Pisidium vincentianum B. B. Woodward, but the full results of the work were never written up for publication. Stelfox always wished to see an account of the White Bog and its molluscan fauna in print, and was much pleased when in June 1970 it was arranged with Prof. G. F. Mitchell, Mr. J. G. J. Kuiper and N.F.McM. to visit the bog. Stelfox, despite his 86 years, took an active part in the proceedings and the accompanying portrait is from a photograph taken by Kuiper on that occasion. It is good to know that the White Bog paper, accepted by the Royal Irish Academy, was seen in proof by Stelfox.
In 1956 the Stelfoxes moved from Dublin to Newcastle, Co. Down, where they laid out unaided a charming garden at the foot of the Mournes. He had a wonderful knowledge of the Irish flora, and took a special delight in mountain plants. Many of them now grow in his remarkable garden at No. 21, Tullybrannigan Road, a kind of private botanical garden especially rich in sedges and willows. Personal vanity was unknown to him, he was generous to a fault, and nothing mattered but care and accuracy in one’s work.
Nora F. Mcmillan, Journal of Conchology, Volume 27, pp.520–522.
MARGARITA DAWSON STELFOX (née Mitchell)
b. 1886- 1971
Mrs. Stelfox, wife of the above, born at Lisburn, is almost the only Irish naturalist who has made a study of the Slime-fungi or Mycetozoa. Working in conjunction with Miss M. D. Rea, she has added materially to our knowledge of these organisms in Ireland, publishing in the Irish Naturalist.
J. A. SYDNEY STENDALL
Jesse Austin Sidney Stendall was born at Chester and commenced his museum career at Grosvenor Museum there. In 1910 he was appointed Assistant Curator of the Belfast Municipal Museum and Art Gallery, and succeeded to the Directorship in 1945. He has edited the Irish Naturalists' Journal since its inception, and has contributed many zoological notes to its pages. He holds the Diploma of the Museums Association, and the Commemoration Medal of the Belfast Field Club. His main scientific interest is in birds.
JANE STEPHENS - see Jane Scharff
SAMUEL ALEXANDER STEWART
"He was a remarkable example of a man who, starting life almost without education, and from the age of eleven years earning his livelihood by long days of scarcely remunerative work, nevertheless succeeded, by sheer determination and industry, in attaining a recognised position in the world of science and in being looked up to as a local authority not only in botany but in zoology and geology as well." Stewart was born in Philadelphia, but his family had been settled at Ballymena for dose on two centuries before his grandfather emigrated; his father came to Belfast in 1837, when the son was eleven, and the latter began life as an errand-boy. He early became interested in natural science, and was instrumental in getting the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club founded in 1863. He supplied many localities to Ralph Tate for his Flora Belfastiensis, published in that year. He became Curator of the museum of the Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society (1891-1907), relinquishing the little shop in North-street where he occupied himself chiefly in making trunks. His death at eighty-three was due to a street accident. Stewart's principal work was the Flora of the North-east of Ireland (1888). The name of T. H. Corry (q.v.) appears on the tide-page as co-author, but his connection with the book, on which Stewart had laboured for thirty years, was brief, as he was drowned in Lough Gill in 1883, in his twenty-fourth year. Stewart's work in botanical exploration elsewhere in Ireland, in local Quaternary geology, and on both the phanerogams and the higher cryptogams, was extensive; and his wide knowledge of the fauna and flora especially of the north-east caused him to be consulted on a great variety of local scientific problems. His work was recognized by the Linnean Society by his election as an Associate, and by Honorary Membership of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. F. J. Hanbury dedicated to him Nitration, Steward?. His portrait is in the National Museum in Dublin.
Proc. Belfast Nat. Field Club 1910-11, 410, portrait. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 289. Irish Nat.,19, 201, portrait. Praeger: The Way that I Went, 92. Belfast Nat Hist. and Phil. Soc. Centenary Volume, 102-104, portrait. Personal knowledge.
Whitley Stokes, MD. (Dublin, 1793) became Lecturer on Natural History in Trinity College, in 1816, and was widely interested in the natural sciences. He was art ardent politician, and bad in consequence a rather tempestuous career, having been suspended from his teaching function for three years for complicity with the United Irishmen; but eventually he became Senior Fellow and Regius Professor of Physic. He was especially interested in mosses, and Hypnum stokesii Sm. was named in his honour.
Dict. Nat. Biogr. 54, 401. Webb: Compend. Irish Biography, 502. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 290. Proc. R.I.Acad., 3, 198.
Isaac Swain was educated at the Friends' School, Lisburn, and Royal College of Science for Ireland, where he was subsequently Demonstrator in Geology, 1906-10. He was then appointed Professor of Geology and Geography in University College, Cork, which position he has now relinquished. He holds the degrees of B.A. and M.Sc. in the National University of Ireland.
Who's Who. Personal knowledge.
William Swanston for a large part of his ninety-two years was an energetic member otter Belfast Field Club, and served as Secretary from 1875 till 1891, during which long period the Club owed much of its success to his devoted work. He succeeded to the Presidency in 1893. He also took an active part in the work of the Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society. Born in, the West Indies, he was brought at the age of two to Carrickfergus, where his father was master gunner. He himself engaged in the linen trade. His scientific interest was in geology. In collaboration with Lapworth he published an important par on local graptolites; in this work he always insisted that he had done nothing but the hammer-work: but it was Swanston's powers of exploration and discrimination in collecting that enabled his colleague to discuss and figure ninety species of these beautiful but elusive little fossils. He did other useful field-work, and took part in the R.I. Academy deep-sea dredging expedition of 1885. He was the first to receive (in 1923) the Commemoration Medal of the Belfast Field Club.
Irish Nat Journ . 4, 127, portrait. Quart. Journ. Geol, Soc., 90 (Proc.), Personal knowledge.
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