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
When the Department of Science and Art was founded in 1852, one of its early acts was to inaugurate science classes in various centres. In pursuance of this policy, J. Bette Jukes conducted in Belfast a very successful course of lectures in geology. Following him, Ralph Tate came, and held classes on a wider basis—geology, zoology and botany being all included. Born at Alnwick, Tate came of a Northumbrian family, and received his scientific education at the School of Mines in London. During the three years he spent in Belfast, he published Flora Belfastiensis (1863), a little book which was the first local Flora, and he did important work on the fossils of the Cretaceous and Liassic beds of Co. Antrim. Subsequently he held posts in such widely separated places as London Nicaragua, Durham, ending as Professor of Geology at Adelaide. The Belfast Naturalists Field Club, founded in 1863, was a direct outcome of the interest excited by his teaching. Tate was a prolific writer, his Australian sojourn alone allowing of the production of nearly a hundred geological, botanical and zoological papers. The genus Tatra F.M. was dedicated to him.
Prot. Belfast Nat. Field Club, 1901-1902, 31. Irish Nat., 11, 36. Flora N.E. Ireland, xxi-xxii. 1888. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2. 296.
W. M. TATTERSALL
Walter Medley Tattersall was educated at Liverpool College and the University of Liverpool, where he graduated in zoology at nineteen. He was appointed Naturalist in the Irish Fisheries department in 1902 and worked under Holt at deep-sea Crustacea, etc., till 1909, when he succeeded Hoyle as Director of the Manchester Museum, taking the D.Sc. degree in 1911. In 1922 he was appointed Professor of Zoology at Cardiff, which post he held until his death. In Ireland he did much excellent work in marine zoology, and was the foremost British authority on many families of the great group of the Crustacea.
Nature, 152, 592. Personal knowledge.
Dr. Taylor was born in the East Indies, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he took the B.A. degree in 1807, and M.D. in 1814. He acted as Professor of Botany and Natural History in the Royal Cork Scientific Institution, and then retired to Dunkerron. He was specially interested in mosses, liverworts and lichens, and was responsible for those portions of Mackay's Flora Hibernica (1836) which deal with those plants—being, as Mackay states (Introduction, x) of all the botanists in Ireland the best qualified for the task. With Sir W. J. Hooker he published Muscologia Britannica in 1818, and he contributed to the Flora Antarctica. Sir W. Hooker dedicated to him the genus Tayloria (mosses).
Dict. Nat. Bier., 55, 470. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2 297. Renouf in Ira Madman. 3, 238. Webb Compend. Irish Biogr., 518.
Telfair was born in Belfast, was trained as a surgeon, and became Supervisor of the Botanic Garden at Mauritius (182629). The genus Telfaria Hook. was named after him.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 297.
The Templeton family had been settled at Orange Grove (later re-named Cranmorc) near Belfast for over a century when John Templeton was born. His taste for natural history developed in boyhood, and fortunately his means were sufficient to enable him to devote his life to the study of local botany and zoology, and the grounds of Cranmore spacious enough to allow of the cultivation of a large collection chiefly of exotic plants. He corresponded actively with leading British naturalists such as Dillwyn, Sowerby, Turner, Hooker, and many of his Irish discoveries saw the light in their books. He himself published scarcely anything, but he worked enthusiastically at the flora and fauna especially of the Belfast neighbourhood. His MS. Catalogue of the Native Plants of Ireland supplied very important material for subsequent works, and his Journal (1806-1825) contains much of interest. He projected an elaborate Hibernian Flora, but though the MS. includes a wealth of beautiful water-colour drawings by the author, mostly of cryptogams, the work is little more than a skeleton, with some volumes now missing. Considering the state of British botany at the time, Templeton's work is singularly accurate, and it provided a firm foundation for knowledge of the Irish flora; including as it did some 700 species of flowering plants, with as many cryptogams, up to the end of 1801.
Templeton also worked diligently at the fauna of Ireland, and left an amount of material of which much was after his death edited and published by his son, Robert Templeton (q.v.) The observations and the notes in Templeton's diary show that he was keenly interested in the whole of the fauna, from mammals down to the smallest and most lowly creatures, just as he was interested in the whole flora. Thomas Taylor wrote in 1836—" Thirty years ago his acquirements in the natural history of organized beings rivalled those of any individual in Europe." He showed a curious lack of ambition to travel, even to make acquaintance with the land of his birth. In Ireland he never went further from home than Wicklow; and a brief visit to Scotland appears to be his furthest extra-Hibernian penetration. Since the whole fauna and flora was his interest, he found no doubt ample material close at hand, much of it as yet quite unknown so far as Ireland was concerned. Sir Joseph Banks invited him to New Holland, " with a good salary and a large grant of land," but he was not induced to leave Ireland and his native Antrim.
Most of his MS. material has been fortunately preserved, and by the generosity of his family is now accessible. The Catalogue of Native Plants is now in the Royal Irish Academy, and the Journal and Hibernian Flora in the Municipal Museum in Belfast. The contents of the Journal would seem to indicate that after 1815, when Templeton was forty-nine years of age, he was in failing health, as notes of excursions made and of plants found cease to appear.
No portrait of this notable naturalist is known, nor any contemporary account. Our knowledge of him as a personality comes almost entirely from his Journal, from which we can reconstruct much of his life and activities, and of the social circle in which he moved.
The Belfast Natural History Society, to commemorate work, decided shortly after his death to institute a Temple-Medal, to be given annually as a prize for an appropriate assay. It was awarded for the first time to Robert Patterson of Belfast (q.v.) subsequently well known as a zoologist; but there is no further trace of its history. Robert Browndedicated ' to him the Australian leguminous genus Templetonia. He was an Associate of the Linnean Society. It is much to be regretted that so little is known of the most eminent naturalist that Ireland has produced.
Dict. Nat. Biogr., 56, 54. Flora N.E. Ireland, 1888; and 2nd al., 1938. Belfast Nat. Hat. B. Phil. Soc. Centenary vol., 104, 1924. Lett in Irish Nat., 22, 22. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 298.
Robert Templeton, son of John Templeton, Belfast's premier naturalist, wrote a good deal, describing new animals of the east, especially of Ceylon, where he was Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals. He performed a useful service to Irish zoology in editing and publishing in the Magazine of Natural History, 1836-1837, MS. material left by his father dealing with Irish animals, vertebrate and invertebrate.
Roy. Soc. Cat., 5, 930.
WILLIAM THOMSON—see Lord Kelvin
JOHN VAUGHAN THOMPSON
Vaughan Thompson as a youth lived at fkrwick-onTweed. He was Assistant Surgeon at the taking of Demerara in 1803, and was in Madagascar and Mauritius, 1812-1816. He came to Cork as District Medical Inspector in 1916, " and completed those wonderful discoveries of the life-histories of the marine invertebrata of the Cove of Cork, which made his name famous." This work dealt mainly with the feather-star, polyzoa, barnacles and crustacea. Ile went to Sydney in 1835, where he died. The genus Thompsonia was dedicated to him by Robert Brown, and Vaughania by S. Moore.
Din. Nat. Biogr., 56, 218. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 298.
SYDNEY MARY THOMPSON—see Mme. Christen
The eldest son of a Belfast linen merchant, William Thompson was born in 1805. At school he showed no attraction towards zoology, but during his apprenticeship to the linen business he made contacts which by degrees aroused an interest in local birds; he read his first zoological paper before the Belfast Natural History Society in 1827, his subject being " The Birds of the Copeland Islands." Business pursuits did not appeal to him, and after a few years he devoted his life to zoology, publishing many papers in scientific journals, conducting an extensive correspondence with leading zoologists, botanists, and local observers, and taking voluminous notes which soon began to assume the form of a projected Natural History of Ireland, which was to include the whole of the fauna. But already in 1847, when he was only forty-two years of age, his health became impaired; his heart was affected, and he died rather suddenly in London in 1852, solicitously tended by his friends Tanen, Edward Forbes, Lankester, and Busk. He had gone to En and in order to complete the arrangements for the 1852 Belfast meeting of the British Association.
In 1849-50-51 Thompson had published the first three volumes of his Natural History of Ireland, dealing with the whole of the birds. The manuscript pertaining to the remaining vertebrates and all the invertebrates was edited and published in 1856 in the very incomplete form (at least as regards the invertebrates) in which it existed, by J. R. Garrett and Robert Patterson, as vol. iv of the Natural History. It contains among other useful extra matter a memoir of the author, and a list of his scientific writings. To the British Association in 1840 Thompson had presented a "Report on the Fauna of Ireland," dealing with the vertebrates, and this was followed by a second and completing part enumerating the invertebrates, which was presented to and published by the same society in 1843. Together these formed much the most complete list of the Irish fauna which had hitherto appeared. He contributed to Irish botany also, as will be seen from frequent records in Dickie's Flora of Ulster.
Thompson and Templeton form the most noticeable of the naturalists which Belfast has produced. But while Templeton was compelled to work almost single-handed, things had changed greatly in Thompson's time. He lived among a group of naturalists as keen as himself—James Bryce, J. L Drummond, J. R. Garrett, G. C. Hyndman, Edmund Getty, James MacAdam, Robert Patterson. He was the most talented of all, and it was a severe blow to Irish zoology that he died at the premature age of forty-seven. Like Templeton, he was content to work almost entirely in the North of Ireland; his only distant excursion being to the Aegean, in the company of Edward Forbes, on H.M.S. "Beacon " (Captain Graves, R.N.). He died unmarried.
Memoir, in Thompson's Nat. Hist. of Ireland, 4, portrait. Praeger: The Way that I Went, 90. Belfast Nat. Hist and Phil. Soc. Centenary Volume, 106, portrait. Belfast Lit. Soc. Hies. Sketches, 98, 1902.
SIR WYVILLE CHARLES THOMSON
Wyville Thomson's name will always be associated with the exploration of the depths of the oceans and especially of their una, and with the "Lightning,' " Porcupine " and especially the " Challenger " expeditions, which resulted in so vast an increase in our knowledge of the marine inhabitants especially of the deep sea. He was of Scottish birth and education. His connection with Ireland was his holding in turn of the posts of Professorship of Natural History and of Geology in Cork and subsequently of natural science in Belfast. To this post was added in 1868 that of Professor of Botany in the Royal College of Science, Dublin. His Irish sojourn lasted from 1853 till 1870. Much of his important researches on marine invertebrates was carried out during these years. His crowning work was done as Director of the civilian scientific staff on the " Challenger," which traversed 69,000 miles in the Atlantic and Pacific in 1872-76, returning with vast collections of marine animals; these, worked out by specialist$ all over the world, resulted in the publication of fifty cuartd volumes. Wyville Thomson gained the F.R.S. in 1869, and was knighted in 1876, changing his name from Wyville Thomas Charles Thomson to Charles Wyville Thomson. His well-known book, The Depths of the Sea (1873), first brought home to many readers the marvellous variety and interest of life in ocean waters.
Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc., 39 (Proc.), Dict. Nat. Biog.., 56, 237. Belfast Nat. and Phil. Soc. Centenary Vol., 109. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2,299. Renouf in Irish Nat. Journ, 3, 261.
The author of the earliest Irish Flora was Caleb Threlkeld, M.A. (Glasgow), M.D. (Edinburgh), D.D., a dissenting clergyman born in the North of England, who came to Dublin in 1713, where he ministered to both the souls and bodies of men. His Synopsis Stirpium lithemicanun, an interesting and amusing volume, is a modest duodecimo dated at Dublin, 1726. Although he lists in it all the Irish plants of which he bad cognisance (mostly of County Dublin), the book is in character essentially a herbal, and a highly entertaining one at that. "Nothing could be further removed from a bald scientific catalogue" writes N. Colgan, "than the piquant medley of herbal and homily in which this medical missionary from Cumberland delivers himself of his opinions on botany, medicine, morals, theology, witchcraft, and the Irish Question." Threlkeld adds an important and at that time unusual feature to his Synopsis in assigning accurately to the various plants their native Irish names, taken from a MS. believed to have been the work of Richard Heaton (q.v.) Thomas Molyneux (q.v.) supplied to the book an Appendix "containing the Names and Observations on such Plants as grew spontaneously in Ireland". Robert Brown dedicated to himthe genus Threlkeldia.
Colgan, Flora of the County Dublin xix. Praeger the Way that I Went, 269. Dict. Nat. Bogr. 56, 325. Britten & Boulger, ed.2. 301
WILLIAM JAMES COLEMAN TOMLINSON
Tomlinson's post on the Midland Railway (N.C.C.) in Bast gave him opportunities of botanizing in Antrim and Derry, of which he availed himself fully during nearly twenty years. lie worked at the' distribution of such local rarities as Spiranthes Romanzoffiana and Vida °rano , and added much to the knowledge of the flora of the North-east, on which he contributed some twenty notes to the Irish Naturalist. He was an active member of the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club, and died prematurely.
Irish Nat., 30,108, Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 302. Personal knowledge.
SIDNEY MILES TOPPIN
S. M. Toppin was born at Clonmel, and was a major in the Royal Artillery when he was killed at Ypres. He collected plants in Chitral and Burma and a paper of his on " Balsams of Chitral" was published in the Kew Bulletin, 1920. Dunn named Impatient Toppinii after him.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 302.
W. T. L. TRAVERS
William Thomas Locke Travers was born in County Limerick, went to New Zealand, where he was domiciled from 1849. He studied the alpine plants of the South bland, and was interested in birds. He was a fellow of the Linnean Society and the genus Traversia was named after him by Sir Joseph Hooker.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 304.
—see Helena Lefroy
Dawson Turner, MA., F.A.S., P.L.S., P.S.A., of Yarmouth, entered Pembroke College, Cambridge. He joined the Yarmouth bank in 1796. He early became interested in botany, and published his Muscoloae Hibernicae Spicilegium in 1804, " which was the first boat entirely devoted to the mosses of Ireland. He describes 231 species of Irish mosses, all of which had either been seen by himself growing in Ireland or were sent from thence to him." He was a man of many interests and wrote much; the above was his main contribution to Irish natural science. Dawsonia of Robert Brown is dedicated to him.
Din. Nat. Biogr., 57, 334. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 306. Len in Proc. R.I. Acad., 32 8, 69.
Tyndall should be mentioned here because he was of Irish birth (Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow), and also because, though his main work lay on the side of physics, he made researches now classical on the motion of glaciers, also on bacteria. Tyndall's best known service to biology was his popular advocacy of the evolution theory, then causing ferment in the world of science. " As writer, Tyndall did much in popularizing science, his works being translated into most European and some Eastern languages and widely read throughout the world." His father's family had crossed to Ireland from Gloucestershire in the seventeenth century; his mother was Sarah Macassey.
Dict. Nat. Biogr., 57, 431. Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. (Proc.), 50. 41.
R. J. USSHER
Richard John Ussher was, and will long remain, facile princeps among Irish ornithologists and also among workers in that branch of speleology which deals with the fossil fauna found in cave-deposits. In his earlier years, both before and after his marriage in 1866, he lived a good deal abroad; then he settled down in the house that his father had built at Cappagh in Co. Waterford. There he took up vigorously that destructive and rather meaningless branch of zoology—if it can be dignified by such a phrase—egg-collecting, and the nests of the rarer birds such as Peregrine Falcons were harried year after year by him or through his agency; but in later years he atoned by relinquishing the collecting of eggs, by helping energetically the work of the Irish Society for the Protection of Birds, and by widespread explorations of the cliff-bound shores of the west coast and the bogs and lakes of the midlands to determine the breeding-range in Ireland of rarer species. It was the finding of a bone-cave (" ossiferous cavern " he preferred to call near his own residence and consequent contact with A. Lath Adams (q.v.) which attracted him to the search for fossil mammals and birds; and in his later years, with the co-operation of a committee of the Royal Irish Academy, he spent much time—and money—in the digging of caves in the counties of Cork, Waterford, Clare and Sligo—laborious and difficult work, resulting in a great increase of our knowledge as to the extinct fauna, from Mammoths down to Lemmings. Sand-dune sites were also dug, yielding remains of the Great Auk.
Ussher was a quiet, courteous, rather shy man, and his almost over-modest bearing conveyed little impression of the determination, fearlessness, and contempt for discomfrot which he displayed in his explorations, whether ornithological or paIxontological—descending the most dangerous cliffs, or working underground for weeks amid rocks and mud.%On one occasion, when bird-hunting, he snipped and swain to an island in a lake to visit a colony of Roseate Tans. On landing he found a chevaux-de#ise, in the form of a broad belt of tall nettles, between him and his quarry, but undeterred he proceeded on his way.
Of Ussher and Warren's Bids of Ireland (1906), which still remains the standard work on the subject, he was in reality the author; and his contributions to scientific literature were many. A list of the more important of his papers appears in the Irish Naturalist (infra).
Irish Nat., 22, 221, portrait. bibliography. Praeger: The Way that I Went, 308. Personal knowledge.
R. P. VOWELL
Richard Prendergast Vowel was one of the little band of botanists—H. C. Hart, R. M. Barrington, N. Colgan, R. W. Scully (to mention some of the leaden) whom the enthusiasm of A. G. More inspired to undertake the systematic investigation of the Irish flora, in connection with the preparation of a second edition of Cybele Hibemica. Vowell's share lay in his joining Barrington in the exploration of the cliff-walled limestone hills of the Ben Hulbert area, and of the shores and islands of Lough Ree, second largest of the Shannon lakes. Their reports, published by the Royal Irish Academy, are well known to botanists.
Irish Nat. 20, 218. Personal knowledge.
C. H. WADDELL
Cosslett Herbert Waddell, MA., B.D., born at Maralin in Co. Down, entered the Church in 1880, after completing his studies in Trinity College, Dublin. His was the quiet life of the Irish country clergyman—at Lurgan, Warrenpoint, Saintfield and finally as rector of Greyabbey, all within 25 miles of his birthplace. He was early attracted to field botany, and studied both the flowering plants and the higher cryptogams. Gifted with an enquiring mind and a critical eye, he did useful work among groups such as the brambles, roses, hawkweeds and knotweeds, and was a most helpful member of the Belfast Field Club. He did not write much, but usually confined himself to contributions, generally brief, to the Journal of Botany and the Irish Naturalist, his most important effort being his Catalogue of British Hepaticae (1897). His death while still in the full vigour of manhood was a serious loss to Irish botany.
Irish Nat., 28, /08. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 311. Personal knowledge.
fl. 1770 ? -1825
Wade is well known to Irish botanists for his botanical writings—Catidogus systematicus plantarum indigenarum in Comitatu Dublinensi inventarum. Pars prima (1794); Catalogits Plantarum rariorum in comitatu Gallovidiae, praecipue Cunnemara, inventarum (1802), and Plantae rariores in Hibernia inventae, 1804—the last two appearing in the Transactions of the Royal Dublin Society, whose Professor of Botany he was. He also published Lectures on Grasses (1808), and a treatise on willows, and was the first finder in Ireland of that interesting American plant Eriocaulon, which he gathered in Connemara while commissioned to explore the flora of western Ireland. Wade was a Doctor of Medicine, practising in Dublin, and was elected an Associate of the Linnean Society. He added considerably to our knowledge of the distribution of Irish plants, and brought about the establishment in 1795 of the Society's Botanic Garden, now the National Botanic Garden, at Glasnevin, of which he became the first curator.
Dict. Nat. Biog., 58, 421. Colgan: Flora of the County Dublin, xxiii. Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 312.
Robert Warren was born in Cork and spent his early years at Castle Warren, his father's residence in that vicinity. He early formed a friendship with J. R. Harvey of Cork, and became a correspondent of William Thompson of Belfast, for a taste for natural history was born with him; Thompson h. quotes from his letters frequently in his Natural History Of Ireland. In 1851 the family home was transferred to Moyview in Sligo. Here, on the estuary of the River Moy, with the sands of Killala Bay and of Butragh Island close by, he availed himself fully of excellent opportunities for the study of bird life, and this continued till his death. In 1890 the book on the birds of Ireland, which was ultimately published under the names of Ussher and Warren, was planned, with Barrington, More, Ussher and Warren as joint authors: but in the issue, the entire work of preparation fell on Ussher, since More suffered from ill-health, Barrington was much engaged on his migration reports, and Warren did not feel himself sufficiently equipped for so wide an undertaking. A list of the more important of his numerous contributions to Irish natural history, mainly birds, is appended to Moffat's notice of him cited below.
Moffat in Irish Nat., 25, 33, portrait bibliography.
WILLIAM WHITEBREAD WATTS
Watts' connection with Ireland is chiefly that he was Assistant Geologist and Petrologist on the Irish Survey, with charge of the Survey collections, in 1891-93, and was author (with A. McHenry) of Guide to the Collections of Rocks and Fossils belonging to the Geological Survey of Ireland (1895). He became Professor of Geography at Birmingham, 1904, and Professor of Geology at the Imperial College of Science 1906-1936, was President of the Mineralogical Society, British Association, Geological Association, and Geological Society, and a recipient of the Murchison and Wollaston medals of the last-named.
Who's. Who. Personal knowledge.
Sylvanus Wear was a Northumbrian, born at Felton, who settled in Belfast in 1904 after retiring from business as a flour-miller, He was an active member of the little group of workers who were the core and life of the Belfast Field Club. Inside this coterie he was respected and loved, but outside it scarcely known. The flowering plants were his hobby, and when it was proposed to issue a Second Supplement and Summary of the Flora of the North-east of Ireland, including all the plant-records since 1895, Wear undertook the work, carried it out with scrupulous accuracy, completing it ten days before his sudden death.
Irish Nat. 30, 23. Ann. Report Self at Nat. Field Club, 1920-21, 97, portrait. Britten & Boulger, ed. Z 319. Personal knowledge.
DAVID ALLARDICE WEBB
D. A. Webb was born in Dublin, He went on to Charterhouse in Godalming, Surrey, where he became a foundation and Senior Scholar. He had a distinguished course in natural science in Trinity College, obtaining the Ph.D. degree in 1937 and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1939. He carried out research mostly in marine biology and biochemistry in 1935-1940 in Dublin, Cambridge, Naples, and Millport (Scotland), was appointed Assistant to the Professor of Botany in Dublin University in 1940, and succeeded him in the chair in 1949. By 1943 Webb had put together a first edition of his handbook on Irish plants, An Irish Flora. For two generations he was not only the leading taxonomic botanist in Ireland but the best known and respected Irish botanist in international circles, with his major contributions to Flora Europaea and the genus Saxifraga.
Praeger; Paul Green, Flora of Waterford 2008.
R. J. WELCH
Robert John Welch was born at Strabane. His father was in later life photographer in Enniskillen, interested in Irish antiquities, and the son obtained early a wide knowledge of Ireland, settling as a photographer in Belfast. He developed a warm interest in zoology and geology, and proved an assiduous collector, with a keen eye for unfamiliar forms; the land and fresh-water mollusca were his especial favourites. The Queen's University of Belfast conferred on him the degree of M.Sc., the Belfast Field Club its Commemoration Medal, and the Government a Civil List pension; he was President of the Conchological Society in 1922-23. The spider Erigone welthii, which he discovered, was named after him by A. Randell Jackson. His splendid series of geological, zoological and botanical photograph is well known; the negatives are now in the Belfast Municipal Museum.
Irish Nat. Journ. 6, 131, portrait. Personal knowledge.
ARTHUR E. J. WENT
b. 1910 —1 MD
Arthur Edward James Went was born in London, took his B.Sc. degree and the A.R.C.S. in London, and studied at Oslo University. He became Assistant Inspector of Fisheries in Dublin in 1936, and Inspector in 1938. His work has been mainly on fishes both marine and fresh-water, and of late he has specialized on the history of the Irish salmon and pilchard fisheries. Personal knowledge.
William West was born at Leeds. He was a chemist, and for a time lecturer on botany in Bradford. He was an authority on fresh-water Alga., and published important papers on these plants as found in the West of Ireland. His son, Prof. G. S. West, followed on the saute lines, and together they published with the Royal Irish Academy a large paper on the fresh-water Algz in the North of Ireland, and another entitled "A Comparative Study of the Plankton of some Irish Lakes." The son, GEORGE STEPHEN WEST (1876-1919) was born at Bradford, took a degree at Cambridge and became Professor of Botany at Birmingham in 1908. Together or separately they published many further papers on the desmids, diatoms, etc.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 321. Proc. and Trans. R.I. Academy. Personal knowledge.
WILLIAM TAYLOR WHAN
Rev. W. T. Whan, M.A. was born at Moneymore, Co. Derry. He was a good botanist, and his name occurs frequently in Dickie's Flora of Ulster in connection with plants of Armagh, Tyrone and Derry.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2, 322
d. before 1845
White was a gardener at Glasnevin, Dublin. He was an expert botanist, wrote An Essay on the Indigenous Grasses of Ireland (1808) and contributed most of the numerous localities to Lady Kane's Irish Flora (1833). His work shows that he was a knowledgeable and energetic botanist, but of the man himself little appears known.
Britten & Boulger, ed. 2. 324. Colgan: Flora of the County Dublin, xxvi. 1904.
"Of Belfast, late of Dublin" (Lett). He contributed to Mackay's Flora Hibernica and Dickie's Flora of Ulster, and communicated to the Geological Society of Dublin an account of sub-fossil Equiseta found near Carrickfergus (Journ. Geol. Soc. Dublin, 1838, 79).
Roy. Soc. Cat. Sci Papers, 6.
Son of William Williams (q.v.), and successor to his father's business. He was an expert and artistic mounter of birds and mammals, and for many years most of the rarer specimens obtained in Ireland passed through his hands. He became a good ornithologist; the firm's books contain a large amount of information relative to the identity and place and date of capture of interesting specimens, and were often consulted by ornithologists. He wrote little, but published in the Zoologist and Irish Naturalist between 1877 and 1895 many notes of birds which he received.
Irish Nat., 15, 21, portrait, bibliography. Personal knowledge.
William Williams was a hat-maker in Drogheda for many years and afterwards the head of the well-known naturalist's business in Dame Street, Dublin. He made a special study of the " Irish Elk " and its distribution, travelling widely over Ireland in search of its remains. Specimens obtained and mounted by him are to be seen in many museums throughout the world, and he wrote several papers giving the results of his researches.
Irish Nat. 11, 39. Personal knowledge.
Gregg Wilson, 0.B.E., was born at Fallcirk, and studied at the Universities of Edinburgh, Marburg, and Freiburg, taking the degrees of M.A., D.Sc., and Ph.D. Subsequently he held scientific posts at Edinburgh, Sydney and London, and in 1902 became Inspector of Fisheries for England and Wales. In the same year he was appointed Professor of Natural History in Queen's College, Belfast, and became Professor of Zoology when the college was converted into the Queen's University of Belfast in 1909. From that post he retired in 1931, but is still actively engaged in university affairs. He founded in 1903 the Ulster Fisheries and Biology Association, under the auspices of which a marine laboratory was established at Lame and some useful work done; but it was not found possible to work out much of the material collected. The Belfas Field Club conferred on him its Commemoration Medal in 1934.
Who's Who. Personal knowledge.
Thomas Workman spent a strenuous life, being engaged in business, in philanthropic and religious work in Belfast, and in extensive travels which included India, China, the Philippines and North and South America. He was an ardent student of the spiders, which he collected assiduously both at home and abroad. Unfortunately only one volume of his Malaysian Spiders was published when he died at St. Paul, Minnesota. A valuable list of Irish spiders was published by him in the Entomologist in 1880. At least two new tropical species, Damarchus workmanii Thor. and Theridium workmanii Thor. were named after him.
Irish Nat. 9, 241. Belfast Nat. [list. and Phil. Soc. Centenary Volume, 114, portrait. Personal knowledge.
EDWARD PERCEVAL WRIGHT
Perceval Wright is best known to Irishmen as the holder of the chair of Botany in Dublin University for a long period-1869-1904. During that time and for many years before, his keen interest in natural science and remarkable energy had brought himinto contact with various phases of work and many people and places. He founded and edited the Natural History Review at the age of 20; visited Mitcliclstown Cave with A. H. Haliday in 1857, when they discovered a troglodytic fauna now well known to zoologists; held several scientific posts in Dublin; took his M.D. degree; studied ophthalmic surgery in Berlin, Vicuna, and Paris; botanized oil the Aran Islands, and worked with Huxley oil the fossil Amphibia of the Kilkenny Coal-measures; made large collections of the fauna and flora of the Seychelles; collected with Haliday in Portugal; and reported (with Th. Studer) oil the Alcyonaria of the " Challenger " expedition. His appointment to the Chair of Botany in Dublin University limited the time available for expeditions abroad, but increased his interest in Dublin scientific institutions, in connection with which he was an energetic helper—especially as secretary and editor to the Royal Irish Academy between 1874 and 1899, which body awarded him their Cunningham Medal in 1883.
Proc. Linnean Soc., 1909-10, 102. Diet. Nat. Biogr., suppl. 2, iii. 183. Britten b Boulger, ed. 2, 336. Irish Nat. 19, 61, portrait. Personal knowledge.
Joseph Wright was born in Cork and educated at Newtown School, Waterford, which in its day has launched many a pupil upon the path of natural history. He was apprenticed to the grocery trade, in which he remained all his life. He early became interested in fossils, and made a large collection from the Carboniferous rocks especiallyat the famous locality of Little Island near Cork) hich is now in the British Museum. During 185940 he resided for twelve months in Trinity College, Dublin, acting as assistant to the Professor of Geology. Removing to Belfast in 1868, he soon took a prominent place among northern scientists. He became attracted to the Poraminifera, first fossil forms and then recent, and spent his leisure time during the greater part of his life in studying these minute and fascinating organisms. publishing numerous papers. He was a strong advocate of glacial submergence, pinning his faith on the frequent occurrence of Poraminifera in boulder-clay at high levels.
The writer was in close touch with him for many years, and derived inspiration from his enthusiasm, his helpfulness, and never-filling cheerfulness in times of adversity.
Quart. journ. Geol. Soc., 80 (Proc.), lx. Irish Nat., 32, 53, portrait. Belfast Nat. Hist and Phil. Soc. Centenary Volume, 115, portrait. Personal knowledge.
W. B. WRIGHT
William Bourke Wright, geologist, was born in Dublin and studied in Trinity College. He was appointed to the Irish Branch of the Geological Survey in 1901, when the work was mainly revision of the original maps and memoirs, primarily with a view to the inclusion of the drift deposits, knowledge of which is so essential in agricultural practice. He was fortunate in having as his chief G. W. Lamplugh, one of the most talented of British glacial geologists. He took part in the work carried on around Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Limerick. In 1904 he went to the English Survey, and two years later to Scotland, whence he returned to the re-mapping of the Lancashire coal-field.
Wright's most important work was extra-official—his comprehensive book The Quaternary Ice Age, which at once took the place which it still holds as the outstanding exposition of that still puzzling stage in the Earth's history. A second edition amended and enlarged, was published in 1937. His Tools and the Man is also a well-known book. His demonstration (with H. B. Maufe) of a pre-glacial raised beach in southern Ireland, subsequently extended far to the northward, was an important contribution to our knowledge of the little-known history of the time immediately preceding the Ice Age. Wright was awarded the Sc.D. degree by his alma mater, Dublin University, in recognition of his services to geology.
Quart . Journ. Geol. Soc. 96 (Proc.). Irish Nat.Journ., 7, 250, portrait. Personal knowledge.
A. B. WYNNE
Arthur Beavor Wynne belonged to a well-known Irish family. After a few years in the Irish General Valuation Office under Sir R. Griffith he was appointed to the Geological Survey of India, and remained in that service for twenty-one years. Returning to Ireland in 1883, on account of ill-health, he was appointed to the Irish Geological Survey as resident officer in Dublin. In 1890 he was retired on account of reorganization, having in the previous year been elected President of the Royal Geological Society of Ireland for the last year of its existence. He was an able geologist and a talented artist.
Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. 64 (Peon). lxii, Flett: First Hundred Years of the Geological Survey, 262.
J. W. YERBURY
Lt. Col. Yerbury visited Cork and Kerry in 1901, and, made a fine collection of Diptera (Irish Nat. 11, 74-93). As one of the few entomologists who has studied this group in - Ireland, his name deserves mention here. Other insects collected by him on the same trip were reported on by other entomologists (e.g., Ent. Monthly Mag., 38).
Rt. Hon. Robert Young, of Belfast, was interested in his earlier years in local geology, and read several papers on eskers, boulder clay, recebt changes of sea-level etc., before the Naturalists' field club and Natural History and Philosophical Society of that city. He had a busy and successful life as architect and civil engineer, In 1907 he was created an Irish Privy Councillor.
SOCIETIES, INSTITUTIONS, TEAM-WORK
IN addition to the record of individual workers, reference should be made here to the results of organized work. This has been the main function of the Scientific Societies, and has mostly taken the form of publication of the researches of individual workers; but sometimes of the promoting of natural history research by team-work, or by the financing of field-work by grants of money. Such activities in Ireland may be summarized as below.
BELFAST NATURAL HISTORY and PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Founded in 1821 as the Belfast Natural History Society by eight young Belfast men, of whom J. L Drummond (first President), G. C. Hyndman, James McAdam, and Robert Patterson became well-known local naturalists.' By the end of the fifth session there was a membership of sixry. Each member in turn was required to read a paper, and fined for not doing so, and a member not attending a meeting for three months, was ejected, in the absence of a sufficient apology. These Spartan rules, which failed to wreck the Society OS might have been expected) were modified before long. In 1830 the building of a museum in College Square North was commenced; it was opened in 1831 and fulfilled its purpose for nearly a century, when its collections were taken over by the Belfast Corporation, and transferred to the new Municipal Museum at Stranmillis. In 1842 the scope of the Society's work was widened by the inclusion of the words "and Philosophical" in the title, and natural history since that time has occupied a decreasing amount of the Society's attention, the Naturalist? Field Club providing an alternative channel for biological communications. It is unnecessary here to follow the Society's fortunes further. For over 120 years regular meetings have been held, at which subjects of a very wide range of cultural interest have been introduced. The Society has also made money grants for scientific or arclixological investigation. its membership has included most of the men of note in Belfast and the adjoining counties. The meetings are still held in the Society's old museum in College Square North.
A Centenary Volume,' published in 1924, gives much information relative to the Society's activities and to the leading members who have contributed to its success. Also the Annual Reports and Proceedings.
THE CLARE ISLAND SURVEY
The success which attended team-work carried out on the natural history of the island of Lambay off the east coast of Ireland (1905-1906)2 led to the selection by a committee of Irish naturalists of an island off the west coast—dare Island, Co. Mayo—for similar but fuller biological examination. This was carried out in 1909-1911, usually by means of monthly trips each lasting about a week and extending over the greater part of the year. Most of the leading field naturalists of Ireland took part, and the opportunity of visiting so interesting
I Published by the Society. Sold by W. Bairn Mayne, Donegan Square W., Haab Irish Naturalist, 16, 1-112.
an area as the West of Ireland brought volunteers from England, Scotland, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In all about 100 workers took part. The results appeared in the form of 68 reports, forming three thick octavo volumes with numerous plates. In all 5,269 animals and 3,219 plants were recorded. Of these, 1,253 animals and 585 plants were new to Ireland, 109 animals and 11 plants being described as new to science. The additions to the Irish fauna and flora were naturally chiefly among the more difficult and less worked groups—Hymenoptera, Diptera, Mites, Polychaets, etc., and in plants among the Fungi and Algae; some smaller groups of which very little was known previously were now awarded a due place in the Irish fauna and flora. As secretary of the Committee, which consisted of Dr. R. F. Scharff (chairman), R. M. Barrington, N. Colgan, Prof. G. A. J. Cole and Canon Lett, there devolved upon me most of the recruiting of workers, planning and superintendence of field-work, and editing of reports. The results of the three seasons work must be regarded as eminently satisfactory.
The list of authors or joint authors of the 68 reports is as follows; some who rendered especially conspicuous service in adding to our knowledge having the groups which they studied appended to their names:—F. Balfour-Browne, G. E. H. Barrett-Hamilton, G. H. Carpenter, N. Colgan, A. D. Cotton (Marine Alga), J. S. Dunkerly (Flagellate), A. Earland (Foraminifera), G. P. Farran (Marine Entomostraca), N. H. Foster, P. H. Grimshaw (Diptera), N. H. Halbert (Acarina), Sir H. C. Hawley (Fungi), E. Heron-Allen (Foraminifera), Rev. W. F. Johnson, W. F. de V. Kane, H.Wallis Kew, Rev. H. W. Lett, Gulielma Lister, W. J. Lyons, John MacNeill, C. Morley (Hymenoptera), James Murray (Arctiscoida and Bdelloid Rotifera), R. LI. Praeger, Carleton. Rea (Fungi), C. F. Rousselet (Rotifera), R. F. Scharff; D. J. Scourfield, Annie Lorrain Smith, R. Southern (Polychaeta, Nemathelmia, Platyhelmia), Jane Stephens, W. M. Tattersall, R. J. Ussher, G. H. Wailes (Rhizopoda), William West (Fresh-water Alga), T. J. Westropp, James Wilson. Some fifty others took part in the work of exploring and collecting.
The expenses of the field-work were defrayed in part by grants from the British Association, Royal Dublin Society, Royal Irish Academy and Royal Society.
Prot. ad., 31 (in three Sections), 1911-1915.
CUVIERIAN SOCIETY OF CORK
This Society, concerning which I have discovered very little, performed one important task in publishing in 1845 the well-known Contributions towards a Fauna and Flora of the County of Cork, of which the authors are set down as WAI., Harvey, J. D. Humphreys and T. Power, which was prepared for the meeting of the British Association held in Cork in 1843. The book contains a list of the officers of the Society for 1945. An occasional meeting is reported in the Natural History Review (1 229, 2 6).
The exploration of the deeper waters off the south and west coasts of Ireland was in a way a natural sequel to the surveys of the fishing grounds and other areas of shaLower waters that for some years had been in progress, under the xgis first of the Royal Dublin Society and then of the Fisheries Branch of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, and partly of private enterprise. W. S. Green, Chief Inspector of Fisheries, and Prof. A. C. Haddon of the Royal College of Science for Ireland, inspired by the important results from recent deep-sea work elsewhere, were the moving spirits of the research. Under grants from the Royal Irish Academy, dredging and trawling were carried on in 1885 in the steamer' Lord Bandon " &' the south-west coast in up to 120 fathoms. The biological team numbered nine, and consisted of A. C. Haddon, W. S. Green, Joseph Wright, S. M. Malcomson, W. Swanston, H. W. Jacob, W. H. W.
Perrott, and for the first two days D'Arcy Thompson and . Marsh. In /886, in the same steamer, both shallow and deeper waters were explored, one haul being taken in 1,100 fathoms. The party consisted of W. S. Green, A. C. Haddon, C. B. Ball, A. R. Nichols, W. H. W. Perron, T. H. Thomas, and J. Wright. In 1888 the deeper waters were again visited in the steamer "Flying Falcon." Once more results were excellent, in spite of bad weather. This time the participants consisted of W. S. Green, C. B. Ball, Joseph Wright, W. F. de V. Kane, J. H. Poole, John Day, R. LI. Praeger.
Our knowledge of the fauna of the waters off south-west Ireland was greatly enriched as a result of these activities.
Proc. R. I. Sad., 14,599,17,29. Proc.Belfast Nat, Pi& Club, 188-89. 127. Other papers relating to results appear in R.I.A. Proceedings and elsewhere.
DUBLIN MICROSCOPICAL CLUB
It was founded by a few amateurs (mainly) fond of natural history, who met at each others houses: their names were Eugene O'Meara, William Archer, E. P. Wright, William Frazer and George Porte. Some others became associated with them, and a Club was formed, composed of twelve regular members, to meet monthly in the evening " for social and microscopic purposes." A limited number of visitors attended by invitation, and, subsequently, some distinguished scientists accepted the position of honorary members. From 1864 the minutes of the Club were published in the Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science. The Irish Naturalist throughout its 33 volumes (1892-1924) also contains official reports of the Club's doings. For many years an annual excursion was held, when the members visited some place of natural history interest near Dublin, and collected material for future study.
At the last few meetings reported (1924) only one to three members seem to have exhibited, and it would appear that the Club's activities ceased shortly afterwards.
The reports of the meetings, especially of the earlier years, when William Archer and others were in their prime, are of value, as the exhibits, often of interest, were described at some length. In the middle years W. H. Mackintosh, W. R. McNab and P. Wills Richardson vie with some of the forders in the frequency of their exhibits.
Irish Nat., 1-33. Personal knowledge.
DUBLIN NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY
see Natural History Society of Dublin
FAUNA AND FLORA COMMITTEE
see under Royal Irish Academy
THE NATURALISTS' FIELD CLUBS
The Naturalists' Field Club movement in Ireland which, originated at Belfast in 1863, has been of great service in recruiting young people in particular, but by no means them alone, to the ranks of the naturalists. The Clubs have done extensive work in demonstrating to beginners, young and old, the interest of natural history in the field, and in encouraging the publication of observations in geology, zoology and botany. Most of the Clubs include archeology in their scope: the Dublin Club is an exception.
BELFAST NATURALISTS' FIELD CLUB
The Belfast Naturalists' Field Club was founded in 1863, due to the interest excited by the lectures of Ralph Tate (q.v.), and following on letters in the Belfast press from W. T. Chew and S. A. Stewart, the latter of whom became one of its most distinguished members. The first President (then called Chairman) was John (afterwards Canon) Grainger, and the Secretaries Ralph Tate and W. T. Chew. It has continued since as the leading Field Club in Ireland, holding regular summer and winter meetings, publishing Proceedings since its inception and issuing also two volumes of Appendices to its Proceedings embodying a great amount of original research relative to local geology, zoology and botany; and it has been invaluable as a training-ground for young naturalists. The membership has fluctuated, but has usually stood at well over 500. The Club was responsible for the excellent Guides to the Belfast district issued in connection with the visit of the British Association to Belfast in 1874 and 1902. Its Proceedings have been recorded in brief in the Irish Naturalist and Irish Naturalists' Journal since 1892; and the Club published both editions of Stewart and Corry's Flora of the North-east of Ireland (1888 and 1938).
Irish Nat., 3 , 141. Personal knowledge.
Affiliated to the Belfast Club and deriving support from it are (or were in recent years) smaller Naturalists' Field Clubs
at LONDONDERRY, LIMAVADY, THE ROUTE (Coleraine plus
Ballycasde), Min-ANTRIM (Ballymena), OMAGH, TYRONE
ungannon), ROSTREVOR AND DISTRICT, and ARMAGH
(Ramblers). Some of these have scarcely survived the war of 1939-45. Most of them include archeology in their scope.
DUBLIN NATURALISTS' FIELD CLUB
The second Naturalists' Field Club in Ireland was founded in Dublin in the winter of 1885-6 by Prof. A. C. Haddon. After a brief period of decline following a very successful start, the Club settled down, and with some fluctuations has reached a gratifying success. In view of available channels for publication, it has not needed to emulate the Belfast Field Club in publishingnitanhe work of its members. It created, indeed, a suitable el for this purpose by founding, in 1892, the Irish Naturalist, an independent monthly journal which continued for thirty-three years; now replaced by the Irish Naturalists' Journal, founded by members of the Belfast Field Club and published in that city. The membership of the Dublin Club stands at about 450.
Irish Nat., 3, 211. Personal knowledge.
CORK NATURALISTS' FIELD CLUB
Founded in 1892, with Prof. M. M. Hartog as President and W. B. Barrington and J. L. Copeman as Hon. Secretaries. To Copeman belongs the credit of forming the Club, the result of apaper which he read at a meeting of the Cork Literary and Scientific Society, entitled " A Plea for a Society's Room, Field Club, and Museum." Of these desiderata, the Field Club alone matured. It functioned successfully for some years, holding summer and winter meetings, and stimulated by visits from Dublin and Belfast lecturers under the Held Club Union Scheme, and by joint excursions. It hid a serious loss in the departure from Cork in 1908 of]. L. Copeman who had been a mainstay from the beginning. After 1918 its proceedings ceased to be contributed to the Irish Naturalist. The membership at no time exceeded 70 or 80. In 1923 it
Government department, the series was discontinued, the last paper published being dated 1926.
Reports of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland: Fisheries Branch (later Department of Agriculture: Fisheries Branch). 1921-26.
GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF DUBLIN
see Royal Geological Society of Ireland
THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
In 1824 the House of Commons recommended a survey and valuation of Ireland. It was also recommended that the work should be conducted by the Ordnance officers, and that a geological survey should be made in connection with the mapping of the country. The scheme was to carry out, in addition to the mapping, enquiries " on such related sciences as botany, zoology, geology, archeology, and productive economy." While the Ordnance department (Royal Engineers) was well equipped to undertake the mapping, others had to be enlisted to carry out the necessary field-work in the biological, archeological and economic sides. This led to the enrolment on the survey of names now so well known as those of David Moore (for botany), George Petrie (for archeology), John O'Donovan (for Irish placenames). Portlock, already on the Survey staff; was responsible for geology; Larcom was put in general charge of the scheme, a very ambitious one, of which the first-fruits was the well-known Memoir of the City and North-western Liberties of Londonderry : Parish of Ternplemore (1837). This was a quarto volume of 358 pages, with plates, maps, and text-figures--a notable production. But the fullness and excellence of the Templemore Memoir proved its own death-warrant. A similar expenditure, or even a much smaller one, for every parish in Ireland, was unthinkable to the authorities, and the whole scheme was stopped abruptly, and the special staff disbanded. Geology alone survived, and Portlock was ordered to prepare for publication the geological data collected for County Londonderry and the Barony of Dungannon in Tyrone. These appeared in the form of a massive octavo volume' of over 800 pages and more than 50 plates. Its production marked the end of a second epoch. The geological mapping continued, but subsequent Memoirs assumed pamphlet form, each referring to one or several of the one-inch geological sheets; these and the maps were issued from 1858 till 1891, when the whole country had been dealt with.
The geological staff who by their work—some of them during the whole of this period—provided Ireland with such a mass of information included R. J. Cruise, W. E. L'E. Duffm, G. V. Du Noyer, F. W. Egan, F. J. Foot, E. T. Hardman, J. S. Hyland, J. Kelly, J. R. Kilroe, G. H. Kinahan, H. Leonard, W. B. Leonard, F. McCoy, A. McHenry, W. F. Mitchell, J. Nolan, J. O'Kelly, W. J. Sollas, R. G. Symes, W. A. Train, J. L. Warren, S. B. N. Wilkinson, W. L. Willson, Andrew Wylie, A. B. Wynne. Contributions on palaeontology were supplied by W. H. Bally, R. Clark, J. Flanagan, E. Leeson, G. W. Leeson, H. Harrigan, P. Hoskin, C. Galvan. T. Oldham (1846-1850), J. B. Jukes (1850-1869), and E. Hull (1869-1881) were in succession Directors.
In addition to the one-inch maps for the whole of Ireland, special maps on the six-inch scale were published for areas of mineralogical importance. With the completion of the main mapping the staff was reduced, and with the advent of an Irish Government the connection with the Geological Survey of Great Britain was severed. But work continued under the directorship successively of G. W. Lampl G. A. J. Cole, T. Elallissy, and D. W. Bishopp. A Drift Survey, dealihg especially with the superficial deposits, was begun, but was suspended after the issue of maps and memoirs relating to the areas around Dublin, Belfast, Londonderry, Cork and Limerick. Some other memoirs dealing mostly with economic geology have been published, prepared by G. A. J. Cole, W. D. Haigh, T. Hallissy, G. W. Lamplugh, H. B. Maufe,
Report nn the Geology of the County of Londonderry and parts of Tyrone and Formanagh. 1843.
H. J. Seymour, W. B. Wright, with contributions from specialists not on the Survey staff such as E. A. N. Arber, T. Crook, C. E. Moss, L. B. Smyth, W. W. Watts.
Some of the men engaged upon the Geological Survey made noteworthy contributions to science outside of their official work. Brief notice of these will be found under their individual names (see G. A. J. Cole, G. V. Du Noycr, F. J. Foot, T. Hallissy, E. Hull, J. B. Jukes, J. R. Kilroe, G. H. Kinahan, T. A. Larcom, A. McHenry, T. Oldham, J. E. Portlock, H. J. Seymour, W. B. Wright).
In 1916 the Irish Survey was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction in Dublin. Work continues on a limited scale.
Pint: First Hundred Years of the Geological Survey. Seymour. The Centenary of the fort Geological Survey made in Ireland, in Econ. Proc. R. Dublin Soc. 3, 227, portrait of Portlock, 1944.
THE LAMBAY SURVEY
When the Hon. Cecil Baring (later Lord Revelstoke) acquired Lambay near Dublin he promoted a natural history investigation of the island. Details were worked out by R. LI. Praeger, and during 1905-1906 several organized parties visited the island as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Baring. Twenty-one naturalists in all took part, and the island was thoroughly examined so far as its geology and the greater part of the fauna and flora were concerned. The results, published in the Irish Naturalist (1907) proved unexpectedly good, five species new to science found (all animals) and between 80 and 90 species being added to the Irish fauna or flora. The advantage of team-work came out very dearly, and the strict limitation of area (617 acres), while reducing the fauna and flora, compelled concentration on obscure and little-known groups, and was to a considerable extent responsible for the unexpected result that seventeen of the animals were additions to the known fauna of the British Isles. The collectors on the island were Hon. Cecil Baring, E. A. L. Batters, H. J. Buchanan-Wollaston, N. Colgan, N. H. Foster, J. N. Halbert, J: de W. Flinch, W. F. de V. Kane, Matilda C. Knowles, G. E. Low, D. McArdle, A. R. Nichols, D. R. Pack-Beresford, R. Patterson, R. LI. Praeger, W. Rankin, R. F. Scharff, H. J.Seymour, R. Southern, A. W. Stelfox, R. J. Welch; and additional helpers in the working-out of the material included G. H. Carpenter, P. E. Grimshaw, Jane Stephens, Gregg Wilson, and Joseph Wright.
Irish Nat.,16, 1-12, maps, plates.
THE NATIONAL BOTANIC GARDEN, GLASNEVIN
Founded by the Royal Dublin Society in 179/and taken over by the Government under the Science and Art Museums Act in 1877, the collections amassed here are of great interest and importance; especially under the two Moores, father and son (David and Sir Frederick) they reached a very high standard. Two of the staff—David Moore (1807-1879) and David McArdle (1849-1894) by field-work in Ireland contributed materially to our knowledge of the native flora.
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM
While various local museums have helped to maintain an interest in Irish natural history, the only one which has had a notable output of work followed by publications based on its collections has been the Dublin Museum of Science and Art (as it was entitled while it was under the direction of the Department of Science and Art at South Kensington), or the National Museum of Science and Art as it is now named. In zoology in particular it has been fertile, and the names of A. G. More, R. F. Scharff; G. H. Carpenter, A. R. Nichols, A. W. Stelfox, Jane Stephens, J. N. Halbert, stand out conspicuously in Irish zoolo cal literature. In botany good work has been done by T. Johnson on fossil plants, and Miss M. C. Knowles greatly enlarged our knowledge of Irish lichens in particular. It is to be hoped that the present serious depletion of staff will not continue, and that the Natural History Division will soon be able to resume its contributions to the knowledge of the Irish fauna and flora. The fine geological collections have never had an exponent, and at present are not even open to the public.
The museum was founded by the Royal Dublin Society, and was taken over by the Government under the Act of 1877.
Included in the present collections are those formed during many years by the Royal Irish Academy, the Museum of Irish Industry, the Geological Survey and the Natural History Society of Dublin.
National Museum, Dublin: Bullish,, 1. 7-34. 1911.
NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY OF DUBLIN
1838 - a. 1871
Beyond the first nine Annual Reports (1838-1848) and six volumes of Proceedings (I-VI pt. 1) which this Society issued for 1849-1871, I have failed to glean much of its history. It was founded in March, 1838, and had for many years an evidently successful career; the cessation of publication in 1871 presumably signifies its suspension about that date. The membership of the Society in its hey-day was about 250. Most of the leading Irish zoologists and botanists, especially those resident in Dublin, took part in its meetings. " Natural History "in its case meant zoology, botany, and paleontology, and in these subjects it developed a museum and a library.
QUATERNARY RESEARCH: COMMITTEE FOR QUATERNARY RESEARCH IN IRELAND
The formation of this Committee arose from a request from Dr. Praeger and Dr. Mahr to Prof. Knud Jessen, of Copenhagen that he should come to Ireland to advise and help as to investigations of the flora of glacial and post-glacial deposits in Ireland. On his acceptance, a Committee was formed to co-operate with him, which included geologists, zoologists, botanists and archeologists. The Committee obtained grants of money from various sources, secured workers—several of whom were trained in Copenhagen by Prof. Jessen—and carried out a scheme of organized work. In 1940 the Committee's work was taken over by the Royal Irish Academy, and still goes on. Many of the former workers are now engaged in other occupations, but G. F. Mitchell in particular continues to carry out investigations into the glacial797
and post-glacial flora, and Dr. Jessen has paid several subsequent visits to Ireland and continued his work. A. Farrington has remained Secretary to the Committee throuteout. The result of the Committee's operations has been to throw much light on the history and nature of the flora of the recent past.
Irish Nat. journ., 5, 128. Proc. R.I. Acad. 44 B. 205.
Mention should be made here of the Irish expedition to the little-known islet of Rockall, although it was unsuccessful in its primary object of landing. The originators were R. M. Barrington and J. A. Harvie-Brown. The reasons which led to the two attempts in June, 1896, were various—zoological geological, meteorological, etc., and a visit to " the most isolated speck of rock in the world" (Capt. Basil Hall) lying 250 miles north-west of Donegal; and dredging on the shallow oceanic bank on which it lies was sure to be interesting. Aided by a grant from the Royal Irish Academy and others from private sources, the Congested Board s steamer " Granuaile " was chartered. The parry consisted of J. A. Harvie-Brown, R. M. Barrington, W. F. de V. Kane, R. LI..Praeger, H. L. Jameson and Charles Green. Twice the
Granuaile' fought her way from Killybegs to Rockall, and twice tempestuous weather made hopeless any attempt at landing. The rock was examined at close quarters, the birds on or around it noted, difficult dredging carried out with loss of gear, and at last a retreat was made to St. Kilda and so to Londonderry.
Notes on Rockall Island ... By W. S. Green, J. W. Judd, G. A. J. Cole, FL H. Scott, H. N. Dickson.). A. Harvie-Brown, Fl M. Barrington. A. R. Nichols, W. T. Calnuu, E. P. Wright, H. W. McIntosh, W. P. Sladen, Miss L. R. Thonaely, A. C. Haddon, It von Lindenfeld. and T. Rupert Jones. Trans. R.I. Acad. 31, 1897. Praeger in Irish Nat., 6, 309, and The Way that I Went, 4449.
ROYAL DUBLIN SOCIETY
Of this important and long-established Society, with its great Horse Shows and Agricultural Shows, its fine library, its music recitals, lectures, radium institute, etc., we are concerned here only with the natural history side of its work. The Society was founded in 1731 for improving " Husbandry, Manufactures, and other useful Arts." A few weeks after its inception, " Sciences " was added to the objects of its activities. Some of its functions—its Botanic Garden, 'Drawing School," Museum, Schools of Chemistry and Mineralogy, have been taken over as separate government institutions, others have been merged. From an early date, scientific papers appeared in its publications. In 1877 these were segregated as Scientific Transactions and Scientific Proceedings. In 1909 the former were dropped; the Scientific Proceedings continue. These publications contain much work of value by biologists of the last two centuries.
For an adequate account of the Society's far-reaching activities Berry's History (infra) should be consulted.
H. P. Berry: A History of the Royal Dublin Society. 1915.
ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY
The Academy was founded in 1785 for the purpose of advancing the studies of science, polite literature and antiquities. The Earl of Charlemont was the first of its thirty-two Presidents, and it continues, by means of regular meetings, publications of several kinds, and grants for the prosecution of research, to carry out these functions. We are concerned here only with its biological activities, which have been ample. In its Transactions (1786-1907) and Proceedings (1836 to date) much of the biological work done in Ireland has been published. In 1893 the giving of grants for biological research in Ireland, previously made on applications to the Council, was systematised by the appointment of a " Fauna and Flora Committee" which examined applications, prevented duplication, and initiated research in desirable directions, whether in geology, botany or zoology. For many years the Committee s expenditure (through the Council) was about k100 a year, but the diminution in the number of field-workers, coupled with greater specialisation, has tended in recent years to reduce the number of applications. Among the numerous biological publications, the leading feature is the results of the Clare Island Biological Survey (q.v.), which occupy three bulky 8vo volumes.
ROYAL GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF IRELAND
The Geological Society of Dublin was founded in 1831 " for the purpose of investigating the mineral structure of the Earth and more particularly of Ireland." It changed its title to " Royal Geological Society of Ireland in 1864. From the beginning it held monthly meetings, and instituted a Journal in 1832 which continued until 1889 to publish the papers read before the Society. The mainstay of the Society as regards membership was the staff employed on the official Geological Survey of the country (q.v.), and the disbanding of most of these workers in 1891, when the main mapping of Ireland was completed, was no doubt the cause of the decline of the Society, which was wound up two years later,bequeathing its assets to the Royal Irish Academy as a fund to be used for the illustration of papers on geological subjects. In its days of activity the membership was about 200; the Journal is full of important matter relating to the geology of Ireland.
Seymour in Econ. Prot. R. Dublin Soc., 3. 227.
ULSTER FISHERIES AND BIOLOGY ASSOCIATION
Was founded in 1903 through the efforts of Gregg Wilson, Professor of Natural History at Belfast. He became Director, with Robert Patterson as Secretary. Funds were raised, and a marine laboratory established at Lame (afterwards for a short time at Bangor). The post of Naturalist was filled in turn by Joseph Pearson (afterwards Professor of Zoology at Colombo), H. J. Buchanan-Wollaston (afterwards of the Ministry of Fisheries in England), W. J. Dakin (afterwards Professor of Zoology in Liverpool and now in Sydney University), F. Balfour-Browne (who became Professor of Entomology in the imperial College of Science), and W.
BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES > A to D >
E to K >
L to S >
T to Z