Members of the moss exchange club (1896-1923) and british bryological society (1923-1945)



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MEMBERS OF THE MOSS EXCHANGE CLUB (1896-1923)
AND
BRITISH BRYOLOGICAL SOCIETY (1923-1945)

Mark Lawley,

12A Castleview Terrace, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 2NG

email: mrbryology@gmail.com



Introduction
Twenty-three people enrolled in the newly formed Moss Exchange Club during 1896 – its first year of existence. They had responded to notices placed in Science Gossip, Irish Naturalist and Journal of Botany by the Reverend Cosslett Herbert Waddell (see below). By the turn of the century, membership stood at 34. This had risen to 45 by 1910, and 50 by 1920.
Membership remained quite stable during the second decade of the 20th century, as the First World War diverted attention to more pressing affairs. However, the war did not affect bryological exploration in Britain as much as might be supposed. For one thing, the War was mainly fought overseas, rather than over British skies. And secondly, many of the MEC’s members were beyond the age at which they were likely to volunteer for active service or be called up.
[Discuss the age-profiles of the membership at different periods, e.g. 1896, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940 and how this may have affected the MEC/BBS’s propensity for developing its activities and pursuing new aims. Also family backgrounds, etc.]
In 1918/9, the Club was so short of funds that it struggled to pay its printers’ bills. However, a considerable influx of new members occurred during the five years after hostilities ended, as people began to restore normality to their lives. This was doubtless a catalyst for reconstituting the MEC as the British Bryological Society in 1923.
Only a few members of the MEC did not join the newly constituted BBS; newcomers who swelled the membership to 87 in 1923, and membership rose to 100 by 1924. The MEC had attracted hardly any overseas bryologists, whereas a significant number – some of them pre-eminent in bryology – from the Continent and North America joined the BBS during the inter-war years. However, the economic recession of the 1920s and ‘30s brought falling standards of living and disposable income, so there were still only 102 members by 1939.
Who were the members of the MEC and early BBS? What careers did they follow? Where did they live? What were their family backgrounds and socio-economic circumstances? Most were members of the middle class, ranging from prominent professionals with substantial resources to lower but literate middle-class. Within the legal profession, for example, Sir James Stirling, who became Lord Justice of Appeal, shared membership with Thomas Dennis, a solicitor’s clerk. The notational list below gives brief details about members of the MEC. Those who were or subsequently became accomplished field-bryologists are treated at greater depth in separate ‘Bygone Bryologists’ articles, some of which have been published in Field Bryology, the members’ bulletin of the British Bryological Society.
Many other competent or accomplished botanists of the time who were interested in bryology did not join the MEC. Braithwaite, Ley, Stabler, Stirton, Marrat, Morell, F.A. Lees and Hobkirk were full of years, and perhaps did not want the bother of determining material sent to them by less accomplished bryologists, presumably feeling that exchanging bryophytes in order to have them reliably named offered them no advantage, for they named their own gatherings or sent them to other experts of whom they already knew.
The MEC not only failed to attract several bryological luminaries of the day to membership, but those who did join also laboured under the handicap of not having any excursions of the Club at which they might meet each other. This was particularly unfortunate for those like Lillie in the far north of Scotland, who lived far from other bryologists. However, several members did live quite close to each other, and doubtless bryologised together in the field by informal arrangement. Thus, Benson, Hamilton, Painter and Weyman all lived in Shropshire, and knew each other. Likewise, Elliott and Holmes both lived in Stroud, and Rhodes and Cleminshaw lived in the same road as each other in Birmingham. In Liverpool, Gasking was chaplain at Walton Gaol, where Wheldon was the pharmacist, and Edward Alfred Richards and Travis also lived in Liverpool. Edward Richards also lived in Wallasey, Cheshire, as did Miss Cooke and William Lee. Four members – Bentham, Bruce, Fletcher and Horrell – all lived in Scarborough, and one can imagine them meeting up through the Scarborough Field Naturalists’ Club, of which Horrell was a prominent member. In Exmouth, the Reverend J.H. Ward and Miss A. Wyndham lived at the same address. Much later, D.A. Jones lived for a while in Cheltenham, where he would have consorted with Knight. A strong nexus also arose in Leicester, where Horwood and Reader would have botanised together. Horwood started the cryptogamic careers of Sowter and Wade while both were still schoolboys. And further ties from schooldays included Barker and Stirling, who were both from the same district in Aberdeen and also at Cambridge together in the 1860s, at a time when Linton and Reader attended the same school as each other in Warwickshire. In the early 1920s, Aberystwyth had three members (Fry, Stephenson and Lloyd Williams), Leeds had four (Cheetham, as well as Pearsall, Priestley and Scott at the university), York had Burrell, Ingham, Mennell and Stansfield, and several members lived in London (e.g. Drabble, Gibbs and Horne all worked or studied at the Royal College of Science). It is also noticeable that Scottish members of the MEC (Lillie, MacVicar and Young) and their bryological contemporary Stirton originally came from comfortably placed middle-class families on the eastern side of the country. This tendency for British natural historians to originate from well-to-do bourgeoisie is discussed more fully in A Social and Biographical History of British and Irish Field-bryologists.
A much higher proportion of botanists who joined the MEC took interest in lichens than is so with bryologists of the early 21st century. Bagnall, Burrell, Cheetham, Dixon, Horwood, D.A. Jones, Knight, Lillie, Arthur Pearson, Reader, Rhodes, Travis, Walter Watson, Wheldon and Albert Wilson all studied lichens as well as bryophytes. Others took interest in fungi – Crossland, Eyre, Lett, Marriott, Arthur Pearson and Salmon.
Differing versions of the lists of MEC members were printed, some with names omitted from other versions pertaining to the same year. In addition, incorrect initials and first names occasionally crept into the lists of members, and I have not seen all membership lists for 1920-1922. It is therefore possible that I have inadvertently omitted some people who joined the MEC because I have not been able to consult all versions of the lists of members. I have also been unable to identify the full names and dates of birth and death of several members.

J. Huldrich Albrecht (1901-1971)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Albrecht was a Swiss bryologist. He resided at 12 Streatham Hill, London SW when he joined the BBS in 1930, and the following year he lived at Claygate, Surrey.

William Allen (1849-1903)
Member: 1898-1902

Bryological activity: exchanged 9 liverworts in 1898; nothing thereafter.

Herbarium:

Allen was born in Maidstone, Kent, the eldest of at least five children born to William Hart Allen (1813-1900, surgeon, dentist, and pharmaceutical chemist) and his wife Sarah (née Booth, c.1824). The family were living in Victoria, Australia in the late 1850s and early 1860s, but returned to England.


By 1871 Allen was an assistant in a shop – perhaps his father’s – in West Ham, London. In 1881 he was an unmarried chemist’s assistant in Swindon, Wiltshire. By the mid-1880s he had returned to West Ham, where he ran a chemist’s shop, and was married to Emily (née Hines, 1857-?1929). A son, William Harold, was born in 1886, followed by a daughter Emily in 1891-2.
Sometime after 1897, the Allens moved to Westham, Weymouth, Dorset, where William ran a grocer’s shop.

George Henry Allison (1862-1956)
Member: 1919-1956

Bryological activity: exchanged 28 mosses in 1919-20.

Herbarium: Kew and Lincoln Museum.
George was a son of Henry Allison (born 1827/8), a self-employed carpenter, joiner and wheelwright, and Frances (née Shaw, 1826). George was brought up at his parents’ shop and house in Waltham, Grimsby, and followed his father’s trade, becoming a carpenter and joiner. By 1924-6 his address was 65 Convamore Road, Grimsby, and in 1947 his address was c/o Mr Holderness, Home Farm, Ashby, Spilsby, Lincolnshire.

Kenneth Willway Allison (1894-1976)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Allison lived in New Zealand.

Pierre Allorge (1891-1944)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Allorge was a Parisian, and became Professor of Cryptogamic Botany at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle.
Allorge’s wife Valentine (1888-1977) was a noted bryologist.

Dr Jean Jules Amann (1859-1939)
Member: ?1921-???

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Amann lived in Lausanne, Switzerland, and joined the MEC in ?1921. His name disappeared from the list of members after 1924.

Heinrich Andres (1883-1970)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Andres was a teacher. Born in Bengel, after 1910 he taught at Bonn.

Eleonora Armitage (1865-1961)
Member: 1896-1961

Bryological activity:


Year

Mosses

Liverworts

1896

100 specimens

1897

82

26

1898

87

0

1899

28

24

TOTAL

197

50


Herbarium:
Miss Armitage was the MEC’s only founding lady member. She remained a prominent member of the MEC and subsequently of the BBS for the rest of her life, and is the subject of a separate ‘Bygone Bryologists’ article.

Louis Felix Henri Audcent (1875-1951)
Member: 1904

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Henri was a secondary school teacher at Bristol in 1911. He was a son of Louis Henri Audcent (1838-1881) and Helene Marie Pinot de Moire (c.1852-1879), daughter of Hippolyte H. Pinot de Moire (1820/1->1881, barrister and professor.
He married Henriette Marie Angele Ferney (1880/1-1966) in 1910.

Alice Sophia Bacon (1890-1957)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Mrs Bacon was born in London, a daughter of Thomas Baird Smart (1867-1947, iron moulder) and Sophia Alice (née England, 1867-1913). Alice married Samuel Bacon (born 1890) in Stepney, London in 1916, and secondly Henry A. Cooke at Brighton in 1951.
Alice was a mycologist. She lectured at Huddersfield Technical College from 1914 to 1920, and then at Brighton Technical College from 1920 to 1950 (cf. Miss Cottis, below).

James Eustace Bagnall (1830-1918)
Member: 1899-1918

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Bagnall is the subject of a separate ‘Bygone Bryologists’ article.

Anthony David Banwell (1917-<2012)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Banwell was a solicitor at Nottingham, and son of Sydney Edgar Banwell (1888-1935) and Doris (née Barker, 1893-1984). Doris was the daughter of Clement Barker, a Nottingham draper.

Thomas Barker (1838-1907)
Member: 1896-1907

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Barker is the subject of a separate ‘Bygone Bryologists’ article.

Ernest Francis Barnes (1880-1968)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Barnes was a son of William Barnes (1843-1886, banker and JP) and Jessie Annie (née Long, 1853-1946). He married Geraldine Catherine Ann Dening (1870-1950) in 1911, and lived in Throwleigh, Devon in 1935. In 1911 he was living on private means.

Albert William Bartlett (1875/6-1943)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
In 1911 Bartlett was a lecturer in botany at Sheffield University, and by the time he joined the BBS had moved to the university at Newcastle upon Tyne. He was born at Southall, Middlesex, a son of William Bartlett (1846-1912, surgeon and dentist) and Bertha (née Smith, 1845).

Ernest Bartling (1886/7-1938)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:

Edwin Bunting Bartram (1878-1964)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Bartram was a son of George W. Bartram and Clara E. (née Bunting). He married Eleanor Greene Britton.
Charlotte Beach (née Vaughan, 1832-1926)
Member: 1904-1907

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Charlotte was the eldest child of Stephen Vaughan (1809/10-1867), artist and designer, and Charlotte Mary (née Cattlin, 1808/9-1888). She married George Beach (1831/2-1908, ironmonger) in 1859. They had two sons: Ernest George (an artist in 1901) and Horace Ashley, who was a director in 1926.

Alfred Tennyson Beals (1870-1955)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium: New York Botanical Garden
Beals was a professional photographer of New York. In 1897 he married Jessie Tarbox […..], who was also a professional photographer. Later he married Marie Victoria [1889-….]. In 1925 he succeeded Chamberlain (see below) as secretary and treasurer of the Sullivant Moss Society.

Charles M. Bedford (???-???)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Bedford taught at Taunton School, Somerset in 1930. He was probably Charles Moxon Bedford (1887/8-1954), born at Nottingham, a son of James Bedford (1846/7-?1918, schoolteacher) and his wife Mary (born 1845/6, also a schoolteacher). He married Ethel Jane [….], who died in 1961.
Walter Watson (see below) also taught at Taunton School.

Thomas Henry Booth Bedford (1898-1961)
Member:

Bryological activity: studied the distribution of Seligeria in northern England.

Herbarium:
Bedford was a medical doctor, and was at the Medical School, Manchester University in 1935. He was born and died in Gildersome, Yorkshire, and married Olive Marjorie Holliday (1905-1997) in 1951.

Henry Beesley (1855-1925)
Member: 1902->1923

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Beesley was a railway clerk in 1901, living in Preston, Lancashire. He was born in Preston, the youngest of four children of William Beesley (b. 1824/5), a market gardener employing two men, and Elizabeth (b. 1825/6).
Beesley did not marry, and was residing at 55 Long Lane, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston in 1911 (with his unmarried elder sister Maria, who was acting as his housekeeper) and at the time of his death. He left estate valued at £17,000.
Beesley joined the MEC in 1902 and remained a member until >1923. He studied the bryoflora of the Isle of Man from 1902 until at least 1908 (Proceedings of the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquities Society 1 (1908): 164-5). See also Gasking and Hunter, below, for bryological connections with the Isle of Man.
He contributed …. to the exchange. Plants that he collected are held at Liverpool, Oxford, and more than 400 of his bryophytes are held at the National Museum and Gallery of Wales in Cardiff.

William Bellerby (1852-1936)
Member: 1904->1923

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Bellerby is the subject of a separate ‘Bygone Bryologists’ article.

Harry Bendorffe (or Bendorf, or Bendorff) (1892-1941)
Member: 1913->1923

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Bendorff was the sixth child of ten born to Jacob Henry Bendorffe (born 1858/9), a general labourer, and his wife Sarah Ann (née Kirwin, 1861-1932). Jacob Henry Bendorffe was a son of Henry Aaron Bendorffe (1801-1864) and Sarah (née Harding, c.1808-1883). Henry Aaron was born in Germany, and a musician in Manchester in 1861.
Harry was a core-maker for a moulder in 1911, and married Kathleen Adderley (1893-1940) in 1914. He lived at 9 Brundretts Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester when he joined the MEC in 1913, and at 4 Sedgeley Avenue, Prestwich, Manchester by 1915. His address was still the same in 1924, but thereafter he was not listed as a member of the BBS.

Arthur Bennett (1872/3-1941)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Bennett lived at Belle Vista, Upper Colwall, Malvern in the 1930s.

Richard de Gylpyn Benson (1856-1904)
Member: 1896-1904

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Benson is the subject of a separate ‘Bygone Bryologists’ article.

Miss Florence Bentham (1889-?1983)
Member: 1911->1914

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Florence Bentham was the youngest daughter of William Bentham (1843-1939) and Susannah (née Wilson, 1852). William Bentham was a chemist, druggist and stamp distributor at Whitworth, Co. Durham in 1871, 1891 and 1901.
Florence Bentham lived at The Towers, Scarborough when she joined the MEC in 1912, and this was still her address in 1959. She left the Club in 19… Other MEC members who lived in Scarborough were Helen Bruce, C.H. Fletcher and Ernest Horrell. Perhaps they knew and encouraged each other in their bryological interest. Miss Bentham went to Durham University, and qualified as a medical doctor in 1922. She lived at The Towers, Scarborough at least until 1959.

Mrs Ida M. Bentley (???-???)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Mrs Bentley lived at Northend, Ashford, Kent in 1927.

Denis Billing (1896-1975)
Member: 1920->1923

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Billing was the third child of Henry Charles (1866-1916 or 1923), a joiner of Fowey, Cornwall, and Marion (née Burton, 1864/5-1944). Henry Charles was a son of Pascoe Billing (1817/9-1885) and Catherine (née Moyse, 1826-1895). Marion was a daughter of Thomas Richard Burton (1830-1896) and Mary Ann Barnicoat (1826-1912). Denis joined the MEC in ?1921, when he was living at 8, Harbour View, Fowey, Cornwall. He was living at 6, Harbour View by 1926. Smitham (see below) also lived in Fowey, so perhaps they knew each other.

Reginald Canning Bindley (1845-1937)
Member: 1911

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Bindley was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, the fourth of ten children born to John Riles Bindley (1806/7-1892), a self-employed glue and leather manufacturer, and Harriet (née Wood, 1814/5-1894). John Riles Bindley was a son of John Bindley (1774-1862), a glue manufacturer, and Sarah (née Riles, 1777).
Reginald went up to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, graduating in 1869, after which he was curate at Dunham Massey in Cheshire (1870-2). From 1872 until 1930 he was vicar of Mickleover, Derbyshire. He was also chaplain to the Derby County Asylum from 1883 until 1913. In 1933 his address was the Old Grammar School, Market Drayton, Shropshire.
Bindley married Victoria Anne Trouncer, daughter of Thomas W. Trouncer (born 1777) in 1870; she died in 1899, aged 57. They had at least six children.
Bindley joined the MEC in 1911, but did not renew his subscription. He contributed …. to the exchange. His herbarium is at the National Museum and Gallery of Wales, Cardiff.

Robert William Bingham (1871/2-???)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Bingham was born in Belfast. In 1911 he was a schoolmaster living at the Sanatorium, Royal School, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland with his wife Annie (born 1869/70, Belfast) and four children Dorothea (born Dungannon, 1898/9), Norah (1899/1900), Edward William (1900/01) and Robert Porter (1902/3).

Charles Herbert Binstead (1862-1941)
Member: 1896-1941

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Binstead is the subject of a separate ‘Bygone Bryologists’ article.

George Birnie (c.1860-1941)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium: Aberdeen
Reverend Birnie was the minister at Speymouth, Fochabers, Morayshire. He was born at Boharm, Banffshire, a son of William Birnie (born 1799) and Helen (née Kemp, 1822). He married Margaret Dawson, and they had five children.

Joseph Blundell (???-???)
Member: 1917->1923

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Blundell lived at 29 Aldridge Road Villas, London W11 when he joined the MEC in 1918. He was still a member and living at the same address in 1923. A Joseph Blundell was elected to the Quekett Microscopical Club in 1876.

Antonio Joseph Smith Bodoano (1867-1947)
Member: 1903

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Bodoano joined the MEC in 1903, and was managing clerk to a shipping merchant in 1911. He married Ellen Catherine Daniel (1870-1949) in 1896; they had nine children.

Adam Boros (1900-1973)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium: Budapest Museum
Boros was a prominent Hungarian bryologist. He also collected bryophytes in Austria.

Thomas Leonard C. Bottomley (1880/1-1959)
Member:

Bryological activity:

Herbarium:
Bottomley was born and died in Sheffield. He was a cash clerk in 1911. His father Leonard Bottomley (born 1854/5 at Staveley, Derbyshire) was a stone-mason, and married Sarah Clarke (born 1852/3 at Blythe, Nottinghamshire).
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