Regionalizing Science: Placing Knowledges in Victorial England (Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century)

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Regionalizing Science: Placing Knowledges in Victorial England (Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century)

REGIONALIZING SCIENCE: PLACING KNOWLEDGES IN VICTORIAN ENGLAND Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century Series Ed

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REGIONALIZING SCIENCE: PLACING KNOWLEDGES IN VICTORIAN ENGLAND

Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century Series Editor: Bernard Lightman Titles in this Series 1 Styles of Reasoning in the British Life Sciences: Shared Assumptions, 1820–1858 James Elwick 2 Recreating Newton: Newtonian Biography and the Making of NineteenthCentury History of Science Rebekah Higgitt 3 The Transit of Venus Enterprise in Victorian Britain Jessica Ratcliff 4 Science and Eccentricity: Collecting, Writing and Performing Science for Early Nineteenth-Century Audiences Victoria Carroll 5 Typhoid in Uppingham: Analysis of a Victorian Town and School in Crisis, 1875–1877 Nigel Richardson 6 Medicine and Modernism: A Biography of Sir Henry Head L. S. Jacyna 7 Domesticating Electricity: Expertise, Uncertainty and Gender, 1880–1914 Graeme Gooday 8 James Watt, Chemist: Understanding the Origins of the Steam Age David Philip Miller

9 Natural History Societies and Civic Culture in Victorian Scotland Diarmid A. Finnegan 10 Communities of Science in Nineteenth-Century Ireland Juliana Adelman

www.pickeringchatto.com/scienceculture

REGIONALIZING SCIENCE: PLACING KNOWLEDGES IN VICTORIAN ENGLAND

by Simon Naylor

london PICKERING & CHATTO 2010

Published by Pickering & Chatto (Publishers) Limited 21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH 2252 Ridge Road, Brookfield, Vermont 05036-9704, USA www.pickeringchatto.com All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior permission of the publisher. © Pickering & Chatto (Publishers) Ltd 2010 © Simon Naylor 2010 british library cataloguing in publication data Naylor, Simon. Regionalizing science: placing knowledges in Victorian England. – (Science and culture in the nineteenth century) 1. Cornwall (England: County) – Historical geography. 2. Science – Social aspects – England – Cornwall (County) – History – 19th century. I. Title II. Series 306.4’5’094237’09034–dc22 ISBN-13: 9781851966363 e: 9781851966790



This publication is printed on acid-free paper that conforms to the American National Standard for the Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials. Typeset by Pickering & Chatto (Publishers) Limited Printed in Great Britain at MPG Books Group, Bodmin and King’s Lynn

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements List of Figures

ix xiii

Introduction: A Biography of a Scientific Region 1 Confined to a Small Round 2 Healthy Recreation and Headwork 3 The Sweet Road to Improvement 4 The Depths of the Billows 5 A Large Natural Greenhouse of England 6 More Facts, More Remains 7 A Furious Tempest Conclusion

1 13 39 59 81 101 125 149 171

Notes Works Cited Index

183 217 237

For my grandparents, Avice and Stanley, Ernest and Jackie.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This book has been a decade in the production. Along the way, versions of some of the material included in it have appeared in published journal articles. I am grateful to the publishers who have allowed me to reproduce some of the material in this book. Parts of Chapter 3 are drawn from my article ‘The Field, the Museum, and the Lecture Hall: the Spaces of Natural History in Victorian Cornwall’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 27 (2002), pp. 494–513, published by Wiley-Blackwell. The material in chapter five that relates to Jonathan Couch was part of my article ‘Writing the region: Jonathan Couch and the Cornish Fauna’, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 30 (2005), pp. 33–46, published by Maney. Portions of Chapter 6 appeared in my article ‘Provincial Authorities and Botanical Provinces: Elizabeth Warren’s Hortus Siccus of the Indigenous Plants of Cornwall’, Garden History, 35, Supplement 2 (2007), pp. 84–95, published by the Garden History Society. Bits and pieces of Chapter 7 formed the basis of my article ‘Collecting Quoits: Field cultures in the history of Cornish antiquarianism’, Cultural Geographies, 10 (2003), pp. 309–33, published by Sage. Finally, Chapter 8 pulls on my article ‘Nationalising Provincial Weather: Meteorology in Nineteenth-Century Cornwall’, British Journal for the History of Science, 39 (2006), pp. 1–27, published by Cambridge University Press. A good number of libraries and archives have helped me in my research and allowed me to reproduce their material. Thank you to the librarians and archivists at the Courtney Library, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro (especially Angela Broome and Sara Chambers); the Cornwall Record Office, Truro; the Meteorological Office, Exeter; the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth; Cambridge University Library, Cambridge; the British Library, London; the Botany and the Zoology libraries of the Natural History Museum, London; the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew; and the Blacker-Wood Library, McGill University, Canada. Thank you also to the staff and members of the Royal Cornwall Geological Society, Penzance, and the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, Falmouth, for allowing me such liberal access to their own archives. Lastly I must say an especial thank you to the staff and members of the Morrab Library, Penzance, and

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to Annabel Read and Jan Ruhrmund in particular. More than anywhere else, the Morrab Library inspired and sustained this book. If you have not yet visited it, go right now. You can borrow my bicycle. The first stage of this research was supported by several grants – from the Institute of Cornish Studies, and from the British Academy. It is very unlikely that this book would have been produced if it had not been for this financial support, so thank you. Friends and colleagues have also supported this project in a variety of invaluable ways, and again, this book would not have been realized without their help and encouragement. I really appreciate the opportunities I was given to present portions of my research to various departmental seminars, as public lectures and in conference sessions and I value the feedback I received. This book gradually gathered its material and ideas during academic lectureships at the University of Bristol and the University of Exeter. Colleagues at both institutions provided encouragement and asked difficult questions at just the right moments. There are too many of you to name in person. In retrospect I was being rather reckless when I took on the task of writing five histories of science, when most historians stick at one. That I have gotten as far as I have is due to the support I have received from a number of people. So thank you to Leucha Veneer and Jim Secord for your advice on Cornish geology, and additionally to Jim for encouraging me to think about the connections between Cornish science and the Cornish gentry. Thank you to Sam Alberti, David Allen, Laura Cameron, Paul Elliott, Beryl Hartley, Anne Secord, Andrew Symons and Charles Watkins for helping me with my histories of natural history; to Denis Cosgrove, Steven Daniels and Pamela Smith for your advice on antiquarianism; and to Georgina Endfield, Vladimir Janković and Mark Whitehead for your thoughts on meteorology. Aileen Fyfe, Diarmid Finnegan, Sally Kohlstedt, David Lambert, Fraser MacDonald, David Matless and Simon Schaffer have all helped me to articulate my thoughts on the historical geographies of science. David Livingstone and Charlie Withers have supported this project from inception to conclusion. I am deeply grateful to them both. A few final idiosyncratic thank yous: Caitlin DeSilvey provided sound and calming advice when I was fretting about the book’s conclusion, as we drove west over Bodmin Moor one late afternoon. James Ryan kindly offered to read portions of an early manuscript and then went away, read the whole thing and provided invaluable feedback on the lot. He also drank innumerable cups of my over-strong coffee without complaint and listened patiently to my anxieties and ideas as he did so. Hayden Lorimer has also listened, given advice, and made me laugh, but rather than over coffee these moments have usually occurred in a pub or during the subsequent early-morning hangover-busting runs. Two anonymous referees and Bernard Lightman have also read and given invaluable feedback on early versions of this book. Thank you to all three, and especially to Bernie for his

Acknowledgements

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constant encouragement – and non-negotiable deadlines – throughout. Mark Pollard at Pickering and Chatto has been very helpful at getting the manuscipt into production and print. Shaun, Mark and Dylan have put up with – indeed, have actively taken advantage of – my general brain-numbness during the final months of this project when we’ve met of an evening to play board games. They have also helped me to keep smiling. I must thank Stella Turk for her support, for the use of her extraordinary library, for the walks in her garden, and of course to both her and her companion Rose for the cups of tea and slices of sponge cake. Stella’s husband Frank died well before I ever thought of this project, but his 1959 paper on the history of Cornish natural history was a key inspiration for this book. I hope that he might have found some value in my own research. My parents Keith and Liz have jointly played the part of hotelier, caterer and landlord during much of this project. In lieu of payment, would a copy of this book and a crate of Betty Stoggs ale do? Lastly, I must thank Larissa. It is amazing to think that this project began at around the same time as we got married. She has put up with a lot along the way and done so with great good humour. She is my very own natural historian.

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure I.1. Map of Cornwall. From Cooke’s 1829 A Topographical and Statistical Description of the County of Cornwall. 8 Figure 1.1. Portrait of William Borlase. From the Minute Books of the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society. By permission of the Morrab Library, Penzance. 18 Figure 2.1. The Public Buildings, Penzance. From The Official Guide to Penzance, 1887. 41 Figure 2.2. Hand-drawn poster advertising a PNHAS conversazione, 16 February 1883. From the Minute Books of the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society. By permission of the Morrab Library, Penzance. 46 Figure 2.3. Catalogue of the 1882 Penzance Scientific and Industrial Exhibition. By permission of the Morrab Library, Penzance. 52 Figure 3.1. Henry S. Boase’s 1832 Geological Map of Cornwall. From the Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall. 58 Figure 3.2. John Forbes’s 1822 Map of the Land’s End District. From the Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall. 64 Figure 3.3. Joseph Carne’s 1822 Map of the Parish of St Just, Cornwall. From the Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall. 66 Figure 4.1. Jonathan Couch, examining the tusk of an African Babiroussa, or wild boar. Taken at Trelawne, Pelynt, Cornwall by Lewis Harding in October 1856. By permission of the Royal Institution of Cornwall. 86 Figure 4.2. Couch’s sketch of a sea trout, undated. By permission of the Linnean Society of London. 93 Figure 4.3. Rupert Vallentin’s map of St Ives Bay. From Vallentin’s ‘The Fauna of St Ives Bay, Cornwall’. 96 Figure 5.1. Stations at which specimens were collected for the Hortus Siccus. 108 Figure 5.2. Number of specimens collected at each station by Elizabeth Warren. 108

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Figure 5.3. Portrait of John Ralfs. From Davy’s The Flora of Cornwall. Figure 6.1. Plan, section and details of the ‘Nine Maidens’ stone circle, Boscawen-Un, Buryan. From Lukis’s The Prehistoric Stone Monuments of the British Isles: Cornwall (1885). Figure 6.2. The Men-An-Tol, Bossullow Downs, ‘Surveyed and Drawn by C. W. Dymond, 22nd August 1876’. From Dymond’s paper in the Journal of the British Archaeological Association (1877). Figure 6.3. Photograph with antiquities in foreground and tin mine in the background. From Peter’s 1895 ‘The Exploration of Carn Brea’. Figure 6.4. ‘Map of the Land’s-End District. Shewing the Antiquities comprised in two days excursion’. Drawn by John Blight and published in Archaeologia Cambrensis (1862). Figure 7.1. Map of stations associated with the Meteorological Office. From the Annual Reports of the Meteorological Council, 1881. Figure 7.2. The Beckley Rain Gauge. From Anon., ‘Description of a SelfRecording Rain Gauge’, Report of the RCPS (1869). Figure 7.3. The second Falmouth Observatory. Frontispiece to The FiftyThird Annual Report of the RCPS, 1885.

121

135

138 139

145 159 161 166

INTRODUCTION: A BIOGRAPHY OF A SCIENTIFIC REGION

One important meaning of the scientific ideal is an aspiration to escape the bounds of locality and culture.1

There has emerged over recent years a significant corpus of literature that has demonstrated the profoundly spatial nature of the scientific enterprise.2 Opposed to the general perception that science is placeless (a sentiment summarized by Porter, above), this work has sought to expose science as something utterly grounded in its social and spatial, not to mention temporal, political and economic contexts. In doing so, it has also engaged with the elevated epistemological position science has fashioned for itself, by suggesting that it should be treated like any other form of knowledge: that is, as ‘a cultural formation, embedded in wider networks of social relations and political power, and shaped by the local environments in which its practitioners carry out their tasks’.3 Developing this argument further, Livingstone notes that scientific knowledge is made in many different places and asks: Does it matter where? Can the location of scientific endeavour make any difference to the conduct of science? And even more important, can it affect the content of science? In my view the answer to these questions is yes.4

Livingstone’s viewpoint is shared by others. Commentators have pointed out a host of geographies that run through science, including those of site, place, space and region; network, trace, travel and movement; and survey, map, cartography, nation, territory and border.5 There have admittedly been some reservations expressed about this approach to the study of science. For instance, Shapin takes issue with the tendency as he sees it to treat geography as a ‘factor’ – in similar manner to cultural values, gender or national identity say – that can come into play to influence the development of science.6 Rather than something that might influence the progress of scientific knowledge, Shapin asserts that space must always be a ‘necessary condition for there to be such a thing as science’. In other words, geography, –1–

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‘like temporality or embodiment’ is a necessary prerequisite for science to even take place at all. To claim then that science has a geography is perhaps obvious and unexceptional. ‘Where else could science take place but in places’ queries Shapin, ‘and how else could it travel but across spaces?’7 Shapin’s observation is far from a dismissal of a historical geography of science. While he asserts that geography should be viewed as ubiquitous to life in general and science in particular, he also argues that it is entirely possible to apprehend science from a geographical perspective. Demonstrating that science can be understood geographically should therefore not be viewed as an end in itself, but as the basis upon which rich stories can be built. A historical geography of science is a partial perspective on science but is nonetheless one that can shed light on certain aspects of its lifeworld. The next section will consider recent scholarship in turn, beginning with studies that have concentrated on the places of science, before moving on to studies of the movement of science, and then the cartographies of science.

Placing Science ‘Place’ as a term would seem simple to define. In fact, its simplicity is deceptive and has actually preoccupied geographers for a number of years now.8 If, for the benefit of this book, we use it to refer most straightforwardly to a ‘local setting’ or a ‘circumscribed locality’, and then consider it in terms only of scientific activities, we find that it can still refer to an almost unimaginable number of examples.9 There are places in which scientific knowledge is produced, such as laboratories and scientific institutions, palaces and academies. There are places where scientific information is collected, such as observatories and field stations; the vast array of habitats that contain things worthy of observation; not to mention the human body itself, which as Humboldt famously showed, is a good receptor of natural processes. There are also places where scientific information is reorganized, disseminated and received, like museums, exhibitions, lecture halls, classrooms, coffeehouses and drawing rooms.10 The study of science at its most local and intimate has been justified in a number of ways. For instance, Withers has argued that ‘only in local context could one see how far the nature of science was consequential upon the social relations at work there, and not elsewhere – or anywhere else’.11 Shapin’s landmark study of the experimental work of the Royal Society of London does just this, where he shows that access to and participation in its experiments ‘was achieved in a highly informal manner, through the tacit system of recognition, rights, and expectations that operated in the wider society of gentlemen’.12 The study of science in place also presents us with the opportunity to recover the actions and voices of those otherwise only faintly recorded in, lost to or even

Introduction

3

excised from the historical record. Taking inspiration from work in postcolonial studies, historians and geographers of science have inquired into localities such as public houses, provincial scientific societies, fieldsites, drawing rooms, and even the laboratories of the famous, only to find a supporting cast of actors whose scientific abilities and influence were often far beyond their social standing – think for instance of the artisanal botanists in the northwest of England; the women involved in running astrophysical observatories; the silent technicians who ran the experiments at the Royal Society of London, or colonial collectors who supplied Kew Gardens with many of its plant specimens.13 In a similar vein, such geographically fine-grained analysis helps us to gain a better appreciation of the otherwise mute audiences for science – those who listened to lectures, attended exhibitions and visited museums, for instance. By paying attention to the history of a particular exhibition, a particular museum, or to the way an idea or a book was received in a particular place, we can often in turn pick out responses to those events that would otherwise be drowned out in more general historical surveys.14 Studying science in place doesn’t just track from the former to the latter of course. It is not always the case that science only exerts its influence onto place; places also affect science and how it is received. As work on the reception of Darwinism has shown, some places accept scientific ideas and others reject them, and for a complex set of reasons, from politics to religion to imperialism.15 Science can also find itself part of the way in which place identities are constructed and contested, while places can also have a strong pull on a scientist’s work. As De Bont notes, place ‘plays a role in orienting the scientist towards a particular type of research and to a particular use of the spaces at his disposal’, such that they ‘can be “led” in various directions depending on the “ecologies” in which they work’.16 To borrow a term from Pearson it is probably fair to note that many historical geographers have, in their obsession with place, become ‘enthralled by the “lure of the local”’.17 This is certainly not peculiar to historical geography. Secord has argued that microhistory, modelled on the anthropological notion of ‘thick description’, has become the foundation of cultural history and to work in the history of science in particular. Although not antithetical to this, Secord does warn that the localization of culture has a tendency to become an end in itself rather than a method of analysis – in other words, that demonstrating the local-ness of things is seen as a reasonable outcome of research rather than a historiographical position that undergirds it. The result? For Secord at least, ‘that we end up with a rich array of research that somehow adds up to less than the sum of its parts’.18 In support of this, Harris has suggested that microhistories run the risk of being unacquainted with scientific practices that extended beyond the laboratory, court, or academy.19

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While the spectre of parochialism surely haunts some work, geographers and historians have been careful to assert that studies of circumscribed localities, or indeed of individual events, can provide ‘a different way of investigating the ‘big questions’ surrounding process and structures’.20 Put differently, but with a similar point in mind, Finnegan argues that the ‘the local and regional are not fixed points or bounded territories but rather instantiations of wider networks and flows’; while Driver and Samuel suggest that we treat places as ‘not so much singular points as constellations, the product of all sorts of social relations which cut across particular locations in a multiplicity of ways’.21 Any good historical geography of science should therefore assume that place can only be satisfactorily understood in the context of much wider forces acting upon and through it – social forces, but also economic, political, and cultural ones too. Even the most fine-grained of historical geographies should also remember that places function – indeed are actively constituted – in relation to many other places.

Geographies of Movement The consideration of place within a broader spatial economy is important for the simple reason that things move, whether they be people, ideas or objects. This point is particularly relevant to the study of science; an enterprise that has staked its very credibility on its ability to reach across space and ultimately to be universal in its extent. As Barry has put it, the ‘power of a scientific argument or a measurement is not determined by its truth, but rather judged in terms of its capacity to act across space and time – to mobilize a network of social and technical actors’.22 This is not to say that science labours to project itself as some sort of ‘ordered totality’ over society and space; it operates rather ‘in terms of more localized entities’ where the aim is to reproduce itself across these myriad points in its network.23 In other words, science extends itself out from a single point by replicating itself in other places. The success of science depends entirely on its ability to ensure that procedures and findings from one place can be produced elsewhere. This is of course much less simple than it sounds and requires no less than the establishment of precision, the replication of instrumentation, the regulation of techniques of observation, and the standardization of measurement and experimentation. In turn, the information that instruments help collect has to be performed in an accepted, standardized form, so that one data set can be compared to another from another locality; so that, in short, knowledge can circulate more freely. Barry argues that ‘effective long-distance communication required both measurement of the properties of objects, and the management and training of operatives and engineers who could be relied upon to carry out their work at a long distance from the centre’.24

Introduction

5

Excellent empirical studies have been conducted into the interconnection of otherwise separate spaces of science. There have been a good number on the standardization of instruments and their dissemination out to myriad observation points. Golinski, for instance, traces the development of instruments from objects of investigation in themselves to tools that can be taken for granted and ‘employed together with other instruments in complex systems that configure objects so as to make them available for observation and manipulation’.25 Others have considered the reorganization of information such that it can be moved easily from site to site. Porter, for instance, points to the significance of quantification as key to the movement of knowledge, as it ‘promotes the fixing of conventions, the creation of stable entities that can be deployed across great distances’.26 Meanwhile, Schaffer has studied the invention of the metrological tradition in the immediate aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars – the ‘construction of reliable common standards of measurement’ that were ‘supposed to allow science more effortlessly to escape the trammels of interest and judgement’.27 Of course even metrology – perhaps the ultimate example of the attempt to create universal values – was not removed from local circumstance. Schaffer notes that ‘the issue of place was crucial’ in the determination of metrological standards.28 Where was the best location for a standards site? Where should standards trials be performed? How should standards be carried out into the wider world? How should society deal with the co-presence of contradictory standards, as was the case with the British imperial yard and the French republican metre? And what about dealing with the inadvertent destruction of standards? Questions such as these effectively highlight the very local nature of measurement, a factor most obvious when things go awry. Indeed, it is often when things don’t work as they should that we can see the operations of science most clearly – as a form of local craft knowledge that works by persuading other people in other places to organize their practices in an identical fashion. As Livingstone so succinctly puts it: ‘What looks like the universalism of science – its seemingly problem-free transferability from one arena to another – turns out to have much to do with the replicating, standardizing, or customizing of local procedure’.29 Science’s project to replicate itself across space doesn’t just have to consider the transplantation of the tools of its trade – the instruments, infrastructure, technicians, and so on – but also the audiences for its work. Scientific ideas have to be disseminated, either orally, visually or textually. Just like everything else, audiences have geographies too and it matters where ideas are received. Where a book is read or where a talk is heard, for instance, will have profound implications for how it is understood. In his analysis of the anonymous publication and reception of the controversial and sensational Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, Secord notes that reading and the culture of print were central to civic identity for most towns of any size in Victorian Britain, and that the burgeoning

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railway network moved books, periodicals and newspapers out from centres of publication to the provinces in a matter of hours. However, Secord also argues that the reception of these texts was resolutely local and not simply the case of a metropolitan view being imposed upon and taken up by provincial audiences. For instance, ‘It took just six hours for books to reach Liverpool from London by train, but they were read differently when they arrived; in the case of an anonymous work, even the suspected author could change’.30 A similar point has also been made for the audiences of the many scientific lectures and exhibitions that were available across nineteenth century Britain: Morus has argued that what mattered for an audience’s appreciation of science and its epistemological status was ‘quite literally the geographic (and therefore cultural) locations of the places where they took place’.31 What was a quite reasonable claim in one place was quite literally unthinkable in another.

Cartographies of Science The majority of studies into science’s geographies are preoccupied with the material sites in which scientific knowledge has been made, moved and received. However, it is also possible to consider scientific ideas themselves from a geographical perspective. How, for instance, do particular scientific ideas embody different spatial preconceptions? How has science produced particular understandings of space as a quantity found in nature? How have particular spaces and spatialities impacted upon the formulation of scientific theories? The case of Enlightenment naturalist Alexander von Humboldt offers a good illustration of the pertinence of some of these questions. Humboldt has become famous for his emphasis on both empirical measurement and the generation of universal laws of nature. In particular he was a strong advocate for the use of mapping technologies to bring out natural commonalities. To facilitate his investigations Humboldt pioneered the isoline technique of cartography, enclosing and joining areas of equal value, whether pertaining to barometric pressure, temperature or vegetation type.32 These lines were the product of averaging and interpolation; the drawing of which ‘constituted an act of faith in both the physical “co-operation of forces” and in the emergence of global order out of local averages’.33 As such, isolines and the notion of equilibrium they supported ‘prescribed a particular organization and dynamic of science’.34 In other words, isolines – a technology with a geographical end itself – carried within themselves rules for the progress of Humboldt’s scientific agenda. Not only did Humboldt’s scientific practices embody spatial presuppositions, they also helped observers to consider the world through a geographical lens. Camerini makes an associative point in her analysis of the role of maps in debates over evolution and biogeography in the mid-nineteenth century. She

Introduction

7

notes that in their struggles to demonstrate the existence of faunal provinces, Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace made use of maps as mental tools as well as representational devices. ‘Darwin’, Camerini claims, ‘employed the idea of regions as a conceptual scaffolding for a complex combination of geological, biological, and geographical phenomena’, while for Wallace, ‘the map, a pictorial metaphor, served as a unifying framework for disparate information about insect, bird, and mammalian forms in their respective locations’.35 Wallace became famous for depicting and dividing the Asian and Australian biotas with a single line that became known as ‘Wallace’s line’. Here he followed a trend to employ mapping techniques as tools in debates about the origins and distribution of animal and plant life. By Wallace’s day, a whole range of geographical terms were available to the naturalist: ‘new terms, such as isotherms, life zones, plant community, vegetation assemblage, and species range, gave additional evidence of the increasing role of map-based concepts in the study of geographical distribution’.36 Other terms were borrowed from geo-political and political-arithmetic thinking: animal and plant units existed as ‘nations’, ‘states’, ‘provinces’ and ‘kingdoms’, occupied ‘stations’ and ‘outposts’ and could even be ‘natives’ or ‘colonists’. ‘This was’, Browne notes, ‘the muscular language of expansionist power’.37 As such then, whilst nineteenth-century naturalists claimed to identify distinct geographies in the chaos of nature, so too did they impose their own political geographical preoccupations on the natural world. In other instances naturalists blurred the natural and the political by following political boundaries in the formation of regional units for the mapping of nature. In turn, geologists routinely used maps to show the geographies of stratigraphy, but in doing so also laid claim to their own intellectual territories.

Regionalizing Science It has been demonstrated here that science has a diversity of historical geographies – whether they be tangible places like a museum, or spaces that are acts of the imagination, such as those we find on a map. Clearly there is also now enough evidence to support the claim that a historical-geographical approach to the study of science has some significant historiographical benefits. The final section of this introduction will relate this general discussion more fully to the theme of this book in particular. The geographical focus of this book is on Cornwall, the most south-westerly county of England (Figure I.1). In line with earlier comments, much of the analysis in the following chapters will be concerned with the myriad places in which Cornish science was practised – its scientific museums, lecture halls, exhibitions, observatories, gardens and fieldsites. The book will also trace out the

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Figure I.1. Map of Cornwall. From Cooke’s 1829 A Topographical and Statistical Description of the County of Cornwall.

Introduction

9

complex relations between those places and others beyond the county boundary – it will ask how arguments and ideas, instruments and regulations, people and personalities moved from institutions beyond Cornwall, and helped promote, and sometimes retard, scientific conduct within the county. Traffic in the other direction will also be central to the discussion. Cornwall is not treated here simply as a container for a diverse array of sites in which science was conducted; the region itself is the object of analysis too. Choosing to focus on this geographical scale is no accident. Indeed, in doing so this volume will address a lacuna in studies of the historical geographies of science. As Secord and Harris have already told us, there is a preponderance of studies that focus on the micro-scale. There are also those studies that consider science at a general epistemological level – what we might refer to as the global or mesoscale. Studies that operate at the intermediate scales of the region or nation are much less common (even if many are framed in terms of the latter – think of the frequency with which terms such as ‘English science’ or the ‘Scottish Enlightenment’ are uncritically invoked).38 As Finnegan warns us, ‘concentrating on the movement between the local and the global may miss the ways in which science becomes entangled with national concerns or regional identities’.39 In his own book-length support for historical geographies of science, Livingstone notes that all sorts of processes operate at the regional level: particular technical and theoretical innovations are variously promoted and impeded; warrant and trustworthiness are understood and achieved in different ways; and scientific knowledge is appropriated according to particular senses of self-understanding and put to different uses. Asking ‘Just how regional and subregional factors have conditioned the production and consumption of scientific knowledge, the way it was received in different places, and how science has expressed or channelled local loyalties’, therefore become vital questions when we choose to consider the region as the locus of our investigations.40 This is not to say that the region should be treated as a stable, fixed and immutable context in which science happens; rather, following Finnegan, it is an approach ‘that analyses rather than assumes the boundaries and character of different regional spaces’.41 In other words, it asks how scientific practices and representations actively articulated the region as an object of study, and continued to shape and re-shape it in response to changing theories and agendas. Figure I.1, taken from an 1829 guidebook to Cornwall, is an appropriate map to support this section and this point, given the way that it consciously defamiliarized the region’s geography by turning Cornwall 90 degrees out of its usual orientation.42 This approach to the region takes seriously the terms within which individuals and institutions operated in nineteenth-century Britain, and the things that they valued. As this study will show, the region was a very meaningful entity for many, even if such loyalty was often sniffed at by metropolitan actors. The

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county in particular had long-running historical, political and cultural significance, which inflected everything from industry to ideas; from politics to religion. Counties also had an everyday significance to the lives of their inhabitants, defining boundaries big enough for entire lives to be lived out in, but where journeys from one edge to another could be made in a day or so. If we really want to deepen our understanding of what science meant to its nineteenth-century practitioners across Britain then it is critical that we pay attention to the geographical (and hence social and cultural) contexts that were meaningful to them, rather than only to the contexts that metropolitan savants asserted were important, or, even worse, to those contexts that are most significant to us now. We might justify the study of science in Cornwall in particular on the basis that it allows us to reflect more generally on the role of the region in the history of science – that it can, in other words, act as a useful case-study for other processes going on elsewhere. It is, after all, the most well-defined and easily delimited of all the English counties, with only one administrative border (with Devon). However, this study can hopefully also be justified on a more singular basis. As this book will show, Cornwall had a very significant impact on the fortunes of science in nineteenth-century Britain. It produced important scientific figures like William Borlase, John Stackhouse, Humphrey Davy, Davies Gilbert, and John Couch Adams. It established some of the earliest scientific societies in Britain; it entertained some of the most prominent scientific luminaries of the age, who came to conduct fieldwork and to speak at Cornish societies. Cornwall was also an important centre of Britain’s industrial revolution and a centre of mechanical innovation, particularly in relation to mining. Lastly, the county played host to a diverse array of plants and animals, due to its extensive coastline and mild climate; was covered in well-preserved prehistoric monuments; had some unusual, not to mention economically valuable, geological features; and was often the first place on mainland Britain to experience the prevailing weather that rolled in off the Atlantic. This book provides a history of their study. In fact it is, more than anything else, a biography of a scientific region. Like any good biography, it provides a fine-grained examination of its subject on its own terms, while assuming that it was also shaped by a set of wider processes and contexts.

A Brief Summary of Themes The second and third chapters of this volume provide a set of historical contexts that are relevant to Chapters 3 to 7. Chapter 1 discusses the significance of the work of the Rev. William Borlase in Cornwall in the eighteenth century for that carried out in the following century; Cornwall’s early industrialization and its effects on the region’s economic prospects and social composition; and the way in which a burgeoning associational scientific culture in Britain was taken up

Introduction

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in Cornwall. Chapter 2 continues the theme and examines the historical geographies of associational science in Cornwall. It pays particular attention to the museum; the conversazione; the exhibition; and the field-excursion. In a somewhat different manner, each of Chapters 3 to 7 are organized around one particular scientific enterprise as it was pursued in Cornwall: Geology; zoology; botany; antiquarianism; and finally meteorology. There is obviously no one way of organizing a history of science. However, an account that foregrounds scientific knowledges (rather than, say, scientific practices) allows us to see clearly the trajectories of debates in particular fields of inquiry as they were conducted in place – a vista that would otherwise be lost to us if we assumed a different viewing point. The order in which this suite of chapters has been placed is also not coincidental, moving as it does from considerations of the subterranean, to treatments of land and sea, to a contemplation of the sky. It is also appropriate that we should start with geology, given that this was the first field of inquiry in Cornwall to be institutionalized. There are three broad sets of questions that run through this volume and all are addressed in some way in each of the individual chapters. The first asks: What role did science play in the making of place, landscape and region in the nineteenth century? How did particular scientific enterprises actively construct strong ideas of the region through the production of maps, the use of photography and drawings, the pursuit of geographically organized collections, and the layout of museum displays, for instance? Who were the intended audiences for these geographical presentiments and how did science cater, or not, for different constituencies? Also: what role did various material sites play in the furtherance of science in the region? And finally: How did appreciations of the role of the region change across the course of the nineteenth century? To help us answer this, Chapter 1 looks at how place and region were understood and valued in the eighteenth century, so that nineteenth-century arguments can be thrown into some relief. The second question asks: How did science operate in provincial Victorian society? This is tackled in a variety of ways. Individual chapters examine the social contours of particular scientific inquiries and the roles of different social and gender groups in the formation of regional scientific cultures. How was expertise and authority achieved, not to mention undermined, in different scientific fields through negotiation with both local practitioners and those from other places, particularly the metropolis? In turn, how were practices and reputations shaped through interventions from national authorities operating far from Cornwall? In line with one of the questions posed in the previous paragraph, how did the role and significance of regional science change in relation to the wider scientific scene in Britain through the course of the nineteenth century?

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The third question is: What roles did science play in wider society in the region? Individual chapters trace out the way particular scientific knowledges and practices were presented and put to use. They consider exactly when and where science was presumed to – and actually sometimes did – play a role in a host of enterprises. These included education; entertainment; mining and manufacturing; the improvement of soil and land; the promotion of local and regional forms of patriotism and belonging; and the promotion of landscape and artefact preservation. How in turn did these agendas shape science? These three questions provide the framework upon which this biography of Cornwall as a scientific region is constructed. They will also enable me to support and substantiate Livingstone’s contention as laid out above: that science is ‘a cultural formation, embedded in wider networks of social relations and political power, and shaped by the local environments in which its practitioners carry out their tasks’. It made a difference that the scientific knowledge discussed in the following chapters was produced in Cornwall and not elsewhere, and this book shows us how.

1 CONFINED TO A SMALL ROUND

This account of the historical geographies of science in nineteenth-century Cornwall begins, perhaps surprisingly, in 1728. In February of that year a young rector by the name of William Borlase made a chance discovery of a bronze-age urn in a barrow on Castle-an-Dinas hill in his own parish of Ludgvan, near Penzance, in west Cornwall. He duly reported this find to Thomas Tonkin, a local antiquary. This discovery awakened Borlase’s interest in the cultural and natural histories of his own county – an interest he pursued until his death in 1772 – and that impelled him to seek connections with persons of similar interests.1 Borlase has since become an emblem for a particular sort of provincial scholar – often referred to as the ‘clerical naturalist’ – in eighteenth-century England, as well as, in some fields of inquiry at least, a figure who was at the forefront of scientific debates at a national level. At a county level it has been argued that Borlase was really the only person who was pursuing intellectual inquiry to any serious degree in mid-eighteenthcentury Cornwall and by extension has been positioned as the progenitor of science in nineteenth-century Cornwall. Whether this latter claim is actually true is not of concern here. The fact that researchers in the fields of meteorology, natural history, antiquarianism and geology in nineteenth-century Cornwall all saw Borlase as their intellectual forefather means that it is imperative that he is introduced here. It is also useful to begin with Borlase because the agendas he set with regards to the operations of science in the provinces as well as to the scientific study of place were markedly different to those that were pursued in mid-to-late nineteenth-century Cornwall. In other words, Borlase helps us to reflect on the particular ways in which science in Victorian Cornwall was carried out. This chapter begins by discussing the provincial ‘clerical naturalists’ of the eighteenth century and their motivation for conducting studies of their home counties and the means by which they did so. It then considers Borlase in more depth and provides an account of his scientific studies into geology, antiquities, natural history and meteorology as well as of the local and national correspondence networks upon which he relied to further his work. The chapter then – 13 –

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outlines the more general economic, political and social conditions in Cornwall during and after Borlase’s life, until the end of the century, before concluding with a discussion of the origins and development of associational science in Britain and in Cornwall in particular.

The Clerical Naturalist in Eighteenth-Century England In the eighteenth century, unless someone with intellectual leanings was lucky enough to be born into a large city like London, Edinburgh or Birmingham, the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge or somewhere fashionable like Bath, they were very likely doomed to spend much of their scholarly life in isolation from their peers and with no access to a library or a museum – unless of course they possessed the wealth to build their own or the connections to make use of those who did. And yet the remarkable thing is that scholarship did actually flourish all across Britain during this century. Apart from notable agglomerations of scholars in Britain’s already burgeoning conurbations – probably the best example being the Lunar Society of Birmingham2 – most of this work was undertaken by individuals working in isolation from one another, based in the small boroughs and market towns that littered the country. In her study of eighteenth-century antiquarianism, Sweet notes that those who took part in this activity, in similar manner to those with an interest in natural history, came ‘from the ranks of the lesser gentry and those who merged with the professional classes’.3 In particular, there was a preponderance of interest from those whose work demanded a university education: medics, lawyers and above all, the clergy. All of these professions provided training and skills that were of use in the examination of natural and human history, as well as the free time in which to pursue those inquiries. It was the clergy that dominated however – as evidence Sweet notes that clergymen represented ‘between 10 and 15 per cent of the members of the Society of Antiquaries during the eighteenth century, and they included some of the most active members’.4 So how was it that members of the Church of England, alongside Nonconformists and Roman Catholics, acquired such prominence in eighteenth-century studies of natural and human history? First, allocation to an isolated parish presented clergymen with an ideal subject of investigation and a territory that they were unlikely to have to share with anyone else. Second, the nature of their work also provided clerics with an ideal opportunity to pursue their studies – to range across the area under their jurisdiction and to study its objects of interest as well as to speak to its inhabitants, who were also of course their parishioners. Third, their vocation provided clergymen with what Janković has termed a ‘two-pronged authority – one among his lessers, the other among his fellow-clergymen’, which ensured

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that they could be trusted in their actions and correspondence.5 Janković goes on to note that this authority enabled the clerical naturalist to: become a part of the national republic of letters by virtue of their privileged access to information of local origin – from church chronicles to parishioners’ testimonies about extraordinary storms. Clergymen thus had an opportunity to integrate their occupational isolation and clerical duty into the scholarly cosmopolitanism of national society.6

This quote rightly highlights the intellectual ambition that the study of local natural history or antiquities could fulfil. It does not explain why a clergyman might chose to pursue such an ambition through examination of his own place of residence, despite its provinciality. To understand this requires some knowledge of the history of chorography. As historians and historical geographers have noted, geography became an increasingly important aspect of the Arts in the early modern period, both as subject and method. In her study of the history of geography at the English universities, Cormack has highlighted the emergence of mathematical geography, descriptive geography and chorography in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, all of which encouraged quantification of the world, an inductive methodology and a utilitarian ideology. The latter – chorography, or, crudely put, local history – was the most wide-ranging of the geographical arts, ‘in that it provided the specific detail to make concrete the other general branches of geography’.7 Chorography originated in Renaissance Italy, where techniques used to interpret classical texts were applied to the study of the countryside, to provinces and to towns, and arrived in England in the late sixteenth century. It was exemplified by William Camden’s Britannia, a geographically organized study of the history of the British Isles.8 Chorographical accounts were in the most literal sense a historical description of a circumscribed area of land, often organized around already ancient county boundaries. A good early example was Richard Carew’s Survey of Cornwall, published in 1602.9 Although wide-ranging, these accounts tended to place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of the landscape than on others. In particular, they provided surveys of estates and compiled the genealogies of the families who owned them. This was not accidental. During this period a new group of landowners was emerging that was able to procure the land that had been made available, first by the dissolution of the monasteries, and later by the Civil War. Chorographical accounts, alongside the estate map, helped establish these families in their newly acquired setting, at the same time as they ‘shaped images of rural order, fertility and beauty’.10 In McRae’s words, chorography was being remodelled in England ‘as a discourse of the propertied’.11

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This practice was still very much in evidence in the chorographies produced by eighteenth-century clerics, and for very good reason. Although those entering the clergy may have come from the minor gentry they were often the younger sons of their family and so had inherited no land or wealth of their own. In turn their profession was poorly paid and often precarious, and one that certainly didn’t provide the means to pay for the publication of a book-length study. They therefore had to look for support from the local families of note in the area, both for information about their land and for finances. Typically a local chorographer would encourage families to subscribe for copies of his forthcoming book – ‘to appeal to the vanity of the gentry and their family pride, in the hope that they would purchase it’.12 Indeed, it was not uncommon for the gentry to subscribe for multiple copies and to pay for the plates showing their property. It was also a way of gaining patronage, and so promotion and reward; a point reinforced by Sweet where she notes that once clergymen had received a bishopric or comparable position, their publications usually ceased.13 As noted above, this practice enabled the clergyman chorographer to fulfil his intellectual ambitions. Chorographical studies were for them ‘the master-key to the gates of cosmopolitan learning’; providing visibility within the national and international republic of letters.14 Although on the one hand hindered by their rusticity, regional chorographers made the most of their marginalization from centres of learning. They self-consciously assumed the role of purveyor of regional reportage – what Janković terms ‘an autochtonous scholarship of the countryside’ – in a locality where metropolitan naturalists and philosophers had little or no access and so were unable to exert their authority effectively.15 It is in these contexts that we have been urged to interpret the chorographies of the early-modern period – as accounts bound to particular places out of necessity as well as out of social, financial and intellectual ambition, but also engaged with an international republic of letters. There was also a moral factor that came into play: Janković highlights the centrality of the idea of ‘stationary residence’ in eighteenth-century provincial studies, which he argues meant more than just a residence in place. As well as ‘an inquiry into its natural setting’ the composition of a chorographical account also involved ‘an active participation in local life’.16 There was, he suggests, a sense of local duty inherent in these studies, one which sat comfortably alongside a loyalty to a local readership. As Sweet has noted in relation to the study of local human history: Students of domestic antiquities exploited in full measure the capital of patriotic virtue that was their due in staying at home to study the monuments of the nation’s past, rather than travelling abroad to seek out the ruins of some foreign antique land.17

With this sentiment in mind, the shift from a local or regional patriotism to a national one was easily made, with various county or regional chorographies

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forming into a composite celebration of Britain’s past and present greatness.18 This slippage, it is worth noting, was not the beginning of the end of regional identity in Britain. Although the eighteenth century was certainly a period where provincial and particularly county identities were being eroded by the dominance of London society and politics and the associative improvement in the quality of the road network, the county nonetheless remained an important political, cultural and administrative unit.

William Borlase (1696–1772) William Borlase is an excellent example of the eighteenth-century chorographer. He was born in 1696 at Pendeen House in the Parish of St Just in the far west of Cornwall, into a family of the ‘second rank of the Cornish landed gentry’ – his father, Walter Borlase, was the rich squire of Pendeen, owner of land and lucrative mineral rights.19 William was the third of nine children and his elder brother, Walter, inherited their father’s estates. William, like many other Cornishmen from wealthy families, went to Exeter College, Oxford, from where he gained an MA in 1719. He returned to Cornwall and, upon the death of the previous incumbent, became Rector of Ludgvan in 1722, a position he retained for the remainder of his life. The chief landowners in the area were absentees, which meant that Borlase occupied the most powerful position in the Parish. Borlase’s interests in natural history and antiquities were encouraged by two Cornish physicians, William Oliver and John Andrew, who lived in Bath and Leyden respectively. In 1735 Borlase began to supply Andrew with consignments of minerals, including specimens of copper, tin, iron and lead ores, as well as quartz crystals, known locally as ‘Cornish diamonds’. Indeed, it was his knowledge of mineralogy that brought him to the attention of Carl Linnaeus, Alexander Pope and the Royal Society of London. Borlase was made Fellow of the Royal Society in 1750 for his treatise on Cornish diamonds (written originally for Oliver) while he supplied four consignments of minerals to Pope for his grotto in the grounds of his house in Twickenham.20 In 1740 Andrew returned in England, settling in Exeter, and set about encouraging Borlase to systematize his studies of natural history with a view to publication. New contacts made during a visit to Exeter in 1748 assisted Borlase further in this endeavour – whilst there he met Charles Lyttelton, the Dean of Exeter, and Jeremiah Milles, the Precentor of Exeter, both of whom helped Borlase in his studies and encouraged him to publish his work. His burgeoning reputation as an expert on Cornwall also brought him to the attention of the antiquarian William Stukeley, the mineralogist Emanuel Mendes da Costa, and the naturalists Thomas Pennant, John Ellis and Henry Baker.

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Figure 1.1. Portrait of William Borlase. From the Minute Books of the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society. By permission of the Morrab Library, Penzance.

Urged on by Lyttelton, Borlase sketched out a plan for a chorographical study of Cornwall, to be realized in three volumes, covering the antiquities, the natural history and the topography and general history of the county, arguing that the study of the local area should claim ‘the most serious thoughts from the inhabitants of the county’.21 Lyttelton urged him to focus on the first two of these projects; advice that Borlase followed. In doing so, he used chorography as a way of enlivening his relatively isolated existence at the same time as he employed his location as justification for his research. He wrote to Stukeley in 1749 to say that:

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19

It being my fortune to live at a great distance from places of publick resort, and my profession confining me to a small round, I found myself obliged to amuse myself with such remarkables as were within my reach, or utterly to abandon that share of curiosity which I have imbibed during the time of my education.22

By April 1750 a first draft of a study of Cornwall’s antiquities was in Lyttelton’s hands; its primary aim, not only to collect what is dispersed, [but] more fully to unfold what is already discovered, to examine controverted points, to settle what is doubtful, and, by the authority of Monuments and Histories, to throw light upon the Manners, Arts, Languages, Policy and Religion, of past Ages.23

It was published in 1754, under the title Observations on the Antiquities, Historical and Monumental, of the County of Cornwall. Most of the 500 copies printed were paid for through subscription and over 100 of those subscribers came from Cornwall. For instance, Thomas Hawkins and Sir Richard Vyvyan each bought six; and John Prideaux Bassett bought twenty as well as covering the expense of a plate of the antiquities on his property at Carn Brea.24 Borlase was of course not alone in his pursuit of the human history of his county. As Smiles has noted, the eighteenth century was a crucial period for the development of studies into ancient Britain, it going from ‘a peripheral antiquarian pursuit to recognition as a central concern for antiquarianism’.25 Antiquarianism – the broad study of objects of antiquity, whether in the form of texts, buildings or potsherds – can certainly trace its history back further than the eighteenth century, and at least as far as the sixteenth century in England. For instance, John Leland was appointed as the King’s Antiquary in 1533.26 However, it was arguably in the eighteenth century that the study of the ancient Britons really gained legitimacy and momentum. In 1707 the Society of Antiquaries was founded and in 1751 received its royal charter; the London Welsh established the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion for the study of ancient language, customs and society; and in 1778 the Highlands Society was formed, followed by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1780.27 The journal Archaeologia was established in 1770, an important forum for exchange of information and ideas amongst antiquarians, whilst many other book length studies were published over the course of the century that detailed the regional and national legacies of the ancient Britons.28 Borlase’s own study of Cornwall’s prehistory relied almost exclusively on his own field research, although that was in part due to the failure of his attempt to solicit information from other Cornish clergy and gentry via a questionnaire he sent out in 1752. Borlase planned his investigations in advance on the basis of an area-by-area study of the county’s ecclesiastical parishes. Within that he grouped ancient stone sites by type: ‘Of Single Stones’, ‘Of Circular Monuments’, ‘Of

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Barrows’, ‘Of Cromlechs’ and so on.29 These were described both textually and graphically, his written accounts being in part the recounting of the measurements of the site in question, whilst the majority of his drawings were presented in perspective and with little or no scale or measurement, these measures being contained in the text. This is not to under-emphasize the importance Borlase placed on the use of field-sketches. In a letter to Charles Lyttelton in 1749, he wrote that ‘it is much to be lamented that all curious travellers and writers in antiquity did not draw, as well as travel and write, it being my opinion next to an impossibility to convey an adequate idea of the simplest monument by words and numerical figures, or indeed to find out the justness or extravagance of a conjecture without seeing what the monument really is’.30 Borlase drew all the images contained in his Antiquities, which were subsequently engraved by James Green prior to the volume’s publication by William Jackson’s new Oxford town press. Borlase placed much value on the recording of antiquities from fieldwork, this approach, for him, justifying the labour in itself: ‘Upon examining frequently these monuments, and authors concerning them, I thought some things might be added to the accounts I met with, from a faithful measurement, and observation of the structure, shape, materials, situation, and some other peculiarities of them’.31 As a ‘county gatherer’ of facts about Cornwall’s ancient monuments,32 it is certainly true that he produced a more comprehensive description than had been previously furnished, although these descriptions were by no means exhaustive – given the difficulty of travelling around Cornwall in the early to mid-eighteenth century the majority of Borlase’s sites were in Penwith, west Cornwall. They were also not always correct. For instance, he confused the foundations of Iron-Age round dwellings for stone circles. Other circles, such as those on Bodmin Moor in east Cornwall, went unnoticed altogether.33 After publication of the Antiquities in 1754 Borlase turned his attention to Cornwall’s natural history. He published his The Natural History of Cornwall in 1758.34 His approach to the subject was similar to that detailed above, relying as he did on his own observations, on questionnaires and on the testimony of local people. The scope of his inquiry, although geographically circumscribed, was of ‘a most extensive’ scope, ‘taking in all animate and inanimate substances which Land, Air, and Water contain … in short, giving a recital and detail of the whole visible Creation’.35 His interests were certainly broad, spanning mineralogy, botany, zoology, meteorology and the study of fossils. He was encouraged in his research by Henry Baker, the founder of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (now the Royal Society of Arts), by John Ellis, the marine biologist and author of the Natural History of Corallines in 1755 and by the noted zoologist Thomas Pennant.

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Pennant was the eldest son of a wealthy family from Flintshire in Wales. He first met Borlase during a tour of Cornwall in 1746 when Borlase introduced him to the study of minerals and fossils. He went on to be one of the most influential natural historians in eighteenth-century Britain, publishing a number of books on zoology, including British Zoology and the History of Quadrupeds. Borlase’s most important interlocutor was his own wife, Anne, who, he noted to John Ellis in 1754, ‘takes great delight in collecting sea plants’.36 Many of the plants in his possession had been collected and identified by her. Borlase certainly needed the help, as botany and zoology were never his strong suit, a situation he blamed on his isolation. As early as 1737 he noted to Andrew that: I envy you the conversation of the learned especially those learned in Natural Knowledge, but my envy is not of the spenetick [sic] and malicious kind but a mixture of my own uneasiness at being placed at such a distance from Everyone of that agreeable cast, and of fears that my poor endeavours will not be able in many years to teach me what I might learn easily in a month if I were with you.37

In contrast to his studies of animals and plants, Borlase’s abiding interest in mineralogy was reflected in the amount of space he gave it in his Natural History – almost half of the entire volume was dedicated to the description of Cornish minerals and geology. His dedication to this topic was also due to the importance of mining to the Cornish economy. Indeed, Pool suggests that this was the first detailed account to be published of Cornish mining and mineralogy, with the inclusion for instance of diagrams of sections through Pool mine at Illogan, of a ‘fire engine’ (a steam pump for clearing water from mines), and of a tin stamping mill.38 His descriptions attracted the attention of visitors from as far as Germany, Denmark, France and Switzerland, as well as from around the British Isles. Like his Antiquities, Borlase’s Natural History also included descriptions and plates of Cornwall’s notable estates. In addition to his Natural History, Borlase contributed to this general field through his study of Cornish meteorology. Like Gilbert White, Borlase treated the weather as an integral part of local natural history.39 From January 1753 until the day before his death in August 1772 Borlase kept a weather journal, entitled Barometrical and Thermometrical and Ombrometrical Observations with an Account of Winds and Weather at Ludgvan.40 His observations formed the basis of a series of eight papers presented to the Royal Society of London and published in their Philosophical Transactions. In doing so Borlase became acknowledged as a national authority on the weather.41 Borlase’s approach to the study of Cornish weather was entirely consistent with work in the field more generally. He was fascinated with the occurrence of singular extraordinary events, such as freak or extreme weather, and so was part of what has been termed the ‘meteoric tradition’.42 An example of this sort of

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study was Borlase’s discussion of the effects of a lightning strike on the inhabitants of a house in the village of Gulval in 1752.43 This was only a more modest and local version of the reporting of notable meteoric events, such as the ‘Great Storm’ of 1703, on which an edited collection was produced by Daniel Defoe.44 This approach to the study of the weather combined with the collection and discussion of ‘instrumental’ weather records, that is the daily measurement of atmospheric variables.45 Borlase kept daily records of the weather and had no difficulty in reconciling the importance of isolated reports and synoptic monitoring.46 In collecting this information he made use of an ombrometer, or rain gauge, a thermometer and a barometer and in doing so was mirrored by other recorders of the Cornish weather such as a Mr Gregor of Trewarthenick, east of Truro, from 1765–1782, by Francis Gregory from 1759–1815, and by Mr James of Redruth, from 1787–1806.47 The records Borlase collected enabled him to publish papers in the Philosophical Transactions on yearly weather averages, and to compare his own records with those collected elsewhere. He was part of an extended network of weather observers that stretched across the British Isles, continental Europe and North America, which was sustained both by private correspondence and communication in periodicals such as the Gentlemen’s Magazine, the London Chronicle and the Philosophical Transactions.48 As Rusnock notes in her study of James Jurin’s early eighteenth-century meteorological correspondence, such networks were designed to standardize observations, the use of instruments and the methods of record-keeping so that distantiated information might be comparable.49 Although Borlase complied fully with the instructions he received from his interlocutors, he remained somewhat unconvinced as to the possibilities of a national picture of the weather.50 He noted to Andrew in 1763 that comparative studies: may in time either facilitate some more perfect theories of winds and weather in our climate, or, which is altogether as likely, show the uncertainty and vanity of all such attempts; in short, the atmosphere is such a various irritable mixture (though no doubt it is necessary that it should be so), and the action of the heavenly bodies so perpetually shifting, that nothing permanent and sure is to be expected; no apparently similar circumstances will always produce the like, or is any thing to be foretold from analogy and review.51

The concerns Borlase held about the efficacy of instruments in the measurement of the weather, as well as about the appropriate units of measurement and the regulation of observation sound remarkably modern and seem to anticipate the preoccupations of meteorologists a century hence. As Borlase put it himself above, and as historians of Enlightenment meteorology have since reminded us, these issues were by no means agreed upon at the time and so should not be seen as direct antecedents of later debates and approaches. Instead, for individuals

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like Borlase, ‘the impulse to record, tabulate, compare, and speculate about the varieties and extravagance of local weather derived from an acute awareness of geographical place, rather than some “global” methodological perspective’.52 Just like his studies of Cornish minerals, antiquities and animals, Borlase’s meteorology was ‘less of an achievement in empirical philosophy of science than the combined effects of geographical isolation, a sense of duty, and the esthetics of place’.53 In other words, we should understand Borlase’s work, and those of his peers in Cornwall and elsewhere, as informed by the confluence of his geographical and social situation than by a dislocated and disembodied method of inquiry.

Cornwall and Industrial Revolution Although Borlase asserted his isolation from wider British life, his residence in west Cornwall meant that he was in fact at the centre (or at least at one centre) of processes that would irrevocably alter British life and Britain’s landscapes: industrialization. The mining of tin and copper had been undertaken in Cornwall as far back as the Bronze Age.54 In some respects the practice remained unchanged up to the eighteenth century. However, the introduction of the use of gunpowder in the 1690s helped with the sinking of shafts and the driving of levels.55 Thomas Newcomen’s ‘fire engine’ promised to assist in the problem of flooding in the 1710s but the cost of running the engine proved so prohibitive that by 1740 there were only three of his steam pumps at work in the county.56 Improvements were made in mid-century to the draining of mines using longer and more efficient adits, near-horizontal tunnels that allowed water to drain out of the mine by gravity. The situation was improved further in 1777 when James Watt came to Cornwall to supervize the erection of one of his engines at Ting Tang mine in Gwennap. His engines incorporated a separate condenser and easily drained the water that two of the older engines had failed to do and used a quarter of the fuel in the process.57 This lowered the cost of extracting the copper and helped Cornish miners to compete with cheap Welsh ore. Further advances were made in the construction of these engines by the likes of Jonathan Hornblower and Richard Trevithick.58 By 1800 Watt’s patent came to an end and with it the burden of royalties and restrictions on innovation. Trevithick built his high-pressure engine and enabled Cornwall’s mines to sink to extraordinary depths and helped the county to become the biggest copper producing region in the world. The demand for tin-plate in the British domestic market in 1800 also fed a tin boom in the nineteenth century, and served as a ready alternative when copper deposits began to run out by mid-century.59 The impacts of mining were wide-ranging and felt by all in the county in some way. The population of Cornwall almost doubled, while towns expanded

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and ports became crowded with ships with orders from around the world.60 A local manufacturing industry developed in line with the enormous increase in demand for engines and machinery, which led to the establishment of major iron foundries near the mining centres, such as Harvey’s of Hayle and the Perran Foundry at Perranarworthal near Truro.61 Transport and communications improved beyond recognition. In 1760 it was said that there was scarcely a stretch of road fit for wheeled traffic and that there was only one cart to be found in Penzance. By 1802 the poet Robert Southey was able to exclaim, upon travelling from one end of the county to the other in one day, ‘What a country for travelling is this! Such rapidity on the roads! Such accommodation at the resting places!’62 The profits that could be made from mining in Cornwall in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries generated vast new wealth for entrepreneurs and added to that of the old landed families. A good example of the latter is that of the Bassetts of Tehidy. One of the ancient families of Cornwall, the Bassetts were fortunate enough to own much of the land in the Camborne-Redruth district, which proved to be one of the most fertile grounds for tin and copper mining. Their mine at Dolcoath was being worked as early as 1720 and by the nineteenth century was the largest, deepest and most profitable mine in Cornwall. There were also numerous examples of more modest Cornish families who made their fortune through mining and ancillary industries. For instance, William Lemon, from a poor Cornish family, found employment at the copper mines at Chacewater and became manager of a tin-smelting house at Penzance. He married in 1724 and invested his wife’s money in the development of Wheal Fortune in Borlase’s parish of Ludgvan, made a great deal of money, and then began to work the mines at Gwennap. He later bought the large estate at Carclew on the south coast and died a baronet in 1760.63 The Fox family of Falmouth were self-made like the Lemons – shipping brokers who invested wisely in copper mines near Redruth and Truro and in iron founding. We will encounter all of these families again later in the book. While the industrial revolution, ‘with its attendant rapacious capitalism’, generated vast wealth for a few, it brought misery to many.64 With an abundant supply of labour, wages for those employed in mining and industry were pitifully low. Families had to work long hours in almost insufferable conditions when they were malnourished and permanently exposed to disease, polluted environments and hazardous conditions. Unsurprisingly, the gentry lived in constant fear of insurrection as violent protests against living conditions and the price of food were routine. In 1796 Sir Francis Bassett put down food rioting in Redruth by enrolling fifty special constables, and having one of the ringleaders hanged and others transported. He was created Baron de Dunstanville for his efforts.65 In between the very rich and the very poor, industrialization helped to create a burgeoning middle class in Cornwall, whose professions were supported,

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either directly or indirectly, by the influx of capital into the county. These were the shopkeepers, the lawyers, accountants, engineers, merchants, bankers, managers and the clerks who supported the mining and manufacturing. It was this eclectic socioeconomic group that helped to reshape a Cornish identity rooted in urban industrial prowess, which was added to a longer-held rural identity based on the landed gentry.66 As Payton notes, in the nineteenth century ‘Cornish society became remarkably self-confident and assertive, and Cornishness was expressed increasingly in terms of technological and scientific advance – in particular in its practical manifestations in mining and steam engineering’.67 This was not peculiar to Cornwall. Butlin has argued that there was a general ‘growing unity of regional character and consciousness’ – and consequential regional differentiation – in Britain from the late eighteenth century, due to the increasing need for region-wide coordination in matters of economic development and specialization, improved communications, and the coordination of poor relief.68 The fashioning of regional identity on the basis of ancient rights to land and more modern industrial activities, is of significance to this book because those identities played a large part in the foundation of Cornwall’s scientific societies in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Social Science Of course, we have to take account of much more than the industrialization of regional economies to explain the rise of the provincial scientific society in nineteenth-century Britain. There is a well-rehearsed history of scientific institutionalization that also needs to be considered; one that pre-dates and intersects with the history of industrialization and regional differentiation. The received historiography of scientific institutionalization takes the foundation of England’s Royal Society of London in 1660 and that of France’s Académie Royale des Sciences in 1666 as the first really significant scientific societies, and which in turn established the two powerful models for subsequent institutions.69 The Académie Royale des Sciences, Pyenson and Sheets-Pyenson argue, was an exemplar for the ‘academy’ model that was frequently found on continental Europe.70 These were generally state-sponsored organizations with a restricted membership and strict hierarchy. The Royal Society was an example of the ‘society’ model and was typical in the less stratified societies of Britain, Holland and the United States. These were societies with much larger memberships but where scientific accomplishment was not a necessary requirement for admittance.71 As Shapin has noted, from the outset the Royal Society relied on the testimony of the independently wealthy as the only reliable witnesses to the performance of experiments because of their supposedly disinterested nature.72

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This continued up until the late eighteenth century and the Presidency of Sir Joseph Banks, who strengthened the links between the Society and Britain’s aristocracy, so as to dispel any hint that science was subversive.73 The involvement of the landed gentry also supported Banks’s view that the Royal Society should avoid specialization and should be of practical benefit to society – specifically to the society to which its members belonged. As Gascoigne notes, ‘such a view of science and its social role was strengthened within the Royal Society by the dominance of Banks’s fellow landowners, who naturally favoured scientific activities which had an obvious application or were attuned to the clubbable world of learned London society’.74 Pyenson and Sheets-Pyenson estimate that by the late 1700s there were around 200 societies devoted to science and technology spread around the world, an observation which chimes with McClellen’s argument that by this time learned societies were ‘the characteristic form for the organization of culture’.75 Britain’s contribution to this number included organizations of a general flavour that followed the model of the Royal Society of London – the Royal Society of Edinburgh, established in 1783, being one, and the Royal Institution, established in 1799, another. There were societies devoted to particular aspects of learning too. There was the Society of Antiquaries of London, established in 1707; the Edinburgh’s Royal Physical Society, established in 1771; and the Linnean Society of London, established in 1788. To these were added the literary and philosophical societies of the county towns and industrial cities of the British provinces. Elliot has highlighted just how many ‘lit and phil’ societies there were to be found in places as far apart as Peterborough, Coventry, York, Norwich and Northampton as early as the 1740s.76 In the burgeoning industrial cities of the English Midlands and in the north of the country, these numerous and eclectic groups tended to give way later in the century to more formal organizations, such as the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society in 1781, the Liverpool Royal Institution in 1814, the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society in 1819, the Sheffield Literary and Philosophical Society and the Yorkshire Philosophical Society in 1822.77 At the bottom of the social hierarchy were the informal groups of working men who had an interest in science and who used the public house or the fieldsite in which to meet and pursue their ideas.78 As the President of Britain’s pre-eminent scientific society, Banks was happy to countenance these societies’ existence. He supported the establishment of the Linnean Society and the Royal Institution for instance, and they in turn acknowledged the supremacy of the Royal Society. He did the same for the provincial societies in Manchester and Liverpool – in a tone ‘marked by propriety mixed with condescension’ – because they in no way challenged his own body.79 Nonetheless, the amalgam of non-specialist science with polite culture was increasingly under threat from ‘a more self-conscious identification with

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specialised disciplines’.80 The foundation of the Geological Society of London in 1807 epitomized this retrograde step (retrograde from Banks’s perspective at least). Banks originally gave his support to a society that began its life as a highly elitist dining club, assuming that it would, like others before it, accept its role as a satellite to the Royal Society. Over time, however, its members rejected the idea that the Geological Society should be constitutionally subservient to any other body and Banks duly resigned his honorary membership in protest.81 Despite Banks’s disapproval, the Geological Society grew rapidly in size and reputation. Physically organized to foster debate, with members facing one another in similar manner to the House of Commons, the meetings of the Society were lively and informal when compared to the ‘awe-inspiring formality of the Royal Society’s premises’.82 While the Geological Society differed in tone and emphasis from that fostered by the Royal Society, it remained an elitist body dominated by amateur gentlemen. Its members’ interests in geology might well have been connected to their interest in the improvement of their land, whether in relation to farming or mining, but that in no way meant that the Society promoted geology as a profession or was keen to include those who actually made their living from geological knowledge.83 Like the other specialized scientific societies formed in the early nineteenth century – the Astronomical Society of London (established 1820) and the Zoological Society of London (established 1826) for instance – the Geological Society did encourage the formation of a host of similar societies in Britain’s provincial cities and towns during the 1820s and 30s, which were more inclusive in terms of membership and more utilitarian in outlook. Often building on the success of a local literary and philosophical society, these societies mirrored their metropolitan equivalents in their devotion to a particular scientific specialism. Although by far the most popular was the natural history society, there were also antiquarian and geological societies, clubs devoted to study in the field, to entomology and botany, as well as to the use of particular scientific techniques, such as microscopy or photography.84 Allen reports that in 1873 there were 169 local scientific societies in existence in the British Isles, while Withers and Finnegan estimate that there were 66 natural history societies established in Scotland alone between 1831 and 1896. The size of these societies ranged from the tens well into the hundreds – at one of the Manchester FieldNaturalists Society’s outings, for instance, over 550 attendees were recorded.85 The vogue for scientific societies in nineteenth-century Britain has been attributed to a number of factors. The rise in the number of scientific societies, and particularly the mechanics’ institute, in industrial areas has been used to demonstrate science’s industrial and practical utility. For instance, the geological societies in Yorkshire as much as in Cornwall promoted their relevance to mining and to related industries. However, this argument does not help to explain

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why non-industrial towns also had flourishing scientific cultures or why those in industrial areas mixed their ‘undoubted potential economic function among such other appeals as entertainment, moral uplift and pure intellectual stimulus’.86 The prevalence of strong regional cultures, discussed earlier, is perhaps a more adequate explanation. Many societies sprang up not only because provincial towns and cities wanted to prove themselves equal to metropolitan standards (or to show that they were at least not too far behind them), but also because they feared to be outdone by neighbouring cities and counties. As will be discussed later, many regional societies believed it their duty to promote the importance of their own region in the study of the natural and human world, which resulted in exhibitions and publications of a markedly regional patriotic flavour – full of grand claims as to the local area’s unique contributions to science. This attitude resulted in the formation of many societies that were barely able to attract a sizeable enough audience and to finance themselves. Many of these quickly fell into abeyance.87 The urbanization of Britain has also been posed as a contributing factor in the explosion of scientific societies, bringing a range of social and economic groups together and creating a sufficiently numerous and knowledgeable audience for a scientific society to sustain itself. Although the evidence for this argument is not always convincing – some small towns, like Derby, had a flourishing scene while much larger cities languished88 – it does highlight the importance of the middle classes in this enterprise. The memberships of the majority of the provincial scientific societies that formed in the early nineteenth centuries were dominated by the middle classes. In Inkster’s terms they were ‘cultural activists’ who were disproportionately important in the promotion of science as popular culture.89 Leading individual savants, as well as wealthy non-scientific patrons, were of course vital in establishing and sustaining societies in their early years, but it was the middle classes that generally supplied the members who actually ran the societies and who made up the vast majority of their audiences at the lectures, fieldtrips and exhibitions. In short, they formed science’s public in Victorian Britain.90 Of course, the Victorian enthusiasm for scientific societies can be most obviously explained by the popularization of science itself.91 Science became much more accessible in the nineteenth century due to a revolution in publishing. Innovations like steam-driven presses, case binding and the reduction of the ‘taxes on knowledge’, and later rotary printing, hot-metal typesetting and the use of lithographic and photographic techniques, helped to bring cheap, mass-produced books to wider sectors of society. Many leading publishers, including the likes of Longman, John Murray and George Routledge, made use of these innovations to publish a series of books devoted to science, which were not the sole preserve of the rich but were instead aimed at those of more modest means.92

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The circulation of scandalous books such as the anonymously-published Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation and Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species, could only encourage an interest in their subjects.93 Landmark national exhibitions like the Great Exhibition of 1851, along with the peripatetic annual events of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, also helped to promote an interest in science among the populace. Science came to so pervade life in Victorian Britain that interests in the aquarium, in ferns, shells, seaweed, in fossils and dinosaurs, and in gorillas, became national crazes and even the subject of satire in magazines like Punch.94 Of course, the Victorian middle classes had more leisure time during which to indulge these interests and more money with which to support them, but as Lightman notes, ‘the fascination with science operated at a deeper level’ than this: it provided the basis for Victorians to make ‘sense of themselves and their place in the universe, either in conjunction with revised Christian notions or completely on its own terms’.95 Whether tethered to religious doctrine or not, science offered to the Victorian the basis for a new morality freed from traditional beliefs. With its simultaneous emphases on pleasure, activity, discipline and learning, science was seen as an ideal ‘means to “self-culture”, or individual moral and intellectual improvement’.96 This argument worked at the level of the group too, promising the improvement not only of the self but of society more generally. In other words, associational science, ‘as a complex set of corporeal and cultural practices, could thus be seen as supplying the moral and intellectual capacities thought necessary for a civil society’.97 It is in relation to these particular notions of improvement that science found commonest cause with industrialization (rather than simply in relation to its economic utility). Despite the ruin wreaked by industrialization on lives and livelihoods, it too was often associated with the idea of improvement and civic society – indeed, the same social groups that promoted engagement with science also prospered from industrialization.98 As Morus notes, Victorian society increasingly identified itself ‘through shared scientific knowledge, inventive skill, and practical entrepreneurial acumen’.99 Others have drawn direct links between industrialization and the establishment of scientific societies. Shapin notes that the ideas of progress, rationality and utility that permeated industrial towns attracted many of their literate classes and that one of the characteristic forums of this participation was the scientific society.100 In a similar vein, Morrell and Thackray have argued that science and scientific societies gave middle-class mill owners, engineers, merchants and capitalists ‘an intellectual rationalisation and articulation of their experience’.101 The last section in this chapter considers these general points about the growth of associational science in Britain in relation to the situation as it developed in nineteenth-century Cornwall, outlining the history of Cornwall’s main

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scientific societies and their connections to particular individuals, to wider social groups and to economic processes.

Associational Science in Cornwall The first formal scientific society to be founded in Cornwall was the Cornwall Geological Society; later the title Royal Geological Society of Cornwall (RGSC) was bestowed by patronage from the then Prince Regent.102 It was established in Penzance in 1814, making it only the second geological society in Britain after the Geological Society of London.103 At its first meeting, held at the Union Hotel, Penzance, on 11 February 1814, Dr John Ayrton Paris proposed the establishment of ‘a society for cultivating and diffusing a knowledge of geology and mineralogy’.104 By the time of the publication of the Society’s first volume of Transactions in 1818 Paris’s general aim had been refined and embellished so that the Society was ‘devoted to the accomplishment of two great purposes, intimately related, and mutually subservient to each other – The Discovery of New Facts To Enrich Science, And the Application of Science, To Improve Art’.105 The first of these agendas was addressed by the establishment of a geological museum in Penzance in 1815 – the first scientific museum in the county – in which mineralogical specimens could be displayed, as well as the publication of Transactions through which the Society’s finds could be disseminated. The latter agenda referred to the ‘advancement of the mining resources of the County of Cornwall’; achieved by ‘defining and multiplying the objects of economical industry’.106 Mining would also generate new discoveries that would add to the stock of geological knowledge (and be deposited in the museum), while geological science would help improve mining, so ‘combining rational theory with the routine of practice’.107 Dr Paris claimed he established the RGSC through the ‘support of the nobility, gentry, and mine agents of the county’ and that ‘it has enrolled the names of many individuals of the first rank and science in the kingdom’ to act as its officers and members.108 Notable local members included Henry Boase, the first treasurer of the Society; Joseph Carne, a wealthy local banker; Robert Were Fox, inventor of the deflector dipping-needle; Charles Fox, a wealthy Quaker shipping broker and co-founder of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society; Humphrey and John Davy; and Paris himself, the local medic and later to become President of the Royal College of Physicians. Other notables included politicians like William Rashleigh, Davies Gilbert and Francis Bassett, the Lord de Dunstanville. In 1821 a new class of Honorary Members was instituted so that the Society could assure for itself contacts and recognition from across Britain and the wider world. The Society duly counted the Presidents of the Royal, Linnean and

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Geological Societies amongst its members, as well as Professors from Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow and Edinburgh, such as Sir Joseph Banks, John Playfair, George Greenough and James Edward Smith. The Society was socially elitist. Of the eight Trustees of the Museum in 1818, one was an Earl, one a Lord and five were Baronets; of the eight, three were MPs, and the one commoner, Davies Gilbert, went on to become President of the Royal Society of London. In 1834 over a third of ordinary members (thirtyfive) were from the local gentry. Many of these members were also intimately connected to industry and mining. Joseph Carne, for instance, was a partner in the Cornish Copper Company; Charles Fox was General Manager of the Perran Foundry and had investments in copper mining and smelting; and Francis Bassett was the founder of the Cornish Metal Company and owner of mines and extensive mining land. In his work on Victorian geological societies, Morrell asserts that the RGSC entertained a wide social composition, which included mining men, clerics, land surveyors, lawyers, insurance agents, medics and merchants, as well as aristocrats and independent gentlemen. In 1834 for instance it was recorded that 29 per cent of the ordinary members of the society were businessmen and 12 per cent were clergymen.109 One of the early secretaries of the Society, John Forbes, did claim in 1817 that geological science was ‘a noble freemasonry’ that brought together a wide range of constituents, including miners, farmers and artisans who could easily collect specimens in the field that would improve knowledge of Cornwall’s geology.110 To this end the Society encouraged mining professionals to join and kept the Society’s Transactions at a price that mine captains could afford, whilst in 1847 a new class of membership was introduced for ‘intelligent miners’.111 In reality, however, very few mining professionals took up this opportunity. In 1834, only two were members. Like its older brother, the Geological Society of London, then, the Society’s constituency, in its early years at least, dissuaded many from joining and participating in its schemes, and so effectively promoted gentility as a basis for membership.

The Royal Institution of Cornwall On 5 February 1818 a meeting was held in the County Library in Truro where the formation of a second learned institution was proposed, ‘for the advancement of Science, more especially those branches of it in which this County is particularly interested’.112 Originally referred to as the Cornwall Philosophical Institution, and then the Cornwall Literary and Philosophical Institution, it was renamed the Royal Institution of Cornwall (RIC) in 1821 after General Sir Richard Hussey Vivian used his influence with George IV to gain it royal patronage.113 Originally intended to address similar concerns to the Geologi-

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cal Society – particularly geology, mineralogy, engineering and agriculture – it became increasingly focused on natural history and antiquarianism. Its expansive remit was expressed in 1848, where the Institution expressed its main aims to be: the diffusion of scientific information and the excitement of literary emulation in this county … the acquirement of scientific knowledge … the investigation of the history and antiquities of the county, and its natural history in all its varied branches; offering also to its members the opportunity of prosecuting through its aid their researches in chemistry, mechanics, and natural and experimental philosophy.114

In particular, the Institution set itself up as a promoter of a science of the local; one that would make the study of the county’s human and natural history ‘the first object of their attention’.115 This was justified on the basis that: A complete epitome of the zoology, geology, mineralogy and antiquities of a county or a district will render a provincial institution far more attractive to the scientific stranger and will tend far more to the dissemination of sound practical knowledge than any accumulation of foreign productions, of which but a second rate collection can be hoped for by any but a metropolitan society.116

The Institution set out to achieve these through a variety of means – from the establishment of a museum to the holding of bazaars – that will be discussed in Chapter 2. 117 Like the Geological Society in Penzance, the RIC was a socially elitist body. The majority of its Presidents during the nineteenth century were landed and titled. Edward Pellew, an Admiral and a hero of the Napoleonic Wars like Vivian, was the Institution’s first President. Created the first Viscount Exmouth in 1816, Pellew held the Presidency from 1818 to 1830. He was followed by Sir Charles Lemon. Born in 1784, Lemon had been educated at Harrow and then Cambridge University, and inherited his baronetcy in 1824 upon the death of his father Sir William Lemon. He was the MP for Penryn, then after the 1832 Reform Act, for Cornwall and for Cornwall West. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, a founder and the second president of the Statistical Society of London (now the Royal Statistical Society), and the Provincial Grand Master of Freemasons of Cornwall. He was President of the RIC from 1830 to 1857. Later in the century Lord St Levan and the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe also held the Presidency of the RIC, although they were interspersed with two local Fellows of the Royal Society of London and an MP. The affairs of the Institution were also run by two Vice-Presidents, two secretaries and a ten-member council, with yearly elections at the Annual General Meeting. The administration of the RIC was handled by paid officials – including a curator, a permanent secretary and a second assistant secretary.

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The Institution was founded on the principle of proprietorship – shares were 10 guineas each, after January 1819 15 guineas. There were fifty-five original subscribers. There was a change in its membership in 1829 when, facing rising costs, the Institution introduced a new class of annual subscribers.118 There was an annual subscription of one guinea for ‘subscribing members’ and two guineas for subscribing members to take their families to lectures. Those living five miles or more from Truro could be introduced to the RIC rooms by a member, and entitled to the hospitality of the Institution for seven days, including tickets to meetings. Naval and Army officers were also given free tickets for a month, which were renewable (perhaps reflecting the military interests of Vivian and Pellew). Members of the Plymouth Institution and similar societies outside Cornwall were granted free admission. Honorary members who lived outside the county and were noted for their contributions to science, literature or art, and had been proposed by five members, were granted free admission, as were those who gave papers or donations to the Institution. In its attempt to educate the working classes in science and engineering, the Institution allowed ‘respectable’ miners to be elected as associates and to visit the museum at the cost of one shilling. Lastly, from 1839 women were permitted to attend alternate monthly meetings. In 1838 there were seven honorary members, nine corresponding members, seven associates, twenty-one life members, ninety-two proprietors, and sixty-nine annual subscribers. By 1894 the number of proprietors had dropped to sixtythree but the number of subscribing members had risen to 141.

Encouraging Industriousness The third of Cornwall’s major societies was formed in Falmouth in 1833 – the Cornwall Polytechnic Society (which in 1835 also added ‘Royal’ to its title when King William IV became its patron). The Society was the brainchild of the Fox family, who wished to provide an outlet for the talents of workmen at their foundry at Perranarworthal (the Perran Foundry). The name ‘Polytechnic’ was suggested by Miss Caroline Fox, who probably borrowed it from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, to suggest the Society’s encouragement of industry and industriousness. In doing so the Cornish society outstripped its London equivalent by five years; the Polytechnic Institution opened its doors on Regent Street in 1838.119 Sir Charles Lemon, who also played an intimate role in its establishment (going so far as to suggest that he was its ‘foster mother’), claimed that one of its original aims ‘was to apply science to the common purposes of life; to diffuse its benefits over the whole country; to bring them within the reach of all classes – a luxury to the rich but bread to the poor; and to furnish the latter the aid of science can be nowhere more needed [than in Cornwall]’.120 The Society did so

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by encouraging mechanical and scientific inventions, the ‘Fine and Industrial Arts’, along with other inventions that ‘tend to the improvement and prosperity of [Cornwall’s] industries’, and particularly to mining.121 The centrepiece of its activities was a yearly exhibition where such objects could be displayed to the wider public and given prizes: ‘Prizes shall be offered by the Committee for scientific and mechanical inventions and improvements, productions in the fine and useful arts, workmanship &c., in such order as may be deemed more popular’.122 These exhibitions were targeted specifically at the workers at the Fox’s foundry at Perranarworthal, which Charles Lemon ran from 1821. He also established schools for the children of workers, arranged technical classes, gave lectures and organized a mechanics’ institute.123 Despite its applied and moral intentions, the Society also became involved in supporting natural history and meteorology, stating that it was keen to promote ‘researches of a more purely scientific nature’ on the basis that ‘There are many questions in philosophy, which can only be solved by a series of local observations’.124 With this in mind, dried collections of plants were displayed at the exhibitions, whilst the Society built and ran two meteorological observatories in Falmouth on behalf of the Royal Society of London (the subject of Chapter 7). Many of the same men who were involved in the RGSC and the RIC were also involved in the Polytechnic Society (RCPS), a fact which highlights the role of the local gentry in the promotion of associational science in Cornwall. For instance, the Right Honourable Lord de Dunstanville was the first patron; Sir Charles Lemon and then Lord St Levan held the Presidency for the first thirtyseven years of the Society’s existence; and its first Vice-President was Sir Richard Vyvyan, whose family seat was the ancient Trelowarren estate on the Lizard Peninsula. Nonetheless, the Society’s tone was slightly different to its equivalents in Truro and Penzance. The intimate involvement of the Fox family, whose wealth came from industry not from ancient lineage, gave the RCPS a less elitist air, while the majority of the committee positions were filled by the middling classes. Caroline Fox’s involvement also meant that women occupied, albeit minor, organizational positions and there was even a specific Women’s Committee.125 A subscription of at least 5 shillings was required to become a member of the society, and from 1836, a subscription of at least 10 shillings entitled the member to a copy of the Society’s yearly Report. Working men and children were encouraged to participate in the exhibitions at no cost. A second society was formed in 1833 in Truro – the Royal Horticultural Society of Cornwall (RHCS). Established as the Cornwall Horticultural Society before gaining Royal patronage, and housed in rooms at the RIC, the society was ‘for promoting the study and practice of Botany and Horticulture, and for improving the condition of the poor by the distribution of prizes to Cottagers’.126 At the centre of its work was a series of competitive exhibitions, held in different

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towns throughout the year (Bodmin, Truro and Falmouth), where local people could exhibit flowers, vegetables and fruit crops. In its promotion of ‘a well ordered life’ and the ‘superior gratifications of rational and useful pursuits’ the Horticultural Society operated in the same moral economy as the Polytechnic Society.127 In fact it went further, placing morality at the very centre of its concerns, entitling only labourers ‘at weekly wages of good character, who cultivates his garden in the best manner, and whose cottage exhibits the greatest appearance of neatness and cleanliness’ to participate in its horticultural exhibitions.128 It was a highly paternalistic endeavour too, which assumed that the upper and middle classes could and should save the working classes from themselves: A great deal may be accomplished by our landed Proprietors and Clergymen, in the districts where they reside, and the Committee would strongly recommend the subject to their consideration, as well as to every individual Member of the Society, who, even in their own little sphere, may sometimes have opportunities afforded them of encouraging and rewarding modest merit.129

The Society had three classes of members: first class being made up of those who paid an annual subscription of at least one guinea or donated at least ten guineas to the Society’s funds; a second class of those who paid a subscription of at least 10 shillings and 6 pence; and a third class of those who paid at least five shillings. First-class members could be Officers and Committee Members of the Society, second-class members could only sit on the Society’s Committee, and have a voice in all of its discussions, whilst a third class subscription simply guaranteed admission to exhibitions. The Society was therefore much more open in terms of the financial conditions of entry (if not in terms of its moral conditions) and this was reflected in the number of people who joined – by 1842 the Society had 184 subscribers. The RCHS ceased to function in 1861; its ultimate failure blamed, perversely, on its own success – the promotion of local Cottage Garden Societies. So successful was it at encouraging these that the parent society deprived itself of its own justification, membership and exhibitors.130 Despite its brief life, the Society is relevant here because of its promotion of studies into the Cornish flora (discussed in Chapter 4). The last of the Cornish societies to be discussed returns us to the far west of Cornwall and the town of Penzance. In 1839 the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society (PNHAS) was established; its aim, ‘the cultivation of the science of Natural History, and … the investigation of the Antiquities referring to the early inhabitants of our county’.131 If the Truro Institution was indicative of the broad-ranging ‘lit and phil’ society, then the PNHAS was a good example of the mid-nineteenth century ‘ant and nat’ society, which sprang up all over Britain. Just like the Manchester Field Naturalists’ Society that Kargon has described, it had no pretensions to be of service to industry, although it did see

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itself as both ‘highly useful and agreeable’; appealing to those who ‘delighted in a ramble in the country, and find contemplation of its loveliness’.132 Although the PNHAS was not unique in its focus on particular aspects of scientific inquiry, it was somewhat different from its Cornish contemporaries in its support and membership. In particular, the Society did not enjoy the support of the local gentry and as a consequence failed to gain Royal patronage. Instead it was administered and represented entirely by the professional men of the town – the clergy, the town clerks, the medics, bankers and lawyers – and intellectual guidance was provided by several notable naturalists and antiquarians residing in the area, such as John Ralfs, Richard Couch, Edward Rodd, the Rev. Lach-Syzrma, George Millett and Thomas Cornish. In 1880 the price of ordinary yearly membership was set at one guinea and it cost five guineas for life membership.133 Those wishing to become Ordinary Members had to be recommended by two current members of the Society. These recommendations were placed in some conspicuous part of the museum seven days prior to the date of the meeting at which the election was proposed to take place, whilst candidates could be excluded by a majority of the committee voting against them, or a quarter of those voting if the election was held at a General Meeting.134 By the 1890s the Society’s ordinary members numbered in the low eighties, and that figure stayed constant throughout its history. The Society actively encouraged women’s participation in its activities although those few that ventured as far as to offer papers always had male members read them aloud. Those women who were involved tended to be the wives and daughters of male members. Few working men participated in the activities of the Society. Indeed, societies such as the PNHAS have been defined as ‘subscriber democracies’ – ‘within their ranks they were ostensibly democratic, but entry was policed by hefty subscriptions, and sometimes membership by election’.135 They were dominated by the local middle-class elite and populated by the petite bourgeoisie.

Conclusion We began this chapter with Cornwall’s pre-eminent eighteenth-century clerical naturalist, the Rev. William Borlase, and ended with an account of the various scientific societies that were in existence in the county less than seventy years after his death in 1772. We have in other words witnessed Cornwall’s – and, by extension, Britain’s – transition from a culture of individual scholarship to a culture of the collective, where members of scientific communities shared their ideas, objects and experiments with one another in the same room, rather than solely through the lens of the written word.136 In following the development of an associational scientific endeavour in Britain we have seen just how bound up it was in a range of other projects. Asso-

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ciational science by the nineteenth century was involved in the promotion of regional identities; the encouragement of self-improvement; and the building of civic societies. It also lent support to the industrialization of the British economy and the promotion of industriousness in the British worker (while in turn industrialization helped shape science and scientific culture). Associational science also gave an opportunity to Britain’s burgeoning middle classes to expand their social, economic and cultural spheres of influence, although it by no means heralded the beginning of the end of the power of the British gentry. This chapter also demonstrates just how important place was to Borlase’s studies. Borlase’s observations on Cornish antiquities, natural history and geology may well have travelled reasonably well beyond the confines of the county but they were not necessarily designed to do so and were not motivated primarily by that imperative. Although he operated in a continental network of scholarship, his work was motivated by a commitment to the local: to provide a scientific study of what Janković calls the ‘places of life’. This changed in the early-to-mid-nineteenth century, where places of life gave way to the study of ‘places on the map’.137 In other words, science in the nineteenth century endeavoured to produce results that were not only replicable but movable – comparable from one place to another. The following chapter continues the themes of this one in its consideration of the geographies of nineteenth-century associational science. Chapters 3 to 7 look at the transition from ‘places of life’ to ‘places on the map’ in the context of Cornish geology, natural history, antiquarianism and meteorology.

2 HEALTHY RECREATION AND HEADWORK

During his Presidential Address to the PNHAS in 1889, the Rev. Lach-Syzrma expressed his feelings on the value of fieldwork: 1. It keeps our Society together all the year round. 2. It enables our members to study in situ our local curiosities – artificial or natural. 3. It diffuses knowledge of our environs among our members. 4. It shows, through the Press, to strangers and outsiders the treasures in an antiquarian or natural sense that we possess. 5. It combines healthy recreation with head-work. 6. It extends our sphere of usefulness.1

Lach-Syzrma’s reference to ‘healthy recreation’ aside, his speech could just as easily have been referring to a whole range of activities and facilities provided by the Society, such as evening conversaziones, museum displays and more occasional events such as exhibitions and bazaars. The PNHAS was not unique in doing so; all of the other scientific societies in Cornwall provided at least some of these facilities for their members. In fact, these activities were common across Britain and helped to constitute what Fyfe and Lightman have referred to as a ‘cultural marketplace’ – the diverse ‘sites, products and experiences’ that were on offer to the Victorian scientific consumer.2 The chapter is organized around these diverse sites, products and experiences. It begins with a discussion of the significance of a permanent home for local science, and goes on to examine the museum, the conversazione, the exhibition and the fieldsite in turn, both in general context and in relation to the practice of Cornish science. Despite a vogue for fieldclubs in Victorian Britain, the majority of scientific societies in Britain placed great weight on having their own property. According to Allen, ‘status was founded on property – and a propertyless body, it was assumed, must be no less contemptible and ineffective than a propertyless man or woman’.3 It is for these reasons that peripatetic natural history organizations like the Berwickshire Club were in the exception (even if, given the lack of rent, they tended to do rather better financially than their building-bound contemporaries) and why so many other amateur scientific societies chose to locate their activities within designated spaces and govern their activities along heavily prescribed calendars and itineraries. It also explains why so many artisan natural

– 39 –

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history societies were actually persuaded to desist from using public houses as meeting places, with members choosing instead to congregate in school halls or a member’s home.4 In Cornwall, the history of the PNHAS serves as a good example of this stubborn determination to possess an architectural home for local science. From the early 1840s the Society had established itself in Penzance’s Market House, which stood at the head of the town’s main commercial street.5 In 1867 work was completed on a large complex, also in the centre of the town, named the Public Buildings (Figure 2.1). Along with other societies, public institutions and administrative bodies, the PNHAS relocated there. Its museum was positioned in the central portion of the building, next to the Public Library, whilst the larger Geological Society housed its museum and library in the west wing, with the Town Hall, Police Office and the offices of the municipal body in the east wing.6 Being part of this civic endeavour, even if only through physical proximity to other similar institutions, was clearly very important to both of Penzance’s scientific societies. That said, the outlay in moving the PNHAS museum from the Market House to its new residence put the society heavily into debt; its severe decline in the 1870s was due to this ‘heavy load that overwhelmed it’.7 In 1879 it was decided to try and revive the PNHAS. To do so the Society had to reacquire its possessions – the Public Buildings Company held the contents of the museum in defray for the rent owed to them by the Society.8 After sending circulars to potential members of, and donors to, the Society, and a meeting with the Public Buildings Company where the Director offered the museum to the Society upon payment of 50 per cent of the Society’s debts, the reorganization of the Society got under way. By early July the demands of the Public Buildings Company had been met and the Society held a balance in its favour of ten guineas. All the other Cornish societies, with the exception of the Horticultural Society, had their own buildings. The Polytechnic Society went so far as to design and build its own on Church Street in Falmouth, on the basis that having its own rooms would improve its exhibitions; allowing ‘for arranging and classifying the various articles for competition, before they are submitted to the judges, who will also be enabled to examine more leisurely than has hitherto been practicable, their respective merits, and more fully to mature their deliberations before they come to a final decision’.9 The RIC in Truro occupied a number of existing buildings, and ended up taking over the Truro Savings Bank in 1919. It in turn accommodated the Horticultural Society. These buildings served a number of functions: they housed a society’s museum and library; accommodated regular meetings and conversaziones; and provided a space for more temporary exhibitions.

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Figure 2.1. The Public Buildings, Penzance. From The Official Guide to Penzance, 1887.

The Museum The museum was the centrepiece of most societies’ premises. It has been estimated that 200 metropolitan, provincial and university museums were founded in Britain during the course of the century.10 As well as expressing the wealth and status of an institution, the contents of a museum was an effective expression of scientific and moral intent. To realize its effectiveness as a space of instruction and self-improvement the museum had to be properly designed and its objects well-chosen and arranged correctly.11 Curators of provincial museums spent a lot of their time worrying over the fulfilment of these requirements. A recurrent conundrum: should a provincial society aspire to provide education in a wide range of topics, periods and places in the manner of a metropolitan museum; should it concentrate on things found closer to home; or should it attempt to provide an element of both?12 These debates extended as far as to the museum’s layout, the grouping of its collections, and to its intended audiences. To illustrate the negotiation of these issues, let me stay with the PNHAS museum.

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The Society’s museum display cabinets were accumulated over a period of years, paid for through subscriptions, fundraising events, donations and, in one case, the sale of a valuable edition of John Gould’s Birds of Europe.13 While some of the collections displayed within them were the result of proactive purchases, most were obtained through donation by members. This ad hoc and unpredictable process of accumulation resulted in a somewhat random collection of objects, with a glut of some specimens and a dearth of others. Donations from members – motivated by an early ruling that allowed donors free access to the museum14 – ranged from collections of Brazilian birds to a set of local star-fish and sea urchins, from papier mâché models of ancient cromlechs to rare pieces of metalwork. Putting these miscellaneous objects in order was, then, something of a headache for the curators, especially given the belief that only a ‘systematic arrangement’ of the museum’s collections would render it either educational or scientific.15 In terms of what to put on display, the PNHAS curators were emphatic about the greater importance of the presentation of a complete display of local natural and human history. Nonetheless, they did not decide to remove the museum’s miscellaneous objects from further afield, choosing instead to organize its museum by separating local and foreign specimens, the latter distinguished by ‘the placing in one corner of each case a small disc of brightly-coloured paper’.16 The larger, more colourful, and strange specimens ‘from the tropics or distant lands’, it was felt, would have so dominated their Cornish equivalents that the latter would have been ‘practically lost to view’.17 It is likely that the curators would have jettisoned these exotic objects from their displays altogether if they could, but were prevented from doing so by the fact that donations of these specimens far outstripped those of a more indigenous variety, and that these objects proved more of a draw to visitors. Their presence was justified retrospectively as having ‘merely an educational value’.18 Meanwhile, constant exhortations went out to members, imploring them to collect and donate local specimens. The Society based their emphasis on Cornish specimens upon the argument that local museums should always function as a map or guidebook to the surrounding region. ‘Scientific men and specialists’, one retiring president suggested: like to see the flora and fauna of the places they visit. It gives them a fresh interest in their travels. Also local students may like to know what specimens are to be found, and have been found, in their neighbourhood.19

Similar arguments were put forward by the curators of Cornwall’s other museums. The RIC saw its museum’s job to be the conservation of Cornwall’s objects of natural history and antiquity, and the display of its geology, manufactures and machinery.20 The RGSC museum assumed the same duties for Cornwall’s miner-

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als, claiming to have over 4,000 specimens exhibited.21 While the Horticultural Society did not have its own museum it did have a small library designed to serve a similar function. Its collection of key botanical texts was meant to assist the judges of the exhibitions of the indigenous plants that were exhibited at the Society’s exhibitions, and more generally to excite ‘a larger interest in investigating the Flora of this County which, although peculiarly rich, is still almost unknown’.22 More than simply deciding to divide the museum into foreign and local, how these collections of Cornish objects could be best shown off was also debated. In particular, prominent members of the PNHAS favoured detailed descriptions over unadorned specimens. Without descriptions of the objects on display there was a danger that students and tourists might pass over them unnoticed because they were not understood. To combat this ‘common evil’ a full description was recommended, written on a card by the specimen’s side. In such manner the museum would not only be a guidebook to the local region beyond its walls, but also a book of natural history itself, ‘with, instead of pictured illustrations, the actual specimens themselves’.23 These labels were to be written in both Latin and English and so made yet more accessible.24 As Forgan has noted, commentaries on museum specimens only became widespread in the 1870s, in the wake of attempts to open out access to collections to a wider public beyond the sphere of the privileged gentleman scientist.25 Certainly for the PNHAS such a schema was part of its plan to increase the museum’s educational value, complying with broader trends to promote museological self-improvement amongst the leisured classes as well as the labouring classes, women and children.26 This endeavour was pronounced to be a success by the curators, claiming that two hundred visitors from beyond the area had inspected the collections over the year 1887–8.27 As a counterpoint, in 1891, they complained that local residents and even PNHAS members ‘seem rather to ignore, or at any rate to evince no practical interest in, the collection’.28 The Free Libraries and Museums Act of 1850 dictated that a yearly rate of one halfpenny in the pound could be imposed upon inhabitants of towns with a population in excess of 10,000 to defray the necessary expenses of establishing or running a library or museum. Whilst many societies were more than happy to let their fellow townsfolk subsidize their own predilections, it was established as part of the Act that any libraries or museums so created ‘are to remain the indefeasible property of the inhabitants, and are to be open to the public at reasonable hours, free of cost’.29 That the PNHAS was able to provide a natural history museum for the town solely out of the generosity of its members and donors, even after the town qualified for the museum tax in 1886, was seen as an indication of its members’ moral fibre – a vindication of their ‘liberality’.30 The RIC also encouraged Truro’s population to visit its museum, whether they were a member or not, for

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the price of a sixpence. In 1853 the Institution received a grant from Truro Town Council of £20 a year to open the museum to the public free-of-charge on three days of the week. In the first year of the grant 5,000 people took advantage of this opportunity, and numbers rose to over 9,000 by the 1860s and remained high until the late 1870s, when the Town Council had to withdraw the grant and free admission was only permitted on one day of the week.31

The Conversazione The premises of Britain’s scientific societies did not simply house their museums. They were also a centre for discussions about science and a space of sociability for those engaged in it. Alberti has noted that the conversazione ‘was a ubiquitous culture event of tremendous significance and popularity, a medley of Victorian urban middle-class life’.32 The holding of meetings for the presentation of scientific papers grew out of a number of inter-related practices: the discussion of objects recently donated to a museum; the gathering of members immediately after field excursions so as to continue the discussions of the day; and the desire to provide a meeting-place for a society’s members in the winter months, when outdoor gatherings were rendered impractical by bad weather and short daylight hours. The RIC for instance held meetings on the first Friday of every month for scientific discussion and the display of recently donated objects, in the hope that: by affording opportunities for discussion of any new matter which may arise in the intervals of their meetings, and by the mutual interchange of communications proper to each, these meetings may be rendered subservient to the interests of the other scientific institutions of the county, especially of those which only meet once a year.33

This seriousness of intent was mirrored by other societies. The PNHAS determined that its meetings would begin at eight o’clock in the evening and finish at ten; that any one session would include four or five papers; and that each paper would last no more than fifteen minutes, although each contributor could also expect a ‘reasonable’ time to be devoted to the discussion of their presentation.34 The chairman of the meeting was expected to reserve his paper until last. Time was also to be set aside for the consultation of specimens and exhibitions put on by members, there either as an event in their own right, or as an adjunct to a particular paper.35 Speakers were also encouraged to make use of new presentational techniques. In the 1880s the PNHAS began to make regular use of an oxy-hydrogen lantern, or magic lantern, and an oxy-hydrogen microscope to illustrate members’ talks; technologies that were in common usage by that time across the country.36 The papers themselves were diverse in the extreme, although most followed the principle that they should throw ‘some light on scientific subjects having

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relation to the neighbourhood’.37 Although the majority were concerned with natural history subjects, there was a significant corpus that concentrated on, amongst other things, antiquarianism, local history, folklore, religious architecture, and dialect and language. Take, for example, the PNHAS meeting of 10 March 1882, where the following papers were read: ‘Hive Bee’ by Mr E.D. Marquand (illustrated with several microscopes); ‘Cornish Superstitions’ by the Rev. S. Rundle; and ‘Esculent Seaweeds’ by Mr John Ralfs. Mr Hosken Richards, on behalf of Mr Whitley, presented a set of tables showing mean monthly temperature and rainfall at Penzance from 1860 to 1877; and Mr Symons exhibited two silver saltcellars, said to be over 200 years old.38 Experiments were also occasionally staged, such as Mr A. K. Bennett’s illustration of ‘the application of electricity for practical purposes by various simple and instructive experiments’.39 These displays, alongside the use of magic lanterns and microscopes, ‘engaged the full gamut of the senses, the visual, aural/oral, olfactory and tactile’.40 There were also times during the proceedings where more light-hearted, comical or satirical activities were indulged; indeed, the PNHAS promoted themselves in this spirit through a series of amusing hand-drawn posters (Figure 2.2). One member presented ghost stories for instance, while another amused the audience with a recitation of past scientific blunders, whilst another, Mr Millett, spoke to the title, ‘The Ascent of Man’, which ‘led most of the audience to anticipate a philosophical treatise demolishing the Darwinian hypothesis. The surprise therefore was great and general when, instead of this the author commenced reading his own most amusing revised version of the familiar nursery tale, “Jack and the Beanstalk.”’41 Some conversaziones also included entertainment, such as the performance of several pieces of music by one of the ‘Lady’ members or wife or daughters of one of the male members. The superficial contradiction between the conversazione’s formal and studied seriousness and the more informal light-hearted interludes were by no means problematic at the time. The confluence of scientific, educational and social activities was an integral and necessary part of the production of a space of rational recreation; conducive to the education and ‘improvement’ of the various gender, age and social groups involved. They were also illustrative of the somewhat ambiguous social space that the conversazione occupied. Even though they were increasingly held in a public place (rather than in the home of a wealthy leading member, which had previously been common), they retained a semi-private atmosphere and fostered a ‘private sociability’ during the meetings themselves.42 Grand public conversaziones were at times held so that visiting scientific luminaries could be displayed to an eager provincial public, and in turn a vigorous local scientific scene could be shown off to the scientific elite – what Finnegan has referred to as ‘platform culture’.43 One such event was organized by

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Figure 2.2. Hand-drawn poster advertising a PNHAS conversazione, 16 February 1883. From the Minute Books of the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society. By permission of the Morrab Library, Penzance.

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the Polytechnic Society in the August of 1841, timed to fall immediately after the British Association’s meeting at Plymouth. The gathering at the RCPS meeting room was summarized by Barclay Fox in his diary: Professors in abundance. Representatives of science great & small. Lions & lion’s whelps, all served to swell the ever-rolling sea of life which flowed through the entrance door. The body of the Hall exhibited a larger collection of the respectability, talent, intelligence & wealth of the country than one ever sees together but on these occasions. The ‘notables’ were ranged for exhibition on the platform.44

These ‘lions’ included Richard Owen (who gave a ‘beautifully clear’ talk), Karl Ritter (‘a magnificent old man’), William Conybeare (‘ungainly’) and the Rev. Humphrey Lloyd (‘delightful’).45 A similar event had been held after the British Association meeting in Bristol in 1836, when William Buckland and Henry De la Beche were invited down to visit the Polytechnic’s new building. The inventions of Cornish engineers and artisans were displayed and the ‘sages marvelled greatly at Cornwall’s genius’.46 Just as with the more mundane local meetings, these grand public affairs also incorporated private elements. In 1836 for instance, a number of scientific excursions were planned for the Foxes and their guests, along with evening functions hosted by the Foxes at their house at Grove Hill in Falmouth. Eighty people attended one of these, Barclay Fox noting: ‘We had a glorious soirée, flirting or philosophising as fancy led us’.47

Exhibitions As has already been noted, several Cornish societies organized their activities around regular exhibitions of science, industry, art and nature. Like the conversazione, the exhibition was a common feature of urban Victorian culture. They were usually extended events of either a full day, run over several days or even lasting for several weeks. By definition there was a museological element, with miscellaneous and extensive numbers of objects put on display for paying visitors to view. Conversaziones were often incorporated into these exhibitions, usually as an evening component, which would address the theme or themes of the exhibition. Associated excursions were also common. Lastly, there was a less learned side to these exhibitions, with bazaars typically organized by the women of the town, which offered entertainment and refreshments.48 With these activities in mind, Fyfe and Lightman note that exhibitions played multiple roles in the promotion of science.49 Not only were they part of a broader cultural marketplace in Victorian Britain, in many ways exhibitions were a cultural marketplace – offering up a diversity of experiences for a variety of consumers, all under the auspices of one event. As different exhibitions competed with one another for the attention of a possible paying visitor, so too did their internal activities vie for an individual’s attention.

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Exhibitions, whether in London, Dundee or Penzance, aimed to provide a certain comprehensiveness to the treatment of their chosen subject, whether it was scientific invention, industrial technology, horticulture or a particular economic activity. In doing so exhibitions took their lead from the most famous of their kind, London’s Great Exhibition of 1851.50 Bellon notes that the Crystal Palace aimed to serve as ‘a complete and accurate microcosm of the world’s industry’.51 In painstakingly accumulating a diverse range of objects pertaining to a broad theme or themes, and then imposing some systematic order upon them, Victorians hoped to provide for no less than a methodological oversight of the world. At least that was the intention, although it was of course constrained by a number of factors that were by turns social, spatial and economic. The ‘exhibition experience depended not merely on bringing objects together to be seen but also on bringing people together to see them’.52 Scientific and industrial exhibitions were not usually aimed only at an elite, informed audience but also sought to convey knowledge to as wide a population as possible. Exhibitions strove to achieve social unity and a common purpose, although in doing so they effectively limited their own activities. Talks had to be toned down and displays made accessible to visitors with little knowledge of the subject at hand. There were also worries that the sheer number and diversity of exhibits would simply prove overwhelming for some. In this context, the non-specialist aspects of the exhibition – the raffles and refreshments stalls, as well as the spectacular displays or demonstrations – became even more important to the success of the event. By extension, organizing committees had to accept that many who paid their entry fee cared little about advancing their learning or for self-improvement more generally. Some people, they had to accept, didn’t come with the intention of developing a systematic overview of the subject at hand. They came instead to enjoy the show; to be awed; to gossip; and to lounge. As a result exhibitions, from the Great Exhibition to the most humble of provincial events, had to accommodate both edification and entertainment into a ‘popular and profitable whole’.53 As Finnegan notes, exhibitions and conversaziones were defined as much by the attendees and their interests and preoccupations as much as by the organizers.54 All of these issues suffused the various exhibitions that took place in Cornwall, while at the same time the local suffused the exhibition – indeed, as Morus reminds us, exhibitions large and small were always inescapably local affairs.55 The remits for the yearly and triannual exhibitions of the RCHS and the RCPS had general purposes but had very local connotations, in both cases to improve the fortunes and promote the skills of local working men and women. In the case of the former this was achieved through the exhibition of flowers and vegetables; in the case of the latter industrial inventions and other products of craftsmanship were put on show. These were fairly modest affairs (although at three days in

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length the Polytechnic exhibitions overshadowed most activities put on by other societies in Cornwall). Even the larger exhibitions that were put on in Cornwall – which ran for up to two weeks – still maintained resolutely local aspects alongside more general ambitions. Three of these events will be considered in more depth: the RCPS Jubilee Exhibition, and the Penzance Scientific and Industrial Exhibition, both held in 1882; and the West Cornwall Fisheries Exhibition in Penzance, held in 1884. The Penzance Scientific and Industrial Exhibition (hereafter PSIE) was organized with the general purpose of ‘bringing together a display of Apparatus and Products illustrative of the modes of working and results attained in the various departments of Science and Industry’, including examples, models, diagrams and descriptions of either obsolete or modern appliances.56 It also entertained a more specific intention to show off Cornwall’s contributions to scientific and technological advancement and, it was hoped, to highlight the contributions made by Penzance’s inhabitants in particular. This was of course also the case for the RCPS exhibitions, including its Jubilee event, which sought to ‘encourage invention and to stimulate good and honest work in every department of manufacture, to encourage art, and draw out a feeling for the beautiful’ in local artisans.57 The Fisheries exhibition in Penzance, in turn, set out to emulate the International Fisheries Exhibition, held in London in 1883 – to improve ‘knowledge of the habits of fish life’, which had hitherto ‘remained very much a sealed book’.58 It aimed to achieve this by illustrating the ‘approved appliances’ used in fishing; demonstrating techniques for the preservation and utilization of fish; and highlighting the economic condition of fishermen. In doing so the ‘limited space’ of the exhibition went in the organizers’ favour, as it was agreed that ‘the vastness of the London one having led to a confusion of ideas in those who had not much time or training’. ‘They had also in Penzance, it was claimed, ‘an advantage over London in their having the real ocean and the real boats and nets so close to them’.59 In making these claims, Cornwall was turned into an industrial engine house and Cornishmen into leviathans. In his opening address at the PSIE William Copeland Borlase MP noted that Cornwall selflessly supplied the country with fish, tin, copper and china clay, while the area around Penzance acted as the ‘kitchen garden’ of the northern industrial cities. Despite exhortations as to the benefits of locality, size still mattered to the exhibition organizers. In reference to the PSIE, Mr Barnett claimed rather giddily that the organizers had no idea that the exhibition would end up being so large, and had assumed that it would instead ‘partake of a more local character’.60 The same went for the Polytechnic’s Jubilee Exhibition, which it was stated was ‘on a scale quite unprecedented […] – one that may fairly be regarded as memorable in the history of the County itself ’.61 Despite their didactic aims these

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exhibitions, along with the yearly events run by the RCPS, were organized either to raise money for a particular cause (in the case of the Fisheries Exhibition the building of a new pier at Newlyn), or at least had to cover their own costs. It was therefore incumbent on the organizers to put on an impressive show with well-dressed rooms and diverse, innumerable and spectacular exhibits on display, along with other activities and entertainments that would guarantee a steady flow of paying visitors through the doors. All of the exhibitions relied on the loan of interesting objects from members of local scientific societies, members of the local area, or from further afield – for instance, the Fisheries Exhibition gained 396 exhibits from 40 different locations around Britain, as well as a very great number from Lady Annie Brassey’s collection that were amassed during her famous ‘Sunbeam’ expedition.62 All of these exhibitions also benefited from the loan of items from the South Kensington Museum. The objects on show ranged widely. At the PSIE there were exhibits relating to mining, including models of machinery and plans of mine workings. There were natural history exhibits, from seaweeds to birds’ eggs. There were also models of boats and ships; examples of local inventions (such as a sewing machine said to predate the American sewing machines exhibited at the Great Exhibition); items of pottery; ‘diagrams’ (which encompassed weather charts, photographs, microscopic images, plans and maps); and ‘Curios’, including a variety of weaponry, models of historic monuments, a piece of telegraph cable, jewellery, needlework and a Chinese opium pipe. The exhibits at the Polytechnic’s Jubilee Exhibition were as diverse as the PSIE, while the Fisheries Exhibition was predictably more focused, even if the models of boats, the stuffed birds, the marine botany, the models and the photographs were all still present. This diversity was important, especially in regards to an audience less enamoured with objects of industry – a report in the Cornish Telegraph for instance refuted the rumours that there was ‘nothing but engines’ on show at the PSIE and that only workmen and mechanics would be interested in what was there.63 As important to the success of these exhibitions – perhaps more important if success was judged purely on the grounds of attendance figures – were the dramatic exhibits; those that were rare to the neighbourhood, were created for the exhibition, or which performed their function for the audience’s delectation. For instance, mechanical demonstrations or performances provided another draw to visitors and were ‘part and parcel of the business of making science and its products real to their audiences’.64 Displays of moving machines were also central to the two exhibitions. The Polytechnic Society used the Drill Hall to group together all of its mechanical exhibits, many shown in motion, ‘including a series of gas engines, steam engines and models, hydraulic lifts &c., so that the Hall presented a very animated and attractive appearance’.65 They were all powered by a portable engine stationed outside. Both exhibitions also staged mining

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rock-drill trials. On one day of the Penzance exhibition a demonstration was given of McCullock and Holman’s Cornish rock-drill, manufactured by Holman Brothers, while the Polytechnic held a drilling competition. The pièce de résistance at both the Polytechnic and Penzance Scientific and Industrial exhibitions was the demonstration and use of electric lighting. Both exhibitions hired lighting at considerable expense from private companies. Despite the cost, the lights allowed the exhibitions to run in the evenings and were of course an impressive exhibit in themselves. The Polytechnic Society used about 100 lamps to illuminate its own Hall, reporting that ‘the gain was not only in the steadiness of the light, but in the entire absence of heat and unpleasant fumes’.66 The Penzance exhibition went further by putting three different sorts of lights on display. Despite the expense, the lights, it was reported, caused a ‘furore’. The committee’s pleasure was only slightly dimmed when the belt of the engine powering the lights in the main hall came off and the lights went out, although perhaps it was appropriate that it happened mid-way through a lecture on astronomy by the Rev. Lach-Syzrma. A variety of other activities and events were put on during the exhibitions, either to enhance its scientific and educational aims or to entertain visitors. Regular guided tours were organized to highlight the significance of individual exhibits and to help visitors to acquire a more ‘panoramic understanding’ of the exhibition.67 Elaborate catalogues also served this latter function. Where a grand oversight wasn’t achievable, it was hoped that catalogues and tours would at least help curtail confusion and a sense of being overwhelmed by the many objects on display (Figure 2.3). This was by no means an unfounded concern – one newspaper reporter at the PSIE claimed that ‘the exhibition is bewildering in its extent, variety and the surprisingly large numbers of exhibits which deserve attention’.68 To ensure that an exhibition was attractive to as many social groups as possible its organizing committee usually ensured that public luncheons, refreshment stalls, bazaars, concerts and other entertainments were provided, while at least some of the excursions clearly fulfilled a social function as much as a scientific one. The organizing committee of the Fisheries Exhibition went so far as to recommend that a successful exhibition should ‘Have music always in the evenings and at other times if practicable. People can look at the exhibits and listen to the music very well’. They also recommended the inclusion of a refreshments stall, although without ‘intoxicants’. The ‘aid of the fair sex’ was advised at these events. At the Fisheries Exhibition the local women who ran the bazaar dressed up as fishwives from France, Holland and Cornwall, and sold photographs of themselves in their costumes. As Finnegan notes, ‘running bazaars provided a designated public role for women’.69 These public events enhanced the civic aspect of the exhibitions and contributed to their coffers.

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Figure 2.3. Catalogue of the 1882 Penzance Scientific and Industrial Exhibition. By permission of the Morrab Library, Penzance.

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The Cornish scientific and industrial exhibitions tended to open in the late morning and close late in the evening, usually at 10pm, so as to accommodate the lectures and musical performances. Cheap railway tickets were available for visitors coming from Truro, Falmouth and intermediate stations. Single admission to all the exhibitions was a shilling, while keen and wealthy attendees could purchase a season ticket for 2s/6d, as well as family season tickets. The one shilling price of a single admission, Lightman notes in his work on the London Polytechnic Institution, would have been affordable to skilled labourers in regular employment, although not for those working men without a regular income.70 The organizing committees of the exhibitions under consideration also tried to encourage attendance from even the very poorest through cheaper tickets and on occasion free admittance. At the PSIE working men could enter for 6d and their children for 3d. When school parties visited that exhibition, they were charged 2d each (450 attended in all). Meanwhile, the Fisheries Exhibition entertained fifty inmates from the local workhouse, who were given free admittance, along with complimentary food and drink, as well as 3d to spend each.71 Cornwall’s various scientific and industrial exhibitions offered a ‘carefully contrived blend of entertainment and edification’; a well-crafted hybrid of rational education and mass spectacle.72 In doing so they mirrored other exhibitions held right across the country – indeed, they were part of a broader exhibitionary culture in Victorian Britain. By copying other exhibitions like the 1851 Great Exhibition and the 1883 International Fisheries Exhibition, provincial exhibitions such as the ones considered here, helped to maintain a clear idea of what such events should look like and should include. This was the case not just in terms of the mechanics of the events but in terms of the subject matter. Like other similar exhibitions, the Cornish events attempted to provide an overview of scientific advances and industrial progress. That said, they all placed Cornwall firmly within these positivist narratives. Loyalties to particular geographical areas within the county also influenced proceedings and gentle rivalries were expressed. At the opening of the PSIE for instance, it was noted that many would have attended the Polytechnic exhibition, held several weeks previously, and that ‘it would be a good and advantageous thing if the Exhibition of that society were made migratory’, as if the Polytechnic were being selfish by not sharing their event with other towns in the county. The speaker went on to suppose ‘that Penzance people thought if the Polytechnic could not bring their Exhibition to them, they would try to get one up themselves’.73

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The Field Excursion Much as some of the exhibition organizers might have liked to have kept their own event within circumscribed local boundaries there was strong cross-fertilization between the exhibitions, across the region, and from beyond the county. This included those who travelled to attend the events, those who chose to exhibit objects, those who gave talks, not to mention the exhibition objects themselves, which came from far and wide. Another way in which local science extended out into the wider region, and indeed, made its way into Cornwall, was through the field excursion. As was noted earlier in the chapter, societies’ evening conversaziones and their excursions were linked closely, providing opportunities for meeting all throughout the year (excursions in the summer and conversaziones in the winter) as well as through the course of a day (with fieldwork during daylight hours and a meeting in the evening). As we have just seen, they also supplemented more occasional exhibitions. Just as they cohabited with conversaziones, so field excursions shared many of the features exhibited by their sedentary equivalents. Group fieldwork was designed to combine a range of activities, alternately social, educational and scientific; physical and mental exertions combined with periods of rest and enjoyment.74 This sentiment was well summarized by Lach-Syzrma in his Presidential Address to the PNHAS in 1889, a quote from which opened this chapter. Both the RIC and the PNHAS instituted a programme of field excursions early in their lives. Both organized grand annual excursions, held in August or September, while the RCPS held similar, occasional, excursions as part of its exhibition programme. These were all-day affairs, beginning early in the morning and finishing around 6pm, although often as late as nine o’clock. The PNHAS fieldtrips cost 5 shillings for members, their families and friends, including lunch and transport, and 3 shillings for members with their own transport.75 In the summer of 1888, the Society instituted afternoon excursions, held on a monthly basis throughout the summer. As these trips tended to attract substantial numbers of people – 150 on the Society’s Jubilee trip to the Isles of Scilly in 1889 – they were useful fundraisers for the Society. Indeed, in 1894 the excursion fund – £12 18s 8d in credit – was merged with the Society’s general account so that it could be brought out of debt.76 As with the conversaziones, the excursions were well planned and effected. Significant levels of organization went into the design and implementation of the day prior to the excursion itself. An excursion subcommittee, usually led by the Honorary Secretary, was responsible for the planning of the route, the timing of the day, the collection of money, and so on. Even the most minor considerations were taken very seriously, the Honorary Secretary of the PNHAS in 1900

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urging members to alert him as to their intention to attend, ‘not later than the first post on Monday, August 13th; for unless he knows the number to provide for by then, various matters seemingly trifling cannot be arranged and so mar the whole day’s enjoyment’.77 Whilst the new monthly afternoon excursions of the PNHAS were trumpeted as giving ‘increased opportunities for field-naturalists’ work, and for the study of the ancient remains of this neighbourhood’,78 all of the excursions run by the Society focused more heavily on antiquarianism. Many were organized around visits to ancient earthworks and neolithic monuments, as well as medieval churches, castles and stately homes, whilst natural historical study was only pursued during the quieter moments of the trip when excursionists had time to explore the locations for themselves. Each of the day-long excursions would take in quite a number of sites, with either prominent members of the Society giving lectures on the location, or other relevant parties being invited to do so. It was common, for instance, for vicars to be asked to give lectures on their own church if visited as part of the trip. Brakes were regularly used to move the excursionists around and these were gradually, although only partially, replaced by the train and ferry. Historians of travel have noted the relatively slow uptake of train travel in Cornwall, due to limited services and lines.79 The use of carriages suited the peripatetic nature of the day-long excursions, with numerous visits to sites of interest made along a predetermined route, while trains were ideal for the afternoon excursions, where trips were often only made to one location. With improvements to the rail network, however, even the annual excursions began to rely on this mode of transport to reach previously distant locations. To get to sites of interest that were beyond the reach of either brakes or trains the excursionists were routinely expected to do some walking. These were described in turn as ‘hikes’, ‘trudges’, ‘processions’ and ‘climbs’ and set into relief against descriptions of scenic landscapes observed, at rest, through the carriage window. While these moments of exertion complemented the general fervour and obsessive busy-ness of the day, the Society took great care to ensure that excursionists were granted plenty of time for lunch and afternoon tea. Lunch – usually comprising of Cornish pasties and sandwiches – would normally take at least an hour, whilst tea was often taken at a conveniently placed church or stately home in the late afternoon, before the group returned to Penzance. This interjection of a more leisurely pace into the hurry of the day was encouraged by Lach-Syzrma, during his presidency of the PNHAS in 1884–5: It is a good thing in excursions of this character not to be too hurried. It is better both from a scientific standpoint to have free discussion, while calm consideration of the curiosities is desirable; and also from the point of comfort and enjoyment.80

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Lach-Syzrma went on to criticize the ‘danger of hurry’ that he claimed dogged the London societies, and recommended instead to extend the length of the day. By sending home some of the party at 6pm – implying, although not stating explicitly, the women members of the trip – the remainder could devote more time to their studies. ‘Antiquarian research’, he said, ‘requires a little time, and it is more agreeable not to be hurried’.81 The suggestion that excursions should be conducted at a leisurely pace obviously carried with it a danger that the days became nothing more than thinly-veiled pleasure-trips. Certainly it was felt that during a PNHAS visit to Chywoon Castle in 1891 ‘the true antiquarian spirit was lacking in some members…, for from more than one was the irreverent exclamation heard, “What a splendid place for a picnic!”’.82 This was not a ‘problem’ that dogged only the PNHAS; Allen notes that the excursions of many scientific societies around Britain in the later nineteenth century, including those of the Liverpool Naturalists’ Field Club and the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society, began to accrue the attributes of the pleasure-trip rather than of scholarly exploration.83 This trend continued into the twentieth century, with societies increasingly combining their study with cycle rides, week-long holidays to the coasts, and evening dances. However, despite this being seen by some as a debilitating tendency, Allen has argued that natural history and antiquarian societies throve because of their promotion of sociability; the ability to meet and mingle regularly with a familiar group of people from a similar social group. The pursuit of pleasure during excursions was also an opportunity for education. The journeys between the various locations on the itinerary yielded a variety of vistas and the PNHAS took these as a chance to instruct its members in landscape appreciation and the local topography. These ‘lessons’ in landscape were by no means removed from or fleeting adjuncts to the real work of the day. Rather, they were part of a wider concern for the preservation of particular landscape features and effective ways of promoting appreciation for local geography. Indeed, in similar manner to the local scientific museum, excursions were designed to provide a map of the region – an education in the local environment for both locals and visitors. The excursions were, then, part of a programme of regional re-inscription: rewriting Cornwall as a book of natural and cultural history.

Conclusion The spaces of associational science in Cornwall, as elsewhere in Britain, were important for a number of reasons. By occupying or even constructing a building in a prominent position in the middle of an urban area, scientific societies were able, quite literally, to place themselves in the midst of and as central to urban

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life and culture. The museums, conversaziones, exhibitions and other events that these buildings housed enabled science to be translated for and promoted to a generally receptive Victorian public; to allow provincial scientific societies to play a role in the promotion of individual and collective self-improvement. More specifically, they endeavoured to construct a science of the local. Museums and exhibitions collected together objects so as to show off what was most significant in the county, while fieldtrips enabled people to see those things that would not fit into an exhibition hall. To achieve these ends, spaces of science were designed to combine a number of superficially contradictory characteristics: They were meant to both instruct and entertain; to accommodate everyone from the local landowner to the local artisan; and to retain the sense of being both public and private spaces. As we have seen, they were variously successful at achieving these goals. While provincial societies like those in Penzance, Truro and Falmouth operated in a very local geographical context they also had to interact with other such societies in wider regional and national contexts and they did so with alacrity. Indeed, although societies tended to be fiercely patriotic of their particular local area, and harboured gentle rivalries with their local peers, these tended to be superseded by the desire to promote a vigorous regional scientific identity. This most commonly took the shape of combined scientific events such as field excursions or exhibitions – the Fisheries Exhibition in Penzance having been organized by members of both the Geological Society and the PNHAS, for instance. The RIC, the RCGS, and the RCPS went so far as to hold joint annual meetings and to form the Association of Cornish Societies in 1893, even if the Association enjoyed only limited success. Beyond their home county, Cornwall’s scientific societies were in routine contact with other similar societies elsewhere in Britain, Europe and the wider world. This took place in a number of ways: through individual or institutional correspondence; through attendance at scientific exhibitions and conferences such as the British Association meetings (where Cornishmen at times held positions as local secretaries); and through the exchange of publications. The swapping of annual Reports and Transactions was common and often constituted the bulk of a society’s library acquisitions in any one year. Even in the far west of Cornwall the PNHAS received reports from as far afield as Glasgow, London, Yorkshire, Belfast, Manchester, Huddersfield and Eastbourne, as well as from Australia, the USA, Germany and France. As well as examining the geographies of associational science in the nineteenth century, this chapter provides an important context for the five chapters that follow. We will certainly encounter these spaces and societies again in the following chapters on Cornish natural history, geology, antiquarianism and meteorology.

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Figure 3.1. Henry S. Boase’s 1832 Geological Map of Cornwall. From the Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall.

3 THE SWEET ROAD TO IMPROVEMENT

The fourth volume of the Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall (RGSC), published in 1832, included a handsome pull-out map as its frontispiece. The map showed, in full colour, the underlying geology of Cornwall (see Figure 3.1). It had been produced by Dr Henry S. Boase to illustrate his 308-page paper in the same volume, entitled ‘Contributions Towards a Knowledge of the Geology of Cornwall’.1 In printing this map the Society had achieved one of its foundational aims of facilitating the production of a scientific map of the entire county of Cornwall. The sense of a territory having been overcome and claimed by science was well-conveyed in the same volume’s opening paper, written by John Hawkins FRS, then Vice-President of the RGSC: When a traveller is exploring his way through a new country, and has advanced to some distance from the point of his departure, he will naturally mount the first eminence within his reach, that may enable him to take a view of the unknown region which lies before him. This, gentleman, is precisely the situation in which we are now standing; and I propose to make the same use of it. We have entered upon the examination of a country, which, however familiar it might have been to our notice, was very imperfectly known to us; and, as some progress has now been made in our labours, it is time for us to survey the ground which we have still to pass over.2

At the twentieth anniversary meeting of the Society, held the following year, the Chair of the meeting, Davies Gilbert (who had been President of the Royal Society of London from 1827 to 1830), complimented Boase on his work on the geology of Cornwall, noting that it had attracted ‘considerable attention’ at the recent meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Cambridge and would ‘take precedence of every other subject in the Geological Section’ at the Association’s next meeting in Edinburgh.3 Drawing attention to the ‘great personal expense and labour’ that Boase had subjected himself to, Gilbert asserted that ‘no person qualified for such an undertaking, could be found to perform this work for a Thousand Pounds’. Instead of money, Gilbert proposed that Boase’s labours be rewarded with a piece of plate as a mark of the Society’s appreciation.4 Francis Bassett, Lord de Dunstanville, stepped in to – 59 –

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add his appoval of the scheme and to propose that its value be increased by personal subscription, which he promised personally to commence. In reply Boase thanked de Dunstanville, Gilbert and the Society for the honour about to be bestowed on him by this substantial mark of the Society’s approbation of his exertions, and felt gratified not only from personal motives, but because he trusted that it would stimulate the younger members to exert themselves in the service of the Society.5

If the printed pages of the RGSC’s Transactions and the spoken exchanges in its meeting room gave the impression of a regional geologist whose scientific career was in the ascendency, the reality was quite different. Although John Hawkins’s paper appeared superficially to be in praise of Boase’s work, it could just as easily have been read as a damning critique. Hawkins himself took a very dim view of Boase and his geological theories and the conclusion of his survey of progress was not a favourable one for Boase. Meanwhile, Gilbert’s reference to the ‘considerable attention’ that Boase’s ideas had attracted at the British Association meeting was in fact a delicate way of acknowledging that they had been heavily criticized by some of the most important men in British geology. They would be roundly dismissed at the meeting in Edinburgh. This chapter examines the history of geological mapping in Cornwall. It looks in particular at a series of geological maps published by the RGSC in the first half of the nineteenth century, including Boase’s map. These were the first expressly scientific maps of the county of Cornwall and some of the earliest geological maps of portions of Britain more generally. In its consideration of these maps, the chapter also considers a range of other issues: their significance in the production of particular geological theories; their operation within a wider set of graphic and textual representations; their significance in the promotion of wider social values and agendas; and their support for forms of regional and scientific authority. In doing so it answers the question posed implicitly by this chapter’s opening paragraphs: why did Boase’s map receive such a hostile reception from the wider geological community? The chapter begins by arguing that geological maps should be read as an integral part of a pervasive visual culture in nineteenth-century Britain; considered in the context of an already well-established cartographic tradition of chorographical accounts, agricultural surveys and mining sections. It then rehearses the points made in Chapter 1 about the social makeup of the RGSC and considers the role of the Society and its maps in the promotion of industrial and agricultural improvement. The chapter then moves on to examine a number of geological maps in turn, including Boase’s geological map of Cornwall and the first map of Cornwall’s fossiliferous strata by Charles W. Peach. These examples

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are used to discuss tensions between provincial and metropolitan geologists as well as between regional and national geology.

Geological Maps and Visual Culture Historians, including historians of geology, agree that the nineteenth century was marked by a pervasive visual culture. There was a high degree of visual awareness and even artistic skill amongst the leisured social classes in early nineteenth-century Europe, fed partly by the Romantic obsession with landscape scenery, which had ‘encouraged attempts to depict the wild mountain landscapes that had previously been considered unfit for serious artistic expression’.6 The increasing ease with which images could be reproduced and disseminated in the nineteenth century helped habituate society to forms of visual display and the very idea of visual knowledge. Visual means, Flint argues, were increasingly used to circulate ideas and to stimulate desire.7 Science in the nineteenth century was both a stimulus for and early proponent of this visual culture. Scientific treatises had for some time used imagery to illustrate scientific specimens, views and arguments. Keller, for instance, provides a lucid account of the role of landscape and sectional drawings in eighteenth-century explanations of earthquakes.8 The difference between that and the following century was marked not by the very use of images themselves but the rise in the sheer quantity – not to mention quality and accessibility – of scientific images in circulation.9 Anderson draws our attention to the ‘widespread experimentation with the visual presentation of scientific information’ in the nineteenth century, while Lightman argues that the development of a mass visual culture corresponded with the growth of a mass market for science.10 Scientific images became accessible to wider social groups and so helped to make connections between elite and popular culture, even if there were concerns about these images’ effects on the untrained eye and mind.11 The map was one type of image that was put to work in this period, both as text to be read and object to be displayed. Maps, Camerini claims, were ‘shared cultural images’ by the 1830s and a ‘characteristic feature of the visual culture of nineteenth-century science’.12 By the mid-century, mapping was a recognized tool in the ‘visual technology’ of natural history and maps were increasingly used to represent both natural and human geographical distributions.13 They featured in popular as well as more elite texts as an efficient way of communicating scientific observations, ideas and values. More than simply two-dimensional geographical representations, however, scientific maps served a range of other functions. In Jacob’s terms they were ‘world-creators’. They did not only reflect, summarize or repeat scientific ideas expressed in textual or verbal form; they were integral to the development and articulation of those ideas. In other words,

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maps were not simply graphical representations of empiricial information. They were ‘highly theoretical’ in themselves. As Oldroyd notes, ‘maps of the same area made according to different theoretical presuppositions may look quite different’.14 Indeed, maps were often more effective at articulating scientific theories than traditional forms of scientific communication. Scientific maps also served a sociological function. Maps used (and of course still do use) a ‘visual language’ that employed rules and conventions, which in turn had to be learnt.15 In doing so they relied on a social community that accepted these rules and shared an understanding of the conventions at play; what Jacob refers to as ‘map literacy’.16 Following the work of Harley, Jacob argues that maps presented ‘a seemingly objective and irrefutable appearance of factual and topographical information (the world as it is), but beyond this façade lies an elaborate rhetoric of power that organizes the iconography, the social filtering and construction of the territory and the discourse of place names’.17 Maps did not simply reflect social values and prejudices; they actually reinforced entrenched social and political interests. These points are relevant to the analysis of the nineteenth-century geological map. As this chapter will show, such maps were critical to arguments about the age and formation of Britain’s geology; to the determination of scientific authority; and to the use of geology to justify elite, landed desires to implement the economic and moral ideas of improvement. In his seminal paper on the visual language of geology, Rudwick notes the close associations between the increase in geological maps in the early nineteenth century and the establishment of geological societies and in particular the Geological Society of London (founded 1807). The Society’s Transactions, established in 1811, were from the outset generously illustrated with geological maps, sections and views. While this self-conscious community of geologists helped construct an increasingly sophisticated map literacy among its members, this is not to claim that they were previously unconversant in the visual language of maps and other geographical illustrations. In fact, Rudwick argues that the gentlemanly character of the Society ensured that its members appreciated the topographical tradition of the eighteenth-century traveller-naturalist, on the basis of which ‘they developed a more formalized style that enabled landscape to bear a greater weight of structural meaning’.18 At the same time, the Society’s interests in utilitarian geology and their links with the world of mining ‘made them willing to adopt and develop the overtly structural maps and sections that were emerging from the work of mineral surveyors and mining engineers’.19 Therefore, not only did the Society take its inspiration from the landscapes of the eighteenth-century travel account, it was also inspired by the maps and sections of engineers, mineral surveyors and mine adventurers.

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Morrell disagrees with Rudwick’s claims, at least in terms of the motivational forces for the development of English geology, arguing that geology’s foundation as a form of polite learning meant that its relations with and contributions to mining were limited, even in industrial areas: ‘Given the occupational composition of the Geological Society’s oligarchy, its romantic wanderlust, its love of elevated and elevating scenery, it is not surprising that this metropolitan coterie generally neglected coal formations and mining areas’.20 That said, Morrell concedes that there were exceptions to this rule: the northeast of England on the one hand, and Cornwall on the other. In relation to Cornwall, he notes that the RGSC brought together mine owners and the gentry to an extent otherwise unknown. However, Morrell goes on to claim that its plans to produce a geological map, a mining school and a mining record office failed and so even there geology conformed to the more general pattern across the country, one where geological inquiry and practical mining remained practices apart. The evidence presented here, at least in terms of the production of geological maps, develops and further complicates Morrell’s conclusions.

Cornish Geology and Regional Improvement [T]he benefits which such an Institution [as the RGSC] is capable of imparting to our local interests, by defining and multiplying the objects of economical industry, are not less numerous and substantial than those which it will necessarily confer on Science, by collecting, arranging, and generalizing instructive facts. The want of some intelligent system of communicating some repository for the record of the new phenomena which are daily discovered in the mining districts of the county has been long felt and often lamented; whilst the history of the different mines offers the strongest proof of the great necessity of soliciting, in order to obtain successful results in an art so obscure as that of mining, all the aids of reason as well as those of experience, and of combining rational theory with the routine of practice.21

As noted in Chapter 1, John Ayrton Paris claimed that he established the RGSC by convincing Cornwall’s local gentry to act as its officers and members.22 Many of these members were also intimately connected to industry and mining, through their investment in and ownership of land and property. In this sense, Morrell’s claim that the RGSC brought together the gentry and mine owners is correct, although he fails to note that the two occupations were often embodied in the very same person. Claims were made locally that geological science was ‘a noble freemasonry’ that brought together a wide range of constituents, including miners, farmers and artisans who could easily collect specimens in the field that would improve knowledge of Cornwall’s geology.23 The RGSC did encourage mining professionals to join by keeping the price of membership and the cost of its Transactions

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low. Very few mining professionals took up this opportunity. Although the Society was more open than its London equivalent, it was by no means as inclusive as it liked to appear. It was also by far the most socially exclusive of all the Cornish scientific societies. As noted in Chapter 1, Penzance’s other scientific society, the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society, was populated and run by the local middle classes rather than the local gentry. The first librarian of the RGSC, the Rev. Charles Val Le Grice, asserted that Penzance was an ideal centre for the study of geology as it was a ‘theatre in which geology displayed all her powers’. ‘Cornubia’, he warned, should not ‘recline in supreme indolence and ignorance amongst these glorious monuments of Nature as the Turk does at Athens’.24 Like the Geological Society of London, for the RGSC this meant collecting and displaying geological data and specimens. Indeed, one of its founding aims was the ‘discovery of new facts to enrich science’.25 The RGSC followed the ‘mineral resource centre model’ of the London society, which favoured the collection of facts over theoretical speculation – an effective way of avoiding awkward theoretical and religious topics.26 This model

Figure 3.2. John Forbes’s 1822 Map of the Land’s End District. From the Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall.

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put considerable emphasis on the collection of specimens in the field, and in the Cornish case, particularly from farmland and around, and in, mines. As discussed in Chapter 2, the Society established a Museum in Penzance to house its specimens, to which was added a public library, a newspaper reading room and a geological laboratory, the latter ‘containing the necessary apparatus for analytical operations’.27 Included was an œconomical department, ‘containing specimens in illustration of the various changes which the ores of Tin, Copper, &c. undergo in the processes of dressing and smelting’.28 There was also a complete set of specimens of the serpentine formation of the Lizard, of the slate formation of Land’s End, Veryan’s limestone, St Cleer’s hornblende rocks, as well as a series of Elvans. Alongside the rocks were models of mining machinery. Paris noted that Joseph Carne’s mineralogical collection was also available for perusal in Penzance, having been moved from its previous home at the Cornish Copper Company at Hayle.29 To its members, the Society and its Museum were of considerable benefit to wider society, both intellectually and economically. Alongside its aim to discover new facts to enrich science, the Society also endeavoured to apply science ‘to improve art’.30 Paris claimed the museum collections afforded ‘a most desirable and solid system of instruction; indeed it has already excited such a spirit of inquiry among the miners, as to have led to the discovery of several minerals, before unknown in Cornwall’.31 When Davies Gilbert said that the Society would be the ‘sweet road to improvement’, he did not only refer to improvements to scientific knowledge, or indeed to the improvement of miners, but also to mining and to agriculture more generally.32 In terms of mining, Humphry Davy, in a letter to the Society in 1818, stated that ‘Cornwall may be regarded … as the Country of Veins … and they are equally important to the practical miner, and to the mineralogical philosopher’.33 In terms of agriculture, Paris argued that: There is certainly no district in the British Empire where the natural relations between the varieties of soil and the subjacent rocks can be more easily discovered and traced, or more effectually investigated, than the county of Cornwall; and nowhere can the information, which such an enquiry can afford, be more immediately and successfully applied for the improvement of waste lands, and the general advancement of agricultural science.34

One of the ways in which the Society went about collecting facts about Cornish geology and also contributing to the applied fields of mining and agriculture was through the production of a map (yet another way in which the RGSC followed the lead of the London society).35 Such a project was one of the founding aims of the Society, Paris noting in 1818 that ‘should the labours of this society terminate with the completion of this great desideratum, it will have to boast

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Figure 3.3. Joseph Carne’s 1822 Map of the Parish of St Just, Cornwall. From the Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall.

that it has presented one of the greatest gifts which agriculture can receive from science’; this because such a map ‘would not only point out the connexion between the varieties of soil and the subjacent rocks, but it would explain the local circumstances which might be friendly or hostile to their improvement’.36 This project benefited from a longer history of scientific mapping in the county of Cornwall and the country more generally.

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The Ordnance Survey had produced its first 1-inch to 1-mile map of Cornwall as early as 1813 – four years after its map of Devon – due largely to the southwest’s strategic importance to Britain during the Napoleonic Wars (the Geological Survey’s map of Cornwall’s geology was not finished until 1837). This is not to say that the mapping of Cornwall should be seen as only one part of a much larger national endeavour. Harley has noted that: Notwithstanding the technical improvements which they embodied, the first Ordnance maps of Devon and Cornwall … perpetuated some of the limitations of eighteenth-century county maps. In one respect they were county maps: the sheets for each county, although part of a national sequence, were issued separately … the borders were omitted from the inside edges of the sheets so that the gentry could mount them as one and, for those who still preferred the format of a county atlas, a separate title page was engraved… And thus, owing to the strength of cartographic tradition, the county became a unit of early geological as well as of Ordnance mapping.37

Another contemporary national survey also chose to emphasis the county as the basis for its study: the county surveys of the Board of Agriculture (established in 1793). Agricultural surveys were not new. Early modern chorographical maps included agricultural information alongside their surveys of local estates, the genealogies of local families of note and descriptions of local attractions and commodities – in short, as part of the display of elite identities and their property in the landscape. From the 1750s onwards, however, these surveys’ geographical basis was increasingly defined, not as a cultural entity steeped in local traditions, but as a functional unit ‘whose farming practices were finely adjusted to physical and economic constraints’.38 The late eighteenth-century surveys of the Board of Agriculture examined and delimited regions by natural features as much as by political boundaries and these ‘natural regions’, as they were labelled, were seen as the basis upon which regional economies were examined.39 They were also of course an important prop in the emerging concept of private property in land and more particularly in the Parliamentary Enclosure Acts of the period.40 Along with climate, drainage, terrain and soil, geology was regarded as a key factor in the shaping of agricultural regions, because it was deemed to have a strong relationship with the nature and quality of the soil. Indeed, the Board of Agriculture claimed that its agricultural surveys constituted the first geological maps of any part of England, although this was true only in the broadest sense.41 In reality, influence came more strongly from the other direction – Darby notes that ‘The arrival of the geological map round about 1800 greatly facilitated the classification of land into what were sometimes called “natural districts”’.42 This was particularly the case in the southern, drift-free counties of England where observation was easier, as opposed to the previously glaciated areas north of the Thames.

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Cornwall lagged behind the rest of southwest England in agricultural innovation, in large part because its industrial energies went into mining and fishing, with agriculture often relegated to a part-time, subsistence occupation.43 For early nineteenth-century commentators, this was a source of equal measures of frustration and optimism. In his description of West Penwith, the upland area to the west of the town of Penzance, Paris said that there the traveller plunges into a ‘rough, wild, and unsheltered’ countryside, where farming was ‘in general slovenly’. He went on to argue that ‘The agriculturalist may, perhaps, view the district with somewhat different sensations, for the downs are certainly improveable, and those portions which have been brought into tillage have amply rewarded the labour of the adventurer’.44 Cornwall, like its county neighbours Devon, Somerset and Dorset, had been the subject of several agricultural surveys including one by the Board of Agriculture in 1794.45 For authors like Paris a rational understanding of farming was the answer to the county’s agricultural malaise. Henry de la Beche, for instance, examined the relations between geology and agriculture in Devon and Cornwall, and claimed that differences in subsoil rocks were associated with differences in agricultural productivity.46 Paris wrote papers on a similar theme, while Charles Lemon took a statistical approach to agricultural productivity.47 The Penwith Agricultural Society also met in Penzance and had strong connections with the RGSC. Paris spoke there in 1815, arguing that the ‘liberal and well informed farmer’ should be aware of the geology under his land because of its connection with the ‘agricultural economy’.48 Before moving on to discuss the RGSC geological maps, it is worth noting that its members’ cartographic literacy was not only informed by a familiarity with agricultural surveys but also by sections and maps of mine workings, quarries, water-wells, canals, stream workings and cliff sections. Whilst formal geological maps were new to the nineteenth century, sections and mining surveys were not: Keller notes that one very early example of a geological cross-section was of the coal-mines of Somerset, drawn in 1719.49 The use of sections were certainly routine in the earliest volumes of the RGSC, which included, amongst other diagrams, two plates of mineral lodes in Cornish mines in Joseph Carne’s 1822 paper; a section of the sandbanks of Mount’s Bay by Henry Boase in 1827; and a diagram of a tin stream-works by John Colenso in 1832.50 Rudwick argues that a familiarity with the engineering style of sections and plans used in mining actually ‘pre-adapted individuals to the three-dimensional visualizing that structural geology required’, and by extension that ‘a fully structural approach to the interpretation of the complex phenomena of geology was most readily attained within a social context of practical mining and mineral surveying’.51 Perhaps the most important consequence of the vertical, or columnar, section was the geological traverse, which in Freeman’s words, ‘continued in

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a horizontal plane and on a much larger scale what the mine shaft or well-sinking revealed about an area’s stratification’.52 Unlike the cliff section, but in similar manner to the maps they often accompanied, these traverses were exercises in extrapolation and interpretation – the visualization of abstract theorization about the invisible structure of the earth.53 In the Cornish case, the use of these visual technologies was again much in evidence – S. J. Trist’s 1818 paper on the limestone rocks in the Parish of Veryan included a topographic map of the area with a section marked on; and immediately below, with its vertical axis heavily exaggerated, was a section showing the rock strata and their exposure.54 Henry Boase also made extensive use of geological sections to supplement his geological map of Cornwall and accompanying paper. All this is to say that chorographical accounts, agricultural surveys and mining sections were important precursors to the production of nineteenth-century geological maps and that agricultural and mineralogical improvement were key motivators in the production of those maps. Conversely, the resultant geological maps were valuable tools in the enhancement of the capital value of land.55 As has been demonstrated, many members of the RGSC membership were landowners and industrialists, and it was in the service of these interests that the maps operated. These maps were scientific documents too of course, but even there agricultural surveys and mining sections served as important precursory tools; helping to equip the readers of later geological maps with the complex visual conventions that were required to unpack and understand them.56

Mapping Cornwall’s Geology Although a number of maps were printed in volume I of the Transactions of the RGSC, we begin this section in 1822, when volume II of the Transactions was published. Several maps appeared within its pages. The first served as the frontispiece to the volume and was a map of the Land’s End District (Figure 3.2). It accompanied an essay on the geology of the area by John Forbes, an Edinburgh-trained physician at the Penzance Public Dispensary.57 Forbes’s map of the Land’s End District highlighted the dominance of granite and included the hills that the hard rock produced when it outcropped. His map – being, he claimed, ‘a faithful study of facts’ – also showed the local villages and towns, the parish churches, the tin and copper mines and the local gentlemen’s seats. As such, Forbes map combined its geological themes with antiquarian ones, and set both within a chorographical framework that emphasized the landed elite’s centrality in the landscape. Given the elite nature of the Geological Society’s membership we can argue that these early maps were concerned not only to illustrate the geographies of geological knowledge but also to trace out the contours of Cornwall’s elite social geography. Gentlemen’s seats were given a map symbol

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and included in the key, alongside ‘Villages’, ‘Tin Mines’ and ‘Copper Mines’, ‘Granite’, ‘Slate’ and ‘Porphyry’. Particular locations included Acton Castle, purpose-built for the study of marine life by John Stackhouse; Rose Price’s house at Tregwainton; Michael Williams’ house at Tregenna; and John Hawkins’ at Trewinnard. Price, Williams and Hawkins were all leading figures in the Geological Society. This map was not only a symbolic projection of power; it also provided landowners with potentially valuable agricultural and mining information. The mapping of some of west Cornwall’s tin and copper mines in Forbes’s map was one such example but was even more explicit in a map of the Parish of St Just by Joseph Carne, published in the same issue as Forbes’s (Figure 3.3).58 The two maps were meant to complement one another. Carne’s map included a greater wealth of economic information, however, and was the first map by the Society to do so. Included were mineral lodes, cross courses, as well as mine and stream works; alongside topographical features, villages, roads and antiquarian remains; and all lain on top of geological strata. The map was, along with the accompanying paper, entirely free from theoretical speculation on the production of the veins it represented.59 In the same year in which Forbes’s and Carne’s maps were published, the RGSC apologized for not having produced a single geological map of the whole of Cornwall, but excused themselves by saying that ‘it is an undertaking of immense extent and labour; and the map of the lodes in one Parish (St Just) will at once shew [sic] the nature and importance of the plan, as well as the time requisite for the completion of such an undertaking’.60 Despite their geographical limitations then, the two published maps in the 1822 volume had established early precedents and important examples for planned future work and they did so in a number of ways. They asserted a strongly empirical and fieldbased approach to geological mapping. Enquiry on the ground functioned as the intellectual foundation upon which these maps rested, rather than upon theoretical speculation. This was a fuller second precedent – geological mapping was an exercise in the gathering and displaying of data and not in philosophizing. Thirdly, they promoted a visual language involving the summation and abstraction of data through the use of keys and colours. In this sense, Forbes’s and Carne’s maps were part of a broader mapping tradition. Secord notes that for the likes of Roderick Murchison, William Buckland and others, geology was essentially stratigraphy, a taxonomic enterprise that sought order in the chaos of strata. The colouring of maps was central to this; the use of colour-washes and colour keys extending, in the words of William Buckland, ‘the progressive operations of a general inclosure act over the great common field of geology’.61 The link between geological mapping and agricultural enclosure was presumably not lost on Buckland’s readers.

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Perhaps the most striking example of this use of colour was William Smith’s map of the geology of England and Wales, a copy of which hung in the stairwell of the RGSC. Smith argued that colour was a useful tool for generalizing information and summarizing the localities of thousands of specimens: ‘By strong lines of colour, the principal ranges of strata are rendered conspicuous, and naturally formed into classes, which may be seen and understood at a distance from the map, without distressing the eye to search for small characters’.62 Many of the ideas and arguments embodied in the maps of Majendie, Forbes and Carne were taken on in the work of Henry Boase, whose geological map of Cornwall opened this chapter (Figure 3.1).

Henry S. Boase’s Geological Map of Cornwall Boase was born in London in 1799, the son of a Cornishman. Like Forbes, he had been trained as a medic in Edinburgh, graduating with an MD in 1821. He then returned to his family home and in February 1822 was appointed Physician to the Public Dispensary at Penzance. With his father he also became a partner in the Penzance Union Bank and in a company of tin smelters. In 1822 he was appointed secretary to the RGSC, a post he held until 1827 and again from 1833 to 1837. During that time he delivered two series of lectures on chemistry and read twenty-five papers on geological subjects, four of which were published in the Society’s Transactions. He also served on the committee of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, and as president of the Penzance Literary and Scientific Institution.63 In 1827, Boase resigned his position as Secretary of the RGSC in order to devote time to an extensive study of Cornish geology. In particular, he set out to complete a geological map of the county that would help the Society to achieve one of its founding ambitions and so too act as a corrective to previous attempts that were ‘deficient in those minute details which a Map, proceeding from this Society, might be expected to supply’.64 Boase had conducted the survey on which the map was based through extensive fieldwork, claiming to have spent two years and to have walked more than 1200 miles on foot in his endeavour to ‘gain a more perfect knowledge of the geology of Cornwall, than could be obtained by strangers, however qualified to the task, in their hasty and partial excursions’.65 He set out with several aims: to Record the various phenomena as they present themselves in detail whilst traversing the county; avoiding, as much as possible, any theoretical observations thereon:- and, in the next place, to arrange the rocks in geological order; and to discuss the various theoretical subjects suggested by the facts previously recorded.66

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The rock specimens collected during fieldwork were numbered and deposited in the Society’s museum in Penzance. The resulting map was supported by eight geological traverses and an extensive 308-page paper on the geology of Cornwall, which took up the majority of the volume in which it was published. Boase’s interpretation of Cornish geology was controversial for a number of reasons. He argued that the large granite masses, shown in pink on his map, were formed at the same time as the surrounding rocks and that as a consequence the majority of Cornish rocks could be considered primary rocks.67 He went on to suggest that the mineral veins were contemporary with the rocks in which they were found, and following Werner, that they were formed by the action of water. No information on mineral deposits was included on the map. He also refused to acknowledge the presence of fossils in Cornish rocks; believed that granite was stratified; and put forward a new and more expansive nomenclature for the primary rocks, which he followed when colouring his geological map and sections.68 In the conclusion of his lengthy paper, Boase apologized for the ‘numerous innovations’ he had put forward, saying: As regards the new names of rocks, I have no expectation that they will be generally adopted: indeed, I merely used them to point out, in a more marked manner, those rocks which appeared to me to form distinct genera, not altogether indescribed, but which have not hitherto been accurately discriminated … Should, however, any of the deductions by which I have endeavoured to disprove some received doctrines, be admitted by geologists, I shall feel gratified by such a token of the approbation of my labours.69

Boase’s fellow geologists were largely unwilling to accept any of his ideas. When he presented his work and map to the British Association meeting in Cambridge in 1833, a number of prominent geologists, including Adam Sedgwick, William Buckland and John Phillips, were highly critical of it. By the 1830s James Hutton’s ideas about igneous intrusions had, thanks to Charles Lyell, been revived and the division of the Killas and Greywacke were explained by the metamorphic alteration of the Greywacke where it was near granite.70 This was very much in contradistinction to Boase’s theories, which were criticized at the Association meeting while Boase was dismissed as a ‘provincial dissenter’.71 Despite the fact that Boase’s ideas stood in the face of a powerful geological consensus, he insisted that they be discussed further at the 1834 British Association meeting in Edinburgh, by which time his Treatise on Primary Geology had been published, which further promoted his ideas on the formation of granite. Boase’s ideas were duly attacked again by Sedgwick and Lyell on the grounds that he had no understanding of stratification and the basis of his observations were thrown into question. Boase’s only major supporter through this was Robert Jameson, the editor of the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, a Wernerian and Boase’s

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teacher while at Edinburgh. He wrote a favourable review of Boase’s Primary Geology while it was being attacked elsewhere.72 The reception that Boase’s map and arguments received inside Cornwall was mixed. At the meeting of the RGSC in October 1830 John Hawkins attacked Boase’s work. Hawkins was from a wealthy Cornish family whose estates, at Trewithen, near Probus, included mining property. He had been educated at Trinity College Cambridge (and graduated with an MA in 1789), had studied under Werner himself, had travelled with John Sibthorp and was elected FRS in 1791 for his mineralogical and metallurgical knowledge. Although he rarely attended RGSC meetings and spent much of his time at his homes in Sussex and London, he did contribute papers to the Society on mineral veins and mining technology and on the primitive strata.73 Theoretically Hawkins and Boase were both Neptunians so it was over nomenclature and the ‘disposition of the slate formation’ that Hawkins questioned Boase’s work.74 In a barely concealed attack on Boase’s claims, Hawkins noted in a paper, which incidentally sat at the front of the same volume of the Transactions in which Boase’s paper appeared, that: While I feel anxious that the objects of our combined investigation should be chiefly attained by the exertions of native geologists, for they alone have the means of revising their labours, I cannot help observing that our success will very greatly depend upon the accuracy of our conception of new facts, and on the full, clear, and candid manner in which they are repeated. It will depend too upon the scientific precision which we may apply to the nomenclature both of rocks and of single minerals…75

That Boase, as editor of volume IV of the Transactions in which his map and paper appeared, cut out two of Hawkins’s papers to make way for his own, did not help matters. Hawkins complained that Boase kept adding to his first communication as fresh materials were collected, therefore, as he saw it, violating the rule of scientific priority. The clash might be seen as the expression of social difference too – as Hawkins’s disdain for the ambitions of the middle-class doctor whose ideas were eclipsing those of the landed Cornishman savant.

The Fossil Fish of East Cornwall It is intriguing to compare Henry Boase and his geological map to the example of Charles William Peach and his map of Cornwall’s fossiliferous strata, published in the Transactions of the RGSC in 1846. Both men staked their scientific reputations on the interpretation of Cornish rocks and used the BAAS meetings to promote their controversial ideas. Both men were from the middle class, although from either ends of it. Unlike Boase, Peach’s ideas gained the support of powerful figures in geology; figures who later took it upon themselves

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to intervene in Peach’s career to ensure an improvement in his intellectual and economic prospects.76 Charles William Peach was born on 30 September 1800 at Wansford in Northamptonshire. After leaving school at fifteen he worked on his father’s small farm, before joining the Revenue Coastguard Service in Norfolk, where his interest in coastal natural history began. Whilst in Norfolk he met and married Miss Jemima Mabson, with whom he had seven sons and two daughters. After a number of years in Norfolk Peach was moved to Lyme Regis in Dorset, where he was exposed to new flora and fauna. He also developed an interest in geology. Although he was then unable to decipher their meaning, he began collecting fossil remains from the cliffs of Lias and Oolitic strata. After some time working in Devon, Peach was posted to Cornwall, reaching Gorran Haven in October 1834. At that time the general consensus was that there were no fossils contained in Cornwall’s sedimentary rocks; a consensus supported by Conybeare and Phillips’s 1822 Outlines of the Geology of England and Wales.77 Peach was finding evidence to the contrary all along the Cornish coast and as far inland as Bodmin. He began to send specimens to local scientific societies, including the RGSC, and to leading figures in the field. Eventually the weight of his collections were such that Henry De la Beche, who was busy mapping the rocks of the southwest of England during the 1830s, was persuaded to visit some of Peach’s collecting sites for himself. Upon doing so he agreed that some of Cornwall’s rocks were indeed fossiliferous, an observation that he included in his 1839 Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset.78 Encouraged, Peach presented his research to the British Association meeting in Plymouth in 1841, where he talked on the subject, ‘An account of the fossil organic remains of the southeast coast of Cornwall and of Bodmin and Menheniot’. This gave him an opportunity to state his conviction publicly that fossil fish were to be found in the killas or clay-slates of Cornwall. A grant of £10 from the BAAS and a further £5 from the RGSC enabled him to continue his work in this field. Peach presented further papers on his research into fossil fish at the 1843 Cork meeting of the BAAS and then shortly after that at the annual meeting of the RGSC, where he reinforced his claims as to the fossiliferous nature of Cornwall’s rocks. Drawing on Murchison’s 1839 The Silurian System and on the observations of the Cornish natural historians Jonathan and Richard Couch, his report at the Cork meeting was well attended. Roderick Murchison was there and took Peach’s observations to confirm ‘his and Sedgwick’s original Devonian interpretation “in a very remarkable manner”’.79 John Phillips agreed – he considered the fossils were of Old Red Sandstone forms and so provided evidence in southwest England for the equivalence of the Old Red Sandstone with the more normal Devonian.80 Suddenly Peach found himself a footsoldier in the midst of fierce fighting between the likes of Mur-

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chison, Sedgewick and De la Beche over the territorial limits of their geological formations.81 Murchison in particular became a strong supporter of Peach and his work, describing him as ‘ingenious, modest and highly deserving’.82 Peach was unperturbed by the controversies in which his own work featured. He went on to publish a tabular synopsis of Cornwall’s fossils in volume VI of the Transactions of the RGSC – where he claimed to have detected six species of fossil fish – and to represent them on a map. In the accompanying short paper and in reference to his map, he declared that we are therefore warranted in colouring this part of the county as fossiliferous (of course excepting the granite ranges) from coast to coast; and thus a county formerly called primitive, is now shown to be, to the extent of perhaps four-fifths of it, fossiliferous.83

This was presumably meant to be read as yet another rebuttal of Boase’s ideas. In 1850 the Cornish geologist and archaeologist William Pengelly and the Scottish geologist Hugh Miller became involved in Peach’s research, helping him to identify the Cornish fossils. Pengelly, born in East Looe in Cornwall, began to conduct his own research into the fossils.84 Miller in turn engaged with the fossils after Peach sent him specimens. Upon receiving the fossils Miller declared them ‘the most puzzling things he had ever seen’, although he was willing to support Peach’s claim that they were remains of fish.85 Murchison also engaged explicitly with Peach’s identifications of the fossils, claiming in a letter to Charles Lemon that at least one of his claims was wrong. The letter was subsequently published in the RGSC Transactions.86 In a later 1868 paper summarizing the history of research into Cornwall’s fossil fish, Pengelly noted that over the course of the 1850s and 60s many of Peach’s claims were questioned (by Sedgwick amongst others) and his fish presumed instead to be fossil sponges, but that by the end of the 1860s scientific opinion had swung back in support of Peach’s identifications. Claiming that Peach ‘has done very much to elucidate the geological history of the district’, he also highlighted the role he had played in showing the Devonian and the Old Red Sandstone systems to be of the same age.87 Through his participation in the BAAS meetings Peach built up a list of valuable and powerful colleagues and admirers, including Philip Henry Gosse, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Samuel Smiles, William Buckland, Robert Chambers and Edward Forbes as well as Pengelly and Miller. He also corresponded with Darwin, Huxley, Owen and Lyell. Buckland and Miller took it upon themselves to petition the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, to give Peach a more lucrative appointment. He was duly given the choice of a position as Landing Waiter in either London or Fowey, the former worth £50 more a year. Peach chose to stay in Cornwall at Fowey so that he could continue his research. Despite this decision, in 1849 he was promoted from the Revenue Service to be Comptroller of

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Customs at Peterhead in the northeast of Scotland, for which he received £120 a year. Although he continued to submit papers to the various Cornish societies he increasingly turned his attention to the natural history and geology of Scotland. During a trip to the coast of Sutherland in 1854 he discovered fossil remains in the local limestone rock and sent examples to Murchison and the Geological Survey. Peach was accorded the honour of accompanying Murchison on a fieldtrip to the Scottish Highlands and Islands in 1858.88 In 1859 he was granted the Wollaston Fund; a testimony, said the President John Phillips, that the Geological Society knows and values the efforts of its children, whether they work at the Land’s End of the Curnubii [Cornwall], or at the northern extreme of Caledonia. In each of these districts Mr. Peach has been a real and sagacious discoverer. […] Were this purse as full of good coins as his communications on Palæontology and Marine Zoology have been full of precious truths, it would better express the estimation in which we hold him and his labours.89

Fieldwork, Authority and Geological Territory The case of Boase’s and Peach’s maps illustrate a number of points. The first links to Rudwick’s observation that it ‘was only around 1820 that the enterprise [of geological surveying] became manifest in increasing numbers of standardized local “memoirs”’ and that after this geologists began to cope with more complex structures, and with wider regions.90 This was obviously the case with the maps produced by Boase and Peach, and is particularly apparent when we compare them to maps such as Forbes’s of the Land’s End, or Majendie’s of the Lizard. By the 1830s Cornwall’s geologists, like those elsewhere, were confident enough to tackle complex geological structures taking place over extended areas and to express their understandings of them in textual and cartographic representations. Second, both Secord and Freeman have noted that geological mapping was a form of territorial acquisition and that the surveying of a geographical region or spatial expression of a geological epoch was a way of claiming it as one’s own, arguing that geologists developed ‘powerful senses of what was their own geological territory’.91 For Cornish geologists, like their contemporaries working elsewhere in Britain, this form of territorial possession was earned through labour in the field; an opportunity that conveniently favoured the local geologist over the traveller.92 Travellers, it was argued, were at best capable of generating only a very general picture of the places journeyed through. At worst, they were guilty of shoddy fieldwork practices and hasty theorizations, John Hawkins claiming that ‘travellers glance superficially over every object, and too often from this … form very incorrect judgements…’, before going on to warn that such practices

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could not be tolerated from ‘native observers’.93 This was very possibly intended as a direct criticism of Boase’s fieldwork. Whether this was so or not, Boase also positioned his own fieldwork practices against those of the ‘hasty stranger’, noting that whilst on fieldwork: I received many and urgent invitations, even from strangers:- but I soon learnt that such intercourse, though very agreeable, interfered too much with the object in view. I accordingly avoided society altogether; and applying to no one for information, contented myself with examining such objects as came in my way, and which, in a country like Cornwall, could not fail of being both numerous and interesting.94

Peach also subscribed to this value system and placed great emphasis on fieldwork and extended familiarity with a place. He began his paper on fossil geology, for instance, with the assertion that ‘I have confined my observations on the fossiliferous strata of Cornwall to the spots I have myself visited’.95 Thirdly, the mapping of geological structures had the potential to confer authority and an enhanced reputation on the mapmaker. For Carne and Forbes this was of a very local form; one that did not really extend beyond its own county boundaries. This changed from the 1830s. The British Association meetings facilitated the dissemination of regional geology to a national scientific audience. It also of course meant that research was exposed to a diversity of opinions and theories, and particularly to the opinions and ideas of the powerful metropolitan elite. Within this national scientific economy, reputations could be greatly enhanced or entirely destroyed. Both Boase and Peach had the temerity to propose quite radical and far-reaching ideas at the BAAS meetings; ideas founded on fieldwork in Cornwall and represented in maps. The observations made by both men were considered by influential geologists. Peach’s reputation flourished while Boase’s was irreparably damaged by these encounters. This can be explained largely by their willingness, or otherwise, to conform to an increasingly prevalent idea of the limits of a provincial geologist’s capabilities. Peach clearly recognized this and was willing to perform his role as first and foremost a supplier of observations and specimens to his intellectual superiors. In doing so he was always careful to exhibit the right degree of humility to his audience – when he presented his map and table of Cornwall’s fossil geology, he was ready to acknowledge their shortcomings, pleading ‘as an apology my inexperience in these matters … I have neither an Agassiz, a Murchison, a Phillips or a Sowerby, to help me’96 In Boase’s case, we might argue that the level of criticism he received at the British Association meetings was due to his overstepping the limits of his scientific position as a provincial geologist, and being unwilling to exhibit the right degree of subservience when presenting his work. That Boase’s labours were eclipsed by the work of Henry De la Beche, John Phillips and the Geological Survey at the end of the 1830s supports this sense of a trend towards the

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nationalization of scientific endeavour and the marginalization of local expertise and idiosyncratic information.

Conclusion Many of the details contained in the early geological maps of Cornwall had disappeared from those produced from the 1830s onwards. Details of local antiquities were absent from maps of Cornish geology from Boase onwards, as were local gentlemen’s seats. (While that was the case for geological maps, records of ancient and historic monuments began to be mapped with increasing sophistication by antiquarians from the 1850s onwards.) To mobilize Rudwick’s notion of a visual language, we might say that the Cornish geological maps bore the marks of a loss of local dialect. They also recorded a more structural shift, with the demise of chorography and the rise of more specialized scientific vocabularies. In doing so, maps of Cornwall’s strata desisted from making an explicit contribution to the discourse of the propertied. They remained of relevance to discussions of the management of soil and agricultural improvement, but only because the study of the land itself became understood in increasingly scientific terms. While the maps of Forbes and Carne conveyed a form of elite authority based on landedness, the later maps of Cornwall’s geology conferred an authority founded on scientific knowledge and ability. Even though the geological maps of Boase and Peach were designed to express local expertise, which in turn was justified on the basis of extensive fieldwork and an intimate knowledge of place, they were intended to travel far beyond their geographical boundaries; and to support ambitious theoretical ideas. Despite their differences, however, all of the maps considered here functioned within the context of entrenched social and political interests. The failure of Boase’s map was the most eloquent demonstration of what could happen when one tried to operate outside of what Jacob referred to above as ‘an elaborate rhetoric of power’. To counter the impression that geological maps became solely the preserve of specialist practitioners from the second half of the nineteenth century onward, it is worth noting the explosion of maps at that time aimed at general audiences, particularly at the interested tourist. Delano-Smith has argued that maps for tourists were an invention of the nineteenth century, and that by the midnineteenth century guidebooks had become sophisticated navigational tools as well as reliable information resources on what localities offered the traveller.97 This was certainly the case in Cornwall, a region that had become increasingly popular as a tourist destination as well as a location for convalescence. A host of guidebooks and maps appeared shortly after the opening of the London to Penzance railway in 1859, including John T. Blight’s 1861 A Week at the Land’s

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End, James Halliwell’s 1861 Rambles in Western Cornwall by the Footsteps of the Giants, Richard Edmonds 1862 The Land’s End District, the 1863 Routebook of Cornwall, Thomas Mills’s 1863 A Week’s Wanderings in Cornwall and Devon and R. J. King’s edited 1865 Handbook for Travellers in Devon and Cornwall. All of these sought to convey lessons in science, topography and antiquities to the educated Victorian tourist. Blight’s book is a good example of the genre. It was aimed at the visitor to Cornwall, who harboured a wide-ranging interest in geology, geography, natural history and antiquities. The map that accompanied the book therefore showed not only the churches and castles, stone circles, burial chambers and ancient settlements of the district, the names of hills, headlands and bays, but was also coloured to indicate the underlying geology. To conclude, it is interesting to note the connection that remained between these tourist maps and the early geological maps of the RGSC. The maps of Forbes and Carne operated within a late eighteenth-century moral and natural-philosophical discourse of improvement; one that placed great emphasis on the role of the landowner as improver of land and of culture. Whilst much of this was lost in the increasingly rational language of scientific specialization that Boase’s and Peach’s maps exhibited, tourist maps and guides nonetheless also placed a moral weight on their readers to consume geography correctly. Like other forms of popular science writing of the period, they narrated how nature, landscape and history were to be consumed. In this sense, tourist maps, like the earlier geology maps, encouraged a close and careful interaction with place and, if followed correctly, so conferred on the map-reader their own form of moral and intellectual authority.

4 THE DEPTHS OF THE BILLOWS

Eight years after the death of its author in 1870, the Royal Institution of Cornwall reissued Jonathan Couch’s A Cornish Fauna. The Fauna had originally been published in three volumes from 1838 to 1844 and coauthored by Jonathan and his son Richard. The 1878 edition was published in one handy volume and combined the work of father and son with substantial additions from a new group of Cornish naturalists: Joshua B. Rowe, Thomas Cornish, E. H. Rodd and C. Spence Bates. In a revised preface, edited by his son Thomas after his death, Jonathan Couch made a forthright claim as to Cornwall’s value to natural history more generally: Whether we regard its geographical position, at the extremity of the kingdom, and surrounded so much by the sea as almost to partake of the character of an island; or whether we take into account the irregularity and diversity of its surface and soil, with the peculiarity of its climate and prevailing winds, there is no county in England that presents such variation of aspect from all besides, as does the county of Cornwall; and as the ocean which surrounds its in general rocky coasts is to be considered as a portion of itself, and the depths of the billows are constantly presenting to the observer some new object of animal life, it will be long indeed, before the curiosity of an inquirer will be satisfied, or the subject can be regarded as exhausted.1

Couch also noted the lack of need for any defence of or apology for ‘the study of the natural productions of a limited region’, saying that: it is highly gratifying to find that such an explanatory apology is now no longer necessary. It is admitted on all hands that such a work is useful. By the scientific naturalist it is confessed that many of his most valuable contributions towards the progress of knowledge have been poured into the common stock from this source; and the local resident has felt a pleasure in discovering that he may become acquainted with the natural objects which surround him.2

The contributions that local faunas made to understandings of the numbers and distributions of animals in a limited district and across the face of the earth, and to the influence of local circumstances on the form, colour and habits of species,

– 81 –

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were now proven, Couch claimed. The various use of these studies both to the scientific naturalist and the local resident were also widely accepted. If this was incontrovertible in the late 1870s, it certainly was not in the 1830s, when the first volume of the Fauna had been published. Of course, geographically-confined natural history was not a form of investigation novel to the nineteenth century, whether in Cornwall or elsewhere. The county natural histories of the nineteenth century grew out of (although were not simply an extension of ) an already well-established form of regional description. As we saw in Chapter 1, the chorographical accounts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were geographical descriptions of the English regions that included sections – even entire volumes – dedicated to local natural history, although these were often simply lists of the different forms of life existing in an area, with many written to aid the medical student.3 This changed, Browne argues, in the mid-eighteenth century. Although they had been in use for some time, by the 1760s the terms ‘flora’ and ‘fauna’ were being employed to designate the ‘structural uniqueness and topographical limits of the entire population’ contained in a geographical area.4 ‘[B]uilt into the idea of a flora or fauna’, Browne goes on to claim, ‘was the assumption that each set of species was, in some way, native to its country … Having swung away from the notion of one source for all species, naturalists turned instead to the marked regionality of the living world.’5 So, whilst floras and faunas produced before the mid-eighteenth century did not necessarily imply any strict relationship between organism and place of residence, those written after the 1760s conveyed ‘a certain comprehensiveness, a particular geographical region that had been thoroughly investigated and exhaustively catalogued’.6 In other words, the field became not just a collecting spot, but the object of study in itself. The majority of these eighteenth-century volumes were concerned with the documentation of the natural history of national areas, like John Hill’s Flora Britannica (1760), William Hudson’s Flora Anglica (1762), John Lightfoot’s Flora Scotica (1777), Thomas Pennant’s British Zoology (1761–6), and James E. Smith’s English Flora (1824–8). Given these volumes’ size (often they were multi-volume publications), and their price, they catered neither to the fieldworker nor to those of more modest means. Allen notes that by the 1820s there ‘was a substantial unsatisfied demand for inexpensive works of identification’.7 The development of the steam-driven printing-press in the 1810s along with the reduction of ‘taxes on knowledge’ in the mid-1830s ‘permitted a great expansion in press and periodical publishing’.8 Natural history certainly benefited (at least quantitatively) from the removal of this economic glass ceiling, with the production of numerous cheap manuals for the part-time or impoverished naturalist. The newly-instituted national and provincial societies of natural history

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that were discussed in previous chapters took full advantage of these benefits and quickly established their own Journals, Transactions and Proceedings. It is unsurprising then that the nineteenth century became the era of the county flora and fauna, or at least of regionally-organized studies of plants and animals. For instance, Hewitt Cottrell Watson’s, admittedly partial, survey of English regional floras in his Topographical Botany (1873–4) demonstrates a clear rise in popularity for regional, county and local floras in England from the 1830s through to the 1880s.9 Such regional works, Allen claims, were popular because they ‘presented newcomers to the study of the area with a nicely delimited target of work’; the compilation ‘of as complete and exhaustive account as possible of the plants or birds of their parish, district or county was a challenge, even a kind of reflex action’.10 Whether a challenge or not, local naturalists were working under a number of constraints, including those of money and time – what Thomas Bell summarized politely as being ‘restricted by circumstances’11 – which meant that working close to home was often all that was possible for them. Collecting objects of natural history from the local area, particularly plants, was easy and rewarding, even if identifying them and turning them into specimens was rather more difficult, as was determining their significance more broadly. To Allen’s logistical constraints we could add a philosophical one. Connecting local descriptions of natural history to wider debates, whether in relation to nomenclature, biogeography or the species question, was beyond the majority of provincial naturalists (even if they thought otherwise). James Harting, the author of The Birds of Middlesex, articulated the position and attitude of many when he stated: I neither understand nor take an interest in the endless and complicated subgenera, and other fanciful divisions, which some naturalists adopt; but I am an ardent lover of the study of the habits and manners of birds… With this love of the feathered race, and the advancement of constant observation owing to a continued residence in the country, I have endeavoured to note down such particulars gleaned during my rambles as may enable a stranger to form a good notion of the distribution of our resident and migratory birds.12

Like Harting, many local naturalists were aware of and interested in geographical questions of distribution and migration, and their relevance to debates around species origin, but generally avoided straying into philosophical debate and contenting themselves instead with the provision of information of potential use to others.13 Put differently, for the provincial naturalist the discovery of a new species (whether new to the county, country or to science) was prioritized over the development of a new theory.14 Endersby has noted that the Victorian enthusiasm for natural history collecting had a number of effects. It promised the documentation of out-of-the-way

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places as well as easily procurable specimens for those men working in centres such as the British Museum or Kew Gardens. It also created a host of local naturalists who fancied themselves equal to their metropolitan equivalents; a conviction based not on philosophical expertise but on the fact that they ‘felt they knew their locality’s flora and fauna better than these distant experts’.15 At best this could lead to a form of natural patriotism where naturalists would assert the diversity and value of their locality’s plants and animals; at worst ‘this conviction could inspire them to devise alternatives to aspects of the metropolitan standards’.16 The solution to this last problem was the cultivation of what Endersby calls the ‘craft aspects of collecting’.17 By way of definition, he reminds us that natural history specimens were artifacts that were made according to exacting standards – collectors had to know which objects to collect in the first instance (in other words they had to identify them correctly); and then to gather them; document their occurrence; label them; preserve and mount them properly; and even communicate their occurrence to others in writing, either in a letter or as a publication.18 These craft skills were more or less controllable, either through philosophical texts, popular instruction manuals or through correspondence between metropolitan and local naturalists, or even between notable regional naturalists and their followers. But the instructors did not always have it their own way: the result was not a one-way flow of specimens from periphery to centre ‘but a complex negotiation in which each side bartered its assets according to its interests and in the process defined who was central or peripheral and why’.19 This and the following chapter examine the making of the Cornish region and, in the process, the making of the Cornish naturalist. They look at the work of several notable figures and their projects to map the contours of Cornwall’s nature. In doing so they trace the forging of Cornishmen and women’s identities and ‘careers’ as naturalists – achieved through the veracity of their ideas and embodied skills; through their own networks of collectors and local social position; and their place in the networks of others beyond the county. The first section of this chapter focuses on Jonathan Couch and demonstrates the way in which he established an early set of rules for the production of a local fauna, and used those to argue for a uniquely Cornish zoological geography. Couch’s stimulus to other zoologists in the region is also discussed, especially in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Chapter 5 examines the work of a number of botanists in the 1830s and 40s, particularly Elizabeth Warren, from Flushing near Falmouth. Warren organized a project to collect and compile a hortus siccus of the indigenous plants of Cornwall for the RCHS. In doing so she mobilized a network of local collectors and in turn corresponded with William Hooker at Kew Gardens. She provided Hooker with Cornish plant specimens for his study of the British flora as well as those from much further afield that came through the port of Falmouth. The chapter concludes with an examination of John Ralfs’s

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The Flora of West Cornwall, a nine-volume work that was written, although never published, over the period 1878–84. Ralfs’s main concern was to bring studies of the Cornish flora in line with more generally received methods for the collection and registration of botanical records, especially those propounded by Hewett Cottrell Watson. In their various attempts to rewrite the county as a book that could be read scientifically, these Cornish naturalists created a host of other local collectors who orbited around them. At the same time they were also rewritten: either as competent collectors usefully positioned at one of the British Isles’ interesting margins; or as an old-fashioned provincial whose observations and collections were inaccurate and poorly made and so dispensable.

Jonathan Couch and British Zoology Jonathan Couch (Figure 4.1) was the first person to attempt to write a comprehensive account of the Cornwall’s fauna. In fact, Browne notes that Couch’s three-volume A Cornish Fauna was one of the first explicitly named faunas in Britain.20 Couch was born in Polperro on the south Cornish coast in 1789. After a schooling in the county he embarked on medical training at the combined medical schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’s in London. On completion of his studies in 1810 he returned to Cornwall and Polperro, to practise as the town’s doctor. He rarely left again and died there in 1870. From three marriages he had five sons and four daughters – most notably for this chapter, his son Richard Quiller Couch, who became a Cornish naturalist of some note himself and who wrote the third volume of his father’s Cornish Fauna. Despite his self-imposed isolation from the centres of British natural history Jonathan Couch developed a national reputation as an expert in marine zoology. He published widely in national periodicals such as the Imperial Magazine, Jardine’s Magazine of Zoology and Botany, the Reports of the British Association, the Zoologist, Annals and Magazine of Natural History, the Journal of the Linnean Society and the Intellectual Observer. His main contribution to debates about British zoology was his four-volume History of the Fishes of the British Islands, published from 1862 to 1865, and reissued without alteration three times before 1878. He also translated Pliny’s Natural History for the Wernarian Club and produced a booklength study entitled Illustrations of Instinct: Deduced from the Habits of British Animals.21 Couch was well connected with many of the prominent naturalists and scientific institutions of the time. He corresponded with the noted engraver Thomas Bewick and sent him writings and drawings for his British Quadrupeds and his projected A History of Fishes.22 He was a friend of William Yarrell, the zoologist and author of the History of British Fishes (1836) and A History

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Figure 4.1. Jonathan Couch, examining the tusk of an African Babiroussa, or wild boar. Taken at Trelawne, Pelynt, Cornwall by Lewis Harding in October 1856. By permission of the Royal Institution of Cornwall.

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of British Birds (1837–43). Yarrell looked after Couch’s son Thomas during his studies as a medical student in London, entertaining him at his home, taking him to philosophical meetings and lending him books on botany.23 Couch was also correspondent with the likes of Richard Owen, John Gray, Philip Gosse and Frank Buckland. He regularly supplied specimens and papers for reading to institutions such as the British Museum and the Linnean Society, and was elected Fellow of the latter in 1824, and Corresponding Member of the Zoological Society of London in 1866. In the 1820s Couch was a keen supporter of the Linnean classification system.24 In his unpublished History of Cornish Fishes, Couch noted the necessary evil of artificial classification systems and that of those, Linneaus’s had ‘obtained the most general suffrage’.25 Although he acknowledged wider early nineteenthcentury concerns over the system, he supported the author’s intention ‘to form a classification which by unalterable external works should direct an inquirer to what place to refer a specimen, of the name of which he was desirous of being informed’.26 In doing so he mirrored the enthusiasm and pragmatism of other British natural historians for the Linnean system well into the nineteenth century.27 By the 1840s, however, he had begun to adopt the natural system of continental natural history associated with Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu, Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and others.28 Mr William Mansel Tweedy, secretary of both the RHSC and the RIC had urged Couch to follow Lamark’s arrangement, suggesting he refer to a full outline of Lamarck’s schema published recently in the Reports of the RIC, as well as to G. B. Sowerby’s 1839 Conchological Manual.29 Couch responded positively to Tweedy’s advice, in his study of cetaceous molluscs declaring that ‘as the classification of this eminent Naturalist is now chiefly followed in England: the shells of the British Museum being arranged by it … it is judged proper that the present work should not form a departure from it’.30 As Linneaus and then Lamarck helped Couch organize his studies so religion motivated them. For Couch the study of nature was ultimately an attempt to understand God’s divine plan: ‘The great difference that exists between the forms of the different orders of animated beings … direct us to the contemplation of that wisdom which form’d them, and of that goodness which plac’d within their reach the objects which are adapted to their organs and their happiness’.31 This divine investigation was profoundly empirical. Science, he said to the audience at the Linnean Society in 1820, ‘is the knowledge of the works of God, and … [t]hese works can only be known by personal examination’.32 For Couch, the ‘personal examination’ of nature was the pre-eminent task of the naturalist. A proper natural history would include only observations made by the author himself or at worst by ‘such observers as he can confidently trust’.33 In turn, reliance on ancient writers’ observations or even on modern accounts should be avoided

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due to ‘loose discrimination’ and the prevalence of ‘copyists’, respectively.34 Mixing theoretical ideas and empirical observations was also to be avoided, ‘since by mingling them closely together, what is true will perish in the overturning of a theory by some novel explanation or the discovery of some facts that cannot be reconciled with anterior fancies’.35 As even the most assiduous naturalist could only make an examination of a small parcel of the natural world, it was incumbent upon all to participate in this endeavour so as to ensure an ‘improvement of knowledge’.36 The best place for a naturalist to begin this study, Couch argued, was in the local region. The naturalist would be best equipped to understand – not to mention more interested in – his local fauna, whilst in turn the local area would be the best starting point for the development of a general and comprehensive knowledge of nature. This call, according to Couch, writing in the late 1830s, was still largely unanswered: the structure, peculiarities and habits of life, of the creatures of our own neighbourhood, will serve as the best foundation on which to build the edifice of general learning, … and so far at least, is the science in its youth, that there is scarcely a district, even in our own nation, of which we are able to believe that our knowledge of its Natural History is nearly complete.37

Here Couch was supported by his peers elsewhere in Britain. Few works were published in the 1830s and 40s on the British fauna but one notable exception – Thomas Bell’s 1837 The History of British Quadrupeds – put forward a similar lament and call-to-arms: It is true that in few instances only will the animal productions of a single country furnish forth such a multitude of forms in any particular group, as shall constitute the basis of a satisfactory illustration of the whole plan of zoological arrangement… But even in less favoured climates … few persons are aware to what extent such domestic means of study exist, and how little we need be indebted to foreign aid in acquiring the first principles at least of zoological science.38

Jonathan Couch’s son, Richard Couch, also supported this position. Richard, a medic and mine surgeon in Penzance, was also an active natural historian. Like his father, Richard argued that ‘the investigation of circumscribed localities, the habits and economy of animated nature are more minutely observed and better understood than when studied in the mass’.39 All of these men defended their geographical focus by asserting the contributions that regional studies could make to broader debates about both the locatedness and movement of animals, Bell arguing that many species of the British mammalia might actually remain unrecorded; that those that had been could be better examined; that certain areas were poorly studied, such as the British coastline; and that more needed to be done on the influence of climate, soil and ‘other local circumstances in deter-

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mining the range of species, the changes of varieties, and the extent and periods of migration’.40 Jonathan Couch noted that animals did not seem to be indiscriminately ‘scattered over the face of the Earth; but that certain species are the inhabitants of regions, beyond the limits of which their appearance is regarded as extraordinary’. Concerted studies of these communities of animals might, Couch suggested, provide connections between their geographical limits and ‘peculiarities of food and climate’.41 Richard Couch echoed his father’s sentiments regarding the strong links between animals and geographical regions. He also argued, like Bell and Harting after him (see the quote above), that animal migration – a phenomenon that had ‘hitherto baffled the researches of naturalists’ – would be explained through the production of local faunas: If after repeated observation it be found that certain creatures periodically visit and leave certain regions, it seems the most rational to suppose that an explanation is to be found, either in the condition of the earth’s surface, climate or change of the seasons, the supply of food, or some other cause depending on local peculiarities.42

Local faunas would also be able to enhance understandings of animal communities now extinct. As animals left marks of their existence on the region – through their remains, records of their participation in historical events, and in the names of places where they were once found – so the naturalist could reconnect them with their place of origin and in turn associate them with living creatures.43 Lastly, the production of local faunas could contribute to the provision of food and the improvement of the local economy. For instance, Couch proposed that a better scientific understanding of local ichthyology would help improve the supply of fish.44 Couch put his own county to work in the substantiation of his assertions concerning the value of local zoological study. However, Cornwall was not simply a convenient site for the practising of Couch’s local natural historical agenda – it was a region uniquely suited to such an approach: These observations apply with especial force to the County of Cornwall. Situated at the extremity of the Kingdom, and projecting into the depths of the Atlantic, its position, climate and mineralogical structure combine to assign it a distinguished place in natural science above most other Counties of England; in comparison with which its quadrupeds and feathered inhabitants are as numerous and various, while the residents of its waters are even more so; and taken together they form such an aggregate of interest as will well repay the attention of the enquirer.45

The local fauna was the ideal method to open out the region for examination: in Cornwall ‘a local Fauna will be found to hold an important place in the estimation of the student; for it will present to him a summary of the species already known, with their varieties of occurrence, and the circumstances

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under which they have hitherto been obtained’46 Cornwall was a county that provided an ideal space for the composition of a regional fauna. In turn, this form of study itself would open up the county to the inquirer and effectively place its natures into a set of broader debates about the distribution of the animal kingdom.

Cornish Zoology in Mid-Century In the twenty-fifth annual report of the RIC the following statement was made: In concluding this Report, may we not, without presumption, lay claim to no niggard share of the patronage which this County affords to science? when we can refer to our Museum as a means of diffusing information of no slight value to the community and to our publications, especially our Fauna, the first systematic attempt to form a scientific Catalogue of the Natural History of a County, accompanied, as it has been, by the appropriation of a particular department of our Museum to its elucidation, a proceeding of which the importance can scarcely be estimated too highly, and which will be duly appreciated by the scientific stranger who may visit the County.47

The Fauna to which the RIC Report referred was that written by Jonathan and Richard Couch. The Institution had commissioned Couch the elder to produce the work with the express intention that it should make reference to and extrapolate upon the museum of natural history that the society had established in Truro. The commissioning of the Fauna was an explicit attempt to connect the county’s natural history with its equivalents in the museum; to encourage a belief that nature – local nature to boot – could be placed, viewed and catalogued in the same way as an arranged display. The Institution published all three volumes of the Fauna, the first in 1838, the second in 1841 and the last in 1844, at the same time as the Report from which the above quote was taken. The first volume dealt with the ‘Vertebrata, Crustacea and a portion of the radiate animals’, the second with ‘the Testaceous Mollusks’, and the third with the ‘Zoophytes and Calcareous Corallines’.48 To promote the publication of the final volume, Jonathan Couch was invited to address the theme of the production of a fauna of Cornwall at the twenty-fifth annual meeting of the Institution. Couch took the opportunity to inform the institution of further, recent additions to the county fauna. Doing so, he noted: That these additions are not more extensive is chiefly to be ascribed to the deficiency of observers in the favourable situations with which our county abounds. It is, however, a gratification to learn that those who will record observations are on the increase; that gentlemen are found who will show so much respect to a neighbouring naturalist or to a public institution, as to send a rare specimen for examination; and, consequently, we are less in the habit of hearing of the occurrence of rare or unknown birds or fishes, which have been only wondered at and thrown aside.49

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Couch’s complaint about the moribund state of Cornish zoology was wellfounded – there were very few people in Cornwall working on zoology and publishing their findings at the time; the only exception (apart from the Couchs themselves) being Edward H. Rodd, a local ornithologist. This was by no means a problem common only to Cornwall – the study of the British fauna more generally lagged behind its flora – with the notable exception of the avifauna50 – and Couch’s work (as noted in the RIC statement above) was one of the first such studies to address this lacuna explicitly.51 Nonetheless, Couch’s own work did much to stimulate others into action.52 As Couch himself noted, above, the 1840s were marked by increasing levels of zoological activity in the county – a trend supported by and partly attributable to the expansion of a number of scientific societies in the county in the 1830s – while the 1850s and 60s were the decades with by far the most papers published on Cornish zoology of any in the nineteenth century. These studies were organized either around groups of animals, whether birds, fish or zoophytes; around particular circumscribed localities; or around habitats, such as woods, meadows, the littoral or the pelagic zones. That said, the numbers of people participating in the study of Cornwall’s fauna remained small and so it is just as reasonable to break the field down into personalities as it is into methods or themes of study. Jonathan and Richard Couch continued to dominate the field but were increasingly supported by Charles Peach, Edward H. Rodd, and William Pennington Cocks from the late 1840s onwards, all of whom published significant numbers of papers in both local and national scientific journals. In the last two decades of the century a new group of naturalists emerged in the far west of Cornwall and published their work in the Transactions of the PNHAS, while Rupert Vallentin based himself for a time at Falmouth and studied Cornwall’s littoral fauna. This broadening of interest in the second half of the century corresponds with Allen’s observation of the ‘secondary exploration’ of areas already reasonably well known at that time, by ‘a type of naturalist that this era supplied in exceptional abundance’. These were, according to Allen, ‘the stranded men’; in other words, the local clergy, medics, lawyers, teachers and other professionals who had likely received a university education but ‘who were rooted to one small district by their pastoral or professional duties for major parts of their lives’.53 As was noted above, these men, just like their contemporaries in other parts of the country, produced increasing numbers of publications up to and including scholarly monographs. These in turn helped police and curtail duplication of effort and fanciful claims; directed attention towards understudied species and districts; and encouraged correspondence and a sort of dispersed collaboration amongst otherwise isolated individuals.54

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Unsurprisingly, Jonathan Couch himself did much to further the development of the fauna of Cornwall over the mid-nineteenth century, writing wide-ranging reports on Cornwall’s zoology for national journals, such as for the Reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Loudon’s Magazine of Natural History and the Zoologist, and more detailed reports of the observation and capture of particular specimens, which he generally placed in local scientific journals.55 Occasionally he would publish the same piece in both local and national publications, such as his report on whale sightings that appeared in the Reports of the RCPS in 1856 as well as in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History.56 Although the subjects of his studies ranged widely – covering insects, birds, farm animals, bats, botany and folklore – his main preoccupation was marine zoology: crustaceans, fish and mammals. Much of this work focused on creatures that had a commercial value. He was a recognized expert on the pilchard for instance, which was very important to the Cornish fishing industry, and he also produced papers on edible crabs, salmon, lobsters, hake, shrimp and mackerel.57 In doing so, Couch urged other naturalists to give due consideration to the ‘great extension and improvement’ of the fisheries (Figure 4.2).58 Couch was obviously geographically well placed for the study of marine zoology and he made use of the scientific capital this afforded him. Like many local natural historians Couch placed great store on ‘long residence in favourable situations’ and in particular on a willingness to pursue natural history in the field: ‘the observer must consent to be abroad in the Tempest’ he argued, and ‘be often on the rocky shore’.59 His willingness to spend long periods ranging over the coast during and after stormy weather and at low tide – dressed always in his ‘frock coat, tall hat and spectacles’ – meant that he came regularly across unusual fish and mammals that had been beached.60 These encounters would routinely form the subject of short notices in local journals.61 Couch also relied heavily on the catches of local fishermen and was a familiar figure on Polperro’s quay head, where he would paint any strange fish that had been brought in before their colours faded. He also gained the confidence of local fishermen and valued greatly their knowledge of the sea and its inhabitants, referring routinely to their ‘intelligence’ and ‘long observation’.62 He took this advice to a Linnean Society meeting, urging the audience ‘to mix with fishermen in their business’ and went as far as to accompany them on fishing trips as well as to employ them in his own more scientific voyages. When Couch secured a grant of £5 from the British Association’s Dredging Committee in 1866 ‘for the purpose of making discoveries, in Natural History by means of the dredge’ he turned to the local fishermen and coastguard for help. One man in particular was particularly useful on this and other occasions – William Laughrim, a fisherman and captain and boatman in the coastguard and Couch’s protégé, ‘whose zeal for this Object has long been

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Figure 4.2. Couch’s sketch of a sea trout, undated. By permission of the Linnean Society of London.

well known; and who in carrying out the intention has had, from the occasional inclemency of the weather, to encounter no small amount of inconvenience, and even danger’.63 Under Couch’s tutelage, Loughrim went on to become adept at preserving fish and a number of them were taken by the RIC’s museum. He was elected an Associate of the RIC in recognition of his labours.64 Couch’s interest in the coasts and the shore and his use of the dredge were unexceptional for the 1860s. Edward Forbes had popularized the dredge method in papers in the Magazine of Natural History and had himself persuaded the British Association to establish their Dredging Committee in the first place.65 The years around the middle of the century, as Allen notes, also witnessed the appearance of a range of monographs and popular handbooks on the coast, shoreline and shallow seas, written by Philip Henry Gosse amongst many others.66 In his immensely popular A Naturalist’s Rambles on the Devonshire Coast, in 1853, Gosse described the marine aquarium and predicted that it would soon be in mass-production.67 Something of a national craze for marine life followed, which stretched as far as Penzance. Charles Peach was another employee of the Coastguard and he also assisted Jonathan Couch and his son Richard in their work on Cornwall’s marine fauna. As we saw in Chapter 3, Peach was located at Gorran Haven (only a few miles by boat from Polperro). As well as his geological work Peach wrote numerous papers on marine zoology, particularly on zoophytes, sponges and crustacea, mainly for the Reports of the RIC.68 Although his job presented enviable opportunities for

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natural history study, his small salary and isolation from intellectual circles – that Gorran Haven had no post office made him feel ‘much out of the world’ – meant that he relied heavily on the support and patronage of the Couchs. In one letter to Richard Couch, Peach thanked him for the offer of the loan of a book but tried to balance matters by asking for a list of Richard’s Cornish corallines so that he might present him with any specimens he had in his own collection. When he presented a paper on the Cornish zoophytes in the Reports of the RIC in 1848 he started by apologizing to Richard for encroaching on his research area – ‘it evidently is his ground’, he noted.69 Couch rewarded Peach for his help with a warm acknowledgement in the third volume of the Cornish Fauna.70 William Pennington Cocks was another contributor to the Cornish fauna. Born in Devon in 1791, Cocks trained as a medic and moved to Falmouth in 1842 for his own health. He wrote almost yearly reports on the marine and terrestrial fauna of Falmouth and the surrounding region for the RCPS from the late 1840s to the early 1870s.71 He also wrote a number of more extended manuscripts on the subject, although they were never published.72 Although often referred to as Falmouth’s own Gilbert White, Cocks failed to gain the same degree of recognition that Jonathan and Richard Couch or Charles Peach enjoyed. This was partly due to the very limited nature of his geographical scope, and partly to the rather stuff y and parochial tenor of his observations. A follower of Linneaus even into the late 1850s,73 Cocks’s records were really only useful to other naturalists of Falmouth and the surrounding area (although of course that was precisely the audience he was concerned to address). Observations that specimens had been found in the ‘meadow near Dog-Kennel, Panscoth Lane’, or in the ‘barn in Mr Jago’s field leading to Trevathan Lane’ certainly did not travel well beyond Cocks’s own local area.74 He was an adept preparer of specimens and a skilled illustrator, however, and these skills made him useful to naturalists elsewhere. As well as colour paintings of natural history objects Cocks also produced political cartoons and illustrations of pathological conditions for medical dictionaries.75 Edward Hearle Rodd was the other notable contributor to the Cornish fauna in the mid-nineteenth century. Rodd was born in 1810, the son of the Rector of St Just in Roseland. He trained in the law and settled in Penzance where he ran a law firm. He also held a number of civic posts in the town, such as town clerk from 1847, superintendent registrar and head distributor of stamps in Cornwall from 1844. He was a founder member of the Penzance Choral Society and he taught at St Mary’s Sunday School, as well as being a keen ornithologist.76 Unlike Peach, who looked at particular habitats, or Cocks, who concentrated his researches on a geographical area of land around Falmouth, Rodd focused exclusively on birds. He wrote yearly reports for the RIC on Cornish ornithology that went almost unbroken from the early 1850s to the late 1870s, as well as

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articles for the Zoologist and the Ibis. However, his most concerted contribution to the field was a book on the same theme.77 In his work Rodd noted his heavy debt to others’ observations, making extensive use of both living and dead accounts of Cornish birds to supplement his own. In particular, he relied heavily on the sporting enthusiasm of his brother Francis Rodd, who owned Trebartha Hall on Bodmin Moor but who would travel as far as the Scilly Isles to shoot birds.78 Rodd then had them stuffed by the Penzance taxidermist W. H. Vingoe. Rodd’s close association with Vingoe meant that he was alerted when any rare species came into Vingoe’s shop, which then ‘came under my immediate observation’.79 Rodd saw the study of birds in Cornwall as having an essential part to play in understandings of British ornithology more generally. He claimed that some of the rarest of the British birds were first seen in Cornwall and that some were only seen there. He also harboured an interest in migration and suggested that Cornwall served as an important stopping-off point for birds on longer journeys: The importance of the locality of Cornwall as a maritime district, and lying so far south and west, for the advancement of Ornithological science, has been felt to be very great; and the success which has attended such researches has caused the Cornish Fauna to be more amply enriched than perhaps that in any other English county. Encouragement is given by the frequent occurrences of rare species at the period of the northern and southern migratorial movement, to preserve in following up this department of natural history in our locality, and from the general interest which is now felt towards it, it is not likely that a rare bird, or a bird of unusual interest will pass unnoticed or unrecorded.80

Although Rodd and Jonathan Couch devoted themselves to the pursuit of different groups of animals – birds and fish respectively – both men employed their studies to argue for similar ends.81 As the quote above demonstrates, Rodd shared Couch’s belief that the study of Cornwall’s natural history would shed light on processes operating across which wider scales.

Late-Victorian Cornish Zoology Work on the fauna of Cornwall gradually declined in quantity from the 1870s. Charles Peach left Cornwall in 1849 and although he continued to write on Cornish zoology his contributions dwindled. Richard Couch died, aged fortyseven, in 1863 and his father followed him in 1870, while Cocks died in 1878 and Rodd in 1880. Without them the study of Cornwall’s fauna was in danger of going into terminal decline. Enough had already been done, however, to satisfy Jonathan Couch’s restless ambition for a comprehensive county fauna. As was noted at the very beginning of the chapter, the RIC reissued the Couchs’ Cornish Fauna in one volume in 1878, with additions from Joshua B. Rowe to the

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‘mammalia’, Thomas Cornish to ‘reptilia and pisces’, Rodd to ‘aves’ and C. Spence Bates to ‘crustacea’. Contributions to the Cornish fauna did continue in the last quarter of the century. Natural history received something of a revival in the west of Cornwall with the re-establishment of the PNHAS in 1880. In 1881 the Society conducted a review of past work on the natural history of west Cornwall: the result appeared so creditable, as showing such a large amount of excellent work done, chiefly by members of the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society, that the Committee resolved to publish it, not only as an index to past labours, but as an incentive to future efforts.82

Figure 4.3. Rupert Vallentin’s map of St Ives Bay. From Vallentin’s ‘The Fauna of St Ives Bay, Cornwall’.

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A reference list of studies of the Cornish flora and fauna followed, which included the work of Cocks, Jonathan and Richard Couch, and Rodd, as well as a group of naturalists who were involved in the running of the Penzance society and published their findings in its Transactions: E. D. Marquand’s work on coleoptera, hymenoptera and lepidoptera; Mr Tracey Millett on molluscs; and George Tregelles on crustacea for instance. This work had ‘proved that the fauna of the district is far more rich and varied than might at first have been anticipated’, but that ‘Much remains to be done, especially among the lower groups of animal life, and it is earnestly hoped that the naturalist members will direct their attention to these hitherto neglected though promising fields of labour’.83 As an encouragement the Society published yearly ‘Additions’ to the recorded fauna and flora of west Cornwall – lists of species discovered to exist in the region that had gone unreported in previous lists. In doing so, the Society’s members followed the ‘vice-county’ model of recording and were likely inspired by the local naturalist John Ralfs, who we will return to in the next chapter. Although there was a limited ambition to these works – they were usually little more than lists of species with brief commentaries on where found – the Society promoted their role in wider recording projects: It is impossible to overestimate the value of these papers and systematic lists, which will go far towards supplying the necessary materials for an exhaustive work on the Fauna and Flora of Cornwall, whenever the time shall arrive for such to be written.84

The last significant contribution to Cornwall’s fauna was made by Rupert Vallentin (1859–1934). Originally from Walthamstow near London, Vallentin relocated to Falmouth where he used his private means to fund his research into Cornwall’s littoral fauna.85 Vallentin wrote a series of articles on the marine fauna of the Cornish coasts throughout the 1890s and 1900s, which were largely published in the Reports of the RCPS and the Journal of the RIC. He operated out of a small purpose-built ‘biological laboratory’ on Falmouth harbour – a ‘small wooden building ten feet square, fitted with aquaria, and with a fairly constant supply of sea water laid on; and also containing the usual paraphernalia necessary for biological investigation’.86 In setting up his ‘zoological station’ Vallentin was connecting the far southwest of Britain into an international network of such sites, all of which were located on the coasts and so faced out to sea.87 From there he set about adding to the work of Cocks and others on Falmouth’s fauna, although he became increasingly dedicated to the particular study of the pelagic life in and around Falmouth harbour. In doing so he carried out regular dredges using a small eleven-foot sail and rowing boat, and later constructed his own double centre-board canoe. Through reference to work carried out at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, and in consultation with trawler men, Vallentin attempted to link his observations and collections to operations of wind,

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currents, tides and temperature.88 Like Couch he also relied heavily on fishermen allowing him to ‘overhaul their “scruff ” before washing out their boats, and so make many interesting additions to my collections’.89 While polite about his predecessors he was also gently critical of their methods, noting for instance in his paper on the fauna of St Ives Bay that ‘no systematic collecting appears ever to have been done’ in Cocks’s and Couch’s work on the area. Unlike these men, Vallentin believed in the value of comparative study and so conducted three visits to Stanley Harbour, the Falkland Islands, between 1898 and 1911 to study its fauna and flora.90

Conclusion Jonathan Couch’s work on Cornish zoology – and particularly his Cornish Fauna – set an example for other similar studies in the county. The association between the Fauna and the contents of the RIC’s museum gave the project a higher profile and increased credibility. It also reinforced the idea that such studies could lay the county bare for examination – put on display for anyone who knew how to appreciate it, just like the museum cabinets and labels in the RIC’s museum in Truro. While this approach could be applied anywhere, it was used in Cornwall to highlight a natural exceptionalism: a range of environments that produced a varied, prolific, even unusual wildlife. In the case of ichthyology, this was also a wildlife that could and should be put to use. In other words, regional faunas exposed natural riches that could produce riches of a more mundane kind. All that said, there was little coordination or strong purpose to the labours of Cornwall’s zoologists beyond the documentation of the county’s animals. Despite the best intentions of the RIC, no one society really took on the role of managing this project and Jonathan Couch was too removed from local intellectual centres to do so effectively. There was only limited engagement with philosophical ideas such as indigeneity and migration, while methods of observation were idiosyncratic until Vallentin began to carry out his systematic dredging operations and the PNHAS naturalists used the vice-county system. Probably the main contribution Cornwall’s natural historians made to debates in natural history was therefore through correspondence with the likes of William Yarrell and Richard Owen and through the circulation of their publications, so that their records on Cornwall’s wildlife could be employed in either national scale faunas or in wider philosophical arguments. The paucity of work into regional faunas in the 1830s had made Jonathan Couch’s life at the same time both difficult and easy. On the one hand, Couch had to develop his own localist approach and on top of that had to define a set of conventions for its very conduct. On the other hand, he was fairly free to indulge his own predilections – there were few other naturalists telling Couch how to

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organize his observations, or works on the Cornish – or indeed the English or British – fauna that he was obliged to follow. Cornwall itself therefore became a test-ground for a new regional faunistic study.91 The same was certainly not true for Cornwall’s botanists, the subject of the next chapter.

5 A LARGE NATURAL GREENHOUSE OF ENGLAND

Unlike the faunas discussed in the previous chapter, county and national floras were commonplace by the nineteenth century. Cornwall’s botanists therefore operated in quite a different intellectual economy to their zoological counterparts. The likes of James Edward Smith, James Sowerby, Dawson Turner, William and Joseph Hooker, and Hewett Cottrell Watson advanced botanical beyond zoological science such that Charles Darwin could claim in 1856 that ‘Botany has been followed in so much more a philosophical spirit than Zoology’.1 As a result provincial botanists were much more heavily regulated than their zoological counterparts and operated with much less latitude and in a much more crowded field. In the same year that Jonathan Couch was laying out his zoological prospectus to the RIC, the Worcestershire naturalist Edwin Lees was able to state, without defence or justification, that the ‘utility of local floras is indispensable, not merely as a companion to the wandering Botanist, but as data for the Scientific generaliser’.2 Whilst Lees was willing to admit that works such as his own on the Malvern Hills had a range of well-defined roles, he was quick to note the lack of such a study in his chosen area of research: ‘it is almost marvellous that, visited as the Malvern Hills are from all parts of the world, no complete account of their vegetable productions has ever yet been published’.3 This was a common refrain in regional or local floras of the period: a simultaneous acknowledgement of the author’s limited role in an already crowded philosophical field and a justification of their presence on the basis of a blank area on the nation’s botanical map. This chapter examines the work of Cornish botanists across the course of the nineteenth century and pays particular attention to several county botanical projects and their chief organizers: Elizabeth Warren and John Ralfs. It will be shown that Warren, Ralfs and others were embedded in national botanical networks and as a result were closely regulated by those networks’ fine-grained social and intellectual conventions.

– 101 –

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Elizabeth Warren and the Hortus Siccus of the Indigenous Plants of Cornwall At the RCHS’s October exhibition of 1833 special prizes were offered for the ‘largest and best collection of Cornish dried plants – all collections exhibited to become the property of the Society’.4 The regulation of prizes for the indigenous plants exhibitions was refined in 1835 and published in the fourth annual report of the committee of the Society.5 All plants were to be submitted to the Society’s secretary one week prior to exhibition so that the judges could examine them and prepare a report for the President. The Prizes to be awarded were: 1st.- For any plant growing in a wild state, in the County of Cornwall, which had not before been known to belong to the British Flora. 2nd.- For any plant belonging to the British Flora, but not hitherto known to grow in Cornwall, of which satisfactory evidence be given, that it has been found in a Cornish locality. 3rd.- For the best collection of dried Cornish plants, to supply those wanted for the Hortus Siccus. 4th.- For the best collection of dried plants not peculiar to Cornwall, for the general Herbarium. 5th.- For the best collection of Cryptogamous plants.6

The plants entered at these exhibitions formed the basis of the Society’s Hortus Siccus of the indigenous plants of the county. An annual ‘Indigenous Report’ was included as part of the Annual Report of the Society and prepared by a committee appointed to judge the merits of the plants exhibited during that year. To encourage collecting, from 1834 lists of indigenous plants wanted for the Hortus Siccus were printed in the Reports of the Society. It was claimed by the committee – made up of the Rev. Lampen and William Booth (the Society’s assistant secretary) – that these competitions had gone far in promoting the science of botany and an ‘acquaintance with the Cornish Flora’.7 Along with these competitions, members of the Society were encouraged to keep monthly registers of all the Plants they find flowering in their neighbourhood, and to transmit such registers, with a particular account of the extent of the district to which their observations have been confined, to the Secretary, when they may think them sufficiently complete, that from these sources an accurate account may ultimately be obtained of the distribution of plants in this County.8

The Society also began to set money aside to fund the establishment of a library of botanical books, the advantage being ‘the facilities afforded by those who may have to adjudge the prizes for Indigenous Plants, in ascertaining their various merits, and thereby exciting a larger interest in investigating the Flora of this County which, although peculiarly rich, is still almost unknown’.9

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The establishment of a small library was viewed as something of a substitute for the most ideal botanical teaching space of all – a botanical garden.10 The RCHS tried to establish a botanical and horticultural garden in 1840, and even secured land for that purpose, but the attempt was unsuccessful and was not pursued.11 Such an apparent lack of concern about the establishment of a botanical garden or arboretum, especially when set against the fervour that surrounded the establishment of those other scientific spaces discussed in Chapter 1, might be explained by the numerous private gardens that were being planted in Cornwall at around that time. Lysons and Lysons noted in 1814 for instance that ‘most of the proprietors of lands in this county are directing their attention to planting, so that in thirty or forty years, Cornwall will present extensive wood-land scenery, both useful and ornamented’.12 Their prediction was certainly accurate, with a large number of gardens being established in the sheltered valleys of the Cornish south coast. For many landowners, this was as much a scientific endeavour as it was an aesthetic one, as the mild climate and ready access to exotic species of plants through the Falmouth Packet Service facilitated experiments in acclimatization. This was so much the case that by the end of the century the noted Cornish botanist Hamilton Davy was able to state that: As the Englishman has shown adaptability for almost every country under the sun, so the climate of Cornwall has successfully wooed into obedience floral varieties from the temperate to the equatorial zone. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that every known land has been laid under contribution by our gentry in their praiseworthy labour of love.13

Many of those involved in the organization of the Cornish scientific societies participated in this acclimatization project, the Fox and Lemon families being particularly notable. Charles Lemon was a keen plant collector. He had been a sponsor of Joseph Hooker’s Himalayan expedition and had offered awards to Packet commanders who brought the largest numbers of new plants back to Britain with them. He planted seeds from Hooker at his Carclew estate – he was one of the first people in Britain to grow Hooker’s rhododendron seed – and experimented with tree planting. At the third exhibition of the Horticultural Society in 1832, Lemon claimed that ‘our climate is particularly favourable for making experiments in the comparative hardiness of exotic plants’ and that ‘Should any one be desirous of visiting his gardens, he would be happy to point out to them those plants which appeared to him to be acclimatised’.14 The Fox family – so central to the success of the Polytechnic Society – also developed gardens, at Penjerrick, Trebah and Glendurgan, all of which were close to Falmouth. At Penjerrick (bought by the Fox family in the early nineteenth century as a summer residence) Robert Were Fox carried out experiments on the acclimatization of plants. He was credited with naturalizing over 300 spe-

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cies, many brought to him by clients of the family shipping agency.15 At Trebah, Charles Fox planted shelter screens and then developed the wooded ravine below the house. From the topmost windows of the new mansion Fox, along with the help of a telescope and megaphone, directed an army of gardeners in a planting operation across the twenty-five acres. Many of the plants were seedlings, but Fox had his gardeners scrambling and struggling up and down the steep slopes of the ravine, carrying wooden scaffolding towers, supposed to represent a particular plant in its maturity.16 Like the Foxes and Charles Lemon, many other landowners also developed their gardens. As Pring notes, ‘in design terms, as the Victorian age progressed, anything and everything was tried’, including the use of glass houses, the building of vast rockeries, as well as numerous themed American, Japanese, and Italian gardens.17 With all this planting, landscaping and experimenting being carried out in Cornwall, it came as no surprise that Cornwall’s various scientific societies were relatively unconcerned about the establishment of a botanical garden or arboretum of their own. While the Horticultural Society was sanguine about its failure to establish its own botanical garden, it invested heavily in the production of a Cornish flora. Although Francis Jenkins offered £15 towards such a venture and Mr Francis Pascoe of Trewhiddle offered to publish it at his own expense, the project was never realized.18 This lacuna was only heightened by the successes of other counties, most notably by Cornwall’s neighbour, Devon. Jones and Kingston had published their Flora Devoniensis in 1829, even if they did apologize in the preface for the incomplete nature of the work and the inevitable need to add new species in future editions.19 It was Miss Elizabeth Andrew Warren who set out to correct Cornwall’s botanical failings and was intimately involved in the RCHS’s collection of Cornwall’s indigenous plants from the outset. Public records of Cornish botanical science leave only a modest trace of the activities of Elizabeth Warren (there is no portrait for instance). Warren was born in Truro on 28 April 1786. She never married and resided for most of her life at Flushing, an affluent village on the Penryn river facing the large port of Falmouth and popular as a residence for Packet Service Captains and famous for its regular dinners, balls and parties.20 She was familiar with the local landowners, such as the Enys, Fox and Lemon families. Warren did not work, and it was reported by Isabella Gifford (the author of Warren’s memorial upon her death) that ‘the labours of collecting and arranging her collections gave her always sufficient occupation when at home’. Gifford – herself a celebrated and published botanist from Somerset – went on to note that Warren spent a portion of the year with her relatives, during which time her ‘botanical pursuits were entirely laid aside’.21 Warren died at Kea, near Truro, at the residence of her sister, Mrs Temple on 5 May 1864.

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Warren divided the time she devoted to botany amongst field-collecting, preparation and labeling of specimens, involvement with local scientific societies and correspondence and botanical exchanges, most notably with Sir William Hooker. Warren began corresponding with William Hooker in December 1834, when she wrote to him complimenting him on his The British Flora,22 and asking for more information on a volume he used therein: Jones’s ‘Botanical Tour in Devon and Cornwall’.23 This led to a twenty-five-year correspondence between the two. Their correspondence followed broadly similar patterns and conventions. It was based on an exchange economy, where Hooker supplied expertise and Warren – along with the Cornish naturalists Charles Johns and John Ralfs – secured specimens and local botanical information. All were deferential to Hooker, recognizing him as their social and scientific superior, Warren perhaps more than the other two. She even referred to herself on one occasion as Hooker’s ‘little pupil; unluckily placed’.24 Warren dominated the RCHS indigenous plants competitions from their inception. In the first year of the competition in 1833 she won 10s for the most rare species and 7s 6d for the best group. Warren went on to take on the responsibility of promoting, coordinating, judging and arranging the Hortus Siccus of the county flora for the Society. In the report of the Annual General Meeting of the Society on 4 March 1834 ‘great progress’ in the collection of the indigenous plants of the county was noted, ‘which under the superintendence of a Lady (Miss Warren, whose love for, and knowledge of, the science of Botany, render her so competent), is now in progress of arrangement…’.25 Warren happily took on the role, acknowledging it to be a task that she felt ‘not a slight degree of ardour in promoting’.26 In 1837 the RCHS chose to award her one of their Silver Medals, ‘for a trifling acknowledgement of the important services she has rendered to the Society, and of her zealous endeavours to promote the cultivation of Indigenous Botany’.27 She even used the Society’s annual reports to raise the profile of the endeavour: ‘Local collections in the county’, she said, ‘whether the plants are named or not, will always be acceptable to the Society, and afford much satisfaction in showing that it has not laboured in vain to excite an interest in the healthful and pleasing pursuit of Botany’.28 Warren was eventually made an Honorary Member of the Society in 1844 in recognition of her general contributions to botany and her specific contributions to ‘indigenous botany’.29 This was as far as Warren went in terms of her participation in associational science. She did not take up prominent roles in any of the local scientific societies – despite a second class subscription to the RCPS she was never invited to sit on the Committee and her most elevated position was as judge on the Indigenous Plants section. Nor did she choose to join the Botanical Society of London, a society that actively encouraged women as members.30

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By 1836 Warren was one of the judges appointed by the RCHS to inspect the specimens entered in the indigenous plants exhibition, along with Lampen and Booth. Although she was enthusiastic about the project she was less optimistic about the value of the exhibitions in the generation of new additions to the Cornish flora. She wrote to Hooker on several occasions in that year expressing her low expectations of ‘seeing any novelty exhibited in the Indigenous Department’.31 Despite her frustration, Warren obviously took the position seriously, as it gave her the opportunity to police the inclusion of specimens in the Cornish flora. The task of arranging the influx of specimens and corresponding with fieldworkers was a demanding one for Warren. In gentle complaint to Hooker, and in comparison to the much larger demands on his time, Warren wrote that she found herself ‘overwhelmed with only the arrangements of the exhibited plants and dried collections of this County! with the correspondence the publicity of this work has drawn on me…’.32 Indeed, the following year, when the RCHS asked her to arrange for them all the British plants, she asked for a reprieve, arguing that she still had most of the cryptogamic plants of Cornwall to arrange: ‘Even plants themselves have their periods of repose, therefore it cannot be unreasonable to claim the like privilege’.33 Nonetheless, over the 1830s and 1840s she masterminded an extensive network of field-collectors across the county, each of whom made contributions to the Hortus Siccus.

Local Networks of Botanical Collecting A fairly small group of botanists were responsible for the majority of the specimens that eventually went on to make up the Hortus Siccus. Foremost amongst them were the Rev. Charles A. Johns; a Miss Rodd – daughter of Rev. Rodd of Trebartha (probably Harriet Grace Rodd); Mrs T. Grylls of Cardynham – likely Mrs Sarah Grylls, wife of the Rev. Thomas Grylls; Mr John Ralfs of Penzance; Rev. W. S. Hore; Mr Charles Peach; Mr William Lobb; Mrs John Vivian; Mr William Curnow and Miss Emily Stackhouse, not to mention of course Elizabeth Warren herself. Of those who were recorded as having kindly donated specimens or collections of specimens to the Society a number won prizes or were rewarded with a financial remuneration. In 1835 for instance, Mrs Grylls was given £2 for her contribution of 336 specimens, of which about 30 not being natives of Cornwall, will form the commencement of a general Herbarium, which will be found a most useful acquisition to our Botanical Library; 97 plants of this collection supply some of our desiderata of our Cornwall Hortus Siccus, and the remainder consists of specimens which will be valuable in affording further illustration of the characters of plants which are already in our dried collection.34

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Other contributors included William Lobb for his discovery of Cypherus longus and for a collection of cryptogamous plants, that have been exhibited in the best state and order possible, and contain among the Lichens the Borrera flavescens, never before found in England in fructification; and the Parmelia pulata but very rarely so; together with 26 Mosses that were wanted for the Hortus Siccus; and the judges think this diligence in exploring the county, united with his ability in the selection of the plants and preparing the dried specimens, merit the peculiar notice of the Society.35

Lobb, it was also noted, kept and had donated to the Society local monthly registers of plants growing in the parishes of Feock and Perran from May to September.36 (Warren also kept registers, for the parish of Mylor.) John Ralfs, already well known for his work on phaenogamous plants, also presented a number of collections, including a group of microscopic fungi in 1842, lichens in 1844 and in 1847 a specimen of Parmelia ‘new to the society’s herbarium’.37 The three volumes of dried collections that Warren compiled included specimens donated by these and other collectors – twenty-three in all.38 Warren was by far the most prolific of contributors, with 73 per cent (341) of the specimens attributed to her. Charles Johns contributed 8 per cent (36) of the specimens, Mrs T. Grylls, 6 per cent (29), Charles Fox 3 per cent (16), William Lobb, 1 per cent (6) and the remainder making up the final 9 per cent (Figure 5.1). All of Warren’s stations were located in west Cornwall, none further east of Newquay on the north coast and Veryan Bay on the south. A large proportion of her collections came from a relatively small number of stations. Of Warren’s eighty-eight recorded stations, twenty-one produced 77 per cent of Warren’s total number of located specimens, whilst only ten stations produced 53 per cent of Warren’s total number of located specimens. With the exception of Perranzabuloe on the north coast, all of these latter stations were grouped around the Fal river basin. The largest collecting station by far – Mylor with fifty-one specimens and which accounted for 17 per cent of the total number of Warren’s located specimens – was at the centre of this group and, unsurprisingly, very close to Warren’s home village (Figure 5.2). Indeed, Figure 5.2 demonstrates that Warren was a botanist who chose to keep within about a five-mile radius of her home and who made the most of the sheltered inlets and creeks of the Cornish south coast. Warren’s obvious reluctance to travel extensively in her field-collecting presented opportunities for others to contribute to the Hortus Siccus. One of her most valued collectors was Charles Alexander Johns, the headmaster of Helston Grammar School and a noted botanist in his own right.39 Johns was the author of more than fifteen books on natural history, most published by the Anglican publisher, SPCK. Despite his reputation, Johns remained a useful provider of

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Figure 5.1. Stations at which specimens were collected for the Hortus Siccus.

Figure 5.2. Number of specimens collected at each station by Elizabeth Warren.

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the flora of the Lizard peninsula to the west of Warren’s haunts. Although Warren did visit the Lizard on field-expeditions and collected at several spots on its south and west coasts, Johns supplied a fairly large number of specimens from a variety of locations. Johns’s family connections in Plymouth and his prominence as an author of natural history books meant that he travelled more extensively than Warren and collected a number of specimens from stations around the Tamar River.40 Grylls, as the third most significant collector in terms of numbers of specimens contributed, also concentrated her fieldwork over a strip of land running from St Blazey and the Tamar on the south coast to the River Camel and Tintagel on the north. The Grylls family were based at Cardynham, at the centre of that area of land – the station where Grylls collected most of her specimens. It is of course possible that both Grylls and Johns collected much more widely than the areas that the Hortus Siccus records them as having visited, but that their other contributions were excluded to make room for Warren’s own specimens.

William Hooker and Botanical Reputations The network that Warren masterminded on behalf of the RCHS was also put to use in a much bigger botanical project – William Hooker’s compilation of a British flora. In her correspondence with Hooker, Warren promised its services to him, claiming to be able to solicit collectors to procure Cornish specimens as required. In 1841 for instance, she stated that ‘there are persons conveniently situated near the native stations of many of our most rare Cornish plants, to whom I can apply by letter; and who for a trifling remuneration for digging up and packing, would forward any you might wish, on my naming them and pointing out some particular localities’.41 She also claimed to have access to non-botanical collectors, including the Coast Guard. Later in the same letter quoted above, she reported that the Lieutenant of the Coast Guard – Charles Peach – was a botanical enthusiast and had trained his Boatsman to recognize rare specimens: ‘This I consider to be a very proper person for our purpose’ Warren concluded, ‘and there is another in the neighbourhood of Penzance, apparently in the lower walks of life [presumably William Curnow], who is still better acquainted with the subject, having exhibited many plants from that vicinity, to whom I will write’. She also intimated to the fact that her network extended beyond the bounds of the county, stating her intention of also writing to a clergyman in Devon, ‘who is a botanist, and who will likely be glad to furnish you with any [plants] within his reach’.42 Warren’s relationship with her fieldworkers was not, however, as exploitative and self-serving as the above discussion would imply. She was also not out of kilter with the practices of others elsewhere. In their Flora Devoniensis, for

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instance, Jones and Kingston thanked their local correspondents for help in compiling their work, noting that ‘it is only by the concentrated exertions of different individuals that the Flora of a district can be completed’.43 Like them, Warren certainly made effective use of Cornwall’s dispersed group of botanical collectors to further various botanical projects, but that did not mean that those collectors were left unrewarded. Indeed, there were several benefits for those who provided specimens to Warren. Most obviously, supplying the RCHS with indigenous plants was a potential source of recognition, and possibly reward, for collectors through the Society’s programme of exhibitions and awards. This source of motivation is most clearly evidenced in William Lobb’s decision to abandon work as a gardener for various local landowners and to pursue a career as a full-time collector of plants. In relaying to Hooker the various collections supplied to her by Lobb, Warren worried about the latter’s ability to sustain himself solely as a plant collector: ‘he has traversed much of the northern and middle parts of Cornwall to obtain [specimens of lichens]; for the purposes of getting prizes from the Hort’l Society, but these are of so trifling an amount, as can never repay him for a tenth of his time and trouble’.44 Lobb was, however, exceptional. None of the other botanists involved in the Hortus Siccus attempted to make their living through the revenues raised by collections. In the main the reward open to the collector was prestige rather than financial remuneration. The real benefit of donating specimens to Warren for these collectors was an improved reputation as a good collector and identifier, a careful preparer and labeller, a reliable and respectable correspondent, and, above all, an expert in their local botany. This was important for the simple reason that a collector’s ability to submit an ostensibly rare or even unknown specimen for an RCHS prize, or for inclusion in the Hortus Siccus, was predicated on the trustworthiness of the collector him or herself. Questions to be asked of the collector included whether they were deemed competent enough to distinguish between a genuinely wild plant and one accidentally or artificially introduced, and perhaps even more pertinently, whether they could be trusted in their claim that their specimen was an indigenous species and not maliciously cultivated by that person for their own gain. Warren pushed William Tweedy, the RCHS secretary, to get the stations of entries for RCHS prizes ‘particularized and authenticated’ by ‘our best authorities’.45 She was particularly concerned about over-enthusiastic collectors submitting specimens that were not indigenous at all, but were either accidentally sown or deliberately planted in a domestic garden or for farming purposes. The county’s warm climate – what she termed its ‘aptitude … to acclimation’ – made the propagation of relatively exotic species a very real possibility, requiring ‘no little scrutiny to keep the Flora of Cornwall within its own true limits’.46

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The collector’s trustworthiness – at least for those whose occupational or familial status did not provide social respectability at the outset – was in large part vouched for by local figures of note, whether local experts like Warren, noted professionals such as school masters or medics, or from the local landowning class. Warren, for her part, did all she could for her fieldworkers’ reputations, both within and beyond Cornwall, and in many ways this was her own form of remuneration for the services rendered to her by them. Warren went to great pains to highlight to Hooker the various merits of scientific proficiency, mechanical dexterity and personal presentation possessed by her little army of collectors. Warren’s correspondence with Hooker regarding Lobb’s collecting efforts is exemplary in this regard: His appearance is respectable… His plants are dried, and his Mosses prepared, and labelled in the nicest way:- and indeed the very neat manner in which he brought forward his indigenous plants at the exhibitions was fully identified by his having had an extra prize given him for that particular circumstance which no other person has had.47

Other notable Cornish botanists engaged in this practice. Charles Johns also took it upon himself to further the reputations of local artisan botanists. In his own correspondence to William Hooker, Johns spent some time highlighting the good work and moral probity of a number of local collectors, particularly William Curnow. Curnow was a market-gardener from the village of Newlyn, west of Penzance, who supplied the RCHS with specimens for its general collections. Johns, in relaying his first meeting with Curnow to Hooker, reported to have found him ‘a very well behaved and intelligent man, an ardent lover of Natural History, uneducated, but showing signs of a character of mind far superior to what we generally expect to find in persons of his station’.48 Like Warren, Johns focused not only on Curnow’s abilities as a botanical collector and preparer but also on his moral virtues. In terms of the latter, Johns judged him to be ‘an industrious hard-working man’, of a respectable family, good natured and remarkably neat, the last based on a valuation of the state of his cottage ‘by several ladies who had visited it’.49 As a botanist, Johns reported Curnow to be proficient enough with Latin, an accurate examiner, and an excellent preparer of specimens, all the more remarkable given his employment as an agricultural labourer: ‘When I looked from his beautiful Hepaticae to his coarse work-hardened hands I could scarcely believe it possible that he could have been the manufacturer; yet nearly all my Hepaticae have been laid out by him and all are equally well done’.50 Perhaps the most telling fact of Curnow’s moral character and scientific prowess was his ability as a correspondent. Although he was not glowing of Curnow’s handwriting, Johns noted to Hooker that Curnow would happily give away duplicate specimens but

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‘has several times refused to sell them’. That Curnow, unlike Lobb, didn’t attempt to make money from the exchange of botanical specimens spoke volumes of his commitment to botany for its own sake. Indeed, such was the effect of these reports that some artisanal botanists went on to initiate correspondence of their own with the likes of Hooker.51 These, usually brief, exchanges were sanctioned and even encouraged by the likes of Johns, Warren and Ralfs. Both Johns and Warren operated within a well-trammelled set of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century botanical codes regarding the exchange of correspondence and specimens between different social groups. As Secord has highlighted, botany in this period relied on a gift-exchange economy where different practitioners swapped rather than sold knowledge and specimens. Johns’s compliment regarding Curnow’s unwillingness to take money for his specimens reflected contemporary opinion that those who sought to make a living out of botany could almost by definition not be considered a disinterested scientific practitioner.52 Warren’s and Johns’s anxieties regarding the relative abilities of their collectors (think of Warren’s dim view of the prospects of generating good specimens for the indigenous collection from open exhibition) also highlights a prevalent variegation of authority during the period. Indeed, Warren’s worries about the veracity of local collectors’ claims mirrors those of metropolitan botanists regarding their colonial correspondents. For instance, Joseph Hooker worried endlessly about the abilities of his collectors in New Zealand to get their plant identifications right.53

Negotiating Botanical Authority It was not just the market gardener or rector’s wife who needed to establish and maintain a botanical reputation. Despite being at the centre of a local network of collectors, when she ventured beyond that into more rarefied climes, so too did Warren. Just like her own charges, she also had to persuade her superiors that she was a competent collector, identifier and preparer of specimens, not to mention a valuable and well-placed correspondent. This was apparent in several ways. In terms of her own abilities, Warren made much of her competency in the field. In a letter to Hooker shortly before her fifty-fourth birthday, Warren notes that ‘I treated myself with a long ramble after the H. helisossyllum and succeeded in obtaining 3 or 4 plants’.54 She continued to botanize into at least her sixties, noting in September 1848 that ‘I have recently been visiting (in company with Mrs. W. Phillpotts and the Rev. C.A. Johns) the locality of a Heath discovered by a Mr. Watson. We found it a solitary plant of considerable size, hanging from the top of a dry … hedge, on a hill, with flowers such as C. tetralis, and leaves as C. ciliaris’.55 Warren portrayed her fieldwork as a gentle and appropriately accompanied activity, conducted amidst a bucolic landscape. She was careful not to

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portray her fieldwork endeavours as excessively taxing, so allowing her to keep them within prevalent assumptions about acceptable gender activities.56 Warren botanized across a range of habitats, although her longstanding interest in cryptogamic plants and in particular in marine algae (or seaweeds) meant that the shoreline was her preferred site of activity. She published several articles on this group of plants in the Reports of the RCPS – on Cornish cryptogamic plants in 1842 and on marine algae around Falmouth’s shores in 1849 (and repeated in the Transactions of the PNHAS in the same year).57 Her shoreline botanizing resulted in the discovery of a new species of seaweed, previously unknown to English shores, named Kallymenia dubyi. Another, Schizosiphon warreniae (now called Rivularia biasolettiana), was named in her honour by its discoverer Robert Caspary in 1850. Warren’s general enthusiasm for botany and particular interest in marine algae was entirely in keeping with trends at the time. Both Sheffield and Shteir have documented the contributions that women made to the collection and cataloguing of marine flora in the early-to-mid-nineteenth century and noted the profusion of female botanists – including Amelia Griffiths, Margaret Gatty and Isabella Gifford – working on the southern English coastline in the mid-nineteenth century.58 Seaweed, along with shell collections, were viewed as appropriate for women as they were deemed tasteful as well as decorative, and collecting them involved no cruelty.59 Warren also asserted her abilities as a cataloguer and preserver of botanical specimens. She made sure Hooker appreciated her enthusiasm for work in the warmth and dry of the drawing room as much as in the field. As well as preparing the specimens for the RCHS’s collections of ‘indigenous plants’ and their general collections, she also amassed her own private collections. Her note to Hooker on this matter highlights her enthusiasm for this aspect of her work: My evening amusement at present is to affix the specimens of plants, that you so kindly furnished me with, on papers, and order them in a book for myself; which is to contain all the most rare British species; and I really return to this business every night with fresh enjoyment and from which no invitation to cards and company can allure me.60

Warren made sure that Hooker was in no doubt that she was the best person to deal with regarding the procurement of Cornish specimens. She did this by limiting others’ dealings with Hooker. For instance, when she discovered in 1835 that Johns – then an assistant school master at Helston Grammar School – was writing to Hooker and supplying him with specimens, she suggested to the latter that it would be better if Johns’s specimens came to her and were sent to Hooker along with her own parcel.61 As Sir Charles Lemon always paid for Warren’s post this act was undoubtedly kindly received by Johns. Nonetheless, it also intimated a wish on Warren’s part that any specimens out of Cornwall to Hooker went

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through her first. Warren also claimed some responsibility for Johns’s success as a writer of popular books on botany. John’s bestselling The Flowers of the Field, first published in 1847 but which was still in print over a hundred years later, was copiously illustrated by a Cornish botanical illustrator, Miss Emily Stackhouse.62 Stackhouse was from a long family of well-known naturalists and regularly supplied Warren with specimens for her Hortus Siccus. Upon sending Hooker a drawing of a plant by Stackhouse for identification, Warren claimed that she ‘has drawn for herself a great number of the British Plants, and very many of the illustrations in Mr John’s [sic] popular little Books have been exhibited for him by her – to whom I had the pleasure of introducing him’.63 Stackhouse eventually wrote to Hooker himself in 1857, offering the use of over 600 drawings by her of English plants. It is not inconceivable that Warren induced her to do so. Like Johns, Warren kept tabs on John Ralfs. Ralfs arrived in Penzance from London, via Torquay, in November 1837 (and died there in 1890). By 1839 he had published his first book, The British Phaenogamous Plants and Ferns.64 Also in that year Warren wrote to Hooker sending him a specimen of lichen she had collected near Falmouth, and led the topic of conversation on to that of Ralfs, with whom she had corresponded on the same subject. ‘I have never seen and am not acquainted with Mr. Ralfs’, she said, ‘further than as a botanist by exchange of specimens’.65 She went on to report Ralfs’s circumstances – as she saw them – to Hooker, her tone perhaps sceptical, and certainly not immediately trustworthy: ‘He has been in lodgings in Penzance the last winter … and says of himself that he is a surgeon, absent from London his home, for the last four years on account of his health’. All of this would have been known to Hooker, who had been corresponding with Ralfs since the previous year. Warren in fact corresponded and collaborated with Ralfs throughout his life in Cornwall; an unsurprising fact given their mutual interest in cryptogamous plants. Whilst it appeared that Warren did much for Ralfs in terms of supplying him with specimens, she was nonetheless careful to ensure that her position with Hooker was not usurped. Similar to her curtailment of Johns’s shipments of specimens directly to Hooker, Warren would collect Ralfs’s specimens and send them to Hooker herself.66 She also ensured that news from Hooker came through her and not directly to Ralfs. Ralfs made several references in his own letters to Hooker to messages relayed to him from Hooker via Warren: For instance: ‘Allow me to thank you for your kindness in encouraging my little work, as communicated to me by Miss Warren’ in a letter written later in 1839;67 and again in December 1840, ‘Understanding from Miss Warren, that it was your intention to have answered my last letter, but that anxiety caused by the ill health of part of your family prevented your attending to Botany…’.68 Warren reinforced her botanical reputation to Hooker by highlighting her usefulness as someone positioned at a crossroads of global trade. The vil-

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lage of Flushing, where Warren resided, faced across the harbour to the port of Falmouth, the latter the home of the Packet Service since 1688. Given its long history of communication with the Iberian Peninsula, the Americas and the East and West Indies, the town was used to thinking of itself as central to the movement of goods, people and information around the world. Indeed, in 1822 alone America, Denmark, France, Hamburg, Prussia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Sicily and Sardinia were all represented by ViceConsuls there, reflecting the town’s extensive commercial and shipping interests. Warren certainly concurred with Falmouth’s self-image, highlighting to Hooker the various connections Falmouth had with the wider world.69 For instance, in one note she stated rather grandly that ‘I’m in the habit of seeing here coral of various and beautiful construction brought by the foreign Packets from different places’.70 The Packets were certainly important for the supply of exotic specimens to Cornish botanists. In 1836, for instance, the RCHS bemoaned the fact that Captain Sutton, an avid collector and donator of specimens to the Society, was retiring from the Packet Service and so depriving ‘the Botanist of the assistance of a collector, who has contributed so largely to our knowledge of the plants of America’.71 Warren certainly exploited the fact that so many ships visited the port so as to supply Hooker with rare plants from more exotic climes than the westcountry. Through both the RCHS and her own family connections in the Royal Navy, Warren was able to procure large numbers of specimens from as far afield as India, North America, Hong Kong and the Falkland Islands. The RCHS’s close connection with Major General Francis Jenkins (1793–1866), who was Commissioner of Assam and a Cornishman by birth, give them easy access to Indian plants. Jenkins regularly sent plant specimens, seeds, books and money to the RCHS and, as an acknowledgement of his service, was elected Honorary Member in 1836. He also induced others to send collections, including Dr Wallich, Superintendent of the East India Company’s Botanic Gardens at Calcutta, and Dr H. H. Spry, an assistant surgeon to the East India Company, and Secretary of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India. Both were elected Honorary Members of the Society.72 Their specimens Warren offered readily to Hooker, in exchange for more information regarding their identities. Supplying such rare specimens gave Warren an advantage over Hooker’s other interlocutors that she quickly exploited. The steady supply of these specimens from across the globe certainly earned Warren Hooker’s approval and occasionally more than just thanks: I beg to return you my best thanks, with Commodore St Livans [sic] for your readily naming the Falkland Island specimens, and Lichens, enclosed in my last letter, but most particularly mine for your handsome present of the new edition of your Flora,

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As much of a compliment was Hooker’s inclusion of Warren’s observations of plant distributions in the book; a courtesy he tried to extend to all who had supplied him with specimens.74 The present marked out Warren as a prized interlocutor amongst an army of collectors. It was also, as Endersby has noted, a subtle form of control on the part of the author. The provision of books by metropolitan botanists to their charges in the provinces was an established practice, ‘since books helped improve collectors and thus collections’.75 Not only did they convey proper collecting and preservation techniques, they also enforced the author’s favoured taxonomic practices and indicated gaps in their collections and knowledges. A collector who followed their botanical patron’s flora would know which local plants were worthy of note and which were already recorded: ‘as collectors acquired books, they became experts in their own eyes and those of their fellow countrymen’.76 This was certainly the case with Warren. In receipt of Hooker’s gift of his Flora, Warren pointed out a flaw in his reporting of her own observations, noting that he had confused the locations of two species of flowers she had provided him with. She was even bold enough to suggest a remedy: ‘A memorandum … made in the vol. likely to be consulted for another edition, would ensure the erasure of the error, or some future hapless botanist may labour in vain, in search of what never existed, and condemn my accuracy’.77 The uncharacteristically blunt nature of this response, especially in the context of the presentation of a gift from a renowned botanist, highlights just how much importance Warren placed on the promotion of her own botanical abilities and on the county’s botanical resources more generally. It also illustrates a more general point made by Endersby, where he observes that there was not a simple flow of plants from peripheral botanists to those at the centre of botanical networks, and a corresponding flow of authority and instruction back. Rather, the relationship was characterized by ‘a complex negotiation in which each side bartered its assets according to its interests and in the process defined who was central or peripheral and why’.78 Although the two parties were not operating on equal terms, Warren and others like her were by no means powerless. Cornish naturalists certainly made good use of Hooker to aid their own scientific aspirations. For instance, in 1835 Charles Johns asked for Hooker’s help in furthering his ambitions of gaining fellowship of the Linnean Society. Needing support, or ‘certificates’, from three Fellows, he asked if Hooker would act as one. Hooker agreed, supplying not only what Johns referred to as a ‘flattering testimonial’ but also a third certificate. Johns was duly elected Fellow in 1836. John Ralfs also used Hooker, this time through his connections in science

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publishing. In 1845 John Ralfs wrote to inform Hooker of his work on a volume entitled The British Desmidieae and asked if the latter might be willing to have his name added to the list of subscribers, as a ‘line stating your approbation would be a valuable addition to my prospectus and would no doubt when added to the names given above tend powerfully to increase my chances of obtaining enough subscribers’.79 Hooker agreed and, further, offered to place a notice in the Journal of Botany regarding Ralfs’s work. This, for Ralfs, was especially generous as when Edward Newman had inserted a prospectus for British Desmidieae in the Zoologist and the Phytologist he did so only on the condition that Ralfs should allow an advertisement of Newman’s Ferns in Ralfs’s volume.80 Warren also exploited Hooker’s experience and connections to aid her in her own publishing endeavour. After being asked to provide a visual aid to the teaching of Linnean botany to schoolchildren by the governess of her nieces, Warren decided to produce and publish a large botanical chart for schools.81 Between 1836 and 1839 – the year of the chart’s publication – Warren wrote continually to Hooker asking advice and venting her anxieties about the project. Hooker’s enthusiasm certainly seemed to keep the project going even when Warren’s flagged. The large varnished roll-down chart did not prove a great success, however, which Warren blamed on a lack of enthusiasm on the part of teachers to educate their charges in the field of botany, and reticence on the part of the publishers to bother with the promotion of the work. After receiving letters worrying about the lack of coverage her chart was getting, however, Hooker arranged for it to be reviewed in the Annals of Natural History in 1839 and it there received positive notice. The reviewer referred to Warren as ‘a lady whose accurate researches in British botany have obtained for her a name which will rank with those of Miss Hutchins and Mrs Griffiths (and we scarcely know if, botanically speaking, we can pay her a higher compliment.)’.82 This prediction did not quite come to pass. The final section of this chapter traces the demise of the model of provincial expertise personified by Warren. In particular, it examines the impact of Hewett Cottrell Watson’s biogeographical project on Cornish botany.

H. C. Watson and the London Catalogue of British Plants Hewett Cottrell Watson was born in Yorkshire in 1804 and after a series of aborted attempts at careers in the army and medicine, he settled for a life of botanical study. His lifelong interest was the geographical distribution of flowering plants in Britain, publishing a contribution to the field as early as 1832. Watson made quick use of several prominent national botanical societies to further his desire to gain a comprehensive and accurate record of Britain’s plants and their distribution. In particular, Watson became heavily involved in the running

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of the Botanical Society of London. This Society was modelled on the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, the latter issuing a catalogue of British flowering plants and ferns that members were urged to use when submitting lists of their spare collections. They could then submit specimens and others could request those their own collections lacked. The Society therefore acted as a botanical exchange whilst keeping records of all the materials that passed through its hands, which could then be used in the compilation of local floras and ultimately a complete flora of Britain.83 The Botanical Society of London, established in 1836, also assumed the role of botanical exchange and information repository. Watson took over the running of the London Society’s Exchange, as its ‘Distributor’. Allen notes that Watson ‘bullied the Society into bringing out a standard checklist, known as the London Catalogue of British Plants, so that all who sent in plants could be made to observe the same common system of nomenclature – and thereby provided British botanists in general with a cheap and handy list of the latest accepted names, which did much to bring about a helpful uniformity of reference’.84 Watson alone collated this Catalogue, which he employed as a way of forming a nationwide census of British plants.85 In 1838 Watson published provincial distribution maps for thirty-nine different species of flowering plants, the maps based on the sub-division of Britain into eighteen broad areas, or ‘Provinces’. Also in that year, William Brand instituted a set of geographical sub-divisions for the Botanical Society of Edinburgh based on the country’s main riverbasins.86 With the inclusion of more data Watson switched to smaller units – to ‘Counties’ and ‘Vice-Counties’ (of which there were 112). The attribution of plants with geographical coordinates would, Watson argued, enable the botanist to generate statistics of plants’ geographical relationships,87 and even to address the question of what constituted a species.88 Whilst Watson used his Cybele Britannica to lay out the philosophical case for his biogeographical project,89 his Topographical Botany was addressed to those who made his endeavour possible – the myriad local botanists who sent in collections of specimens to the Botanical Society of London.90 As well as ‘doing tardy justice to those botanists whose labelled specimens and manuscript notes and local lists have often proved so useful to the Author’, Watson also produced the volume to record ‘the names of personal authorities or witnesses; connected also with the names of counties and vice-counties’.91 Through reference to botanists’ labels of specimens sent to the Society, the practice of marking up the London Catalogue, as well as manuscript notes and local catalogues of plant localities, Watson produced a compilation of various forms of testimony on the British flora. For each of the ‘more generally known and accepted species’, Watson indicated the vice-counties in which they had been recorded, who had recorded them and the manner in which they had been recorded.92

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Watson wanted all botanists to follow his recording techniques and geographical schema and was largely intolerant of records that did not do so. Any record that did not follow his method was wasted and he used his Topographical Botany to highlight those local botanists who failed in this regard. In the case of Cornwall – divided into the two vice-counties, East and West Cornwall – Watson highlighted numerous correspondents and made particular reference to a small number of them. He made extensive use of the records of Arthur Briggs and James Cunnack, who both used the London Catalogue to provide Watson with a record of the plants of the vice-counties of East and West Cornwall respectively.93 Francis Pascoe, the intended author of the RCHS’s Cornish flora, was also referred to positively, as he too made use of the London Catalogue in his provision of a list of Cornish species, although he only covered a small area of ground around Trewhiddle, near St Austell. George Gibson’s list of Cornish plants observed in 1846 was, however, deemed largely worthless, as they had been arranged alphabetically and so were ‘non-legible in the London Catalogue’.94 Elizabeth Warren received the most significant rebuke in response to her submission of the Cornish Hortus Siccus: This List was returned to Miss Warren by her own desire, after I had checked off the names of the plants, in the folio edition of the London Catalogue. And as the list of names related to the whole county, not especially to either vice-county, it was found practically almost useless for the objects of the present work. There are names entered in the list, which are those of plants very unlikely to be found in the county, such as Primula farinosa and Polygonum maritimum; so that either misnomers or mis-locations would appear to be found in the collection.95

In one short paragraph Watson had deemed as worthless Warren’s attempt to produce a record of Cornwall’s botany. His dismissal also damaged the reputation of Cornish botany more generally. It fell to John Ralfs to save it.

John Ralfs’s The Flora of West Cornwall By the 1880s John Ralfs was arguably the most influential botanist in Cornwall. He was instrumental in resuscitating the PNHAS in 1880 and in 1883 was elected President of the Society. In his retiring address to the Society, Ralfs acknowledged the various criticisms Watson had made of botanical endeavours in the county, echoing reluctantly Watson’s claim that Warren’s Hortus Siccus contained ‘misnomers or mislocations’.96 Ralfs also recognized the ‘scattered’ nature of botanical inquiry. He took it upon himself to provide a complete flora of the vice-county of West Cornwall that would fulfil the requirements of Watson’s more general schema, and so too ‘render it impossible in future for any Botanist truthfully to stigmatize West Cornwall as “one of those counties of Britain the distribution of plants within which is most imperfectly registered”’.97

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Here Ralfs was responding to a criticism put out by John Gilbert Baker – Keeper of the Herbarium at Kew and a close friend of Watson – in his paper on the Lizard Peninsula in the Journal of Botany.98 Ralfs’s ultimate response to the claim that Cornwall’s botany was poorly recorded was his own nine-volume manusvript. Flora of West Cornwall, written over the period 1878–84 and for deposit in the Penzance Public Library. Ralfs was quick to establish his intentions. In the first volume he stated: My intention in writing this Flora is not merely to give a list of West Cornwall plants with localities of the rarest ones; but by giving as many habitats as possible for every species, except those generally spread over the Vice-County, to show more perfectly their comparative distribution and abundance; a work which it is impossible for a general Flora adequately to fulfil.99

Ralfs was keen to establish his own regional project as synonymous with Watson’s; indeed, even to enact Watson’s grand distributional investigations within the confines of one vice-county. He took on Watson’s advice on the classification of plants in a region, under the heads ‘natives’, ‘denizens’, ‘colonists’,100 whilst, in his own guidance to readers as to the most suitable botanical handbooks, Ralfs chose to highlight the fact that he followed the nomenclature and arrangement of the seventh edition of the London Catalogue of British Plants ‘because it is almost universally accepted as the standard authority of the British Flora’.101 In doing so he mirrored the position taken by other local botanists around the country. For instance, Briggs’s Flora of Plymouth made constant reference to Watson’s work and ensured that his study complied with Watson’s vice-county system, as did Roper’s Flora of Eastbourne.102 Lastly, and perhaps in response to Watson’s withering criticism of the use of uncorroborated lists or reports, Ralfs asserted that the ‘correctness of the habitats may be fully depended upon, since either I have myself verified them, or they are given on the authority of competent botanists whose names are invariably mentioned’.103 As noted earlier, this was a familiar refrain amongst local naturalists eager to assert the trustworthiness of their observations. In Ralfs’s case though, it is interesting to note that some of those mentioned as providers of specimens were individuals criticized for sloppy botanical practices by Watson himself. Ralfs did choose to diverge from Watson’s own schema in one significant way. Although he certainly followed the vice-county boundaries as defined by Watson, Ralfs also decided to employ the parliamentary line that divided east and west Cornwall. Mr Watson’s limitation of West Cornwall being the one universally accepted in botanical works, I do not consider that I ought to ignore it; but as, on the other hand, local Botanists may prefer West Cornwall as defined for county purposes I have in this Flora recognized both boundaries, in such a manner that the reader can choose

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Figure 5.3. Portrait of John Ralfs. From Davy’s The Flora of Cornwall.

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This was the only major concession that Ralfs made to his county of residence, although it enabled him to place his study into the preferred geographies of two different communities of practitioners – followers of Watson’s vice-county system on the one hand, and Cornwall’s local naturalists on the other, who more easily conceived of their county’s limits in terms of its parliamentary constituencies. This was not the only sop to the local botanist. Ralfs did discuss the various, general environmental factors that facilitated the growth of rare plants in Cornwall and excluded others found elsewhere in Britain – the mild climate, the absence of woodland and water-meadows for instance. The provision of information on climate, soil type, geology, topography and so on was a common feature of regional botanies of the period. He also highlighted a range of more local phenomena, such as particularly good fieldsites for the collection of plant specimens. This was particularly pronounced in his volume on the algae, a topic of especial interest to him. In a discussion of the collection of seaweeds, he asserted that ‘the flat sands between Penzance and Marazion are often very productive and some of my most successful gatherings have been made in a small cove between the back of the pier and the Battery rocks’, whilst for the rhodosperms, ‘At Mousehole the Crovania attenuata with its vivid coloured tips grows on corallines upon flat, exposed rocks, and near the same spot I have gathered in profusion the rose-red fronds of Gloiosiphonia capillaris in shallow exposed pools … I fancy the Brisons near Cape Cornwall might be explored with a fair prospect of success’.105

Conclusion Notwithstanding these hints to the fieldworker, Ralfs avoided the sort of hyperbolic remarks that pervaded Jonathan Couch’s account of Cornwall’s place in the British fauna earlier in the century, discussed in the previous chapter. Nonetheless, the two men’s aims were the same: to provide coherent methods for the study of Cornwall’s nature; to present a comprehensive survey of its flora and fauna; and to establish Cornwall as a preeminent site for research into nature’s geographies. This and the previous chapter have revealed the role that floras and faunas could play in the production of powerful spatial presentments. From the writings of Cocks on the area surrounding Falmouth, Ralfs and the vice-county of west Cornwall, to Warren’s and Couch’s descriptions of the flora and fauna of an

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entire region, the county of Cornwall was re-inscribed through the course of the nineteenth century as a space teeming with a lively nature. This was also a nature that knew its place. Although it often chose to leave the coasts of the peninsula by sea and air, Cornwall’s nature – its naturalists had demonstrated – could be mapped. Through their researches, Ralfs, Couch, Warren and others presented a natural history that could be comprehended spatially, whether through the lens of a text received by the Botanical Society of London, or directly, as one stood before and amidst the county’s natural landscapes. Cornwall was in many ways, then, presented as a natural repository, or natural museum, of nature’s productions, well ordered and presented to those skilled enough to read it. The museological overtones in this analysis of regional nature studies are not coincidental. The county flora and fauna were close cousins of the formal natural history museum (even if Warren chose instead to compare Cornwall ‘to a large natural Greenhouse of England!’)106 These studies were part of a broader and prevalent impulse to both order and display nature that gripped natural history in the nineteenth century. The clearest demonstration of this in Cornish science was Couch’s project to write a fauna that explicitly cross-referenced Cornwall’s animal life to the main natural history collection in the county. Warren’s attempt to compile a dried herbarium that could be consulted in the rooms of the RCHS. The work of Ralfs, Cocks, Rodd and others also strived toward similar ends. While Cornish naturalists promoted their county as an ideal site of nature study, so their region provided them with a variety of opportunities. Warren’s residence at Flushing was crucial to her ability to converse with Hooker, positioning her at a gateway to the wider world of British imperial endeavour. That said, the removal of the Packet Service to Southampton in 1848 marked the acceleration of Falmouth’s decline, and meant that Warren’s supply of foreign specimens declined in quantity in the 1850s, as the numbers of foreign ships putting into harbour in Falmouth inevitably fell away. Just as Warren’s botanical career was facilitated by her geographical position, so too were Jonathan Couch’s zoological pursuits. His ability to contribute to national debates about British fish was obviously improved by his location in the coastal village of Polperro. The same went for Ralfs and his interest in seaweeds and other coastal plants. It also made a difference that Warren and the other Cornish naturalists resided in a region far from Britain’s centres of botanical labour, but which, due to meteorological and geological peculiarities, was nonetheless recognized as an important region of study. The county’s relatively poor communication network – with a fairly late introduction of passenger rail (passenger and freight traffic to Falmouth from Truro only began in 1863) – enabled local collectors to play a greater role in the supply of specimens to places like Kew and the British Museum, rather than simply as entertainers of roving natural history experts.

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Like the many other naturalists spread across Britain and the empire, Couch, Warren and Ralfs all made local knowledge central to their scientific identities, alongside other relevant craft skills such as identification, recording, preservation and correspondence. As Endersby has noted, ‘Like craft skill, local knowledge could be acquired only through firsthand experience, which often entailed considerable effort’.107 As it was a physically challenging activity, the development of local knowledge was one way of proving one’s commitment, in similar manner to the maintenance of a voluminous correspondence or the preparation of an extensive herbarium. It was also what gave the likes of Warren the right to engage with such elites on broadly similar terms and occasionally even to be critical of their work. As we have seen, the value of local knowledge and the standing of the local naturalist were engaged in constant negotiations with their metropolitan equivalents. While works of local natural history were being compiled across the course of the nineteenth century, in Cornwall and elsewhere, something of a shift did take place in the second half of the century. All of the naturalists under consideration in this and the previous chapter placed great emphasis on the value of local study in advancing natural history. For Couch and Warren local faunas and floras were to be valued for their own sake, for Ralfs and the zoologists at the PNHAS, statements about the scientific value of the county’s natural history were worthless unless they were established within the received geographical and methodological context of the day – epitomized by Watson’s vice-county system. Arguably, Ralfs’s greatest achievements were to stimulate Cornish botanists to employ the vice-county system and that of the London Catalogue, and to himself place a comprehensive study of one such vice-county into the broader botanical sphere.

6 MORE FACTS, MORE REMAINS

The materials, style, measurement and appurtenances of monuments are things not to be new moulded by, or made to comply with every fanciful conjecture, but remaining always the same, will be impartial authorities to appeal to, invariable rules to judge of and decide the customs, rites and principles as well as monuments of the ancients …1

Rev. William Borlase pursued the study of Cornwall’s ancient monuments through fieldwork. As was demonstrated in Chapter 1, he placed great emphasis on the close study of Cornwall’s quoits, tolmens, circles, barrows and standing stones in situ and advocated the use of field sketches as the most faithful way of recording ‘what the monument really is’.2 Although there was something superficially modern about Borlase’s attitude, in many ways he remained of his time and was even rather old-fashioned in his approach to antiquarianism. Despite his stern warning, above, against ‘fanciful conjecture’, Borlase’s Antiquities was run through with references to the Biblical flood, to the Old Testament and to references to the ancient authors. He was also obsessed with Druids and attributed many of Cornwall’s ancient remains to their artifice.3 For instance, the Cheesewring – a pile of granite boulders on Bodmin Moor – was a platform from which Druids gave speeches. The stone basins found on top of many of Cornwall’s granite tors were created to catch the blood from Druidic sacrifices. The Men an Tol in the Parish of Madern was either for the preparation of children for worship; for the preparation of human sacrifice; or for the restoration of health. In 1872, the Rev. Borlase’s great-great grandson, William Copeland Borlase, published his own contribution to the study of Cornwall’s ancient monuments, Naenia Cornubiae.4 Perhaps to distance himself from the excesses of his late relative, Borlase launched a withering attack on any speculation as to the origins and use of these sites: Archaeology, whatever may be its pretensions to be called a separate science, can never fail to be of the greatest value when it seeks to rest the vapoury superstructure of theory or tradition upon the firm basis of observed fact … Of all the various ranges of study pursued in the present day, that of Antiquities is the one of all others in which theory, or idle speculation, should be most carefully avoided: yet, strange to say, it is – 125 –

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So what had changed, exactly? Although Cornish antiquarianism during the Victorian era continued the strongly empirical and field-based tradition promoted by the Rev. Borlase, the employment and effects of its approach resulted in a field culture whose anatomy was quite different from its eighteenth-century equivalents. Whilst there were important continuities from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth, it is also possible to identify quite real shifts in the character and emphases of antiquarian endeavours in the county taking place over the course of the first half of the nineteenth century. Whilst later nineteenth-century antiquarians shared with their eighteenth-century predecessors a belief in the superiority of an antiquarian scholarship based on empirical inquiry, inductive reasoning, and regional patriotism, the two periods nonetheless differed in the means and ends of their inquiries. Most fundamentally, antiquarianism in Victorian Cornwall dictated a firmly inductive method of inquiry that demanded the use of accurate field-surveying techniques. This approach, once standardized, in turn created the possibility of scientific theorizing as to the origin and the use of the features described. Further, it enabled the sites of antiquity in Cornwall to be placed into broader debates about British and European prehistory, including those regarding the historical geographies of the Celts, and presented an opportunity to consider Cornwall’s ancient monuments within broader moral geographies of pedagogy and preservation. The mapping of this anatomy of Cornish antiquarianism – the character of its method, its technologies of measurement, its theories, and its comparative and moral geographies – constitutes the focus of this chapter.

Early Nineteenth-Century Cornish Antiquarianism Cornish antiquarianism in the early years of the nineteenth century continued in the tradition the Rev. William Borlase himself had followed and promoted. Two notable contributions to the subject were Charles S. Gilbert’s An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall, published in 1817, and William Cotton’s Illustrations of Stone Circles, Cromlechs, and Other Remains of the Aboriginal Britons of the West of Cornwall, published ten years later in 1827. Charles Gilbert’s text was a nineteenth-century version of earlier regional studies of the county and covered a comprehensive range of topics including topography, climate, anthropology, mineralogy, natural history, commerce, heraldry and communications. It devoted some time to the county’s antiquities, justified on the basis of the argument that, ‘No county in England, presents to the eye of the antiquary so many of the labours of distant ages, or in such fine preservation as Cornwall’.6 His treatment of ancient stone monuments was descriptive and largely textual, although his volume

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did include several small sketches of particular sites. Gilbert’s descriptions were arranged on the basis of their architects, whether the Celts, the Romans, Saxons or Danes, this being, Gilbert claimed, an original premise. Whilst Gilbert’s debt to Borlase was implicit in his account, William Cotton’s later Illustrations was an explicit contribution to Borlase’s labours. Cotton was not a native Cornishman, but on a tour of the county in 1826 he noticed the monuments and read Borlase’s book. Cotton proceeded to take field-sketches and measurements of the ancient monuments discussed by Borlase, converting them into a number of perspectival drawings and plans. These were meant to provide ‘a more truthful representation of these objects than have hitherto been … accompanied by plans and measurements taken on the spot’.7 Although Cotton did claim to have discovered three monuments unrecorded by Borlase, his account was literally illustrative of the earlier man’s work, his aim less to repudiate earlier claims as to give them visual substance for readers unable to visit them themselves. Cotton did diverge from the work of Borlase in his scepticism of attempts to guess at the origins of these sites: the history of these early monuments being so enveloped in obscurity, that he who thinks by some fortunate adventure to discover the truth, where all is doubt and uncertainty, will be likely soon to lose his way in the devious paths of conjecture and hypothesis …8

In this sense, it is curious that his title should allude to the supposed ‘Aboriginal’ architects of these monuments. That said, Cotton did believe his drawings might contribute to understandings of Cornwall’s ancient monuments, as he felt that an exact measure of groups of stones would enable the antiquarian to establish the rules underlying particular configurations and hence the original numbers of stones contained. His methods for doing so remained largely undocumented in his text. The work of Borlase’s early nineteenth-century progenies promoted a strongly localist approach to the study of Cornwall’s antiquities. More particularly, we must situate their work into that long tradition of chorographical scholarship, noted earlier. Although their work differed markedly from that of seventeenthand eighteenth-century chorographers, their investigations into local ancient history were similarly deployed as a means of evoking ‘regional eminence and drawing conspicuous attention to it on cultural maps of the nation’.9 This end, as for antiquarians working elsewhere in Britain, was achieved through the use of field observations, graphical representations and quantified renditions of the most significant sites of antiquity the county held. Antiquarians in the latter half of the nineteenth century continued to uphold these techniques as fundamental prerequisites for the production of meaningful

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antiquarian knowledges, and in that sense eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century antiquaries acted as important precursors to work conducted during the Victorian era. Certainly, the work of Cotton, Gilbert and, in particular, Borlase, were important reference points for Victorian antiquaries researching ancient Cornwall. Cotton’s text, for instance, was the subject of an evening conversazione in Penzance in 1892. Borlase was also a constant point of reference, and not only to Cornish antiquaries. Prior to their visit to Cornwall in 1862 a group of Welsh antiquarians recommended that everyone familiarize themselves with Borlase’s Antiquities: ‘His name and authority must of necessity be frequently appealed to during the meeting; and his work ought, therefore, to be previously studied’.10 That said, there were very real differences between the two periods. Whilst Victorian antiquaries continued to argue for rigorous measurement and representational techniques, they differed from their predecessors in their assertion that such techniques should be standardized and replicable, and not tied to the peculiarities of particular regional traditions or individual preferences. Where methods were meant to be removed from their immediate locality so too were the regional antiquities themselves. Here, I follow the argument already advanced in earlier chapters: that what distinguished nineteenth-century regional study from its equivalent in the eighteenth century was not so much its emphasis on place, as on its ability to situate place within the context of a more general inquiry, whether spatial or otherwise. These changes in emphasis enabled and promoted the comparison of sites of antiquity in Cornwall with those located elsewhere in Britain and continental Europe – as we will see, the use of visual records and the deployment of associational connections facilitated the circulation of regional antiquities in national and international contexts. They also opened up the possibilities of new theorizations that were not dogged by the spectre of eighteenth-century antiquarianism’s more bizarre speculations, and helped build a general consensus on the value of antiquities to the nation. The remainder of this chapter focuses on the period from the 1830s to the turn of the century. Beginning with a discussion of the institutionalization of antiquarianism in Cornwall, it goes on to identify a number of key features that defined the anatomy of Cornish antiquarianism in the latter half of the nineteenth century: the importance of inductive inquiry; the use of accurate field-surveying techniques; the visualization of objects of inquiry; the use of scientific theorizing; the comparison of Cornish sites with those elsewhere in Britain; and the deployment of moral geographies of pedagogy and preservation.

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Organized Antiquarianism in Victorian Cornwall The first four decades of the nineteenth century saw the establishment of a number of scientific societies in Cornwall that harboured some concern for the study of antiquities – most notably the RIC and the PNHAS. Cornwall was not unusual in its encouragement of collective intellectual study of ancient Britain; all across Britain societies were springing up for the study of human history, with significant numbers of printing clubs, architectural, antiquarian, historical and archaeological societies operating during the period.11 In Cornwall as elsewhere, the regional antiquarian society was seen as integral to the development of antiquarianism during the Victorian era. By the mid-century, many in the provinces were querying the relevance of large, metropolitan societies such as the Society of Antiquaries of London (SAL), simultaneously deriding such bodies and justifying their own existence by arguing that a society could only defend its presence by studying the antiquities of its own surroundings.12 Indeed, Britain’s county or regional antiquarian societies were largely united in their local patriotism; what Butlin amongst others has termed a ‘militant localism’.13 For the county antiquarian, ‘[b]elonging to the locality was to be in possession of an identity and of a genealogy, and to explore and uncover the past of the county was to enrich that genealogy’.14 The RIC, as well as ‘offering … to its members the opportunity of prosecuting through its aid their researches in chemistry, mechanics, and natural and experimental philosophy’, also ‘embraced in its field the investigation of the history and antiquities of the county’.15 The PNHAS was, superficially at least, narrower in its approach, its aim, ‘the cultivation of the science of Natural History, and … the investigation of the Antiquities referring to the early inhabitants of our county’.16 As noted in Chapter 2, both the RIC and PNHAS organized regular evening conversaziones and published yearly Transactions. These journals provided important outlets for the dissemination of antiquarian work by local scholars and also regularly reprinted articles by nationally renowned authors writing about Cornwall,17 while conversaziones were venues in which archaeological finds could be presented. Both societies also had their own museum where finds could be displayed and preserved. The RIC even went so far as to establish a dedicated ‘Antiquity room’.18 Whilst both the RIC and PNHAS did collect antiquities from across the globe – the RIC’s collection included an Egyptian mummy, for instance – they both also made concerted efforts to represent the local region, with the exhibition of a variety of potsherds, coins and so forth, alongside papier-mâché models of local prehistoric monuments. For instance, the museum of the PNHAS contained papier-mâché models of ‘several of our cromlechs, inscribed stones, rock circles, ancient entrenchments, &c.’, made by Misses Louissa and Matilda Mil-

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lett, the daughters of Mr J. N. R. Millett, one of the museum curators during the late 1840s.19 In 1839 the RIC also offered prizes of £10 for the ‘best and greatest number of original drawings of the Cromlechs, incribed [sic] Stones, Crosses, Hill Castles and other remains of antiquity in Cornwall, drawn on a uniform scale of not less than half an inch to the foot, and accompanied by full and accurate descriptions, or references to authors by whom they are described.’20 A second competition was run in 1841, for the largest collection of ground plans of hill castles, rounds and entrenchments in the county, ‘laid down on a uniform scale of two chains to the inch’.21 In return for the prizes the drawings were to become the property of the RIC and to be deposited in its museum. Models such as these, as Evans has noted, became increasingly central to the visual and material culture of antiquarianism in the Victorian period – they provided the opportunity for antiquarians to illustrate their discussions of large monuments at evening conversaziones (an opportunity only superseded by the possibility of giving a lecture in the field at the site itself ); they acted as valuable material records of sites lost or destroyed; and they helped sites circulate beyond their regional context through the lending of exhibits to other societies.22 Both the RIC and the PNHAS also ran regular field excursions. Despite the wide-ranging objectives of both societies, these outings tended to focus almost exclusively on antiquarian remains. As John Ralfs wrote: In our excursions, whether the monthly or the annual ones, our attention almost exclusively is directed to our antiquarian remains, and naturally so, for to man the works of man must always possess a peculiar interest, especially when we are favoured with an explanation by those who, thoroughly acquainted with what they are explaining, are able to impart the greatest interest to the subject.23

These excursions facilitated a form of group seeing – offering the opportunity to educate excursionists in how to view and understand sites of antiquity in situ. These societies provided a mechanism by which Cornish antiquarians could be connected into a broader intellectual culture within their own county, across Britain as well as overseas. This associational role was crucial, especially for communities of practitioners isolated from the intellectual ferment of London and the university towns, and it worked at a variety of scales. For instance, local specialists from one society and area would on occasion be asked to lead another society’s excursion around their neighbourhood, such as when the Rev. LachSyzrma, president of the PNHAS from 1884 to 1885, led the RIC’s excursion to the area around Penzance in 1884.24 Both the RIC and the PNHAS were also in contact with societies beyond Cornwall, and these associations provided a formal contact point through which individuals from different regions could communicate, exhibits and Transactions be swapped or meetings and excursions organized. In effect these societies helped Cornish antiquarianism travel beyond

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its own borders and for other antiquarians to learn about and in turn to travel to Cornwall to witness the county’s contributions to British antiquity. When the Cambrian Archaeological Association decided to conduct its week-long annual excursion in west Cornwall in 1862 it was to the RIC that it turned for advice and a host. Their excursion to the region west of Penzance was led by the PNHAS. Societies like the RIC and PNHAS played other roles too: as contact points for the local gentry whose land included prehistoric sites; organizing excavations of these sites; exhibiting any finds in their museums; and lobbying local and national government for funding to help their preservationist efforts. In order to position these themes appropriately, let me turn to examine the assumptions, beliefs and practices of Cornish antiquarianism, beginning with a discussion of the place of inductive inquiry.

Inductive Antiquarianism Cornish antiquaries, like their colleagues elsewhere in Britain, adhered to a strongly localist programme of research. Many stayed in their own region rather than range abroad for things to study. Some of the more notable Cornish antiquarians did journey around the British Isles so as to expand their knowledge of British antiquities but often explicitly justified their travels on the basis that they helped them understand better the Cornish antiquities. This pride in place and its ‘unrivalled facilities’ was allied to a belief in an inductive methodology. The collection of detailed descriptions of sites of antiquity and the compilation of disparate information and objects that threw light on the history of the region were the ultimate aims of the Victorian antiquary.25 This approach was also a strong justification for the project in itself – fashioning for local antiquarianism the contours of a science: [Antiquarianism] is not the mere study of chronicles, but the gathering together of everything throwing light on the past – old letters, ancient records, business documents, archaeological remains, old portraits, ancient architecture, &c. – all these illustrate history, which is becoming by degrees in some points an inductive science, in which the remains and records of the past are the facts on which the induction has to be based. This applies even to the history of Cornwall (as well as other places). More facts, more remains; and the more we have the better we shall realise what the past of old Cornwall really was.26

Inductive antiquarianism not only opened up the history of the region to the inquiring antiquarian scientist, it also provided a robust defence against the threat to the antiquarian tradition from the professionalization of history and the emergence of archaeology as the scientific study of the past based on material evidence obtained through excavation.27 It was only the development of an

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inductive approach to study, generally applied, that could save antiquarianism from being discarded as the eclectic accumulation of local curiosities.28 Such an agenda put great weight on the visualization of antiquities. This of course was not entirely new. We have seen already just how important the graphic representation of ancient monuments was to eighteenth-century scholars like Borlase. Like the geological maps, sections and views discussed in Chapter 3, however, Victorian images of antiquities differed from their predecessors in terms of their emphasis on accuracy and on interpretative quality, not to mention quantity. The scholarly articles in regional and national journals were additionally almost swamped with visual representations of their objects of study, whether as plans of sites, perspectival views, cross-sections and, from the 1850s, photographs. New technologies like photography bolstered this emphasis on the visual recording of antiquities alongside their textual description.29 These proliferating representations were part of a broader collecting culture in nineteenth-century antiquarianism, where maps, sketches and photos of key objects, sites and excavations, along with the models of antiquities mentioned earlier, became significant objects in their own right – creating what Lewuillon describes as a ‘museum on paper’.30 These paper objects became exhibits in actual museums – John Wilkinson’s map of Carn Brea’s antiquities, discussed later, was hung in the Museum of the RIC, for instance. Even more importantly, they circulated easily beyond the confines of their place of origin. They also played an important role in the preservationist movement that gained momentum in the 1870s. These arguments regarding inductive antiquarianism and visual culture are clear in relation to some of the most notable antiquaries working in Cornwall from the 1850s to the turn of the century, not least William Collings Lukis and William Copeland Borlase.

Lukis, Borlase and the Cornish Antiquities William Collings Lukis (1817–92) was born on the island of Guernsey and had studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the Ray Club and the Camden Society. He was ordained in Salisbury in 1845 before serving as a curate and vicar in Wiltshire, and then Yorkshire. He was a member of various antiquarian societies and elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1853.31 He published a number of papers on church bells and towers and on ancient church plate, before turning to the study of ancient earthworks and stone monuments, for which he became a recognized national authority. Lukis conducted a survey of megalithic monuments in Brittany with Sir Henry Dryden in the 1870s, studied Danish cromlechs and burial chambers, as well as those monuments close to his homes in Wiltshire and Yorkshire. His most significant contribution

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though was a comprehensive survey of Cornwall’s prehistoric stone monuments, conducted for the SAL with the help of William Copeland Borlase. William Copeland Borlase (1848–99) was born at Castle Horneck, near Penzance, the son of a wealthy family. He was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Oxford. He became a Liberal MP for East Cornwall in 1880 and also held a ministerial position as Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government Board. Borlase followed his great-great grandfather and also became an influential antiquarian. He was President of the PNHAS in 1881 and conducted a number of excavations in Cornwall, including ‘fogous’, or underground passageways, and caves, or ‘vows’.32 He was also the author of a book on sepulchral monuments, Naenia Cornubiae: A Descriptive Essay, Illustrative of the Sepulchres and Funereal Customs of the Early Inhabitants of the County of Cornwall, published in 1872, as well as other papers and books on Cornish antiquities and history, including a volume on Cornish saints.33 His antiquarian scrapbook records that he conducted surveys in Carnarvonshire (Anglesey), North Wales, and Arbroath in Scotland, where he studied settlements and other structures for comparison with Cornish equivalents.34 Borlase’s political career and social position were destroyed when his Portuguese mistress exposed his debts and he was forced to flee to Ireland, and later managed tin mines in Spain and Portugal. His exile did not put an end to his antiquarian labours however; while in Ireland he conducted a study of the country’s megalithic tombs, published as The Dolmens of Ireland.35 Lukis argued that Victorian antiquaries’ continued adherence to the ideas of their eighteenth-century forebears perpetuated ‘fanciful theories’ and stunted the proper scientific development of studies into prehistoric monuments.36 In similar manner, R. N. Worth, in the first part of his two-part paper on Cornwall’s ‘Rude Stone Monuments’ in the Journal of the RIC, warned of speculation on the basis of ‘an isolated peculiarity’.37 Whilst this, for him, did not rule out the development of theories as to monuments’ origins or use, it did dictate that any ‘true theory must be capable of universal application’.38 William Copeland Borlase put forward the same argument, a discussion of which opened this chapter.

Surveying Techniques in Field-Antiquarianism This ‘stern empiricism’ was closely associated with fieldwork.39 Such an approach dictated that the serious antiquary should be basing his or her study only on first-hand observations and measurement, rather than on the dubious or uncorroborated observations of others, or, heaven forbid, on the spurious claims of the sedentary theorist. This attitude was sanctioned by none other than Sir Richard Colt Hoare. On the basis of his excavations of the long and round barrows of

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Wiltshire with William Cunnington, Hoare claimed that ‘We speak from facts, not theory’.40 This approach required a shift in the basis on which expertise was judged. For Lukis, the field-antiquarian should first and foremost be in possession of a set of practical competencies: He must have long acquaintance with the monuments, sufficient dexterity in drawing and surveying to make accurate plans, sections and elevations, be a close and unbiased observer, and then have leisure to devote his intelligence to their scrutiny. Cursory examination will be always fatal to the acquisition of sound knowledge, and serve to mislead others …41

The bulk of antiquarian work in Cornwall in the later nineteenth century was in line with Lukis’s recommendation, employing close empirical observations and measurements of all significant sites taken in the field, with those field-observations later converted into text and image and reproduced in published reports. Lukis himself set the tempo and tenor for much of this work – the studies he conducted for his volume on Cornwall’s ancient monuments both epitomized and encouraged this development in antiquarian field-technique. Lukis came to Cornwall in 1879, commissioned and funded by the SAL to conduct a survey of the county’s prehistoric monuments. 42 His self-assigned brief was ‘to show the actual position of the stones, as they exist at this time, in ground-plan, elevation, and section’ and the rationale ‘that the study of these structures has not been conducted hitherto methodically or scientifically, as it should have been’. Whilst he acknowledged that some sites had been rendered graphically, he went on to complain that ‘articles full of theory and conjecture’ had been written solely on the basis of these ‘cursory and insufficient’ representations. Images of these sites were, he argued: of very little use unless accompanied by ground-plans; and even ground-plans are shorn of much of their value for scientific study without sections and levels. These have generally been absent, and hence conjectures and opinions, which should have been swept away years ago, continue to be advocated and asserted to be very probable, if not absolutely demonstrable and true. The time has arrived for a wider and more satisfactory inquiry respecting structures whose history the stones themselves, according to their disposition, may help to develop; for as no written chronicles, however ancient, throw any light upon them, the best and safest course to pursue is to investigate that history by a careful study of the monuments.43

Helped extensively by W. C. Borlase – and, it can be assumed, by the new sixinch and twenty-five-inch Ordnance Survey maps which were the first to record the existence of many of these sites44 – Lukis carried out forty field-surveys of monuments throughout the county, and his findings reported to the SAL in

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March 1880. The resulting volume, funded through subscriptions and published by the SAL in 1885, contained a description of the monuments in question and corresponding plates, which included a plan and sectional view of each site along with drawings of each individual stone (see Figure 6.1).45 Comprehensive sets of measurements were included in the plates – the size of stones and the distances between them, for instance.

Figure 6.1. Plan, section and details of the ‘Nine Maidens’ stone circle, Boscawen-Un, Buryan. From Lukis’s The Prehistoric Stone Monuments of the British Isles: Cornwall (1885).

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Lukis’s work on Britain’s prehistoric monuments, even prior to his visit to Cornwall, set the standard to which Cornwall’s own antiquaries aspired. For instance, John Thomas Blight (1835–1911) wrote a book-length account entitled The Cromlechs of Cornwall, in which he deferentially referred to Lukis as the foremost authority on the subject. Blight was a rather tragic figure in the history of Cornish antiquarianism. He came from a working family in Penzance and made a living as an engraver, although his considerable talents in that field were routinely abused by his collaborators.46 Blight did not simply illustrate others’ work. He produced a large number of books and articles on Cornish antiquities himself, including a two-volume treatise on the churches and crosses of East and West Cornwall, several general guidebooks on the region, and accounts of excavations he was involved with.47 In one of these accounts – a description of the excavated fogou at Trelowarren – he struck a tone that echoed precisely the warnings of Lukis and Borlase: I shall not presume to offer any definite opinion as to their age or the purpose for which they were constructed, but hope, by plans, sections and views, to convey some idea of the peculiarity of their formation, so that they may be compared with subterranean chambers or galleries found in other parts of the kingdom and in those countries peopled by Celtic tribes.48

Blight’s most extensive contribution to debates about Cornwall’s prehistoric monuments was his The Cromlechs of Cornwall, a work that made it to proof stage but was never published due to Blight’s mental ill-health. In May 1871 he was incarcerated in the Bodmin asylum. Writing in the margin of the proofs, W. C. Borlase observed that ‘At the beginning [of the book] it contains many valuable woodcuts and reliable information worthy of revision. Towards the end it is the sad record of the mental disorder of its author’;49 and in a later note said that the book’s publication was stopped because Blight was too ill to proceed.50 Despite his ill-health, The Cromlechs of Cornwall was a comprehensive engagement with contemporary literature on cromlechs, including the work of Charles Lyell, John Lubbock, Henry de la Beche and Joseph Hooker, as well as Lukis, Rev. Borlase and his own Cornish contemporaries W. C. Borlase and Thomas Cornish. The volume began with an extended introduction on the general structure of the monuments, and followed by chapters that discussed each of Cornwall’s cromlechs in turn. The main contribution that Blight’s volume made – as Borlase noted in his annotations – was to the burgeoning antiquarian visual culture discussed earlier. The manuscript was full of his own woodcuts of Cornwall’s cromlechs, drawn as views, plans and sections. Despite the fact that the volume itself never made it into publication, some of its illustrations did appear elsewhere. Borlase’s own contribution to the topic, Naenia Cornubiae, featured many of Blight’s images.

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Charles Dymond and Antiquarian Photography Another antiquarian, Charles William Dymond, was conducting his own survey of Cornwall’s ancient stone monuments at around the same time as Blight and Borlase. Dymond, an enigmatic figure on whom little biographical material remains, carried out an extensive survey of many of Cornwall’s key sites in April and October 1870, as well as fieldwork in Lancashire, Westmorland, Cumbria and Cumberland in the northwest of England from the mid-1860s through to the 1890s, and in the counties of Devon and Somerset in 1871 and 1872.51 In Cornwall Dymond spent time visiting various sites around Bodmin in the east of Cornwall in April 1870, and then spent several weeks in West Cornwall in October 1870. He managed to survey two or three sites a day, involving hikes over difficult country.52 Like Lukis and Borlase, Dymond was careful to provide detailed measurements of the sites he visited. His notes record that the general dimensions of the monuments were measured by pacing and compass (and so he apologized that ‘long distances are only approximate’), while the dimensions of individual stones were measured by tape.53 The general ‘situation’ of the land was also recorded – the Dawns Mên stone circle was on ‘a gentle southern slope on rather high ground’, for instance. Like Lukis, Dymond’s principal goal was the production of plans, views and sections of the monuments. However, Dymond went further than Lukis in that he used photography to record the sites he visited. Photography began to be used in antiquarian research in the early 1850s. The Celtic Academy in France were making use of the ‘Talbotype’ – photographic apparatus which made use of sensitized paper negatives – to produce prints of Brittany’s ancient monuments in 1851.54 The practice was also adopted in Britain in the same decade. For instance, in her study of the history of scientific photography, Tucker notes that the Photographic Exchange Club, founded in 1856, encouraged its members to photograph archaeological and architectural subjects and to exchange the results, in the same way that botanists exchanged specimens of plants.55 Photography was being employed in Cornwall by the late 1850s. Sir John Gardner Wilkinson – the subject of later discussion – used photography to document Cornish cromlechs as early as 1858, while photographs of Cornish burial chambers and stone circles were in circulation in the 1860s.56 Dymond often used photography as a way of making initial recordings of the sites in question, before converting the view into a drawing that could be placed alongside plans and section. For instance, in his work on the Men-an-Tol and the Chywoon quoit at Morvah, he included such images alongside his own plans and sectional field-sketches of the monuments (see Figure 6.2).57

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Figure 6.2. The Men-An-Tol, Bossullow Downs, ‘Surveyed and Drawn by C. W. Dymond, 22nd August 1876’. From Dymond’s paper in the Journal of the British Archaeological Association (1877).

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By the 1890s, photography had superseded hand-drawings in the representation of antiquities as well as the representation of excavation itself. For instance, Thurstan C. Peter’s survey of Carn Brea, near Redruth, made extensive use of photography to document views, objects found, as well as excavations, and he hoped that copies of the photographs ‘will, I think, be of value as a record for future reference in the Royal Institution of Cornwall Library’ (see Figure 6.3).58 Others followed in the footsteps of Lukis, Borlase, Blight and Dymond. For instance, Alfred Lewis, a well-known anthropologist and antiquarian, travelled to Exeter to deliver a paper on megalithic monuments and took the opportunity to visit Devon and Cornwall’s prehistoric sites. He later published a paper describing his journey.59 His itinerary traced a similar route to the likes of Dymond, with a period of time spent in West Penwith, at Carn Brea, and around Bodmin, as well as sites across Dartmoor in Devon. The express purpose of his research was to complete the research of Lukis, Dymond and W. C. Borlase, whose work, ‘exhaustive as it appears to be, omits all mention of two large and important circles, and of another large and almost unique monument’.60 He used the papers to discuss discrepancies between the measurements taken by his peers, as well as to document the destruction of sites by observing differences between previous descriptions of sites compared to their situations as he found them. In his work Lewis made favourable reference to the work of George Fox Tregelles, who was another antiquarian critical of Lukis.61 Tregelles was the Honorary

Figure 6.3. Photograph with antiquities in foreground and tin mine in the background. From Peter’s 1895 ‘The Exploration of Carn Brea’.

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Secretary of the PNHAS from 1887–93 and had conducted his own inquiries into Cornwall’s stone circles. Although he noted that it was a well-trammelled research area, and that Lukis’s work was ‘The nearest approach to an ideal record’, he like Lewis noted Lukis’s omission of two circles from his account.62 Unsurprisingly perhaps, Lewis and Tregelles worked closely together. On the basis of their compass surveys of various circles they concluded that the sites showed evidence of sun worship. Both men cited the theories of Sir Norman Lockyer to back up their own ideas. Lockyer was a renowned astronomer and Director of the Solar Physics Observatory in South Kensington, London, and later of the Hill Observatory in Devon. (He is perhaps most famous for being the founding editor of the journal Nature.) Lockyer combined his interest in astronomy with that of antiquarianism and wrote a number of papers on the possible astronomical purpose of ancient monuments. In doing so he made extensive reference to various sites in Cornwall, although his work relied on the plans and maps of others and not on his own surveys.63 The surveying standards set by Lukis – both in terms of their attention to detail and to their replicability – were key factors in the development of Cornish field-antiquarianism. The use of standardized inductive and empirical field-surveying techniques provided a firm basis on which antiquarians like Borlase, Blight, Dymond, Lewis and Tregelles could conduct their own inquiries and ensure that their own work could be read, understood, accepted and used by others, whether within Cornwall or without. Furthermore, the increasingly commonplace technology of photography enhanced their ability to achieve these goals. As we will see in the next section, the production of accurate descriptions of Cornish antiquities did encourage antiquaries to speculate as to various sites’ age and original use, as Lewis, Tregelles and Lockyer were doing above with regard to stone circles.

Theorizing Antiquarianism As noted, Victorian antiquaries tended to shy away from abstraction, believing that ‘the fanciful theories of earlier antiquarians were responsible for the latter-day ridicule suffered by the community’.64 This did begin to change in the last quarter of the century. Speaking at the British Association of Archaeologists’ 1877 conference in Cornwall, Lukis discussed the various monuments to be visited during the conference excursions.65 Focusing particularly on Lanyon, Chywoone, Mulfra and Bosporthennis cromlechs he suggested that these examples amply supply us with evidence in support of a principle of considerable scientific importance relating to these structures, and … serve to strengthen the assertion that, when they were erected, they were invisible externally, because a mound inclosed [sic] them.

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Using this proposition to both undermine the previous assertion that cromlechs were Druidic altars and to elevate the theory that they were in fact sepulchral in attribution, he argued that ‘[t]he more these monuments are studied, and the more widely our acquaintance with them extends, the more will this truth (for truth it certainly is) prevail’.66 Whilst an inductive approach to study had been positioned against the wild claims of the speculative theorist, the careful observations of the empirical antiquary, Lukis claimed, could finally and accurately readdress the vexing questions of origin: And although some few individuals, here and there, both at home and abroad, still adhere to the old belief relating to uncovered cromlechs, all have given up, as untenable, the altar theory. A few years hence, and the question here strongly expressed will no longer be questioned by any man qualified by observation and extensive information to be ranked among archaeologists.67

Lukis was not alone. Dymond, speaking at the same conference, likewise argued that his own ‘special and careful survey’ enabled him to pronounce on monuments’ origins.68 In his discussion of the various theories as to the original use of the Men-an-Tol (see Figure 6.2), he quickly dismissed the idea that the monument might have been erected for astronomical purposes: ‘A simple reference to the compass-bearings on the plan will suffice at once to destroy the first theory’.69 As we saw above, Lewis, Tregelles and Lockyer did argue for an astronomical interpretation of Cornwall’s stone circles – although not admittedly in relation to cromlechs – in the 1890s. That careful measurements, taken on the spot, could legitimately dismiss long-held suppositions was also applied to more recent speculation: The second theory, which is that of Mr. Lukis [who argued that the Men-an-Tol was the remains of a two-chambered dolmen], will find little favour with those who have seen the Men-an-Tol; and it is unfortunate that so experienced an archaeologist should have committed himself to this view without an actual inspection of the object in question.70

Increasingly then, antiquaries invoked shoddy field-practices, not to dismiss any and all attempts at theoretical speculation, but to deride theoretical ideas with which they personally did not agree. Despite these individual disagreements, antiquaries did begin to recognize the value of grouping objects so as to facilitate effective comparisons and the generation of typologies on the basis of form or original use. Indeed, the plethora of detailed visual records of prehistoric sites that circulated freely through antiquarian journals and personal correspondence facilitated the generation of new typologies and taxonomies.71 In the Cornish case, visual records of its prehistoric monuments helped place them securely into much broader geographies. Rather than being viewed

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as interesting monuments in their own right, Cornwall’s sites of antiquity were, in the words of one president of the PNHAS, to be seen as ‘in close touch with the movements of English life, nay, with the movements of European life’.72 In fact, it was argued that the study of Cornish antiquities was critical for the development of a more general history of Britain. Given its geographical marginality, ‘dolmens, the hut-circles, the menhirs, bring us into contact with a period in British history which in most parts of England have centuries ago been obliterated’.73 A few went so far as to reference broader developments in continental archaeology and in particular the three-age system of the Danish antiquarian Christian Thomsen.74 For instance, speaking to a group of PNHAS excursionists in 1885, the Rev. Lach-Syzrma suggested that the inscribed stones in the West Penwith area were not representations of heavenly bodies or even characters of a language, but ‘simply primitive maps, designed by the men of the Bronze Age to enable them to pass from one place to another’.75 It is important not to overplay this assertion: English antiquarians were broadly resistant to the Scandinavian approach and Cornish antiquarians were no different – W. C. Borlase quickly dismissed it in Naenia Cornubiae.76 Despite their reluctance to surrender Cornish history to a globalizing theory of human cultural development, Cornish antiquarians were willing to place their ancient sites within a history of the Celts, so associating their cromlechs, circles and dwellings with equivalents in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Brittany. The Rev. Borlase’s arguments as to the significance of Druidic ritual in the construction of stone monuments certainly constituted an early association between Cornwall and the Celts.77 As we saw earlier, Blight later suggested that fogous might be examples of Celtic architecture. He also discussed the possibility that cromlechs were a ‘relict of the Celts’, although later decided that they were preCeltic because cromlechs could be found in regions like Scandinavia, where the Celts had not dwelt. Nonetheless, his argument was built on the assumption that at some point the Celts had indeed occupied Cornwall.78 It was arguably not until Sir John Gardner Wilkinson’s paper on the antiquities found at Carn Brea, that speculations on Cornwall’s Celtic heritage really gathered pace.79 Gardner Wilkinson (1797–1875) was born in Buckinghamshire, was educated at Oxford, spent twelve years of his life in Egypt and spent the remainder in South Wales. He conducted extensive research into the antiquities of the region from the 1850s to the 1870s, much of which remains unpublished.80 Wilkinson’s decision to publish his only article on Cornish antiquities in the RIC’s Journal was not only something of a coup for the society – Wilkinson was a key figure in British antiquarianism as well as being acknowledged as the founder of British Egyptology81 – but was also the legitimation that discussions of Celtic Cornwall needed to progress beyond accusations of idle speculation. ‘The researches of Sir Gardner Wilkinson’, the RIC President noted

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in his Annual Report to the Spring Meeting of the society, ‘have led and enabled him to compare what he saw there [at Carn Brea] with similar remains in other parts of the kingdom, and thus reciprocal light has been thrown on the Celtic antiquities of Cornwall and of those other places’.82 It was Wilkinson’s paper that supposedly first attracted the attention of Wales’s Cambrian Archaeological Association (CAA), prompting them to seek greater collaboration between the two societies, and later, to explore the possibilities of a residential field excursion to west Cornwall. This was duly arranged by the RIC (and supported by the PNHAS), and scheduled for the last week of August 1862. The RIC was certainly enthusiastic about this: We are at the utmost verge of the Celtic system: we want to connect our local antiquities with the antiquities of other Celtic tribes, and to do this, it is necessary that a little life-blood should be infused into our veins by connection with other societies.83

This enthusiasm was matched by the CAA. Welsh antiquarians, it was claimed in the CAA’s journal Archaeologia Cambrensis: will find that few causes will promote the enlightened study of Welsh antiquities more thoroughly than a searching and scientific comparison of similar things in other counties. We look upon this as one of the most important objects to be secured by our visit to Cornwall, – the introduction and promotion of a scientific system of comparative archaeology; and we should be glad to find the Association taking efficient steps for this purpose in conjunction with those antiquities from Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany, when we hope to meet at Truro.84

Antiquarian Excursioning Preparations for the visit by the CAA were extensive. Papers on Cornish antiquities were written and images of chief antiquities were commissioned – many drawn by Blight – and meetings were held. On Monday 25 August the Welsh antiquarians arrived, along with representatives from other societies in Ireland and Scotland, onboard steamers from Swansea, Bristol and Southampton as well as by train. Indeed, the railway facilitated an early introduction to the antiquities of the county; one Welsh excursionist noting ‘how convenient it will be for our purposes’, pointing out that ‘it passes through St. Germans, by the old Abbey and Restormel Castle, through Lostwithiel, into Truro, close under the famous Carn Brea, near St. Michael’s Mount, and so on to Penzance, in the very heart of the richest archaeological district’.85 The excursionists were put up in hotels in Truro where a temporary exhibition was staged. A bazaar, a concert and a public ball were also put on for their benefit. The week’s work was organized around a series of one-day excursions, with papers and discussion in the evenings. The excursions themselves were

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based on packed itineraries and were to be navigated using specially prepared one-inch to two-mile maps of the routes, drawn by Blight (see Figure 6.4). As independent navigation on foot relied on detail at one-inch to one-mile, this scale dictated that excursion guides were on hand to aid in navigation. Some Welsh excursionists supplemented these with cut-up, pocket-sized maps of Cornwall from Garner’s Ordnance Maps, along with Murray’s Handbook of Devon and Cornwall, Lyson’s Account of Cornwall, as well as William Borlase’s Antiquities. The first day’s excursion took the party to East Cornwall by train, while Wednesday’s excursion went to Carn Brea. Thursday and Friday’s excursions focused on West Cornwall. An early party set off at 6am to visit St Michael’s Mount, before being taken back to join the main party by boat. A group of 100 people then travelled from Penzance towards Land’s End by carriage (Figure 6.4). The excursionists’ experience of the sites visited and the landscapes seen was highly regulated. The timing of the trips were policed and some places of potential interest were excluded – ‘It was scarcely archaeological to pass St. Sennen’s Church unheeded’, Blight reported in his account of the excursions, ‘but there was a long day’s work ahead of us’ and so the church was left unvisited. Lunch was taken at Land’s End: ‘on the green turf lay spread white cloths bearing almost every kind of refreshment that could be brought to such a spot’, all provided ‘by gentlemen of the neighbourhood’.86 As Figure 6.4 shows, the sites to be visited were clearly determined and marked (in red; the sites beyond the excursions’ reach were marked in blue), directions were shown with arrows, even modes of conveyance were demonstrated, whether by coach or as a pedestrian. Although not everyone availed themselves of the opportunity, groups were encouraged, at sanctioned points, to see objects of interest by foot, resulting in a ‘pleasant scramble through heath and gorse’.87 The trip came to an official close on Friday evening, although some of the Welsh antiquarians continued on to the Scilly Isles.88

Antiquarianism’s Moral Geographies Field studies in Cornwall by Lukis, Borlase, Dymond, the Welsh antiquarians and by local societies, encouraged the incorporation of Cornwall’s prehistoric sites into wider debates about the history of Britain. In particular, they helped ensure that certain monuments – and by extension the wider county – became part of a received national cultural landscape.89 Their status as such was confirmed and accentuated through local excursions as well as through visits from antiquarians from further afield, whether as part of an organized event like the CAA visit or as individual tourists. Tourist guidebooks like Blight’s A Week at the Land’s End, Richard Edmonds 1862 The Land’s End District, as well as James Halliwell’s 1861 Rambles in Western Cornwall by the Footsteps of the Giants all highlighted

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Figure 6.4. ‘Map of the Land’s-End District. Shewing the Antiquities comprised in two days excursion’. Drawn by John Blight and published in Archaeologia Cambrensis (1862).

particular antiquarian remains that should be visited by any seriously-minded tourist: the collection of cromlechs, circles and huts in West Penwith; the second cluster on Bodmin Moor; and several other more isolated features, such as Carn Brea, near Redruth, and St Michael’s Mount, near Marazion. The CAA excursions visited all of these sites and so further encouraged the emergence of an established antiquarian itinerary in Cornwall. Placing local antiquities within a broader national historic landscape was not only driven by particular intellectual agendas; it was also part of a moral imperative. Locating Cornwall’s ancient monuments within wide-ranging historical movements established their more general significance beyond their immediate locale and justified their preservation. There were increasing concerns in the later nineteenth century regarding the fate of Britain’s ancient monuments – concerns about the effects of agricultural and highway improvements on the positions of these sites and about the use of stones for building works. Thurstan Peter also complained that his RIC-sponsored excavations on Carn Brea were dogged by treasure hunters, who, ‘fancying that no one could be foolish enough to dig unless he was finding treasure, haunted us during the whole summer, and destroyed much that would otherwise have been of permanent interest’.90 There

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were even worries about the destructive enthusiasm of antiquarians themselves. During the 1882 annual excursion of the PNHAS to Trencrom, W. C. Borlase publicly reprimanded a local man and his son for using explosives to excavate a quoit.91 It was the casual destruction of one Cornish site in particular – the Constantine Tolmen – that was key to the establishment of legislation to guard against further damage: in particular, John Lubbock’s 1873 Parliamentary Bill ‘to provide for the preservation of Ancient Monuments’ and later the 1882 Ancient Monuments Protection Act.92 On 15 April 1869 the West Briton newspaper reported that in consequence of Sir John Lubbock’s appeal on the late destruction of the great Tol-maen, in Cornwall, the Council of the Ethnological Society have appointed a Committee to investigate the pre-historic monuments of these Islands, and the measures to be taken for their preservation.93

The local Cornish antiquarian societies and their members were central to the promotion of this preservationist agenda. For instance, in 1888 the PNHAS passed a resolution requesting individual reports in writing of the state of any ancient monuments or buildings within their personal knowledge – these reports to be laid before the Council who shall take such steps as may seem advisable to repair past and prevent future injury.94

Both the RIC and the PNHAS used their influence to dissuade farmers, builders, miners and quarriers from damaging or dismantling the granite monuments of the area. Perhaps the most effective route explored by Cornish antiquarians was to persuade the local gentry, on whose land many significant monuments stood, to both allow excavations to take place as well as to preserve monuments for the county and the nation. Writing in the West Briton, for instance, Thomas Couch stated that, In my own neighbourhood, when an antiquity has been threatened, I have been able to save it by merely acquainting the owner or the steward of the fact. In this way the curious circles at Caerwen, in Blisland, and the Romano-British stone at Well-town, in Cardinham, were saved.95

Many families – including the Bassetts, the Hawkins, the Robartes and the Carnes – complied and often got involved in the excavations themselves. Despite these efforts, many monuments ended up as building materials for houses, as gate posts, or as footings for piers and railways tracks. In light of this destruction, the idea of the ‘museum on paper’, mentioned earlier, took on an added significance. In addition to the work of Lukis and others, a series of similar endeavours were enacted, ranging from Lach-Syzrma’s personal catalogue

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of Penzance’s 222 ‘local antiquities and curiosities’, to Blight’s compendium of ancient stone crosses.96 These works were, in Blight’s words, attempts ‘to preserve the forms of those remains which are so valuable to the Antiquary and the Historian’.97 They were, in other words, the textual preservation of physical sites of antiquity exposed to the vagaries of ‘mischievous and ignorant persons’,98 or, in the words of the author of a letter in the West Briton, ‘future intending destructionists’.99 Models of monuments were also key to the recording of threatened or destroyed sites: Our remains of antiquity are principally, if not entirely, British; but what havoc has been made of these, through the destructive operations of modern Goths, within the recollection of many of us! It is therefore an object of great interest and importance to obtain correct representations of those which yet remain: had this been done even fifty years ago, several which are now nearly obliterated, would still exist in their models.100

Ultimately, it was hoped that these models, photographs, maps and preserved specimens, put all together in local museums, might create an intelligent interest in our antiquities and history, that would do more to protect our ancient monuments from destruction, than can ever be hoped from legislation. Once [we] get the public to feel that these things are theirs … they will themselves protect them.101

Conclusion This chapter has traced the fashioning of scientific antiquarianism in nineteenth-century Cornwall. Victorian antiquaries referred to the Rev. Borlase as the ‘father’ of their enterprise but made it clear that their work differed from Borlase’s preoccupations. They pursued a new ‘inductive antiquarianism’ that placed great weight on standardized measurement, careful fieldwork and the use of new technologies like photography alongside more traditional field-sketching to visually record sites of note. William Lukis effectively led this movement, working with and inspiring numerous Cornish antiquaries in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was only with the generation of a reliable corpus of information, Lukis and others argued, that theoretical speculation could be countenanced and explained. From the 1860s this included discussion of the Celtic origin of many of Cornwall’s ancient monuments. This information became central to the pursuit of a preservationist agenda from the 1870s onwards. It is worth drawing out three final observations at this point. The first is that Cornish antiquarians made use of a system of patronage to support their own work. Lukis was a recognized international authority on ancient monuments and added weight to Copeland Borlase’s own reputation as a regional authority

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on the subject. The same was true of Alfred Lewis and his collaboration with George Tregelles. This of course echoes that similar process traced in Chapter 5 with regard to Elizabeth Warren’s correspondence with William Hooker. Second, the field surveys – and in particular the resulting publications – of these and other antiquaries established Cornwall as a key region within a broader historical geography of ancient Britain. An established itinerary of key Cornish sites emerged out of individual and group fieldwork schedules and these sites in turn became recognized as part of a wider national cultural landscape that was in need of preservation. This theme of the place of the region in national discourses will be explored in more depth in the conclusion to this book. Thirdly, and more generally, the chapter is corrective of common assumptions that Victorian antiquarianism was ‘an essentially literary approach to the past, in contradistinction to the ‘scientific’ rigour of late nineteenth century historiography and archaeology’.102 Cornish antiquarianism was not simply a precursor to later and more scientific labours and nor was it the preserve of bumbling amateurs working alongside but shunned by a professional archaeological elite. Rather, antiquaries worked hard to provide for themselves a set of scientific credentials that would be taken seriously by other scientific practitioners elsewhere in Britain and overseas.

7 A FURIOUS TEMPEST

At the Annual Meeting of the RIC on 31 October 1856, Dr Charles Barham, the senior physician at the Royal Cornwall Infirmary, gave an impromptu talk on the history of meteorology in Cornwall.1 This history, Barham noted, was a long one. The results of meteorological observations held by the Institution stretched back almost a hundred years, beginning with those kept by the Gregor family at their estate at Trewarthenick from 1765 to 1787; then those of Mr James of Redruth from 1787 to 1817; and Mr Edward Giddy’s records from 1807 to 1827. Barham claimed that these observations predated those of the Royal Society of London and ‘that the possession of records for a long period was necessary for the establishment of general laws in almost any case, and particularly in reference to climate’.2 A long-running record of the weather, combined with present-day observations, he claimed, would allow the meteorologist to determine whether there had been temporal changes in the climate of an area or, conversely, whether local climates were static and unchanging. Cornwall was well placed to contribute to this agenda. In his talk, Barham went on to argue for the more general value of meteorological data. Having a number of weather stations across a region would provide information on the geography of weather and climate, he claimed. This was critical for a county like Cornwall, which relied so heavily on tourism, fishing and agriculture. Invalids, Barham claimed, needed to know whether a milder climate would be found in Newquay or Penzance; sailors needed to know from which direction the prevailing wind came and which course storms usually followed; while farmers needed to know which areas were usually damp and which dry. The application of meteorological information to the improvement of industry, health and wealth was not of course restricted to the county of Cornwall. The 1850s was a decade where meteorology became widely pursued. Only two years prior to Barham’s talk, the Meteorological Department of the Board of Trade had been established, under the stewardship of Robert FitzRoy. This government department was tasked with providing information on marine meteorology for use by shipping.3 The Meteorological Department was aided by the Kew Committee of the British Association of the Advancement of Science, which tested and standardized its instruments at their Kew Royal Observatory at Richmond, west

– 149 –

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London. The Royal Society of London also provided advice. The British (later Royal) Meteorological Society was established in 1850, and the Scottish Meteorological Office in 1856.4 These national institutions changed the tone and practice of meteorology in Britain. While Mr Gregor and the Rev. William Borlase had been keeping records of the weather since the middle of the eighteenth century, Victorian institutions such as the Meteorological Department attempted to standardize and quantify the numerous, dispersed and idiosyncratic records being kept across the country. Meteorology in the later nineteenth century was to employ sophisticated instrumentation, highly-regulated observers and sound techniques of observation in its attempt to produce an accurate picture of national weather. Cornwall had an important role to play in this new science of the weather. As Barham noted in his talk in 1856, Cornwall was often the first place in Britain to experience Atlantic storms as they swept in from the southwest. Its position, along with its extensive coastline, made it a favoured port for ships coming in from the Americas and up from France, the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean. The region’s exceptionally mild climate was also important for its burgeoning tourism industry and for invalids looking for a healthy retreat from city life. The climate was also valued by farmers and landowners. This chapter examines the contributions that Cornish meteorologists made to the development of Victorian meteorology. I begin by considering meteorology’s shift from a descriptive art to an instrumental science in the early nineteenth century and then consider the ways in which bodies such as the Royal Society of London and the Meteorological Office had an impact upon weather collecting in Cornwall. The later sections of the chapter consider the development of a national weather collecting culture, one built around a small number of technologically advanced ‘laboratories’ of weather observation. The chapter focuses on the establishment of a Royal Society ‘first order’ meteorological observatory in Falmouth in 1868; the Royal Society’s attempt to close it in 1883; and its re-construction in 1885. This geographical focus enables us to witness the ways in which a national scientific enterprise was, echoing Jan Golinski, assimilated and interpreted in a particular local context.5 We see how regulated forms of instrumentation and quantified measurement were translated in a particular place and, of course, how the non-place bound ideals of metropolitan science occasionally faltered – sometimes dramatically but more often in small and more mundane ways – in the face of local values and preoccupations.

Quantifying the Weather The early years of the nineteenth century were witness to frenetic attempts to standardize information about both the natural and social worlds – the so-called Second Scientific Revolution. In Britain alone a number of Acts, Inspectorates

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and institutions were established through the 1820s, 30s and 40s that required the quantification and standardization of data: for instance, the Weights and Measures Act of 1824, the Statistical Department of the Board of Trade (1832), the Factory Inspectorate (1833), the Registrar-General (1837), the Observatory of the British Association of the Advancement of Science (BAAS) at Kew (1842), and the Excise Laboratory (1842).6 This impulse was just as relevant to the development of meteorology. As we saw in Chapter 1, Janković argues that the early nineteenth century marked a shift away from the provincial meteoric tradition with its descriptive and idiosyncratic reports of extraordinary atmospheric events, and towards a collecting endeavour based on standardization, quantification and synchronization. The qualifications required of the meteorologist also shifted – from the place-based experience and authority of the provincial clergy-naturalist to the expertise-based metropolitan specialist, who gave little regard to local information. Influential metropolitan chemists and physicists, Janković claims, argued for a removal ‘of meteorological practice from places of life to places on the map’.7 Standardized means of measuring the weather increasingly conquered various local practices (though of course such procedures really amounted to the triumph of one set of local practices over others) so that atmospheric data from locations across the country could be assembled in central offices.8 This shift in practice – from qualitative description to instrumental measurement – was certainly reflected in the practice of Cornish meteorology in the first half of the nineteenth century, as well as in other scientific activities discussed in previous chapters (think for instance of the shift in the nature of antiquarian surveys advocated by William Lukis, or of the changing nature of botanical recording, discussed in Chapters 6 and 5 respectively). A number of meteorological records were begun in the county in the 1820s and 30s, some lasting only a few years, others running over almost a lifetime. The observations of Jonathan Couch at Polperro, Mr Corbett at Pencarrow, Mr Moleworth at St Breoke, and Mr Johns on the Scillys fell into the former, whilst those of Lovell Squire, Matthew Paul Moyle, Nicholas Whitley and Commander Liddell the latter. Commander Liddell kept records in Bodmin from 1850 to 1880 whilst Lovell Squire did the same from his house in Falmouth from 1835 to at least 1856. Both men published yearly summaries of their records in the Reports of the RCPS and Squire went on to become the Society’s first paid Meteorological Observer upon the establishment of a meteorological observatory in Falmouth in 1868. Matthew Moyle (1788–1880) was a surgeon and meteorologist of some note. Born in Chacewater, near Truro, he studied medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals in London and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1809. Upon his return to Cornwall he established a medical practice in Helston. Much of his time was spent administering to injured tin and

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copper miners and led to an interest in the effects of gases on miners’ health. He was also interested in meteorology and kept registers of the weather at Helston from at least 1821 to 1879, publishing early accounts of the weather there in Thomson’s Annals of Philosophy, along with more general discussions of meteorological instruments and on the ‘atmosphere’ of mines.9 Like Squire and Liddell, he also published yearly summaries of Helston’s weather in the Reports of the RCPS from 1841 to 1879. These early nineteenth-century records of Cornish weather were quite different from Borlase’s eighteenth-century descriptions of individual events. These were quantified reports of the weather, rendered in the form of tables of averages. Although the reports had a superficial resemblance when placed on consecutive pages of the yearly reports of a local scientific society, they were actually by no means standardized accounts. Squire’s early registers, for instance, contained daily weather information, including maximum and minimum temperatures, quantity of rain, direction of wind, and the height of the barometer in the morning and evening.10 Jonathan Couch’s registers were in the form of monthly accounts and contained maximum and minimum temperatures, and then only more qualitative information on weather type. He recorded that ‘The Thermometer was hung in a shady room’, and that from 1821 to 1828 temperature was noted at 1pm and after 1828 at 9am, ‘at which time it is presumed to mark the average of the day’.11 In turn, Mr Corbett’s register of the weather at Pencarrow, Wadebridge, contained monthly mean maximum and minimum temperature, monthly barometric averages, ‘Average Degree of Dryness’ – taken at 1pm – and ‘Average Quantity of water held in solution by the atmosphere’. Instruments were kept on a small table in the centre of Corbett’s garden, and observations made at 7am every morning.12 Lastly, Moyle made his observations at 8am, 1pm and 10pm, ‘or nearly to those hours’.13 Occasionally he would fail to make any observations – in February 1825 for instance, records were missing for 14 days of the month. Moyle’s meteorological journals contained daily observations of air pressure, temperature, rainfall, humidity and wind, along with evocative descriptions of notable weather events and trends. Taking 1823 as an example, on 4 and 5 of March, ‘the wind was a perfect storm, slates were flying from the house’; May was ‘Generally speaking a cold month excepting a few days, which were remarkably fine, at which time the hawthorn blossom appeared beyond example abundant, and the air in every direction seemed loaded with aroma’; while July had ‘Remarkably cold, wet and boisterous weather’. Continuing with what must have been a miserable year in Cornwall, August 1823 was: A very wet month. Much thunder and lightening on the afternoon of the 22nd and on the morning of the 24th. About 2 inches of rain fell on the morning of the 24th between the hours of 2 and 9. The greatest quantity ever remembered in the same

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space of time. All our rivers overflowed their banks, and many corn and potatoe [sic] fields were nearly ruined.14

As the records of Moyle, Corbett, Squire and Couch show, instrumental meteorology in Cornwall remained highly localized, the character of the investigation entirely dependent on ‘the observations of the vulgar’, as John Daniell, the Royal Institution chemist, put it in 1823.15 These observers, according to metropolitan doyens like Daniell, lacked discipline, geared the timing of their observations by the routine of their day, used unreliable instruments, were unable to employ them to best effect and were generally unaware of the latest developments in the field. In other words, whilst provincial meteorology had, in general, shed its obsession with isolated extreme events, its tabulation, reduction and calculation of averages of localized weather by highly idiosyncratic recording methods hardly warranted a proper science of the weather.16 In other words, weather work by Corbett, Couch, Squire, Moyle and others remained overly subjective and situated and was not so different from the work of their eighteenth-century forebears.

Institutionalization of Weather Collecting The establishment of national bodies with an interest in weather observation had a significant effect on the conduct of regional weather observation; its influence often channelled through local scientific societies. This was the case in Cornwall. The RIC and the RCPS were the most important of the county’s societies in the furtherance of Cornish meteorology. The RCPS had developed tabular forms for the registering of daily observations and graduated diagrams for the representation of monthly results as early as 1840, which were distributed to individuals willing to collect readings for the Society, even though many of their observers – some mentioned earlier – failed to use them. These forms were modelled on meteorological guidance given in a pamphlet produced by the Royal Society in 1838 that asserted ‘the paramount advantages of conformity by all, to one and the same method’.17 The Society also secured a standard barometer and thermometer for use at Falmouth, although their ‘limited means’ prevented them from doing any more, or indeed from following exactly the collection guidelines set out by the Royal Society.18 Despite the RCPS’s wish to gather observations from stations across the county – ‘to embrace all the chief peculiarities of situation’ – their increasingly stringent measures quickly reduced the number of individuals willing to take measurements, so that by the mid-1840s the only stations regularly supplying data were those personed by Squire in Falmouth, Moyle in Helston and by the RIC in Truro. From 1842 Moyle adjusted his meteorological journals in accordance with the Royal Society’s suggestions, so as to ‘facilitate accuracy of comparison between different climates by a record of the

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precise conditions at certain fixed hours’.19 Gone were Moyle’s expansive qualitative descriptions of weather events and in their place was a set of predetermined quantitative scales to be observed at the standard times (at 9am, 3pm and 9pm). In relation to wind, for instance: The direction is to be noted to 16 parts of the compass. The force is to be indicated as follows. 0 Calm. – 1 Light Wind. 2 – Fresh Wind. – 3 Stormy Wind. 4 – Gale. 5 – Storm. – 6 Violent Storm; reserved for furious tempests.20

The RIC, like its Falmouth counterpart, had been collecting weather data since the late 1830s. It came under the influence of various national bodies in 1845 when it began relaying its observations of Truro’s weather to the British Agricultural Society and to William Farr of the Registrar General’s Office. Farr used the RIC’s data in his work on medical topography and public health. The RIC’s work also came under the attention of the Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory at Greenwich through that body’s involvement in Farr’s work, and the RIC – acutely aware of the increased visibility of their observations – decided to invest in better instruments: a standard barometer in 1851 and a Negretti and Zambra thermometer in 1856. James Glaisher of the Royal Observatory agreed to test and calibrate the instruments prior to use, thus providing ‘further security for accuracy of results’.21 In 1857, new daily meteorological observation forms were instituted, ‘with the view of still more perfect conformity with the system established and superintended by the officers of the Royal Observatory’, paid for jointly by the RIC and the RCPS. The two societies’ involvement with Glaisher meant that they became known to the British Meteorological Society, of which Glaisher was the Secretary.22 The weather records produced by the RIC and by observers for the RCPS became largely standardized by the 1860s. Observations of the wet and dry thermometers, of the degree of cloudiness, of barometric pressure and wind speed and direction were all taken at Truro, Helston and Falmouth at 9am, 3pm and 9pm, in similar fashion to Moyle’s observations since the 1840s. Other measures – such as humidity – were also standardized, whilst more qualitative information on phenological and particular weather events – lightning seen, frosts, gales and so on – were recorded in an identical fashion at each station. Monthly averages of these readings were then produced, presented and printed on uniform forms in the RIC Journal and RCPS Reports. Through notes accompanying the tables, local observers were also keen to establish the careful and accurate nature of the records and the high scientific standards upon which they were made. For instance, Matthew Moyle reported in 1864 that his rain gauge ‘was on Howard’s principle, 5 feet from the surface of the ground, and perfectly free from any local effects’. He also noted that information on humidity, dew point and weight of vapour was deduced from Greenwich Meteorological Observations (even

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if these dated from 1847); that corrections to the diurnal ranges of barometer and thermometers were from Glaisher’s tables; ‘and in all the calculations, and adjustments of the instruments, a strict adherence has been given to the directions of the Astronomer Royal and the Committee of the Royal Society’.23 Schaffer has noted that systems of standardization, distribution of instructions, division of labour, and rigid hierarchical management seemed to offer the key to Victorian scientific progress.24 Such issues certainly applied to midnineteenth-century meteorology. The quantification of the weather redefined a moral and methodological landscape for meteorological science. The ‘uneducated amateurism of meteoric reportage’ was jettisoned, as were the fumbling attempts at an instrumental meteorology of the 1820s and 30s.25 This new science of the weather demanded new meteorological subjects and objects – calibrated instruments and regulated observers. Instruments were to be free from local interference; observers to be unaffected by the demands of their daily lives; their measurements to be tabulated and presented according to standardized principles. As part of this process, Cornish weather collectors were re-shaped into stations on a map and Cornish weather into numbers on a page. In the process, data on Cornish weather was rendered useful to metropolitan science and to British industry. In terms of the latter, local meteorologists claimed that the daily and continuous observations from stations across the county proved that its climate was milder than elsewhere in Britain.26 These records gave credence to arguments regarding Cornish weather going back to the 1820s. For instance, the physician John Ayrton Paris – whom we encountered in Chapter 3 as a founding member of the RCGS – observed in 1828 that West Cornwall’s seasons: have been aptly compared to the neap tides, which neither ebb nor flow with energy; for, notwithstanding its southern latitude, the summer is never sultry, while the rigour of winter is so ameliorated that thick ice is rarely seen; frost, if it occurs, is but of a few hours duration; and the snow storms which, coming from the north and east, bury the fields of every other part of England, are generally exhausted before they reach this favoured spot, or their last sprinkling is dissolved by the warm breezes which play around its shores.27

These characteristics, it was argued, benefited the invalid, the tourist, the region’s plant life and soil, and so by extension, the farmer and market gardener. In relation to the invalid, Paris combined his interest in meteorology and natural history with his profession as a physician, to give advice to those considering places of winter residence. In an appendix to the second edition of his Guide to the Mount’s Bay, he staged a dialogue between a physician and an invalid, where, after systematically dismissing the various regions of continental Europe, Jamaica, the Bermudas and Madeira, as well as seaside resorts in England such as Hastings and Southampton, the physician asserted that none should ‘be put in competition

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with Sidmouth, Dawlish, or Torquay in Devonshire, and still less with Penzance in Cornwall, which, after all, is the only situation which can be fairly said to possess any very material advantages from the mildness of its winter’.28

National Weather Robert FitzRoy had struggled in his role as head of the Board of Trade’s Meteorological Department to persuade others of the value of weather forecasting. Criticisms of his work, it is presumed, played some role in precipitating his suicide in April 1865.29 The Board of Trade subsequently instigated an investigation into the work of the Department. Royal Society advice was sought and a committee established, made up of Francis Galton, Thomas Farrer and Staff Commander Frederick John Evans.30 Its report, laid before Parliament in April 1866, was very critical of the Department’s statistical compilations and methods of presentation of data under FitzRoy. Forecasts were poor, it claimed, and warnings ambiguous, whilst the numbers of observations collected were fewer than were needed. Amongst other recommendations, the report called for an investigation into the laws governing weather changes both at sea and on land and proposed the establishment of a new system of observatories and other weather stations to ‘afford for the entire area of the United Kingdom accurate meteorological information’.31 Furthermore, it was suggested that the Department should be directed not by the government but by scientific institutions – the Royal Society and the Kew Observatory. Robert Scott nominally replaced FitzRoy, although he in turn reported to the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society and was supervised by Balfour Stewart at the Kew Observatory.32 The operations of the new Committee were divided into three areas: ocean meteorology; telegraphy and weather signals; and land meteorology. To develop the latter, it was recommended that a small number of technologically advanced observatories should be established, in turn complemented by a larger number of less sophisticated stations both on land and at sea. Following discussions at the 1873 Vienna Congress – a conference on intellectual property rights that was associated with the 1873 Vienna International Exposition – these sites were placed into one of three orders: first-order stations that would collect observations on a great scale, either hourly or continuously; those of a second-order that provided ‘complete and regular observations of the usual meteorological elements’; and those of a third-order that could take only some of the measurements of a second-order station.33 In the UK, the Committee’s proposed observatories were ranked as first-order stations; stations operated by volunteers providing eye measurements twice daily were second-order; whilst anemographic, telegraphic stations and sundry other sites were classed as third-order.34 Stations such as those operated by the RIC in Truro and by Matthew Moyle at

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Helston were recognized as second-order stations and their administration and inspection was shared by the Royal Society and the Royal Meteorological Society. Guidelines for observations at these and the third-order stations were laid out by Sir Henry James, the Director General of the Ordnance Survey, and later updated by Robert Scott in 1875.35 Stations were inspected on a regular basis either by Meteorological Office (the renamed Meteorological Department) or Royal Meteorological Society staff.36 Of the larger first-order observatories, eight were originally proposed but pressure from the Treasury meant that only seven were established, with the promise of some fifteen years of funding to maintain them – by which point, it was believed, sufficient data would have been collected materially to improve knowledge of weather patterns over the British Isles.37 This, as Anderson has noted, was by no means an uncontroversial decision. Some criticized the decision to build and equip new observatories on the basis that what the Greenwich and Kew observatories had not achieved in decades of observations was unlikely to be suddenly discovered in the next fifteen.38 Despite this concern, however, meteorology in the third quarter of the nineteenth century enjoyed almost unprecedented levels of public support. Government funding for meteorology helped establish a commitment to science’s right to support from public monies. If the Meteorological Office budget in the 1870s was combined with the costs of meteorological work at Greenwich Observatory or the General Register Office, meteorology was outspent only by large national and international surveying projects and by Kew Gardens.39 The seven observatories of the reconstituted Meteorological Office were spread across Britain and Ireland: two in Scotland at the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow (the proposed eighth would have been in either Wick or Thurso in northern Scotland); two in Ireland at the Armagh Observatory and on Valentia Island; three in England, at Falmouth, Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, and at Kew in London, the hub of the network.40 Only the Observatory at Valentia was set up, funded and staffed by the Meteorological Office itself; all the other sites were maintained by local scientific bodies. The Meteorological Committee considered the positions of the sites to be ‘as well distributed over the area of the British Isles as was compatible with the existence of an efficient local scientific superintendence’.41 The seven observatories were to collect a wide range of meteorological data, and with the help of self-recording instruments would provide a wealth of data that would ‘exhibit the changes in atmospheric conditions which pass over our islands with absolute fidelity, and will thereby throw a totally new light on the study of the weather’;42 be ‘of the greatest importance to the advancement of Meteorological Science’43 and so too invaluable to the nation. It is noteworthy that these proclamations hid concerns in the late 1860s about how to turn continuous records into numerical results useful to

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science and government.44 As Figure 7.1 demonstrates, this new network of meteorological observation both determined a spatial hierarchy of meteorological sites in the British Isles and, with its close and careful system of supervision and regulation, the Committee believed, guaranteed an accurate picture of the nation’s weather.45

The Falmouth Observatory The RCPS was approached by the Royal Society to establish a first-order observatory at Falmouth. The Society was delighted to be accorded this honour and in late January 1867 a Meteorological Committee was set up to oversee the establishment of the Observatory.46 After considering a number of existing sites, Balfour Stewart from the Kew Observatory eventually gave his approval to a parcel of land on Bowling Green Hill, high above the harbour.47 It was decided that a new building should be built – a tower that would be ‘sufficiently high above the houses to be exposed to the winds without interruption’,48 so that the anemometer should be kept free from eddies.49 Given its prominent position above the harbour it was also proposed that a time-ball be mounted on the tower for the benefit of townsfolk and sailors, although this was never erected. A range of other stipulations was laid down concerning the size and height of rooms, the number and aspects of windows, where instruments should be positioned and so on. The building of the tower began on 2 September 1867 and was completed by the beginning of December of that year. Mr Lovell Squire’s appointment as the first Observer was approved and the Government began to provide the Society with an annual grant of £250 to cover its operation.50 In July 1869, with an increase in the grant, Mr Kitto was appointed as Assistant Observer to Squire. An Assistant Secretary was also appointed, partly paid for out of RCPS funds.51 In common with the other observatories, the Falmouth Observatory was fitted with a number of self-recording meteorological instruments: a Robinson anemometer (to record wind direction and velocity), a thermograph (to record air temperature and evaporation), and a barograph (to record air pressure).52 A Beckley Rain Gauge was added in April 1871 and a Bright Sunshine Recorder in March 1880, their additions to the Observatory important enough to warrant articles on each of them in the Reports of the Society (Figure 7.2).53 The ownership and employment of these novel instruments placed the Observatory and the Society at the forefront of meteorological science and promised ‘mechanized records of phenomena secured from the vagaries of the human observer’.54 That said, a number of standard instruments was still used, supplying additional meteorological information and acting as checks for the automated records. Despite the promise of an observatory free from human intervention, the Observer and his Assistant were certainly kept busy. The duties and actions of

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Figure 7.1. Map of stations associated with the Meteorological Office. From the Annual Reports of the Meteorological Council, 1881.

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the two staff were minutely prescribed in the regulations of the Observatory and regulated by the Meteorological Committee of the RCPS and the Meteorological Office.55 A barometer and dry and wet bulb thermometers were to be read five times a day – at 10am, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 10pm – and general weather observations taken, whilst a mercurial maximum thermometer and a spirit minimum thermometer were read once every 24 hours, at 10pm.56 At 9.30am all clocks and the chronometer (although not the rain gauge) were to be wound; at 10am the rain gauge cylinder was to be replaced (and the rain in the copper gauge to be measured to 0.005 of an inch); at 10.30am the anemograph sheet to be replaced; between 10 and 11am on alternate mornings the barograph and thermograph sheets were to be changed and photographs to be developed and fixed straight away. Preparation of tabulations of anemograph, thermograph, wind and rain curves were to occupy the attentions of the Observer when not dealing with the instruments. In addition, on Tuesdays the Observer was to trace on a printed form the sun cards and to prepare the weekly weather register; on Thursdays a full examination of all registers, tabulations and curves for the preceding week was to take place; and at regular intervals, instruments were to be cleaned and oiled; water filtered and distilled; cotton threads and muslins to be replaced; baths and solutions to be prepared. Lastly, reports were to be prepared and sent every Tuesday and Thursday to the Meteorological Office, and weekly, monthly and annual weather tables drawn up for publication: the Western Morning News, the Western Daily Mercury and the Falmouth News Slip published tables weekly; The Western Chronicle of Science on a monthly basis; and the Reports of the RCPS published yearly summaries of the records.57 All of this was in conformity with the regulations laid down by the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society as printed in an appendix to their annual reports in 1869.58 Not only did this lay out the procedures for the collection of information of the instruments, it also detailed the process for the registration of any ‘deficiencies and mistakes in the returns’, copies of which were to be presented not only to the Director of the observatory in question, but also to the Meteorological Office itself.59 George Whipple, the Council’s observatories inspector, paid yearly visits that were also designed to detect human and instrumental shortcomings. Although his reports were generally favourable towards the Falmouth Observatory he nonetheless noted numerous minor problems – in 1880 that the velocity pencil of the anemograph didn’t mark properly, and that the sunshine recorder card was slightly out of focus; in 1882 the need to re-blacken the wet-bulb thermometer and tighten the fan of the anemograph; in 1885 the fixing of the rain gauge’s pencil. The exacting regime that the Meteorological Committee of the RCPS imposed on the Observatory, its staff and instruments, and in turn, that imposed on the RCPS by the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society, were aimed at producing weather data of an unprecedented precision, regularity and

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Figure 7.2. The Beckley Rain Gauge. From Anon., ‘Description of a Self-Recording Rain Gauge’, Report of the RCPS (1869).

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accuracy. This was meant to be data that mirrored exactly the weather experienced by the Observatory over the course of the day, week, month and year, and yet data also free from the idiosyncrasies of previous provincial weather collecting. To the embarrassment of the RCPS and the frustration of the Royal Society, however, the production of national weather at Falmouth was not always realized. For instance, the Observatory had problems securing and positioning equipment – the self-recording rain gauge was promised in 1869, and when it finally arrived in 1871 the Meteorological Committee were unsure where best to place it. It ended up in the back garden of Mr W. P. Dymond when no suitable place at the Observatory was found.60 Even equipment that was housed in the purpose-built Observatory posed problems. The Committee reported difficulties with its photographic results in 1868, which they blamed on ‘the dampness of the building, and to the want of proper ventilation’. Happily, ‘the high temperature of the past summer, and better arrangements for ventilating the rooms’ improved the images. Meanwhile, gales damaged the anemometer and so interrupted the wind record.61 Clearly, Cornwall’s national weather carried some very local inflections. It was perhaps understandable that new equipment and a new building would pose some impediments to the smooth progress of the Falmouth Observatory; and that the weather at times would cause its own problems (although that an unseasonably hot summer would actually improve the running of particular equipment was more unexpected). The Observatory staff itself – through discerning appointments and careful policing – was surely one thing the RCPS felt it could control. There too, however, they struggled. In January 1870 the Meteorological Committee reported ‘a serious discrepancy’ between the General Committee and Mr Squire in regard to the terms of Squire’s contract and particularly to his claims on the Government grant for the maintenance of the Observatory.62 Whilst the RCPS saw Squire as under their employ and so ‘accountable to them for the proper management of the Observatory’, Squire argued that as the Observer he was effectively a Government employee and the grant his to do with as he wished. Squire also protested at the appointment of an Assistant Observer and Secretary. The RCPS quickly rewrote Squire’s contract. In January 1882 Squire tried again to adjust arrangements at the Observatory to his own benefit, requesting that his son help him there. Furthermore, he suggested that his son and family should move into the Observatory, claiming that climbing the stairs of the tower was affecting his health. Mr Kitto the Assistant Observer in turn complained, worrying that Squire’s son would effectively become Superintendent, a post for which he felt himself to be first in line for, having worked there for fourteen years.63 Upon the rejection of his request Squire promptly resigned his post and Kitto was appointed Superintendent Observer. Whilst the Committee looked for an Assistant – the job was eventu-

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ally given to Mr Frederick Skinner – Kitto was asked to train his wife to help him perform his duties.64 Here then were a number of instrumental and personnel problems that reminded the Meteorological Office of how, despite the hubris of the age, measurement could fail. The problems were also a reminder that people could occasionally resist the exacting requirements of measurement techniques along with the intellectual, economic, political and moral demands into which they had been enrolled.65 Such errors lent support to some of the original critics of the project. For instance, George Airy had complained in 1864 that Edward Sabine’s emphasis on the need for extremely uniform results was an impossibility, would put too much pressure on observers and could even lead to falsifications.66

The Rise and Fall … and Rise of the Falmouth Observatory Despite these problems, the RCPS had every reason to be satisfied with the progress of its Observatory. Robert Scott, upon visiting Falmouth in 1879, reported that the Royal Society considered all in order with its southernmost Observatory. As it cemented its position at the centre of the region’s meteorological endeavours the Observatory began to expand its enterprises into the surrounding area. From 1871 sea temperatures were taken off the coast of Falmouth by W. P. Dymond, following instructions laid out by the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society.67 Further observations were made at the Eastern Breakwater of the Falmouth Docks from September 1882, with the aid of the Falmouth Docks Company.68 This association built on the claim that meteorological science had great value to local industry – in this case to Falmouth’s fishing fleet. Other stations were established on land. At Helston dry and wet bulb, and maximum and minimum thermometers, a Stevenson’s thermometer screen, and rain gauge were fixed in a meadow at the rear of Mr Gill’s house and a Standard Barometer was subsequently added. Gill, replacing the late Dr Moyle, began taking twice-daily observations for the Society from June 1881, the results of which were forwarded to the RCPS, the Meteorological Office and the Royal Meteorological Society on a monthly basis.69 A climatological station similar to that at Helston was established in the same year at 8 Florence Terrace, Falmouth and operated by Wilson Fox, the RCPS’s honorary meteorological secretary. Both these stations were inspected by William Marriott, the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Meteorological Society, in July 1882 and declared satisfactory.70 Other schemes were planned but not realized – a system of tide registrations at Falmouth using self-registering tide gauges, and a climatological station at Flushing, across the harbour from Falmouth. The numerous successes of the Falmouth Observatory and of Cornish meteorology more generally were duly celebrated

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during the RCPS Jubilee year in 1882 and prominent national meteorologists visited Falmouth, most notably George Whipple, who spoke at a conference organized by the Polytechnic Society in September of that year.71 George James Symons, editor of Symons’s Monthly Meteorological Magazine, founder of the British Rainfall Organization and a nationally-renowned expert on rainfall, also presented a paper, on rainfall distribution in Cornwall.72 Given their increasing level of influence and prominence in meteorological science, the RCPS was understandably taken aback by the Royal Society’s announcement in February 1883 – only six months after their Jubilee conference – that they intended to withdraw financial support for the Observatory. With the reconstitution of the national Meteorological Committee in 1877 – which became the Meteorological Council – a review of meteorological data collection was ordered. The Report of the Treasury Committee remarked that: Doubts have … been expressed whether, in the present state of meteorological science, the minute exactness of the observations now taken at these stations is of sufficient comparative value to justify the whole of the costs which they involve, when there are so many other objects of meteorological inquiry which call for increased expenditure.73

Opinions were sought from several of Europe’s most eminent meteorologists and upon their recommendations the Council decided to close all but three of its seven first-order stations, in line with their originally stated aim of financing the programme for only fifteen years. The money saved was to facilitate better analysis of the continuous records already obtained; to finance synoptic and experimental studies of weather; and to provide more complete equipment to those observatories to be kept in operation.74 The three stations that would retain the Council’s patronage were Kew, Valentia and Aberdeen, thus ‘forming a nearly equilateral triangle which covers a great part of the United Kingdom’.75 Kew was essential to the testing of new instruments and methods of observation; Valencia was deemed the most important station in terms of weather forecasting; and Aberdeen was a valuable site for the monitoring of Britain’s northerly climate. The Council hesitated over the fate of the Falmouth Observatory, ‘on account of its undeniably good geographical position’. Following advice from Dr Robert Mann, a previous President of the Meteorological Society (from 1873 to 1875), it was decided the Observatory was unsuitable for further observation due to its ‘confined site’.76 Mann, an expert on astronomy and photography as well as meteorology, claimed in his evidence to the committee that: At Falmouth the observatory stands upon an accidentally selected spot, where a small street occupies the uniting line between two high ridges in a cul-de-sac. The temperature observations taken there are not comparable, certainly with those of observatories that are more fairly placed.

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…(Chairman.) Do I understand you that the observatory at Falmouth is so placed as to be under very peculiar meteorological conditions? – Yes, under local conditions which do not give good general results.77

This complaint was not entirely unfamiliar. In 1868 the Meteorological Committee had in fact raised concerns about the ‘local situation’ of their observatories and the ability to relate records from one to the other, highlighting for instance the very different anemographic results from Falmouth and Valencia as compared to those from Kew and Stonyhurst.78 Despite Mann’s damning remarks as to the Falmouth Observatory’s very local and un-national characteristics, the Council nonetheless continued to forestall on its commitment to withdraw its support for an observatory in west Cornwall, offering at the very least the possibility of a second-class observatory at the Land’s End in connection with the telegraph station and the continued maintenance of a barograph at Falmouth. The other observatories were left in similar and just as precarious situations: Armagh was to be maintained as a second-order station; Stonyhurst to be run by the College Authorities; and it was hoped that the Glasgow observatory would be kept up through local funds.79 The RCPS was unhappy with the demotion of their station and wanted no less than the continuation of a first-order observatory at Falmouth. The importance of the Observatory as the standard for a regional meteorological culture was pointed out. Mr Robert Fox argued that the Observatory should not be allowed to close because it ‘was for the benefit of the county at large’.80 In an open letter to the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society the RCPS claimed that the Observatory acted as an important node for other activities in the region, forming ‘a standard for private observers throughout the county and beyond its borders’.81 Professor John Couch Adams – Lowndean Professor of Astronomy and Geometry at Cambridge and Director of the Cambridge Observatory – contended that the closure of the station would be ‘a heavy blow to the cultivation of Meteorological science in Cornwall and the West of England generally, where there are many local stations which regard Falmouth as their scientific centre’.82 Adams and others also asserted the Observatory’s paramount significance in the development of meteorological science at a national level. The Meteorological Committee of the RCPS argued that Falmouth’s location in the far south-west of England made it invaluable for tracing the course of storms advancing on the UK from the south (and they were quick to point out that the station at Valencia was often too far north to experience these). This information was useful to a number of parties, including the Board of Trade, the Admiralty Courts in London, others using the English channel, and those who needed meteorological data for ‘scientific inquiry’.83 In terms of the latter the Society pointed out

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that the Observatory was the only station in Cornwall with a bright sunshine recorder and that its self-recording rain gauge was the only one in the west of England. Associatively, Adams warned of the dangers of assuming that enough data had been collected since the seven first-order observatories had been established to enable the generation of general laws of the weather, asserting instead that regular records became more useful the longer they were collected. The Council of the RCPS took these arguments – along with the expressed backing for them from MPs, prominent scientific figures, and local dignitaries – to the Meteorological Council. On 27 June 1883 a deputation, led by the Right Hon. the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe met with the Meteorological Council and pressed its case. Further support was garnered from the British Association and lobbying continued throughout the year. Even Thomas Huxley was persuaded to give his support. By November the Meteorological Council relented, offering in a letter dated 24 November 1883 to continue their annual grant of £250 to the RCPS – guaranteed for five years – and to allow the use of their instruments, if a new observatory were built that would ‘enable the records to be made under thoroughly satisfactory conditions’.84 Further petitioning resulted in a grant of £300 from the Royal Society towards the cost of the new building.85

Touching the Fringe of Science

Figure 7.3. The second Falmouth Observatory. Frontispiece to The Fifty-Third Annual Report of the RCPS, 1885.

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The Society moved quickly to secure a site for Falmouth’s new observatory. In consultation with the Royal Society a location was chosen, somewhat to the west of the original tower. The laying of the new Observatory’s foundation stone on 12 August 1884 was a very public ceremony, with a large number of prominent local figures in attendance. A number of speeches were given and a band from the HMS Ganges played music during the intervals. That the new observatory conferred distinction on the town and the county was evidenced in those people who publicly paid tribute to the venture – amongst others the High Sheriff of Cornwall, the Archdeacon of Cornwall, and local MPs and prominent scientists, including William Pengelly, the archaeologist and palaeontologist. The event was widely covered in the local press: an evident expression of a very civic science. The new observatory would, it was claimed, bring the moral benefits of science to the local people. In his speech to the crowd, Mr T. Bedford Bolitho, the High Sheriff of Cornwall, claimed that ‘English people, although eminently devoted to matters of a practical nature, loved to touch the fringe of science in some way or other, and it appeared to him that this Observatory was destined to be a link between science and practice’.86 The project was indeed widely supported through public donations – a significant amount was collected at the foundation stone celebration – and by 31 December 1884 £668 of the total amount of £1,300 had been raised.87 The resulting building – approved by Whipple at Kew – was a detached villa in the Queen Anne style, with seven private rooms and seven for observations. It took nine months to erect but eventually the various instruments were stopped at the old observatory and, after some preliminary work, started again on the morning of 9 May 1885 at the new site (Figure 7.3). The Observer took up residence on 14 May. The building’s latitude and longitude were supplied by the Ordnance Office at Southampton and the Observatory followed the time at Falmouth Post Office, which was in turn confirmed by the telegraph daily at 10am. The new Observatory differed in a number of ways from the old. The grounds in which the new building sat were much more extensive, and so enabled the location of instruments near the observatory rather than in a private garden. New photographic methods were employed that produced a ‘much greater rapidity, brilliancy, and sharpness of definition’;88 and the anemometer was fixed to an iron column set on a flat leaded roof, that was deemed a great improvement on the wooden staging of the old site. New instruments were also located at the observatory. Of particular note was a set of magnetographs for recording the variations in the earth’s magnetic field. This was strictly separate from the work of the Meteorological Office but was nonetheless funded by the Royal Society. A separate absolute magnetic house was erected in the grounds of the observa-

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tory and the instruments installed by Kew’s Magnetic Observer, Mr T. W. Baker. Much was made of the new instruments in the Reports of the RCPS.89 The establishment of the new observatory at Falmouth was a major triumph for the RCPS and for the Cornish scientific community more generally. The observatory performed well enough from its opening for Whipple to claim, upon a visit in August 1889, that he ‘considered the Falmouth Observatory both as regards its location and the position of the various instruments the best of any under the Meteorological Office’; that he ‘looked upon it as a model Meteorological Station’.90 In late October of that year the remaining debt against the cost of the building was paid off. The station continued to pass the Royal Society’s regular inspections, although it remained plagued with problems: damage to equipment, the flooding of the subterranean magnetic house on several occasions, problems with the new photographic equipment in 1885, the loss of sunshine cards in 1887, serious discrepancies in rain gauge measurements in 1888 and the tabulation of wet bulb tabulation records in 1890, and the mysterious disappearance of the Assistant Observer that same year. The RCPS’s climatological station at Helston was eventually discontinued. Gill had been complaining of illness and ‘over-pressure’ since 1886 and the station’s records were so sporadic that the RCPS decided to close it in 1888.91 The Falmouth observatory continued to operate as a meteorological station until the 1950s. Whilst the Meteorological Council eventually withdrew their support in 1921, the Falmouth Town Council took over in support of the RCPS. On the 14 May 1953 the observatory formally closed and became instead a ‘health resort station’, although this did include the recording of meteorological information.92

Conclusion Through sites like Falmouth’s Observatory, national institutions with a meteorological remit – the Meteorological Office, the BAAS and its Kew Observatory, the Royal Society – extended their influence and remit over a national space. This was achieved through the extension of sophisticated meteorological instruments to various stations, the enforcement of standardized methods of measurement and the quantification of observations, and the disciplining of the actions of the Observatories’ staff. Despite the objections raised by John Couch Adams, the Meteorological Office was happy to continue this policy through the management of only a very few – albeit technologically advanced – sites of observation, in turn controlled by one site – Kew – where instruments and practices were invented and calibrated. In the generation of general theories of British weather systems, fewer was definitely better. This attitude was indicative of later nineteenth-century meteorology, as it ‘worked to replace the place-centred and

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curiosity-driven authority of meteoric reportage by an indoor computation of atmospheric “tides,” and storm paths’.93 The observations of stations like Falmouth mattered only in terms of the experimental and modelling studies they facilitated. While local weather was an important prerequisite for a knowledge of globally evolving systems, ‘scrutiny of local weather … mattered only to the extent to which the atmosphere could manifest itself in a place’.94 Understood in this way, Cornish meteorology in the mid-to-late nineteenth century no longer mattered for its own sake; it was important only for the contributions it could make to understandings of processes operating on a bigger canvas. The progressive reduction in the number of government-financed firstorder observatories only goes to illustrate this point. Whilst the Meteorological Council of the Royal Society certainly encouraged the continued operations of the demoted first-order stations like Armagh, Stonyhurst and Glasgow, its priorities clearly shifted away from a place-bound collecting culture – even where those places were regulated to an unprecedented degree – to a laboratory culture that had little time for what Janković has referred to as an ‘ethos of locality’.95 This is of course only part of the story. While the history of British meteorology was assuredly one of increasing centralization, institutionalization, and marginalization of provincial contributions, its historical geography was rather more complex. The development of a national network of weather stations was clearly not as straightforward as the above account might suggest. Sophisticated instruments, calibrated at Kew, still had to be assimilated and interpreted in particular local contexts; the ideals of the Kew meteorologists routinely compromised by the vagaries of local geography, social norms and politics. At Falmouth, anemographs blew off the roof, photographs got damp, buildings were flooded, and the siting of the rain-gauge was compromised by lack of space. Readings that were taken were at times thrown into doubt by a failure to follow the standards set by Kew. Readings were not taken properly and were occasionally lost, whilst observers resigned, retired or simply disappeared altogether. The ubiquitous and objective did not only become local and subjective in a negative or problematic sense. The establishment of a national meteorological observatory in Falmouth served other more positive ends. Individuals made use of the Observatory to further their careers, to provide an income and even a home for their families. The station was employed to facilitate the scientific ambitions of the RCPS and to engender a broader sense of civic pride in the town and the county. It was also implicated in the development of the regional agricultural, fishing and tourist economies. Telling the story of the quantification, laboratorization and nationalization of British meteorology from the perspective of a provincial station rather than from the meteorological metropole opens a new vista onto the history of the weather. At the very least it requires us to reconsider how we evaluate the relative

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significance of the relationship between the provinces and the metropole.96 It is undeniably the case that the Meteorological Council of the Royal Society was in a position of power over the Cornish scientists working in Falmouth, Helston, Truro and elsewhere. Even so, what the RCPS achieved in mobilizing scientific and political allies and so saving their Observatory in 1883, should remind us that this geography of power was negotiated and relational and certainly not predetermined or fixed (as we saw in the chapter on botanical expertise). Put another way, we should see the history and the geography of nineteenth-century British meteorology not as an inevitable march towards a standardized national weather but as practices that extended unevenly across a physical landscape; that actively constructed geographies of centre and periphery; and that relied on a set of social and intellectual relations that could at times produce outcomes contrary to the wishes of those who imagined themselves central to Britain’s Victorian weather network.

CONCLUSION

It is no coincidence that the empirical body of this volume concluded with a consideration of the science of meteorology; a pursuit that relied so heavily on the use of calibrated instruments, uniform techniques of observation, and standardized information. Although attitudes were beginning to orientate towards a laboratory-based approach in the later years of the nineteenth century, the science of meteorology continued to depend on a dispersed network of observatories that could supply central locations like Kew with a mass of data on local weather. By extension, it relied on a host of local collectors to operate these sites and to follow the procedures set down by their metropolitan superiors. When put together with information from a host of other sites, the data local observers collected could be turned into synoptic weather charts that were issued to relevant bodies on a regular basis. An early example of such a chart was exhibited at the Great Exhibition of London in 1851. Unlike the geological maps considered in Chapter 3, which were based on information collected over many months and years, synoptic weather maps were compiled from information collected in almost real time. They represented changes taking place in the atmosphere at a national scale and were perhaps the ultimate Victorian triumph over geography. As was noted in the previous chapter, however, we should resist the assumption that meteorology represented an inevitable march towards a standardized national weather. We should assume instead that it was defined by a set of practices that extended unevenly across a physical landscape; that actively constructed geographies of centre and periphery; and that relied on a set of social and intellectual relations that could at times produce unexpected outcomes. These assumptions run through the book more generally.

Science in Regional Context By considering the operations of nineteenth-century science in regional context, the intention has been to reconsider a fairly simplistic model of centre-periphery relations. All of this is not to deny the power of particular ideas, individuals and institutions, which certainly shaped the fortunes of Cornish science from – 171 –

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without, occasionally against the wishes of local practitioners. It is important, however, not to assume that influence from the outset. As we have just seen in the example of Cornish meteorology, sometimes ideas from without translated into quite a different proposition when played out in a particular local context, where local meteorologists subtly manipulated events to their own ends, or laboured more explicitly to resist events, such as the closing of their weather observatory in Falmouth. The wider point to be made here is that we should treat the geography of centre and periphery not as a factor that, a priori, determined relations between actors, but as an outcome of those relations, even if such an outcome may then exert a determining force on later events. Considering the operations of nineteenth-century British science from the perspective of one of its regions, rather than from a site like London, or from a more dislocated intellectual aspect, helps us to appreciate this point more clearly. It also helps us to witness the significance of other factors that shaped science in regional context, which might otherwise be overlooked when we concern ourselves only with issues at a different scale. So what have we discovered about how science operated in Cornwall and indeed how Cornish science operated in wider spheres of influence? First, Cornwall sustained a wide-ranging scientific culture that encompassed geology, natural history, antiquarianism and meteorology. Although only hinted at, other related interests were also sustained. For instance, antiquarians were not only interested in ancient earthworks; they also often studied more contemporary Cornish folklore, the significance of local place-names, and local dialects and the native Cornish language (which had faded out of use in the eighteenth century). As we saw in Chapter 3, geologists also carried out studies of soil characteristics and the science of agriculture. Physicians like Richard Couch, who we encountered in Chapter 4 in relation to his work on the Cornish fauna, also developed an interest in social statistics and medical topography, as he and others struggled to understand the relationships between occupation, location and mortality rates. Others, like the meteorologist Nicholas Whitley, also concerned himself with the study of ocean temperature and with geomorphological processes. It was common for individuals to pursue multiple scientific interests rather than confine themselves to one avenue of inquiry. Societies such as the Polytechnic Society and the RIC also embodied this sentiment and supported a wide-ranging remit. In case the organizational trope of the previous five chapters might suggest otherwise, this feature of scientific life in Cornwall meant that different topics were always rubbing up against one another. As Chapter 1 showed in particular, audiences at a conversazione in Penzance would hear papers on bees, Cornish superstitions, esculent seaweeds and the local weather, all in one sitting. They would experience a similarly eclectic mix of topics on an annual society excursion, during an exhibition, or in a local

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museum. Fyfe and Lightman have referred to this feature of Victorian life as a ‘cultural marketplace’ – by which they mean the diverse ‘sites, products and experiences’ that were on offer to the audiences for science.1 While the majority of historians of science have mapped out this marketplace at the scale of the city, this study shows that it operated at the scale of the region too. The distances were not so large that individuals and families could not consider travelling from one town to another to visit an exhibition or join an excursion, especially when entrepreneurial train companies offered discounted tickets to transport them there. As a consequence, Cornwall’s population evidenced a fairly high scientific literacy, or at least a vigorous curiosity for science, if we go by the numbers of events on offer and the numbers of people who attended them. The vibrancy of a scientific culture in such a seemingly rural backwater is therefore perhaps at first glance surprising but is not actually difficult to account for when we spend some time there, as we have.

Organizing Cornish Science Who was responsible for shaping the contours of Cornish science? As we saw in Chapter 1, it was the local gentry and the region’s wealthy industrialists who played the leading role in the establishment of the region’s scientific societies, such as Charles Fox, Francis Bassett, Joseph Carne, Charles Lemon, Richard Hussey Vivian and Richard Pellew. These men were not always closely interested in science themselves but they did appreciate the cultural capital that a scientific society brought to their county. Their patronage, their financial support and their connections ensured that Cornwall’s societies continued to flourish, at the same time as those that relied solely on the middle classes for support (such as the PNHAS) struggled to survive in the face of fluctuating public interest. With only a few exceptions (Sir Charles Lemon being one), those that actually pursued science in Cornwall came not from the gentry but from the middling classes. Cornwall’s geologists, natural historians, meteorologists and antiquarians were also Cornwall’s medics, vicars, town clerks, bankers, headmasters and magistrates. Occasionally they were the wives of these professionals. More occasionally still, Cornish science was enriched through the participation of its working men – Cornwall’s coastguards, miners and market gardeners. While all of these people were included in Cornwall’s scientific culture to some degree – welcome to attend exhibitions and to visit local museums for instance – different groups’ abilities to make contributions to scientific debates was much more variegated. Socially elitist bodies like the Penzance Geological Society subtly excluded the work of professional surveyors; working men were denied access to local societies due to the relatively high costs of membership; and women’s participation in the organization of scientific activities was limited to minor

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committee positions. It took a great deal of background work by Charles Johns and Elizabeth Warren to allow a working man like William Curnow to enter into scientific debates at a local level, let alone to initiate correspondence with a national authority like William Hooker. Even for someone of independent means and good social connections like Warren, or for a well-known botanical author and local headmaster like Johns, scientific authority was an attribute that had to be worked at constantly. Within the bounds of the county, scientific authority was based not only on social standing but on local knowledge, craft skills and on connections to the wider scientific world. Local experts such as Warren, Jonathan Couch or William Copeland Borlase commanded their own networks of collectors through their knowledge of local landscapes, natures, objects and histories. Such expertise was most commonly demonstrated through extensive fieldwork, such that most scientific papers included the assertion that many days and weeks had been spent pursuing the particular topic in the outdoors. They also commanded respect through their abilities to translate the raw materials of science into objects that could be examined, displayed, circulated and consumed, whether that meant the mounting of an insect, the surveying of a stone circle, the mapping of a geological feature, the drying of a specimen of seaweed or the manipulation of a meteorological instrument. Lastly, these individuals asserted their local scientific reputation through their association with recognized national authorities, such as between Warren and Hooker, Copeland Borlase and William Lukis, or Jonathan Couch and William Yarrell. While these individuals used their relations with distant luminaries to help sustain their local reputation, so they were expected to supply things in return, usually specimens and information.2 In doing so, their own practices became open to scrutiny. Receiving the gift of a book from someone like William Hooker meant that the conduct it advocated had to be followed. The same was true for the Polytechnic Society when it took receipt of money and meteorological instruments from the Kew Observatory. These interactions meant that Cornish science became well integrated into wider British scientific culture. In doing so, the county’s scientific practitioners also entered into complex relations with others from distant places who had some say in how things were done there.

The Performance of Provinciality The nature of these relations changed over the course of the nineteenth century, with scientific activities taking on an increasingly national hue and orientation. This shift was perhaps most marked in the case of meteorology, where the British government and the Royal Society of London reorganized weather recording around a few key weather observatories, to which regional stations were entirely subservient. However, the trend was also in evidence in the practice of botany,

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where informal, although carefully delimited, correspondence between the likes of Warren and Hooker was replaced by national botanical projects that gave much less time to personal relations. The widespread acceptance of certain modes of collecting and recording also reduced the importance of personal relations that had previously been so important in the determination of a claim’s veracity. Geology also exhibited an increasingly national outlook, with stratigraphical maps that covered the whole of Britain, and bodies like the Geological Survey that operated at a national scale.3 What did this mean for those that practised science in places like Cornwall? It was undeniably the case that science in the regions increasingly became science on the margins. This is highlighted most starkly when we compare the careers and fortunes of the Rev. William Borlase, discussed in Chapter 1, with his intellectual descendents in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Borlase certainly wrote from a geographically marginal location, and self-consciously so. His physical location was not translated automatically into an intellectual marginality by his interlocutors. In turn, the geographical focus of his studies did not, a priori, mark them out as parochial. This began to change in the first three decades of the nineteenth century and was well cemented in place by the last quarter of the nineteenth century. By then regional science, at least as it was practised in a county like Cornwall, was provincial science and the contributions it could make to wider debates had been severely circumscribed and clearly delimited. The punishment for refusing to play by the rules as dictated by the scientific, metropolitan, elite was the loss of all credibility and standing, as we saw in the cases of Warren’s botanical project, Henry Boase’s geological map of Cornwall, and the Polytechnic Society’s management of the Royal Society’s meteorological observatory at Falmouth. This by no means signalled the end of science in the regions. As we have seen, individuals and societies managed to preserve a space for their work within a wider scientific scene in Britain, even if their place in the scientific hierarchy was rather diminished. The way they achieved this was to actively perform their provinciality in their work and their dealings with others.4 This entailed not only following the schemas laid down by their metropolitan superiors but also regularly reaffirming their cultural position so as to ensure that they could not be suspected of overstepping any cultural boundary. A good example of this was Charles Peach’s interactions with Murchison, Sedgewick and others over his investigation into Cornwall’s fossil fish. While Henry Boase acted as an intellectual equal to these same people (and was very publicly put down for it), Peach by contrast assumed a studied provinciality and was duly rewarded with improved prospects and an award from the Geological Society of London. John Ralfs is another example. Although he was the author of a number of well-received books on British botany, he was nonetheless willing to follow the biogeographical agenda laid out by

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Watson and Baker, and encouraged other local botanists to also adopt Watson’s vice-county system. Copeland Borlase also assumed a position of provinciality when he lent his assistance to the William Collings Lukis’s antiquarian survey of Cornwall for the Society of Antiquaries of London, despite the fact that he had himself been carrying out similar work for a number of years.

Science and Society in Cornwall In the introduction to this book, reference was made to Livingstone’s own meditation on the historical geographies of science. He notes that scientific knowledge is appropriated according to particular senses of self-understanding and employed for a variety of ends, and so asks: how was science received and put to use in different places? As was noted above, science was well embedded in wider Cornish society. The county’s scientific societies established museums and headquarters in the centre of the major towns and so brought science into the midst of urban life. Conversaziones formed a regular part of the local social scene, while field-excursions and exhibitions, if more irregular but more spectacular, opened out the audience for science to the widest possible constituency – from children in the local workhouse to the local gentry. Science was also taken to the most remote of Cornwall’s communities through the activities of its natural historians. For instance, Jonathan Couch spent most of his life in the fishing village of Polperro, where he encouraged attention to the area’s flora and fauna, particularly among the local fishermen. The same was true for John Ralfs and Charles Johns, who encouraged the habits of botanical collecting and preserving amongst the working men of their own places of residence. There were a number of more specific ways in which science had an impact upon Cornish society and the Cornish economy. Its most obvious connection to the region’s economic fortunes was through industrial innovation. The Cornish chemist, Sir Humphry Davy, had literally embodied the close relations between science and invention, and his example was continually upheld throughout the nineteenth century as an inspiration to all in the county.5 As we saw in Chapters 1 and 2, Falmouth’s Polytechnic Society was founded to promote industrial innovation and the application of science to economic and social problems. It did so by holding regular exhibitions of industrial inventions and its founder family, the Foxes, encouraged participation from amongst its employees at their foundry at Perranarworthal. The scientific and industrial exhibitions discussed in Chapter 2 were designed to foster an improvement in Cornwall’s industrial prospects, particularly in relation to mining and manufacturing, as well as fishing in the case of the Penzance Fisheries Exhibition. The geological maps produced by the members of the Geo-

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logical Society in Penzance were meant to do the same, although in practice they had much less impact on the Cornish tin and copper-mining industry than the professional surveyors they subtly excluded from their institution. The maps were designed to foster other forms of improvement too, particularly improvement to the land and the soil, so that Cornwall’s tracts of common waste could be turned into productive agricultural land. This attitude held sway throughout the nineteenth century and was, perhaps ironically, part of what the early antiquarian preservationists were trying to fight against when they sought to protect Cornwall’s stone monuments from destruction by farmers and landowners. Perhaps the most pervasive use of the idea of improvement was in relation to the self. Participation in science – whether through a visit to a local museum, participation in an excursion, conducting one’s own collecting campaign, or entering an object of art or industry to a local exhibition – promised self-improvement. This was in the form not only of educational enhancement but moral uplift too. The aims of the Horticultural Society and the organization of its exhibitions were perhaps the most pronounced examples of the connections drawn between science and morality. It was also found in the arguments of other societies and in the justification for particular events that took place in the county. Carefully balanced against this impetus was the promotion of science as a form of entertainment. Rather than see education and entertainment as opposed objectives, it is better to understand the two together and jointly concerned with the edification of the Cornish public through science. Field excursions and exhibitions were the most explicit expression of science as edification, but the evening conversaziones would also combine serious scientific work with more light-hearted topics. Of course, however serious the intent behind any event, it was rendered pointless if no one attended. The staging of spectacular displays and demonstrations, and the provision of refreshment stalls and bazaars at exhibitions, or the lengthy intermissions for luncheon during a field excursion, might well have irked some of the organizing committee, but social conviviality was often precisely what some attendees came for and so was essential in securing the success of the event. One final way in which science contributed to wider Cornish society and culture was by helping to promote forms of regional patriotism and belonging. Cornwall’s isolation from the rest of mainland Britain had fostered a fierce independence in its people. This combined with its self-proclaimed industrial brilliance and centrality to the world’s copper, and later tin-mining, industries. It was therefore easy for the promoters of science in Cornwall to attach their cause to the prevalent discourse of Cornwall’s unrivalled industrial abilities, and to argue that the pursuit of science could only help the county to achieve even greater feats.

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Things began to change in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and not entirely in Cornwall’s favour. By the 1850s Cornwall’s share of the world’s copper output was falling as new competitors emerged in Chile, Australia and the USA. This triggered a massive out-migration of miners and their families as they travelled to far-flung locations to seek work. The arrival of the railways at around the same time was something of a mixed blessing. It enabled perishable goods like fish and vegetables to be exported quickly to feed London and the industrial cities of the midlands and north of England. It also brought the tourists, even if the heavily industrialized county was not to everyone’s tastes.6 However, the railways, along with out-migration, also threatened to dilute Cornwall’s cultural heritage. Unsurprisingly perhaps, claims to a distinctive cultural and even biological heritage increased in volume towards the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. The idea of the Cornish as a remnant of an ancient Celtic race really took hold in those years and the work of the Victorian antiquarians was turned subtly to support their argument as to the need to preserve and protect Cornwall from ‘invasion’. At the same time the progressive and triumphalist discourse of industrial and scientific eminence dropped away, as Cornwall’s intellectuals rejected the idea of Cornwall as a region leading British innovation in favour of it as a region separate from England and closer instead to its Celtic cousins Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Brittany.

Inventing the Region There are a number of ways of conducting a historical geography of science. One common approach has been to examine the impact of particular localities on the practice and reception of science. That concern has certainly been followed in this volume. We have encountered a wide range of spaces in which science was produced and consumed, including museums, lecture halls, fieldsites, observatories and exhibition spaces. We have seen just how these spaces shaped the ways individuals approached their object of study and how they in turn related their findings to gathered or intended audiences. This is, however, not the only way in which a historical geography of science might be pursued. Running through this study has been another geographical question, one which in a sense balances the first question sketched out above. Rather than asking simply how place shaped scientific inquiry, it has also been the intention of this book to consider how science went about creating geographies. It is useful at this point to return to Finnegan’s assertion, referenced in the introduction, that any good historical geography should analyse rather than unquestioningly assume the boundaries and character of different regional spaces. Cornwall was not just the container for the practice of particular sorts of

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scientific inquiry; scientific thought and practice also actively constituted and reconstituted the region over the course of the nineteenth century. Why was the region chosen so consistently as the focus of inquiry? As was noted in both the introduction and Chapter 4, the region defined a manageable area in which a person of relatively limited time and means could conduct their activities. It was entirely possible for a programme of fieldwork to encompass the entire region, whether singly as in Boase’s case, or collectively, as in Warren’s botanical network of collectors. In relation to the point made above about the performance of provinciality, the region was also an accepted space of inquiry for local natural historians, geologists, antiquarians and others. Cornish naturalists, for instance, could conduct their county-level studies in the knowledge that they were supported by a host of studies of other counties and regions throughout Britain and the wider world. In particular, they could be justified on an entirely empirical basis – as filling a gap in geographical knowledge – without having to stray into the much more uncertain and contentious ground of philosophical speculation. The region afforded a host of possibilities to the researcher. As we have seen in Cornwall’s case, it was an ideal location to pursue research into the wildlife of the sea and shore, as well as into birdlife and botany, not to mention the study of the weather, geology and antiquities. Lastly, the region was so often the focus of investigation simply because it was disproportionately important to those who lived in it. For the majority of the population – and certainly for the Cornish – county boundaries comfortably contained entire lives. It was perfectly reasonable then that scientific studies could also stop at the county limits. How was the region invented exactly? Answers have been diverse but have tended to return to that most geographical of representational techniques – the map. In all of the scientific pursuits that were considered in this volume, features of interest were routinely mapped. This was explicitly the case in relation to Cornwall’s stratigraphy and its ancient monuments. The various attempts to delimit the county’s flora and fauna by Couch, Warren and Ralfs also all resorted to the plotting of locations, although they were usually displayed in text form rather than graphically. The meteorological data collected at the Falmouth observatory and other stations around the county also contributed to the mapping of Britain’s weather and helped county meteorologists to think about the geographical variation of climate in the southwest of England. These projects were founded on the philosophical principle that the region was a significant locus of natural and cultural processes. In other words it was assumed that the mapping of the regional incidence of nature would reveal processes that expressed themselves at that scale. Even if regional studies revealed activities that clearly extended beyond county boundaries, it was nonetheless assumed that the solution was not the conduct of studies at a larger scale, but the inter-relation of a number of regional studies one to another. The study of

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regional weather or of animal migration were just two examples where this logic was pursued. These ideas were given voice through a variety of fora, including local museums, field-excursions and guidebooks. As we saw in Chapter 2, museums reinforced ideas of regional integrity in their displays. They were also literally cross-referenced to regional texts. For instance, the RIC museum’s natural history collections were designed to support the Cornish Fauna that had been written by the Couchs; they were also referenced in popular guidebooks, which urged tourists wanting to discover more about Cornish natural history to go there to supplement the information in their hands. The emphasis that excursion itineraries placed on drawing connections between different areas of Cornwall and on the appreciation of topography also supported this regional sensibility.

Changing Geographies of Regional Science The second half of the nineteenth century was not an easy time for regional science. Just as the place of the scientific practitioner altered so too did the place of the region. The value of regional studies was increasingly under question. To think through this shift it is again useful to reflect on the differences between Borlase’s studies in the eighteenth century and those produced from around the 1830s onwards. Borlase’s research was motivated by what Janković calls ‘an ethos of locality’. In other words, his chorographical studies expressed a moral commitment to the local; his work provided a scientific study of the ‘places of life’. This changed in the early-to-mid-nineteenth century, where places of life gave way to the study of ‘places on the map’.7 This is not to say that regional studies were entirely jettisoned, although in some situations their validity and usefulness was fundamentally brought into question. Think for instance of the decision reached in the 1880s to close the majority of the Royal Society’s meteorological observatories so as to concentrate resources into laboratory-based analysis. More frequently, however, regional science was forced to assume a more limited epistemological position. Properly conducted research could still contribute to wider studies, but only if it followed demanding stipulations. Failure to do so could have dire consequences, as was the case with Warren’s Hortus Siccus and Boase’s geological map of Cornwall. To ensure that work was not rejected out-of-hand, much had to be removed. In short, the region had to be stripped of its parochialism. Certain features of the scientific region had to be removed from the map, sometimes literally, as was the case with the antiquarian features that had previously been prominent on the geological maps of Cornwall. Once done, regional science could in theory be moved elsewhere, made to work with other studies from different regions, and

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even contribute to wider philosophical projects. Ultimately, information supplied in this way could be placed onto maps covering broad scientific terrains, whether literally or metaphorically. All of this is not to say that studies motivated to give voice to Cornwall’s places of life were stopped in their tracks. Antiquarians continued to sketch tumuli on Cornwall’s uplands; naturalists to track daily and seasonal changes in the local fields and woods; weather-watchers to observe wind speed and temperature in their back gardens. In doing so they often observed their own idiosyncratic collecting methods and at times even had the temerity to express scientific theories quite at variance with those circulating more generally. In short, these studies adhered passionately to the same ethos of locality that motivated Borlase; only now they really were conducted at the margins of British scientific culture.

NOTES

Introduction: A Biography of a Scientific Region. 1. 2.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

T. M. Porter, ‘Making Things Quantitative’, Science in Context, 7 (1993), p. 389–407, p. 389. See R. Powell, ‘Geographies of Science: Histories, Localities, Practices, Futures’, Progress in Human Geography, 31 (2007), pp. 309–29; S. Naylor, ‘Historical Geographies of Science: Places, Contexts, Cartographies’, British Journal for the History of Science, 38 (2005), pp. 1–12. D. N. Livingstone, ‘Reading the Heavens, Planting the Earth: Cultures of British Science’, History Workshop Journal, 54 (2002), pp. 236–41, p. 236, emphasis added. D. N. Livingstone, Putting Science in its Place: Geographies of Scientific Knowledge (Chicago, IL and London: Chicago University Press, 2003), p. 1. D. A. Finnegan, ‘The Spatial Turn: Geographical Approaches in the History of Science’, Journal of the History of Biology, 41 (2008), pp. 369–88, p. 373. S. Shapin, review of Livingstone’s Science, Space and Hermeneutics, in British Journal for the History of Science, 36 (2003), pp. 89–91. Shapin, review of Livingstone, p. 90. For a review see T. Cresswell, Place: A Short Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004). C. W. J. W. Withers, ‘Geography, Natural History and the Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment: Putting the World in Place’, History Workshop Journal, 39 (1995), pp. 136–63. See Livingstone, Putting Science in its Place. C. W. J. W. Withers, ‘Place and the “Spatial Turn” in Geography and in History’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 70 (2009), pp. 637–58, p. 651. S. Shapin, ‘The House of Experiment in Seventeenth-Century England’, Isis, 79 (1988), pp. 373–404, p. 374. A. Secord, ‘Science in the Pub: Artisan Botanists in Early Nineteenth-Century Lancashire’, History of Science, 32 (1994), pp. 269–315; A. S-K. Pang, ‘Gender, Culture, and Astrophysical Fieldwork: Elizabeth Campbell and the Lick Observatory-Crocker Eclipse Expeditions’, in H. Kuklick and R. Kohler (eds), Science in the Field (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 1996), pp. 17–43; S. Shapin, A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 1994); J. Endersby, ‘“From having no Herbarium” Local Knowledge versus Metropolitan Expertise: Joseph Hooker’s Australasian Correspondence with William Colenso and Ronald Gunn”, Pacific Science, 55 (2001), pp. 343–58. – 183 –

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14. For studies that do just these things, see for instance S. J. M. M. Alberti, ‘The Museum Affect: Visiting Collections of Anatomy and Natural History’, in A. Fyfe and B. Lightman (eds), Science in the Marketplace: Nineteenth-Century Sites and Experiences (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2007), pp. 371–403; J. Secord, Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2000). 15. R. L. Numbers and J. Stenhouse (eds), Disseminating Darwinism: The Role of Place, Race, Religion, and Gender (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). 16. R. de Bont, ‘Between the Laboratory and the Deep Blue Sea: Space Issues in the Marine Stations of Naples and Wimereux’, Social Studies of Science, 39 (2009), pp. 199–227, p. 221. 17. M. Pearson, ‘In Comes I’: Performance, Memory and Landscape (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2006), p. 4. 18. J. Secord, ‘Knowledge in Transit’, Isis, 95 (2004), pp. 654–72, p. 660. 19. S. Harris, ‘Long Distance Corporations, Big Sciences, and the Geography of Knowledge’, Configurations, 6 (1998), pp. 269–305. 20. B. Short and J. Godfrey, ‘“The Outhwaite Controversy”: a Micro-History of the Edwardian Land Campaign’, Journal of Historical Geography, 33 (2007), pp. 45–71, p. 47. 21. Finnegan, ‘The Spatial Turn’, p. 385; F. Driver and R. Samuel, ‘Rethinking the Idea of Place’, History Workshop Journal, 39 (1995), p. v–vii, p. vi. 22. A. Barry, ‘The History of Measurement and the Engineers of Space’, British Journal for the History of Science, 26 (1993), p. 459–68. 23. Ibid., p. 462. 24. Ibid., p. 466. 25. J. Golinksi, Making Natural Knowledge: Constructivism and the History of Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 134. 26. Porter, ‘Making Things Quantitative’, p. 389. 27. S. Schaffer, ‘Metrology, Metrication, and Victorian Values’, in B. Lightman (ed.), Victorian Science in Context (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 1997), pp. 438–74, p. 440. 28. Schaffer, ‘Metrology’, p. 444. 29. Livingstone, Putting Science in its Place, p. 142. 30. Secord, Victorian Sensation, p. 192. 31. I. R. Morus, ‘“More the Aspect of Magic than Anything Natural”: The Philosophy of Demonstration’, in A. Fyfe and B. Lightman (eds), Science in the Marketplace: Nineteenth-Century Sites and Experiences (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2007), pp. 336–70, p. 365. 32. M. Nicholson, ‘Alexander von Humboldt and the Geography of Vegetation’, in A. Cunningham and N. Jardine (eds), Romanticism and the Sciences (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 169–85, p. 181. 33. M. Dettelbach, ‘Humboldtian Science’, in N. Jardine, J. Secord and E. Spary (eds), Cultures of Natural History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 287–304, p. 298. 34. Dettelbach, ‘Humboldtian Science’, p. 298. 35. J. Camerini, ‘Evolution, Biogeography, and Maps: An Early History of Wallace’s Line’, in R. MacLeod and P. Rehbock (eds), Darwin’s Laboratory: Evolutionary Theory and Natural History in the Pacific (Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i Press, 1994), pp. 70–109, p. 79 and p. 90 respectively.

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36. Camerini, ‘Evolution, Biogeography, and Maps’, p. 77, original emphasis. 37. J. Brown, ‘Biogeography and Empire’, in N. Jardine, J. A. Secord and E. C. Spary (eds), Cultures of Natural History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 305– 21, p. 315. 38. For one corrective to this tendency – one that actively interrogates the relations between nation-building and the practice of science – see C. W. J. W. Withers, Geography, Science and National Identity: Scotland Since 1520 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 39. Finnegan, ‘The Spatial Turn’, p. 384. 40. Livingstone, Putting Science in its Place, pp. 89–90. 41. Finnegan, ‘The Spatial Turn’, p. 372. 42. G. A. Cooke, A Topographical and Statistical Description of the County of Cornwall (London, Sherwood and Co., 1820).

1 Confined to a Small Round 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

P. A. S. Pool, William Borlase (Truro: Royal Institution of Cornwall, 1986), p. 75. J. Uglow, The Lunar Men: The Friends Who Made the Future (London: Faber and Faber, 2002). R. Sweet, Antiquaries: The Discovery of the Past in Eighteenth-Century Britain (London: Hambledon, 2004), p. 44. Ibid., p. 49. V. Janković, Reading the Skies: A Cultural History of English Weather, 1650–1820 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), p. 123. Ibid. L. Cormack, Charting an Empire: Geography at the English Universities, 1580–1620 (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 1997), p. 163. W. Camden, Britannia, sive Florentissimorum Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae et Insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate Chorographie descriptio (London: R. Newbery, 1587). R. Carew, The Survey of Cornwall (London: S. Stafford, 1602). A. McRae, God Speed the Plough: The Representation of Rural England, 1500–1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 233. Ibid., p. 234. Sweet, Antiquaries, pp. 38–9. Ibid., p. 55. Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 105 and p. 8. Ibid., p.8; V. Janković, ‘The Place of Nature and the Nature of Place: the Chorographic Challenge to the History of British Provincial Science’, History of Science, 38 (2000), pp. 79–113. Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 120. Sweet, Antiquaries, p. 36. Cormack, Charting an Empire. Pool, William Borlase, p. 8. Ibid., p. 79, pp. 96–7, p. 125. Borlase’s minerals came to the attention of Linnaeus when the latter visited Leyden, and the two men went so far as to enter into a correspondence on mineralogy. See S. Savage, ‘Linnaeus and Cornwall’, Proceedings of the Linnean Society of Sweden, 39–40 (1956–7), pp. 7–32.

186

Notes to pages 18–22

21. Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 107. 22. Borlase to Stukeley, quoted in Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 116. 23. W. Borlase, Observations on the Antiquities, Historical and Monumental, of the County of Cornwall (1754; East Ardsley, EP Publishing, 1973), p. v. 24. Pool, William Borlase, p. 145. 25. S. Smiles, The Image of Antiquity: Ancient Britain and the Romantic Imagination (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994). 26. B. G. Trigger, A History of Archaeological Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). 27. S. Pearce (ed.), Visions of Antiquity: The Society of Antiquities of London 1707–2007 (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2007); Smiles, The Image of Antiquity, p. 16. 28. S. Pearce, ‘Antiquaries and the Interpretation of Ancient Objects, 1770–1820’, in S. Pearce (ed.), Visions of Antiquity: The Society of Antiquaries of London 1707–2007 (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2007), pp. 147–72. 29. See Book III of Borlase’s Antiquities, entitled ‘Rude Stone Monuments’. 30. An extract of the letter is included in Pool, William Borlase, p. 129. 31. Letter to William Stukeley, dated 13 November 1749, an extract of which is included in Pool, William Borlase, pp. 127–8. 32. The term ‘county gatherer’ was Borlase’s own, used in the title of his essay on the burning eighteenth century issues of the creation and the biblical flood: William Borlase, ‘Private Thoughts on the Creation and the Deluge, by a County Gatherer’, MSS, Borlase Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance (1771). 33. R. Hayman, Riddles in Stone: Myths, Archaeology and the Ancient Britons (London: Hambledon, 2003), p. 76. 34. W. Borlase, The Natural History of Cornwall, the Air, Climate, Waters, Rivers, Lakes, Sea, and Tides etc. (Oxford: W. Jackson, 1758). 35. Borlase, quoted in Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 109. 36. Quoted in Pool, William Borlase, p. 168. 37. Borlase, quoted in F. A. Turk, ‘Natural History Studies in Cornwall (1700–1900)’, Journal of the RIC (1959), pp. 229–79, p. 240. 38. Pool, William Borlase, p. 178. 39. Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 119; T. Dadswell, The Selborne Pioneer: Gilbert White as naturalist and scientist: a re-examination (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003). 40. J. Oliver, ‘William Borlase’s Contribution to Eighteenth-Century Meteorology and Climatology’, Annals of Science, 25 (1969), pp. 275–317. Contained in two manuscript volumes, this journal is now held at the Courtney Library, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro. 41. V. Janković, ‘The Place of Nature’. 42. Janković, Reading the Skies; J. Golinski, ‘“Exquisite Atmography”: Theories of the World and Experiences of the Weather in a Diary of 1703’, British Journal for the History of Science, 34 (2001), pp. 149–71. 43. Originally reported in a six-page letter to Lyttelton: William Borlase, ‘Account of the Thunder Claps Dec 20 1752’, Tracts and Extracts, BOR/11, Borlase Archives, Morrab Library; subsequently published as W. Borlase, ‘An Account of a Storm of Thunder and Lightening, near Ludgvan in Cornwall’, Philosophical Transactions, 48 (1753–54), pp. 86–98. 44. J. Golinski, British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2007), p. 45.

Notes to pages 22–6

187

45. Janković, Reading the Skies. See also J. Golinski, ‘Barometers of Change: Meteorological Instruments as Machines of Enlightenment’, in W. Clark, J. Golinski and S. Schaffer (eds), The Sciences in Enlightened Europe (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 1999), pp. 69–93. 46. Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 111. 47. The meteorological journal of Francis Gregory is held in the Courtney Library, the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro. 48. Oliver, ‘William Borlase’s Contribution to Eighteenth-Century Meteorology’. 49. A. Rusnock, ‘Correspondence networks and the Royal Society, 1700–1750’, British Journal for the History of Science, 32 (1999), pp. 155–69. 50. For instance: W. Borlase, ‘Meteorological Observations for 1769, made at Bridgewater, Somersetshire; and at Mount’s Bay, Cornwall’, Philosophical Transactions, 60 (1770), p. 228. 51. Borlase to Baker, quoted in Pool, William Borlase, p. 253. 52. Janković, Reading the Skies, pp. 112–13; see also C. W. J. Withers, Placing the Enlightenment: Thinking Geographically about the Age of Reason (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2007), p. 132. 53. Ibid., p. 113. 54. A. Guthrie, Cornwall in the Age of Steam (Exeter: Tabb House, 1994). 55. J. Rowe, Cornwall in the Age of the Industrial Revolution (St Austell: Cornish Hillside Publications, 2006). 56. F. E. Halliday, A History of Cornwall (Thirsk: House of Stratus, 2001), p. 277. 57. Ibid., p. 301. 58. Uglow, The Lunar Men, pp. 280–94. 59. P. Payton, Cornwall: A History (Fowey: Cornwall Editions, 2004), p. 186. 60. J. Whetter, The History of Falmouth (Gorran: The Roseland Institute, 2004). 61. N. T. Hooper, Perran Foundry and its Story (Falmouth: Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, 1938). 62. Quoted in Halliday, History of Cornwall, p. 306. 63. Halliday, A History of Cornwall, p. 282. 64. Ibid., p. 283. 65. Ibid., p. 302; Rowe, Cornwall in the Age of the Industrial Revolution, pp. 104–5. 66. Payton, Cornwall, p. 191 and p. 181. 67. Ibid., p. 195. 68. R. A. Butlin, ‘Regions in England and Wales c. 1600–1914’, in R. A. Dodgshon and R. A. Butlin (eds), An Historical Geography of England and Wales (London: Academic Press, 1978), pp. 223–54, p. 243. 69. For a recent argument in this vein, see P. J. Bowler and I. R. Morus, Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2005), pp. 319–40. 70. L. Pyenson and S. Sheets-Pyenson, Servants of Nature: A History of Scientific Institutions, Enterprises, and Sensibilities (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1998), p. 91. 71. Ibid., p. 92. 72. Shapin, A Social History of Truth. 73. For Banks it was crucial that British science was not associated with radical politics and so in some way supportive to the sorts of revolutions that had occurred in France and America. J. Gascoigne, Joseph Banks and the English Enlightenment: Useful Knowledge and Polite Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 251. 74. Gascoigne, Joseph Banks, p. 254.

188

Notes to pages 26–9

75. Pyenson and Sheets-Pyenson, Servants of Nature, p. 90; J. E. McClellan, Science Reorganized: Scientific Societies in the Eighteenth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985), p. 10. 76. P. Elliot, ‘The Origins of the ‘Creative Class’: Provincial Urban Society, Scientific Culture and Socio-Political Marginality in Britain in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries’, Social History, 28 (2003), pp. 361–87. 77. S. J. M. M. Alberti, ‘Amateurs and Professionals in One County: Biology and Natural History in Late Victorian Yorkshire’, Journal of the History of Biology, 34 (2001), pp. 115–47. 78. See A. Secord, ‘Science in the Pub’. 79. Gascoigne, Joseph Banks, p. 251. 80. Ibid., p. 254. 81. Ibid., pp. 256–7. 82. M. Rudwick, Worlds Before Adam: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Reform (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2008), p. 28. 83. On the Geological Society’s gentlemanly membership, see R. Porter, ‘Gentlemen and Geology: The Emergence of a Scientific Career, 1660–1920’, Historical Journal, 21 (1978), pp. 809–36. 84. D. E. Allen, The Naturalist in Britain: A Social History (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1994). 85. Ibid., p. 148 and p. 153; C. W. J. Withers and D. A. Finnegan, ‘Natural History Societies, Fieldwork and Local Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century Scotland: towards a Historical Geography of Civic Science’, Cultural Geographies, 10 (2003), pp. 334–53; R. Bayles, ‘Understanding local science: the Belfast Natural History Society in the Mid Nineteenth Century’, in D. Attis and C. Mollan (eds), Science and Irish Culture: Why the History of Science Matters in Ireland (Dublin: Royal Dublin Society, 2004), pp. 139–69. 86. I. Inkster, ‘Introduction: Aspects of the History of Science and Science Culture in Britain, 1780–1850 and Beyond’, in I. Inkster and J. Morrell (eds), Metropolis and Province: Science in British culture, 1780–1850 (London: Hutchinson, 1983), pp. 11–54, p. 13. 87. Allen, Naturalist in Britain, p. 146. 88. P. Elliot, ‘The Birth of Public Science in the English Provinces: Natural Philosophy in Derby, c. 1690–1760’. Annals of Science, 57 (2000), pp. 61–100. 89. Inkster, ‘Introduction’, p. 30. 90. B. Lightman, Victorian Popularizers of Science: Designing Nature for New Audiences (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2007), p. 2. 91. For a consideration of the historiographies of popular science see J. R. Topham, ‘Focus: Historicizing “Popular Science”’, Isis, 100 (2000), pp. 310–18. Here I use the term popularization simply to refer to the increase in interest in science in the nineteenth century, rather than as a marker of a form of science that had been somehow simplified to enable its dissemination to a non-scientific public. In this book I am interested in why particular social groups did or did not participate in science. I am also interested in the way historical actors judged the value of their own scientific contributions and formed judgements on the importance of others’ work. A. W. Dunn, ‘Varieties of Popular Science and the Transformations of Public Knowledge’, Isis, 100 (2009), pp. 319–32. 92. Lightman, Victorian Popularizers, pp. 30–1. 93. Secord, Victorian Sensation. 94. D. E. Allen, ‘Tastes and Crazes’, in Jardine et al. (eds), Cultures of Natural History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). pp. 394–407.

Notes to pages 29–32

189

95. Lightman, Victorian Popularizers, pp. 3–4. 96. D. A. Finnegan, ‘Natural History Societies in Late Victorian Scotland and the Pursuit of Local Civic Science’, British Journal for the History of Science, 38 (2005), pp. 52–72, p. 55. 97. Ibid., p. 56. 98. See D. A. Finnegan, Natural History Societies and Civic Culture in Victorian Scotland (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2009). 99. Morus, ‘“More the Aspect of Magic”’, p. 343. 100. S. Shapin, ‘The Pottery Philosophical Society, 1819–1835: an Examination of the Cultural Uses of Provincial Science’, Science Studies, 2 (1972), pp. 311–36, p. 311. 101. J. Morrell and A. Thackray, Gentlemen of Science: Early Years of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981), p. 12. 102. Four of Cornwall’s scientific societies enjoyed royal patronage. Unlike the Royal Institution of London or the Liverpool Royal Institution, none of the Cornish societies held a Royal Charter. Nonetheless, the county’s status as the Duchy of the Prince of Wales ensured a royal support and a regular and substantial contribution from the royal coffers. Turk, ‘Natural History Studies’. 103. There were several other learned societies established prior to this date – the West Penwith Agricultural Society in 1798 and Cornwall Agricultural Society in 1799 – although almost nothing is known about them and they left no records behind. The Plymouth Institute and Devon and Cornwall Natural History Society was established in 1812 but was not based in Cornwall and had little if any impact on Cornish intellectual life. Turk, ‘Natural History Studies’, p. 249. 104. J. A. Paris, ‘Minutes of the Proceedings of a Meeting held at the Union Hotel, Penzance’, Minute Book, Royal Cornwall Geological Society Archive, Penzance, unpaginated; Anon., ‘Preface’, Transactions of the RGSC, 2 (1822), p. vi. 105. Anon., ‘Preface’, p. vi. 106. Ibid. 107. Ibid. 108. J. A. Paris, A Guide to the Mount’s Bay and the Land’s End; Comprehending the Topography, Botany, Agriculture, Fisheries, Antiquities, Mining, Mineralogy, and Geology of Western Cornwall (London: Thomas and George Underwood, 1828), pp. 26–7. 109. J. Morrell, ‘Economic and Ornamental Geology: the Geological and Polytechnic Society of the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1837–53’, in I. Inkster and J. Morrell (eds), Metropolis and Province: Science in British Culture, 1780–1850 (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983), pp. 231–56. 110. Quoted in A. C. Todd, ‘The Royal Geological Society of Cornwall: Its Origins and History’, in K. Hosking and G. Shrimpton (eds), Present Views of Some Aspects of the Geology of Cornwall and Devon (Cornwall: RGSC, 1964), pp. 1–23, p. 5. 111. Ibid., p. 6. 112. Turk, ‘Natural History Studies’, p. 256. 113. V. Acton, A History of Truro: From Coinage Town to Cathedral City (Truro: Landfall Publications, 1997), p. 140. As well as his military career, Sir Hussey Vivian was the MP for Truro from 1821 to 1831; in 1835 he became Master-General of the Ordnance, and was appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. In 1837 he was created Baron Vivian in the English peerage. 114. Anon., ‘Thirteenth Annual Report of the Royal Institution of Cornwall’, Reports of the RIC (Truro: Heard and Sons, 1849), p. 13.

190

Notes to pages 32–9

115. Anon., ‘Report of the Council to the General Meeting of the Members of the Royal Institution of Cornwall’, Twentieth Annual Report of the RIC (Truro: L.E. Gillet, 1839), p. 6. 116. Anon., ‘Report of the Council’, p. 6. 117. For a more detailed history of the RIC, see S. Freeborn, A History of the Royal Institution of Cornwall and its Role in Adult Education during the Nineteenth Century (unpublished MA dissertation, Cornwall College of Further and Higher Education, 1986); M. Stephens and G. Roderick, ‘The Royal Institution of Cornwall: Initiatives in Nineteenth-Century English Adult Education’ Pedagogica Historica, 13 (1973), pp. 85–106. 118. Turk, ‘Natural History Studies’, p. 256. 119. E. M. Wood, A History of the Polytechnic (London: Macdonald, 1965). 120. Lemon, quoted in Charles Fox’s annual report to the RCPS in 1869, reproduced in W. L. Fox, Historical Synopsis of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society For 81 Years, 1833– 1913, Part I (Falmouth: J.H. Lake & Co., 1915), p. 32. 121. Fox, Historical Synopsis of the RCPS, p. 3. 122. Anon., Second Annual Report of the RCPS (Falmouth: Jane Tratham, 1834), pp. 5–6. 123. Hooper, Perran Foundry. 124. Anon., Second Annual Report of the RCPS, p. 15. 125. Fox, Historical Synopsis. Part II, p. 4. 126. Anon., First Annual Report of the Committee of the RHSC (Truro: E. Heard, 1833), p. 1. 127. Anon., First Report of the RHSC, p. 7; see also Turk, ‘Natural History Societies’. 128. Anon., Fourth Annual Report of the Committee of the RHSC. Appendix II (Truro: E. Heard, 1836), unpaginated. 129. Anon., First Annual Report of the RCHS, p. 7. 130. For more on the RCHS see A. Pearson, ‘The Royal Horticultural Society Of Cornwall’, Journal of the RIC, 7 (1974), pp. 165–73; G. W. Roderick and M. D. Stephens, Scientific and Technical Education in Nineteenth- Century England (Newton Abbot: David And Charles, 1972). 131. Anon., ‘Preface’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 1845–1850, 1 (1850), pp. ii–vii. 132. R. H. Kargon, Science in Victorian Manchester: Enterprise and Expertise (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1977), p. 81. 133. C. C. Ross, ‘Minutes of Council Committee Meeting held on 3rd May 1880’, PNHAS Minute Books 1880–1889, PNHAS Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. 134. Roderick and Stephens, Scientific and Technical Education. 135. S. J. M. M. Alberti, ‘Conversaziones and the Experience of Science in Victorian England’, Journal of Victorian Culture, 8 (2003), pp. 208–230, p. 216. 136. Shapin, ‘The House of Experiment in Seventeenth-Century England’. 137. Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 159.

2 Healthy Recreation and Headwork 1. 2.

3.

W. S. Lach-Syzrma, ‘Presidential Address’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume III. N.S. 1888–1892 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1889), p. 220. A. Fyfe and B. Lightman, ‘Science in the Marketplace: An Introduction’, in A. Fyfe and B. Lightman (eds), Science in the Marketplace: Nineteenth-Century Sites and Experiences (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2007), pp. 1–19, p. 10. Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, p. 145.

Notes to pages 39–43 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

29. 30.

191

Secord, ‘Science in the Pub’. G. Millett, ‘Report of the Honorary Secretary’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume I. N.S. 1880–1884 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1880), pp. 7–11, p. 8. Corporation of Penzance, Official Guide to Penzance (Penzance: Beare and Son, 1887). Millett, ‘Report’, p. 8. C. C. Ross, ‘Minutes of Public Meeting held on 8 May 1880’, PNHAS Minute Books 1880–1889, PNHAS Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. Anon., ‘Annual Meeting’, Third Annual Report of the RCPS (Falmouth: Jane Trathan, 1835), pp. 11–12. Lightman, Victorian Popularizers of Science, p. 199. See T. Bennett, The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics (London: Routledge, 1995), p. 18. S. Forgan, ‘The Architecture of Display: Museums, Universities and Objects in Nineteenth-Century Britain’, History of Science, 32 (1994), pp. 139–62. In a personal letter to Thomas Cornish, John Boase urged the sale of the book so as to get the Society out of debt, and to buy new cabinets and a number of books that might form ‘the nucleus of a much needed library’. John Boase, Letter to Thomas Cornish, 20 October 1869, Catalogue number X755/5, PNHAS Archive, Cornwall Record Office, Truro. Anon., ‘Rules. Museum’, PNHAS Minute Books 1839–1872, 1839, Catalogue number X755/1, PNHAS Archive, Cornwall Record Office, Truro, p. 15. W. C. Borlase, ‘Report’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume III. N.S. 1888–1892 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1890), p. 198. Anon., ‘Meetings of the Society’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume II. N.S. 1884– 1888 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1886), p. 210. The decision to separate the two types of exhibits was taken finally at a Meeting of the Council in 1888: T. Cornish, ‘Meeting of the Council held on 2 May 1888’, PNHAS Minute Books 1880–1889, PNHAS Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. Lach-Syzrma, ‘Presidential Address’, pp. 223–4. Ibid., p. 224. Ibid., p. 224. Anon., Twentieth Annual Report of the RIC. 1838 (Truro: L.E. Gillet, 1839). Paris, A Guide to the Mount’s Bay. Anon., First Report of the RCHS, p. 25. Anon., First Report of the RCHS, p. 25. W.S. Lach-Syzrma, ‘Meeting of the Council held on 3rd April 1890’, PNHAS Minute Books 1890–1898, PNHAS Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. Forgan, ‘The Architecture of Display’. Ibid., p. 145. J. Symons, W. E. Baily and T. Cornish, ‘Curators’ Report’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume III. N.S. 1888–1892 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1888), p. 10. W. Baily, J. Symons and H. Montgomerie, ‘Report of the Curators’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume III. N.S. 1888–1892 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1891), p. 296. J. Carne, ‘President’s Address’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume I. 1845–1850 (Penzance: F.T. Vibert, 1850), p. 359. W. Bolitho, ‘Presidential Address’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume II. N.S. 1884– 1888 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1885), pp. 231–6, p. 231.

192

Notes to pages 44–9

31. Corporation of Penzance, Official Guide to Penzance. 32. Alberti, ‘Conversaziones’, p. 208. 33. Anon., Report of the Council to the General Meeting’, Twentieth Annual Report of the RIC, 1838 (Truro: L.E. Gillet, 1839), p. 8. 34. Anon., ‘Meeting’, PNHAS Minute Books 1839–1872, 1839, PNHAS Archive, Catalogue number X755/1, Cornwall Record Office, Truro, p. 14. 35. See Alberti, ‘Conversaziones’, p. 211; K. Anderson, ‘Science and the Savage: The Linnean Society of New South Wales, 1874–1900’, Ecumene, 5 (1998), pp. 125–43. 36. Morus, ‘“More the Aspect of Magic”’. 37. Anon., ‘Meetings of the Society’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume III N.S. 1888– 1892 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1890), p. 271. 38. E. D. Marquand, ‘Meetings of the Society’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume I N.S. (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1882), pp. 183–5. 39. Anon., ‘Meetings of the Society’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume I. N.S. 1884–1888 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1885), p. 100. 40. Alberti, ‘Conversaziones’, p. 218. 41. Anon., ‘Meetings of the Society’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume II. N.S. 1884–1888 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1885), p. 100. 42. C. W. J. Withers, ‘Towards a History of Geography in the Public Sphere’, History of Science, 36 (1998), pp. 45–78, p. 49. 43. Finnegan, Natural History Societies, p. 11. 44. B. Fox, ‘Journal Entry for 10 August 1841’, in R. L. Brett (ed.), Barcley Fox’s Journal 1832–1854: Industrialist, Quaker, Traveller, Cornishman (Fowey: Cornwall Editions, 2008), p. 241. 45. Ritter was professor of Geography at Berlin; Lloyd was later to become Directory of the Dublin Observatory and Provost of Trinity College, Dublin. Fox, ‘Journal’, p. 241. 46. Fox, ‘Journal’, p. 96. 47. Ibid. 48. Finnegan, ‘Natural History Societies’, p. 62. 49. Fyfe and Lightman, ‘Science in the Marketplace’. 50. P. Greenhalgh, Ephemeral Vistas: The Expositions Universelles, Great Exhibitions and World’s Fairs, 1851–1939 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988). 51. R. Bellon, ‘Science at the Crystal Focus of the World’, in A. Fyfe and B. Lightman (eds), Science in the Marketplace: Nineteenth-Century Sites and Experiences (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2007), pp. 301–35, p. 301. 52. Bellon, ‘Science at the Crystal Focus’, p. 308. 53. Ibid., p. 315; Morus, ‘“More the Aspect of Magic”’, p. 340–1. 54. Finnegan, Natural History Societies, p. 107. 55. Morus, ‘“More the Aspect of Magic”’, p. 364. 56. A. K. Barnett and W. Ambrose Taylor, Prospectus for the Penzance Scientific and Industrial Exhibition, 12 August 1882, PSIE Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. 57. Anon., ‘The Jubilee Meeting’, Fiftieth Annual Report of the RCPS (Falmouth: Lake and Co., 1882), pp. 20–87, p. 29. 58. Anon., ‘Fisheries Exhibition at Penzance’, Western Morning News, 30 August 1884, Book 26, J. B. Cornish Scrapbook Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. 59. Anon., ‘Fisheries Exhibition at Penzance’, WMN. 60. Anon., untitled article, Cornish Telegraph, 28 September 1882, PSIE Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance.

Notes to pages 49–56

193

61. Anon., ‘The Jubilee Meeting’, Fiftieth Annual Report of the RCPS (Falmouth: Lake and Co., 1882), pp. 20–87, p. 21. 62. J. R. Ryan, ‘“Our Home on the Ocean”: Lady Brassey and the Voyages of the Sunbeam, 1878–86’, Journal of Historical Geography, 32 (2006), pp. 579–604. 63. Anon., Untitled article, Cornish Telegraph, 21 September 1882, PSIE Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. 64. Morus, ‘“More the Aspect of Magic”’, p. 337. 65. Anon., ‘Report of the Committee for 1882’, p. 7. 66. Anon., ‘The Jubilee Meeting’, p. 22. 67. Bellon, ‘Science at the Crystal Focus’, p. 326. 68. Anon., ‘Penzance Scientific and Industrial Exhibition’, Cornish Telegraph, 28 September 1882, PSIE Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. 69. Finnegan, ‘Natural History Societies’, p. 62. 70. Lightman, Victorian Popularizers, p. 206. 71. Anon., ‘West Cornwall Fisheries Exhibition’, Cornish Telegraph, 11 September 1884, Book 26, J. B. Cornish Scrapbooks Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. 72. Morus, ‘“More the Aspect of Magic”’, p. 340–1. 73. It was clear that the Polytechnic President’s decision not to attend the opening of the PSIE let alone to present a paper had rankled with the organizing committee of the Penzance exhibition, as had their refusal to share information regarding the hire of electric lights. Anon., untitled article, Cornish Telegraph, 28 September 1882, PSIE Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance; Anon., Report of a committee meeting, 4 September 1882, PSIE Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. 74. H. Kuklick and R. Kohler (eds), Science in the Field (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 1996). 75. G. B. Millett, ‘Excursion of the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society, Friday 1 October, 1880’, Poster, dated 20 September 1880, advertising excursion, PNHAS Minute Books 1880–1889, PNHAS Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. 76. Anon., ‘Treasurer’s Report’, undated newspaper article, 1894, PNHAS Minute Books 1890–1898, PNHAS Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. 77. H. M. Montgomerie, ‘The Annual Excursion, 1900’, Poster dated 27 July 1900 advertising excursion, PNHAS Minute Books 1890–1898, PNHAS Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance. 78. G. F. Tregelles, ‘Report’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume II. N.S. 1884–1888 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1888), p. 307. 79. C. Noall, A History of Cornish Mail- and Stage-Coaches (Truro: D. Bradford Barton, 1963). 80. W. S. Lach-Syzrma, ‘Presidential Address’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume II. N.S. 1884–1888 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1885), p. 131–2. 81. Ibid. 82. Anon., ‘1891 Excursions’, Transactions of the PNHAS, Volume III. N.S. 1888–1892 (Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, 1891), pp. 308–9. 83. Allen argues that the afternoon-only excursion was the result of this shift, and was aimed at catering for the increasing numbers of women desirous to attend: Allen, The Naturalist in Britain.

194

Notes to pages 59–63

3 The Sweet Road to Improvement 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

9.

10.

11.

12. 13. 14.

15. 16. 17.

18. 19. 20. 21.

H. S. Boase, ‘Contributions towards a Knowledge of the Geology of Cornwall’, Transactions of the RGSC, 4 (1832), pp. 166–475, p. 166. J. Hawkins, ‘Some General Observations on the Structure and Composition of the Cornish Peninsula’, Transactions of the RGSC, 4 (1832), pp. 1–20, p. 1. D. Gilbert, ‘Twentieth Anniversary Meeting, the 30th August 1833’, unpaginated, First Minute Book, RGSC Archive, Penzance. Ibid. Ibid. M. Rudwick, ‘The Emergence of a Visual Language for Geological Science, 1760–1840’, History of Science, 14 (1976), pp. 149–95, p. 173. K. Flint, The Victorians and the Visual Imagination (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 4. S. B. Keller, ‘Sections and Views: Visual Representations in Eighteenth-Century Earthquake Studies’, British Journal for the History of Science, 31 (1998), pp. 129–59, p. 129. See also A. Kennedy, ‘In Search of the “True Prospect”: Making and Knowing the Giant’s Causeway as a Field Site in the Seventeenth Century’, British Journal for the History of Science, 41 (2008), pp. 19–42. B. Lightman, ‘The Visual Theology of Victorian Popularizers of Science: From Reverent Eye to Chemical Retina’, Isis, 91 (2000), pp. 651–60, p. 653; Rudwick, ‘The Emergence of a Visual Language’. K. Anderson, ‘Mapping Meteorology’, in J. Fleming, V. Janković and D. Cohen (eds), Intimate Universality: Local and Global Themes in the History of Weather and Climate (Sagamore Beach: Science History Publications, 2006), pp. 69–92, p. 70; Lightman, ‘The Visual Theology of Victorian Popularizers of Science’. J. Tucker, Nature Exposed: Photography as Eyewitness in Victorian Science (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), p.10; A. Secord, ‘Botany on a Plate: Pleasure and the Power of Pictures in Promoting Early Nineteenth-Century Scientific Knowledge’, History of Science, 93 (2002), pp. 28–57. J. Camerini, ‘Evolution, Biogeography, and Maps’, p. 705. Ibid., p. 708. D. R. Oldroyd, The Highlands Controversy: Constructing Geological Knowledge through Fieldwork in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 1990), p. 343. Ibid., p. 150. C. Jacob, ‘Toward a Cultural History of Cartography’, Imago Mundi, 48 (1996), pp. 191–8, p. 192. Ibid., 194; J. B. Harley, ‘Maps, Knowledge, Power’, in D. Cosgrove and S. Daniels (eds), The Iconography of Landscape (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 277– 312. Rudwick, ‘The Emergence of a Visual Language’, p. 181. See also Porter, ‘Gentlemen and Geology’. Ibid., p. 181. Morrell, ‘Economic and Ornamental Geology, p. 232. Anon., ‘Preface’, Transactions of the RGSC, 1 (1818), pp. v–vi.

Notes to pages 63–8

195

22. Paris, A Guide to the Mount’s Bay, pp. 26–7. D. Crook, The Early History of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, 1814–1850 (unpublished PhD thesis, Open University, 1990). 23. Quoted in A. C. Todd, ‘The Royal Geological Society of Cornwall’, p. 5. 24. Quoted in ibid., p. 3. 25. Anon., ‘Preface’, p. vi. 26. M. Rudwick, The Great Devonian Controversy: The Shaping of Scientific Knowledge among Gentlemanly Specialists (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 1985). 27. Paris, A Guide to the Mount’s Bay, p. 29. 28. Ibid., pp. 27–8. 29. Ibid., p. 31. Upon his death, Carne’s collection of minerals were left to his daughter, Elizabeth Carne. When she offered to build a new museum for the RGSC on the condition that her father’s collection form a key part, the Society declined the offer and the collection is now in the Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge. Todd, ‘The Royal Geological Society of Cornwall’, p. 14. 30. Anon., ‘Preface’, p. vi. 31. Ibid., p. 27. 32. Quoted in Todd, ‘The Royal Geological Society of Cornwall’, p. 3. 33. H. Davy, ‘Hints on the Geology of Cornwall’, Transactions of the RGSC, 1 (1818), pp. 38–50, p. 38. 34. J. A. Paris, ‘Observations on the Geological Structure of Cornwall, with a View to Trace its Connexion with, and Influence upon its Agricultural Economy, and to Establish a Rational System of Improvement by the Scientific Application of Mineral Manure’, Transactions of the RGSC, 1 (1818), pp. 169–70. 35. Rudwick, Great Devonian Controversy, p. 20. 36. Paris, ‘Observations on the Geological Structure of Cornwall’, pp. 170–1. 37. B. Harley, ‘The Ordnance Survey and the Origins of Official Geological Mapping in Devon and Cornwall’, in K. J. Gregory and W. L. D. Ravenhill (eds), Exeter Essays in Geography (Exeter: Exeter University Press, 1971), pp. 105–24, p. 115, my emphases. 38. H. Prince, ‘The Changing Rural Landscape, 1750–1850’, in G. E. Mingay (eds), The Agrarian History of England and Wales, volume 6 (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 1989), pp. 7–83, p. 10. 39. J. Thirsk, The Agrarian History of England and Wales, Volume I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967). 40. T. Williamson, The Transformation of Rural England: Farming and the Landscape 1700– 1870 (Exeter: Exeter University Press, 2002). 41. Darby notes that the ‘maps indicate not the stratigraphical relations of the different rocks, but the differences in their texture and utilization’. H. C. Darby, ‘Some Early Ideas on the Agricultural Regions of England’, Agricultural History Review (1954), pp. 30–47, p. 34. 42. Darby, ‘Some Early Ideas’, p. 47. 43. Thirsk, Agrarian History of England and Wales. 44. Paris, A Guide to the Mount’s Bay, pp. 76–7, p. 80. 45. S. Wilmot, ‘The Scientific Gaze: Agricultural Improvers and the Topography of SouthWest England’, in M. Brayshay (ed.), Topographical Writers in South-West England (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1996), pp. 105–35; R. Mitchison, ‘The Old Board of Agriculture (1793–1822)’, English Historical Review, 74 (1959), pp. 41–69. 46. Prince, ‘The Changing Rural Landscape’, p. 80.

196

Notes to pages 68–72

47. J. A. Paris, Notes on the Soils of Cornwall, With a View to Form a Rational System of Improvement by the Judicious Application of Mineral Manure (Penzance: T. Vigurs, 1815); Paris, ‘Observations on the Geological Structure of Cornwall’; C. Lemon, ‘Notes on the Agricultural Produce of Cornwall’, Journal of the Statistical Society of London, 4 (1841), pp. 197–208. 48. Paris, ‘Notes on Soils of Cornwall’, p. 6. 49. Keller, ‘Sections and Views’, p. 146. 50. J. Carne, ‘On the Relative Age of the Veins of Cornwall’, Transactions of the RGSC, 2 (1822), pp. 49–128; H. S. Boase, ‘On the Sand-Banks of the Northern Shores of Mount’s Bay’, Transactions of the RGSC, 3 (1827), pp. 166–91; J. W. Colenso, ‘A Description of Happy-Union Tin Stream Work at Pentuan’, Transactions of the RGSC, 4 (1832), pp. 29–39. 51. Rudwick, ‘The Emergence of a Visual Language’, p. 169. 52. M. Freeman, Victorians and the Prehistoric: Tracks to a Lost World (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004), p. 127. 53. Ibid. 54. S. J. Trist, ‘Notes on the Limestone Rocks in the Parish of Veryan’, Transactions of the RGSC, 1 (1818), pp. 107–13. 55. Freeman, Victorians and the Prehistoric, p. 123. 56. Keller, ‘Sections and Views’, p. 142. 57. J. Forbes, On the Geology of the Land’s-End District’, Transactions of the RGSC, 2 (1822), pp. 242–80. 58. J. Carne, ‘On the Mineral Productions, and the Geology of the Parish of St. Just’, Transactions of the RGSC, 2 (1822), pp. 290–358. 59. Crook, The Early History, p. 149. 60. Anon., ‘Preface’, Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, 2 (1822), p. viii. 61. Quoted in J. A. Secord, ‘King of Siluria: Roderick Murchison and the Imperial Theme in Nineteenth-Century British Geology’, Victorian Studies, 25 (1982), pp. 413–42, p. 415. The use of colour keys was also used in natural history as an appendage to illustrations of plants. See L. Martins and F. Driver, ‘“The Struggle for Luxuriance”: William Burchell Collects Tropical Nature’, in F. Driver and L. Martins (eds), Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2005), pp. 59–76. 62. Smith, quoted in D. A Bassett, ‘Sheets of Many Colours or Maps of Geological Ideas: A Review’, Imago Mundi, 37 (1985), pp. 101–5, p. 103. 63. D. Crook, ‘Boase, Henry Samuel (1799–1883)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 64. Boase, ‘Contributions’, p. 166. 65. Ibid., p. 167. 66. Ibid. 67. In this treatise on primary rocks, Boase justified his claim in the following way: ‘it is proposed … to consider as primary rocks the various kinds of granite, and all those crystalline and non-fossiliferous masses, both compact and schistose, which are usually associated together under different arrangements, and intimately connected by frequent mineral transitions. This proposition may appear to some to be inadmissible, on the ground that the rocks thus brought together belong to several distinct geological epochs: but, admitting this view of the subject … still these rocks constitute such a natural family, that they may be examined and described as such, independently of all theoretical considerations

Notes to pages 71–4

68. 69. 70.

71. 72. 73.

74. 75. 76.

77.

78. 79. 80.

81. 82. 83.

197

concerning the nature of their origin … Since these remarkable formations are so distinct from all other kinds of rocks, no great disadvantage can arise from our treating of them under the denomination of primary rocks’. H. S. Boase, A Treatise of Primary Geology: Being an Examination, Both Practical and Theoretical of the Older Formations (London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, 1834), pp. 7–8. Boase, ‘Contributions’, p. 439, p. 446, p. 451; Crook, ‘Boase’; Crook, The Early History. Boase, ‘Contributions’, p. 473 and p. 474. Bakewell defined the greywacke in 1833 as ‘a coarse slate containing particles or fragments of other rocks or minerals’, becoming either slate-clay or sandstone depending on the size of the particles’; and of the killas: ‘What is called the schist or killas in Cornwall, in the places where I have observed it in immediate junction with granite […] appears to have been changed by the junction: it has no appearance of slate…’. R. Bakewell, An Introduction to Geology … Greatly Enlarged, 4th edn (London: Longman et al., 1833), p. 86 and p. 64 respectively. Morrell and Thackray, Gentlemen of Science, p. 461 and p. 173. Rudwick, Great Devonian Controversy. R. Jameson, ‘Reviews’, Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, 17 (1834), p. 46; Crook, The Early History, p. 160. For instance: J. Hawkins, ‘On a Process of Refining Tin’, Transactions of the RGSC, 1 (1818), pp. 201–11; ‘On Some Advantages which Cornwall Possesses for the Study of Geology, and on the Use which May be Made of Them’, Transactions of the RGSC, 2 (1822), pp. 1–13; ‘On the Nomenclature of the Cornish Rocks’, Transactions of the RGSC, 2 (1822), pp. 145–58. Crook, The Early History, p. 158. Hawkins, ‘Some General Observations’, p. 3. In turn Boase publically criticized Hawkins’s theory about the formation of china clay: Boase, ‘Contributions’. Much of the information presented here on Peach’s life is taken from Hamilton Davey’s short biography of Peach: F. H. Davey, Charles William Peach (Penryn: F. Chegwidden, 1911). See also D. A. Finnegan, ‘Peach, Charles William (1800–1886)’, in B. Lightman (ed.), The Dictionary of Nineteenth Century British Scientists, vol. 3 (Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004), p. 1554–5. Conybeare and Williams claimed that the entire absence of fossiliferous remains in Cornwall’s rocks was shared with those of the Highlands of Scotland. W. Conybeare and W. Phillips, Outlines of the Geology of England and Wales, with an Introductory Compendium of the General Principles of that Science, and Comparative Views of the Structure of Foreign Countries (London: William Phillips, 1822). H. De la Beche, Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset (London: Longman and Co., 1839), p. 86. Rudwick, Great Devonian Controversy, p. 392. Ibid. See J. Phillips, Figures and Descriptions of the Palaeozoic Fossils of Cornwall, Devon, and West Somerset; Observed in the Course of the Ordnance Geological Survey of That District (London: Longman, 1841). See R. O’Connor, The Earth on Show: Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2007), p. 201. Oldroyd, The Highlands Controversy, p. 49. C. W. Peach, ‘On the Fossil Geology of Cornwall’, Transactions of the RGSC, 6 (1846), pp. 181–5. See also R. Q. Couch, ‘On the Silurian Remains of the Strata of the SouthEast Coast of Cornwall’, Transactions of the RGSC, 6 (1846), pp. 147–9.

198

Notes to pages 75–83

84. Pengelly’s first scientific paper was on the fossil fish of east Cornwall although he became famous for his excavation of caves, which revealed their early human occupation. His work on human prehistory contributed to the dismissal of the biblical chronology of the earth. H. Pengelly, A Memoir of William Pengelly of Torquay FRS Geologist (London: John Murray, 1897). 85. Quoted in W. Pengelly, ‘The History of the Discovery of Fossil Fish in the Devonian Rocks of Devon and Cornwall’, Transactions of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature, and Art (1868), pp. 1–20, p. 11. Miller wrote a number of popular books on geology (he was also a poet, folklorist and evangelical Christian), the most famous of which was his 1841 The Old Red Sandstone. The Testimony of the Rocks dealt with Scotland’s fossil plants and vertebrates and was published posthumously. See O’Connor, The Earth on Show, chapter 10. 86. R. I. Murchison, ‘A Brief Review of the Classification of the Sedimentary Rocks of Cornwall’, Transactions of the RGSC, 6 (1846), pp. 317–26. 87. Pengelly, ‘History of the Discovery of Fossil Fish’. 88. Oldroyd, The Highlands Controversy, p. 64. 89. Quoted in F. H. Davey, Charles William Peach, p. 24. 90. Rudwick, Great Devonian Controversy, p. 49. 91. Freeman, Victorians and the Prehistoric, p. 123. Secord, ‘King of Siluria’. 92. Oldroyd, The Highlands Controversy. For a recent history of geological fieldwork see P. N. Wyse Jackson (ed.), Four Centuries of Geological Travel: The Search for Knowledge on Foot, Bicycle Sledge and Camel (London: The Geological Society, 2007). 93. J. Hawkins, ‘Some General Observations’, p. 20. 94. Boase, ‘Contributions’, p. 360. 95. Peach, ‘Fossil Geology of Cornwall’, p. 181. 96. Ibid., p. 183. 97. C. Delano-Smith, ‘Milieus of Mobility: Itineraries, Route Maps and Road Maps’, in J. R. Akerman (ed.), Cartographies of Travel and Navigation (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2006), pp. 16–68.

4 The Depths of the Billows 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

J. Couch et al., A Cornish Fauna: A Compendium of the Natural History of the County. With Revisions and Large Additions (Truro: Lake and Lake, 1878), p. v. Couch, Cornish Fauna. With Revisions, p. v. D. E. Allen, ‘Four Centuries of Local Flora-Writing: Some Milestones’, Watsonia, 24 (2003), pp. 271–80. J. Browne, The Secular Ark: Studies in the History of Biogeography (New Haven, CT: Yale, 1983), p. 27. Browne, The Secular Ark, pp. 27–8. Ibid., p. 29. Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, p. 84. Ibid., p. 85. H. C. Watson, Topographical Botany: Being Local and Personal Records of the Distribution of British Plants Traced Through the 112 Counties and Vice-Counties of England, Wales, and Scotland (London: Bernard Quaritch, 1873–4).

Notes to pages 83–7

199

10. Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, p. 169 and p. 168; D. A. Finnegan, ‘Naturalising the Highlands: Geographies of Mountain Fieldwork in late-Victorian Scotland’, Journal of Historical Geography, 37 (2007), pp. 791–815. 11. T. Bell, The History of Quadrupeds, Including the Cetacea (London: John Van Voorst, 1837), p. viii. 12. J. E. Harting, The Birds of Middlesex: A Contribution to the Natural History of the County (London: John Van Voorst, 1866), pp. vi–vii. Allen notes that Middlesex was a popular ‘proving-ground’ for studies of regional botany and ornithology: Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, p. 168. 13. J. Endersby, ‘Classifying Sciences: Systematics and Status in mid-Victorian Natural History’, in M. Daunton (ed.), The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain (London: The British Academy, 2005), pp. 61–85; R. Kohler, All Creatures: Naturalists, Collectors and Biodiversity, 1850–1950 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006), p. 227; D. E. Allen, ‘Naturalists in Nineteenth-Century Britain’, Ingentium, 7 (2001), pp. 9–21; K. Johnson, ‘Natural history as stamp collecting: a brief history’, Archives of Natural History, 34 (2007), pp. 244–58, p. 246. 14. Finnegan, ‘Naturalising the Highlands’, p. 806. 15. J. Endersby, Imperial Nature: Joseph Hooker and the Practices of Victorian Science (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2008), p. 57. 16. Ibid. On local patriotism see Endersby’s discussion of Joseph Hooker, William Colenso and the New Zealand flora: ibid., p. 148–9. 17. Ibid., p. 55. 18. Ibid., p. 55. 19. Ibid., p. 110. 20. Browne, The Secular Ark. 21. J. Couch, Illustrations of Instinct: Deduced from the Habits of British Animals (London: John van Voorst, 1857). 22. J. Uglow, Nature’s Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick (London: Faber and Faber, 2006), p. 368. 23. Letter from Thomas Couch to Jonathan Couch, 9 October 1849, Couch Archives, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro. 24. Couch supplied the Society with a number of papers for reading at meetings over the 1820s, including work on birds and fish, such as an early version of his work on British fish: ‘Some particulars of the natural history of fishes found in Cornwall’, paper read to the Society 19 February 1822, MSS MISC SP246, Couch Archives, Linnean Society, London; ‘ A natural history of the fishes of the United Kingdom with particular reference to fisheries’, paper read to the Society, no date c. 1830s, MSS CASE 13B, Couch Archives, Linnean Society, London. 25. History of Cornish Fishes, original MS, dated 2 September 1820, Ref. ORB C83, Couch Archives, Blacker-Wood Library, McGill University, Canada, p. 311. 26. Ibid. 27. Endersby, ‘Classifying Sciences’, pp. 61–85. 28. Ibid. 29. Letter from William Tweedy to Jonathan Couch, 25 July 1840, Couch Archives, BlackerWood Library, McGill University, Canada. 30. J. Couch, A Cornish Fauna. Part 2: The Testaceous Mollusks (RIC: Truro, 1841), p. iv.

200

Notes to pages 87–92

31. History of Cornish Fishes, p. 309. This argument was repeated, almost verbatim, in Couch’s A Cornish Fauna. Part 1. Containing the Vertebrate, Crustacean, and a Portion of the Radiate Animals (Truro: Royal Institution of Cornwall, 1838), p. iiv. 32. J. Couch, ‘On the Migratory Birds of the West of England’ (unpublished paper read to the Linnaean Society of London, 2 May 1820), MSS MISC SP245, Couch Archives, Linnean Society, unpaginated. 33. Couch, Cornish Fauna. With Revisions, p. vi. 34. Couch, Cornish Fauna. Part 1, pp. v–vi. 35. J. Couch, Arrangement of the Fishes of Britain (unpublished MSS, Couch Archives, Blacker-Wood Library, McGill University, Canada), unpaginated. 36. Couch, ‘Migratory Birds’, unpaginated. 37. Couch, Cornish Fauna. Part 1, pp. iv–v. 38. Bell, History of British Quadrupeds, p. vii. 39. R. Q. Couch, A Cornish Fauna. Part 3: Containing the Zoophytes and Calcareous Corallines (Truro, Royal Institution of Cornwall, 1844), p. v. 40. Bell, quoted in Harting, Birds of Middlesex, p. v. 41. Couch, Cornish Fauna. Part 1, p. v. 42. Couch, Cornish Fauna. Part 3, p. vi. 43. Jonathan Couch was fascinated by extinct and mythological creatures and wrote an unpublished volume on the animals of antiquity. J. Couch, The Knowledge of the Ancients in the History of Animals; Historical Biographies of the Animals Known to the Ancients, undated, MSS.W2, Couch Archives, Blacker-Wood Library, McGill University, Canada. 44. Couch, Cornish Fauna. Part 1. 45. Ibid., p. v. 46. Couch, Cornish Fauna. With Revisions, p. v. 47. Anon., Twenty-fifth Annual Report of the RIC, 1843 (Truro, L.E. Gillet, 1844), p. 16. 48. Couch collected a significant amount of material for a second edition of the Cornish Fauna, but it was never published. J. Whetter, ‘Jonathan Couch, Ichthyologist’, Cornish Banner, 100 (2000), p. 17–24, p. 19. 49. J. Couch, ‘A Report to the Royal Institution of Cornwall, of the Occurrence of some Birds and Fishes, Rare or Hitherto Unknown in the County’, Appendix IV of the Twenty-fifth Annual Report of the RIC, 1843 (Truro: L. E. Gillet, 1844), p. 28. 50. Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, p. 168. 51. Browne notes that the ‘fauna’ was a concept that caught on much more slowly than the ‘flora’, suggesting a number of reasons for this: that there were a range of other possible alternatives, such as the term ‘zoology’; and that restricted groupings of birds, mammals, insects and suchlike lent themselves more readily to monographs than to the study of an entire faunistic area. Browne, Secular Ark, p. 30. 52. Turk, ‘Natural History Studies’. 53. Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, p. 168. 54. Allen notes that the counties of Middlesex, Norfolk, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire were witness to concerted efforts at regional avifaunas. Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, pp. 168–9. 55. For example: J. Couch, ‘On the Zoology of the County of Cornwall’, Reports of the British Association, Section 2 (1841), p. 68; ‘A report to the Royal Institution of Cornwall of the Occurrence of Some Birds and Fishes Rare or Hitherto Unknown in the County’, Reports of the RIC, 25 (1843), pp. 28–30.

Notes to pages 92–4

201

56. J. Couch, ‘Remarks on the species of whales which have been observed on the coasts of Cornwall’, Reports of the RCPS, 24 (1856), pp. 27–46; ‘On Whales Observed on the Coasts of Cornwall’, Annals of Natural History, 20 (1857), pp. 24–39. 57. For instance, J. Couch, ‘The Process of Exuviation in Shrimps and Lobsters’, Jardine’s Magazine of Zoology and Botany, 1 (1837), pp. 170–3; ‘The Pilchard Fishery’, Reports of the RCPS 8 (1840), pp. 11–26; ‘A Natural History of the mackerel and its fishery, with a reference to others of the scomberoid family that have been taken in Cornwall’, Reports of the RCPS, 12 (1844), pp. 47–61; ‘Fishing and fishing-hooks of the earliest dates’, in H. Cholmondley Pennell (ed.), Fishing Gossip, or Stray Leaves From the Notebooks of Several Anglers (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1860), pp. 321–9. 58. J. Couch, ‘A Natural History of the Fishes of the United Kingdom with Particular Reference to Fisheries’, paper read to the Society, no date c. 1830s, MSS CASE 13B, Couch Archives, Linnean Society. 59. Ibid. 60. Whetter, ‘Jonathan Couch’, p. 23. 61. For instance, J. Couch, ‘Observations on the Skeleton of a Porpoise’, Reports of the RCPS, 13 (1852), pp. 75–6. 62. Ibid. 63. J. Couch, Report of Several Dredging Excursions on the South East Coast of Cornwall, to the Distance of About 20 miles, and at a Depth of from 30 to About 50 Fathoms – in the Summer of 1866, 8 page undated report attached to Couch’s Observations Connected with Dredging Operations Carried on in the Neighbourhood of Britain, unpublished and undated MS, Couch Archives, Blacker-Wood Library, McGill University, Canada. 64. Anon., Thirty-Second Annual Report of the RIC, 1850 (Truro: Heard and Son, 1851), p. 14. 65. The British Association dredging committee was formed in 1841. For a discussion of the popularity of dredging in Scotland, see Finnegan, Natural History Societies. 66. For instance, P. H. Gosse, The Ocean (London: Christian Knowledge Society, 1846); Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, p. 116 and p. 121. 67. P. H. Gosse, A Naturalist’s Rambles on the Devonshire Coast (London: J. Van Voorst, 1853). Allen, The Naturalist in Britain, p. 121. 68. Davey, Charles William Peach. 69. C. W. Peach, ‘Additions to the List of Cornish Zoophytes and Observations on Others’, Reports of the RIC, 30 (1849), pp. 7–11. 70. Couch, Cornish Fauna, Part 3, pp. v–iv. 71. For more on Cocks, see F. H. Davey, William Pennington Cocks, MRCS. Reprinted from the Report of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society (Penryn: F Chegwidden, 1910); S. Turk, ‘William Pennington Cocks (1791–1878), a Westcountry Naturalist’, Journal of Conchology, 27 (1971), pp. 253–5. 72. W. P. Cocks, Natural History of Falmouth. Falmouth Fragments. Collected by W.P. Cocks. 1843–6, unpublished and undated MSS held in the archives of the RCPS, Falmouth; Handcoloured Drawings of Birds, Fishes, Insects, Shells, Actinae, Algae, and Marine Curiosities Collected in Falmouth and Neighbourhood 1842–78, unpublished and undated MSS held in the archives of the RCPS, Falmouth. 73. See Cocks’s Contributions to the Flora of Falmouth. Field Plants and Flowers; and Garden Stragglers. From July 1843 to August 1855, unpublished MS held in the archives of the Botany Library, Natural History Museum, London.

202

Notes to pages 94–102

74. W. P. Cocks, ‘Contributions to the Fauna of Falmouth’, Seventeenth Annual Report of the RCPS (1849), p. 38. Cocks’s approach was by no means uncommon – Allen gives other examples of this approach to regional natural history description. Allen, ‘Four Centuries of Local Flora-writing’. 75. Davey, ‘William Pennington Cocks’. 76. J. E. Harting, ‘Memoir’, in Rodd, The Birds of Cornwall and the Scilly Islands, pp. v–vii. 77. E. H. Rodd, A List of British Birds, as a Guide to the Ornithology of Cornwall, Especially in the Land’s End District (London and Penzance, 1864). Two further editions were published, in 1869 and 1880. 78. On the close relations between guns and natural history, see Allen, A Naturalist in Britain, p. 127. 79. E. H. Rodd, The Birds of Cornwall and the Scilly Islands (London: Trubner and Co., 1880), p. 5. 80. E. H. Rodd, ‘Notice of Rare Birds in the County of Cornwall, since 1846’, Report of the RIC, 32 (1851), p. 27. 81. Couch did in fact harbour an interest in birds although it in no way matched his fascination with sea life. R. D. Penhallurick, Jonathan Couch’s Cornish Birds (Polperro: Polperro Heritage Press, 2003). See, for instance, J. Couch, ‘On the Migratory birds of the West of England’, paper read to the Linnean Society, 2 May 1820, MSS MISC SP245, Couch Archives, Linnean Society, London. 82. Anon., ‘Fauna and Flora’, Report and Transactions of the PNHAS (1881–2), p. 85. 83. Ibid. 84. Anon., ‘Report’, Transactions of the PNHAS (1886–7), p. 219. 85. For more on Vallentin, see J. T. Cunningham, untitled note of Vallentin’s death, Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London (1934–5), pp. 191–4. 86. R. Vallentin, ‘Additions to the Fauna of Falmouth’, Reports of the RCPS, 59 (1891), pp. 92–100, p. 93. 87. On these marine zoological stations, see Allen, A Naturalist in Britain, p. 188. 88. R. Vallentin, ‘Some Remarks on the Pelagic Life Occurring in and Near Falmouth Harbour, with Additions to the Fauna of the District’, Journal of the RIC, 11 (1893), pp. 304–26. 89. R. Vallentin, ‘The Fauna of St Ives Bay, Cornwall’, Journal of the RIC (1907), pp. 84– 111. 90. R. Vallentin, The Falkland Islands, with Notes on the Natural History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924). 91. Browne, The Secular Ark.

5 A Large Natural Greenhouse of England 1. 2. 3. 4.

5.

Quoted in Endersby, Imperial Nature, p. 20. E. Lees, The Botany of the Malvern Hills (London: Tilt and Bogue, 1843), p. vii. Ibid. Pearson, ‘The Royal Horticultural Society of Cornwall’, p. 168. Figure 1 was included in the Rules and Regulations of the RCHS. Anon., Fourth Annual Report of the Committee of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1836), p. 33. Charles Johns, in a hand-written note in the Hortus Siccus itself provided a definition of ‘indigenous’ in his assessment of a specimen of Trifolium incarnatum: ‘Though growing at a great distance from cultivated ground, it cannot be pronounced to be indigenous till

Notes to pages 102–5

6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

13. 14. 15. 16.

17. 18. 19.

20.

21. 22.

23.

24. 25. 26.

203

it has been found at least for two years in the same locality’. In E. A. Warren, Hortus Siccus of the Indigenous Plants of Cornwall, 3 volumes, Archives of the RIC, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, volume 2, p. 28. Anon., Fourth Annual Report of the Committee of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1836), p. 7. R. Lampen and W. B. Booth, ‘Indigenous report’, Fourth Annual Report of the Committee of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1836), p. 10. Ibid. Anon., First Annual Report of the Committee of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1833), p. 25. Anon., Seventh Annual Report of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1839). Anon., Eighth Annual Report of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1840). D. & S. Lysons, Magna Britannia; Being a Concise Topographical Account of the Several Counties: Volume The Third Cornwall (London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1814), p. clxxxiii. F. H. Davey, ‘Acclimatisation of Exotics in Cornwall’, Journal Of The RIC, 8 (1897), pp. 313–42, p. 314–5. D. Pett, ‘The Acclimatisation of Exotics in Cornwall’, Cornish Garden, 40 (1997), pp. 41–53, p.50. S. Pring (ed.), The Glorious Gardens of Cornwall (Cornwall: The Cornwall Gardens Trust, 1996). T. Russell, Cornwall’s Great Gardens (Oakham: Woodland Publishing, 1998); D. Pett, ‘Cornish Gardening Dynasties. III. The Foxes Of Falmouth’, The Cornish Garden, 41 (1998), pp. 87–105. Pring, The Glorious Gardens Of Cornwall, p. 26. Anon., Fifteenth Annual Report of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1847), pp. 8–9. J. P. Jones and J. F. Kingston, Flora Devoniensis: Or a Descriptive Catalogue of Plants Growing Wild in the County of Devon (London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, 1829). Their worries were certainly well-founded; their book was being criticized as late as 1874, when Thomas Ravenshaw complained that it paid little attention to the flora of the north of the county. Rev. T. F. Ravenshaw, Botany of North Devon (Ilfracombe: W. Stewart, 1874). There were 1,200–1,400 inhabitants residing at Flushing by the 1860s. On the history of Flushing and its larger neighbourhood, Falmouth, see E. S. Tregoning, History of Falmouth and its Vicinity (E.S. Tregoning, Falmouth, 1865). I. Gifford, ‘Memorial of Miss Warren, Of Flushing, Cornwall’, Thirty-second Annual Report of the RCPS (1864), pp. 11–14. At that time Warren would have been using the second edition of Hooker’s The British Flora: Comprising the Phaenogamous or Flowering Plants, and the Ferns (London, Longman, 1831). Letter from Elizabeth Warren to William Hooker, 1 December 1834, letter 283, vol. vi, Archive of Director’s Correspondence, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (hereafter referred to as Kew Archive). Warren presumably meant John Pike Jones’s A Botanical Tour Through Various Parts of the Counties of Devon and Cornwall (Exeter: J. Treadwin, 1820). Letter from Warren to Hooker, 20 October 1836, letter 162, vol. viii, Kew Archive. Anon., Second Annual Report of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1834), p. 6. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 12 December 1834, Kew Archive.

204

Notes to pages 105–12

27. Anon., Fifth Annual Report of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1837), p. 5. 28. Quoted in the annual report of the Society: Anon., Eleventh Annual Report of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1843), p. 8. 29. Pearson, ‘The Royal Horticultural Society of Cornwall’, p. 173. 30. A. B. Shteir, Cultivating Women, Cultivating Science: Flora’s Daughters and Botany in England 1760 to 1860 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996). See also D. E. Allen, ‘The Women Members of the Botanical Society of London, 1836–1856’, British Journal for the History of Science, 13 (1980), pp. 240–54. 31. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 25 May 1836, letter 326, vol. ix, Kew Archive. 32. Letter from Warren to Hooker, [no day] December 1835, letter 291, vol. vi, Kew Archive. 33. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 22 June 1836, letter 158, vol. viii, Kew Archive. 34. R. Lampen and W. B. Booth, ‘Indigenous Report’, p. 10. 35. Anon., ‘Indigenous report’, Fifth Annual Report of the RCHS (Truro, E. Heard, 1837), p. 15. 36. Ibid., p. 16. 37. Anon., Fifteenth Annual Report of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1847), p. 9. 38. Alongside the dried specimen, information was provided on the Latin and vernacular name of the plant, the plant’s preferred habitat, its station, and its collector. 39. For more on Johns, see D. Dare and M. Hardie, A Passion for Nature: Nineteenth-Century Naturalism in the Circle of Charles Alexander Johns (Penzance: Patten Press, 2008). On Johns’s natural history, see Lightman, Victorian Popularizers of Science, pp. 48–57. 40. The diary of Charles Johns records that Johns regularly travelled around Cornwall and beyond on a variety of engagements, including talks to natural history societies. Diary of C. A. Johns, 22 May 1832 to 28 March 1837, C. A. Johns Archive, Cornwall Record Office, Truro. See also P. Cowls, ‘Johns of Helston. Excerpts from the Diary of Charles Alexander Johns while Assistant Master at Helston Grammar School, 1832–1836’, The Westcountry Magazine, 7 (1952), pp. 87–95 and pp. 167–76. 41. Letter from Warren to Hooker, [no date but c. 1841, letter 410, vol. xvi, Kew Archive. 42. Ibid. 43. Jones and Kingston, Flora Devoniensis, p. viii. 44. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 22 June 1836, letter 158, vol. viii, Kew Archive, original emphasis. Warren’s fears were unfounded: in 1840 Lobb eventually left Cornwall and England for South America. He undertook two collecting journeys there, and two to North America, eventually dying in California in 1864. 45. Letter from Warren to Hooker, [no day] December 1835, letter 291, vol. vi, Kew Archive. 46. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 14 December 1835, letter 293, vol. vi, Kew Archive. 47. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 22 June 1836, letter 158, vol. viii, Kew Archive. 48. Letter from C. A. Johns to Hooker, 17 August 1841, letter 206, vol. xvi, Kew Archive. 49. Ibid. 50. Ibid. 51. In a letter to Johns in 1841 (which Johns then forwarded to Hooker) William Curnow asked for Hooker’s address so that ‘I might avail myself of the pleasure of sending the remainder [of the specimens Hooker has requested] myself ’. Letter from W. Curnow to C. A. Johns, dated 14 September 1841, attached to a letter from Johns to Hooker, letter 120, vol. xvii, Kew Archive.

Notes to pages 112–17

205

52. A. Secord, ‘Corresponding Interests: Artisans and Gentlemen in Nineteenth-Century Natural History’, British Journal for the History of Science, 27 (1994), pp. 383–408. 53. Endersby, ‘“From having no Herbarium…”’. Hooker’s responses to Warren and Johns are lost to us and so it is impossible to comment on Hooker’s own anxieties about or criticism of Warren’s or Johns’ own collecting abilities. 54. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 22 April 1842, Kew Archive. 55. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 30 September 1848, Kew Archive. 56. On women and natural history fieldwork see S. L-M. Sheffield, Revealing New Worlds: Three Victorian Women Naturalists (London: Routledge, 2001). 57. E. A. Warren, ‘Botanical Discoveries in Cornwall’, Reports of the RCPS (1842), p. 24; ‘Algae, Marine, on Falmouth Shores’, Reports of the RCPS (1849), p. 31; ‘Algae, Marine, Found at Falmouth’, Transactions of the PNHAS (1849), p. 351. 58. Shteir, Cultivating Women, Cultivating Science, pp. 183–91; Sheffield, Revealing New Worlds; H. Torrens, ‘Mary Anning (1799–1847) of Lyme: ‘the greatest fossilist the world ever knew’’, British Journal for the History of Science, 28 (1995), pp. 257–84. 59. Allen, Naturalist in Britain, p. 115. 60. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 20 October 1836, Kew Archive. 61. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 16 September 1835, letter 292, vol. vi, Kew Archive. 62. Dare and Hardie, A Passion for Nature. 63. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 29 May 1850, letter 352, vol. xxx, Kew Archive, emphasis added. 64. J. Ralfs, The British Phænogamous Plants & Ferns: With a Short Comparative Analysis of the Natural Families (London: Longmans, 1839). On Ralfs, see A. Lewis, John Ralfs: An Old Cornish Botanist (Torquay: Andrew Iredale and Son, 1907); H. and J. Groves, ‘John Ralfs. (With Portrait.)’, Journal of Botany (October 1890), pp. 1–5. 65. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 23 February 1839, letter 163, vol. xiii, Kew Archive, emphasis added. 66. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 22 April 1842, letter 239, vol. xviii, Kew Archive. 67. Letter from Ralfs to Hooker, 18 May 1839, letter 179, vol. xxii, Kew Archive, emphasis added. 68. Letter from Ralfs to Hooker, 7 December 1840, letter 306, vol. xvi, Kew Archive. 69. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 13 January 1840, letter 211, vol. xv, Kew Archive. On the history of Falmouth and the Packet Service, see R. Pearse, The Ports and Harbours of Cornwall (H.E. Warne: St. Austell, 1963). 70. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 22 February 1836, letter 156, vol. viii, Kew Archive. 71. Anon., Fourth Annual Report of the RCHS (Truro: E. Heard, 1836), p. 8. 72. Pearson, ‘The Royal Horticultural Society of Cornwall’. 73. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 16 January 1843, letter 340, vol. xx, Kew Archive, original emphasis. 74. W. Hooker, The British Flora: Comprising the Phaenogamous or Flowering Plants, and the Ferns (London, 1842), p. vii 75. Endersby, Imperial Nature, p. 88. 76. Ibid. 77. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 16 January 1843, letter 340, vol. xx, Kew Archive. 78. Endersby, Imperial Nature, p. 110. 79. Letter from Ralfs to Hooker, 22 November 1845, letter 579, vol. xxiii, Kew Archive.

206

Notes to pages 117–24

80. This was possibly a reference to the third edition of E. Newman’s An Analysis of British Ferns and Their Allies (London: Simpkin and Marshall, 1847), which had been published the previous year. 81. Warren first informed Hooker of her idea in a letter in 1836: Letter from Warren to Hooker, 30 May 1836, letter 157, vol. viii, Kew Archive. 82. The review was written anonymously and published in the Annals of Natural History, 3 (1839), p. xliii. Shteir speculates that it was Hooker himself who wrote the review. The review did little good and Warren ended up covering the majority of the cost of producing 50 charts. Those that did not sell she donated to local schools. Shteir, Cultivating Women, Cultivating Science. 83. Allen, The Naturalist in Britain. 84. Ibid., p. 112. 85. Browne, The Secular Ark. 86. There were other suggestions as to the basis on which regional studies of floras should be organized, including soil type. See Allen, ‘Four Centuries of Local Flora-Writing’. 87. Ibid. 88. F. Egerton, Hewett Cottrell Watson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), p. 185. 89. See in particular the fourth and final volume: H. C. Watson, Cybele Britannica: Or British Plants and Their Geographical Relations. Volume 4 (London: Longmans, 1859). 90. Watson, Topographical Botany. 91. Ibid., p. ix and p. xxxii respectively. 92. Ibid., p. xxxii. 93. For more on Briggs and Cunnack, see Davey, Flora of Cornwall, p. li and p. liii respectively. 94. Watson, Topographical Botany, p. 545. 95. Ibid., p. 561. 96. J. Ralfs, ‘On the History of Botany in Cornwall’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 2 (1885), pp. 15–20, p. 18. 97. J. Ralfs, The Flora of West Cornwall. Volume I, unpublished MS (1878), Ralfs Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance, p. 5. 98. J. G. Baker, ‘Botany of the Lizard Peninsula’, Journal of Botany (1871), p. 353. 99. Ralfs, Flora, p. 5. 100. Ibid., pp. 11–13. 101. Ibid., p. 20. 102. T. R. A. Briggs, Flora of Plymouth: An Account of the Flowering Plants and Ferns Found Within Twelve Miles of This Town (London: John Van Voorst, 1880); F. C. S. Roper, Flora of Eastbourne. Being an Introduction to the Flowering Plants, Ferns, etc., of the Cuckmore District, East Sussex (London: John Van Voorst, 1875). The Morrab Library, Penzance, now holds Ralfs’s library, which included these and other similar studies. 103. Roper, Flora of Eastbourne, pp. 19–20. 104. Ibid., pp. 10–11. 105. J. Ralfs, The Flora of West Cornwall. Volume V, part I. Algae, unpublished MS, undated (but written between 1881 and 1884), Ralfs Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance, p. 88 and pp. 88–9 respectively. 106. Letter from Warren to Hooker, 20 October 1836, letter 162, vol. viii, Kew Archive. 107. Endersby, Imperial Nature, p. 93.

Notes to pages 126–30

207

6 More Facts, More Remains 1. 2. 3.

4.

5. 6.

7. 8. 9. 10.

11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.

18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

23.

William Borlase, in a letter to Charles Lyttelton, 6 November 1749, quoted in Pool, William Borlase, p. 128–9. Ibid., p. 129. A fascination with Druidism was common in the eighteenth century. William Stukeley, the pre-eminent antiquarian of the period, was obsessed by them. D. B. Haycock, William Stukeley: Science, Religion and Archaeology in Eighteenth-Century England (Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2002), pp. 217–19, pp. 222–3. See also R. Hutton, Blood and Mistletoe: The History of Druids in Britain (London: Yale University Press, 2009). W. C. Borlase, Naenia Cornubiae: A Descriptive Essay, Illustrative of the Sepulchres and Funereal Customs of the Early Inhabitants of the County of Cornwall (Truro: J. R. Netherton, 1872). Borlase, Naenia Cornubiae, p. 1 and p. 3. C. S. Gilbert, An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall: To Which is Added A Complete Heraldry of the Same, With Numerous Engravings ( J. Langdon, Plymouth, 1817), p. 170. W. Cotton, Illustrations of Stone Circles, Cromlechs, and Other Remains of the Aboriginal Britons of the West of Cornwall ( J. Moyes: London, 1827), preface, unpaginated. Ibid., p. iv. Janković, Reading the Skies, p.8. Anon., ‘Meetings of the Society’, Transactions of the PNHAS,1888–1892, 3 (1892), pp. 382–95; Anon., ‘Cambrian Archaeological Association. Truro Meeting’, Archaeologia Cambrensis (1862), p. 230. P. Levine, The Amateur and the Professional: Antiquarians, Historians and Archaeologists in Victorian England, 1838–1886 (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1986); A. Stout, Creating Prehistory: Druids, Ley Hunters and Archaeologists in Pre-War Britain (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008). J. Evans, A History of the Society of Antiquaries (Society of Antiquaries: London, 1956); Levine, Amateur and Professional. Butlin, ‘Regions in England and Wales’, p. 242. Levine, Amateur and Professional, p. 61. Stephens and Roderick, ‘The Royal Institution of Cornwall’, p. 85, quoting from the 1848 Transactions of the RIC. Anon., ‘Preface’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 1845–1850 1 (1850), pp. ii–vii. To give one example, A. L. Lewis’s (who we will return to later) paper in Antiquity on the prehistoric monuments of East Cornwall was reprinted in the Journal of the RIC: A. L. Lewis, ‘Rude Stone Monuments of Bodmin Moor’, Journal of the RIC, 13 (1895), pp. 107–13. Anon., ‘Report of Annual General Meeting’, Journal of the RIC (1893), p. 15. J. Carne, ‘President’s Address’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 1845–1850, 1 (1850), p. 362. Anon., Twenty-first Annual Report of the RIC (L.E. Gillet: Truro, 1840), p. 13. Anon., Twenty-third Annual Report of the RIC (L.E. Gillet: Truro, 1842), p. 24. C. Evans, ‘Modelling Monuments and Excavations’, in S. de Chadarevian and N. Hopwood (eds), Models: The Third Dimension of Science (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004), pp. 109–37. J. Ralfs, ‘Excursions’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 1888–1892 3 (1892), p. 20.

208

Notes to pages 130–4

24. W. S. Lach-Syzrma, ‘President’s Address’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 1884–1888, 2 (1888), pp. 127–32. For a biography of Lach-Syzrma, see M. Perry, ‘Eminent Westcountryman, Honorary Cornishman’, Journal of the RIC (2000), pp. 154–67. 25. Levine, Amateur and Professional. 26. W. S. Lach-Syzrma, ‘President’s Address’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 1888–1892, 3 (1892), p. 219. 27. Hayman, Riddles in Stone. 28. In contradistinction to Smiles’s suggestion that organized regional antiquarianism ‘acted as a bridge’ between eighteenth-century antiquarianism and late nineteenth-century archaeology, it is assumed that Victorian antiquarianism was quite different to both. Smiles, The Image of Antiquity, p. 23. 29. S. Smiles, ‘The Art of Recording’, in S. McCarthy (ed.), Making History: Antiquities in Britain, 1707–2007 (London: Royal Academy, 2007), pp. 123–42. 30. S. Lewuillon, ‘Archaeological Illustrations: a New Development in Nineteenth-Century Science’, Antiquity, 76 (2002), pp. 223–34. 31. See A. C. S., ‘In Memorium, William Collings Lukis, MA, FSA’, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society Magazine, 27 (1893), pp. 99–101. 32. For instance, W. C. Borlase, ‘Account of Excavation and Discoveries at an Ancient British “Vow,” or Cave, in the Parish of Sancreed, Cornwall’, undated pamphlet, Morrab Library, Penzance. 33. W. C. Borlase, The Age of Saints in Cornwall: A Monograph of Early Christianity in Cornwall (Truro: Lake and Lake, 1878); W. C. Borlase, ‘Cornish Antiquities Viewed in the Light of Modern Research’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 1 (1880–1), pp. 22–37. Borlase’s Naenia Cornubiae was referred to in the introduction to this chapter. 34. Borlase’s antiquarian scrapbook, W. C. Borlase Archive, MOR/COL/12, Morrab Library, Penzance. 35. W. C. Borlase, The Dolmens of Ireland, their Distribution, Structural Characteristics, and Affinities in Other Countries; together with the Folk-Lore Attaching to Them; Supplemented by Considerations on the Anthropology, Ethnology and Traditions of the Irish People (London: Chapman and Hall, 1897). 36. W. C. Lukis, ‘Megalithic Monuments’, Archaeological Review, 1 (1888), reprinted in Wiltshire Tracts, 38 (Devises: Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, no date), p. 354. 37. R. N. Worth, ‘The Rude Stone Monuments of Cornwall’, Journal of the RIC (1893), p. 77. 38. Ibid. 39. This is the phrase Levine uses in her consideration of the work of Charles Roach Smith and Montagu Burrows. Levine, Amateur and Professional, pp. 74–5. 40. From the Preface of Hoare’s Ancient History of North and South Wiltshire (1812–19), quoted in S. Piggott, Ancient Britons and the Antiquarian Imagination: Ideas from the Renaissance to the Regency (London: Thames and Hudson, 1989), p. 153. 41. W. C. Lukis, On the Class of Rude Stone Monuments Which Are Commonly Called in England Cromlechs, and in France Dolmens, and are Here Shown to Have Been the Sepulchral Chambers of Once-Existing Mounds. Prevailing Errors on the Subject Refuted by a Critical Examination of the Monuments Referred to by the Maintainers of These Errors (London: printed for the author by Johnson and Co., 1875), p. 1. 42. W. C. Lukis, The Prehistoric Stone Monuments of the British Isles: Cornwall (London: Society of Antiquaries, 1885).

Notes to pages 134–9

209

43. All quotes from Lukis, The Prehistoric Stone Monuments, p. v. 44. Lukis certainly used the 1843 Ordnance Survey maps in his identification of the stone monuments of Wales and so we can assume that he employed a similar tactic in the Westcountry. Hayman, Riddles in Stone, p. 126. 45. Whilst Lukis completed the work for a second county volume for Devonshire, and had begun work on Wiltshire, the Cornish book was the only volume ultimately to be published; Lukis’s drawings and most of the lithographs for subsequent texts were destroyed in a fire at the lithographers. Evans, A History, p. 337. 46. For a recent biography of Blight see S. Bates and K. Spurgin, The Dust of Heroes: The Life of Cornish Artist, Archaeologist & Writer John Thomas Blight, 1835–1911 (Truro: Windowbox Books, 2006). 47. J. T. Blight, Ancient Crosses and other Antiquities in the West of Cornwall (Penzance: F. T. Vibert, 1856); J. T. Blight, Ancient Crosses and other Antiquities in the East of Cornwall (London: Simpkin, Marshall and Co., 1858); J. T. Blight, A Week at the Land’s End (London: Longmans and Co., 1861); J. T. Blight ‘An Account of the Subterranean Chambers at Trelowarren, the Seat of Sir R.R. Vyvyan, in the County of Cornwall’, paper published in Archaeologia, Blight Archive, MOR/BLI/10, Morrab Library, Penzance; J. T. Blight, Account of the Exploration of Subterranean Chambers, at Treveneague, in the Parish of St. Hilary, Cornwall (London: J. Russell Smith, 1867). 48. Blight, ‘Subterranean Chambers at Trelowarren’, p. 1. 49. Annotated note, front page, of J. T. Blight’s The Cromlechs of Cornwall, unpublished manuscript, J. T. Blight Archive, MOR/BLI/9, Morrab Library, Penzance. 50. Note by W. C. Borlase, in Blight, Cromlechs in Cornwall, p. 17. 51. For instance, C. W. Dymond, ‘Megalithic Monuments at Stanton Drew’, Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, 23 (1877), pp. 38–48; C. W. Dymond, ‘A Group of Cumberland Megaliths’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Archaeological and Antiquarian Society, 5 (1880), pp. 39–57. 52. Itinerary taken from C. W. Dymond’s plans and drawings that are contained in W. C. Borlase’s antiquarian scrapbook, W. C. Borlase Archive, MOR/COL/12, Morrab Library, Penzance. 53. W. C. Borlase’s antiquarian scrapbook, W. C. Borlase Archive, MOR/COL/12, Morrab Library, Penzance. 54. M. C. Boyer, ‘La Mission Héliographique: Architectural Photography, Collective Memory and the Patrimony of France, 1851’, in J. Schwartz and J. Ryan (eds), Picturing Place: Photography and the Geographical Imagination (I.B. Tauris: London, 2002), pp. 21–54. 55. Tucker, Nature Exposed, p. 27. 56. S. J. A. Flynn, Catalogue of the papers of Sir John Gardner Wilkinson 1797–1875, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, 1997, Bodleian Library, Oxford. Borlase’s antiquarian scrapbook contains photographs of both large and small antiquarian objects, from cromlechs to flints: W. C. Borlase’s antiquarian scrapbook, W. C. Borlase Archive, MOR/COL/12, Morrab Library, Penzance. 57. C. W. Dymond, ‘Notes on the Men-An-Tol and Chywoon Quoit, Cornwall’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, June (1877), p. 175–9. Figure 5 is reproduced on p. 177. 58. T. C. Peter, ‘The Exploration of Carn Brea’, Journal of the RIC, 13 (1895) pp. 92–102, p. 92. 59. A. L. Lewis, ‘A Description of Some Archaic Structures in Cornwall and Devon’, Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1 (1872), pp. i–ix.

210

Notes to pages 139–43

60. A. L. Lewis, ‘Prehistoric Remains in Cornwall. Part 1. – East Cornwall’, Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 25 (1896), pp. 2–16, p. 2. See also: A. L. Lewis, ‘Prehistoric Remains in Cornwall. Part 2. – West Cornwall’, Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 35 (1905), pp. 427–34. 61. G. F. Tregelles, ‘The Stone Circles of Cornwall’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 3 (1893–4), pp. 145–70. 62. Tregelles, ‘The Stone Circles of Cornwall’, p. 145. 63. N. Lockyer, ‘On the Observations of Stars Made in Some British Stone Circles. Second Note’, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A, 77 (1906), pp. 465–72; N. Lockyer, ‘Notes on Observations of Sun and Stars in Some British Stone Circles. Fourth Note. The Botallek Circles, St. Just, Cornwall’, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A 82 (1909), pp. 96–103. 64. Levine, Amateur and Professional, p. 74. 65. W. C. Lukis, ‘On Some Megalithic Monuments in Western Cornwall’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association (September 1877), pp. 291–6. 66. Ibid., pp. 293–4 67. Ibid., p. 294, emphasis added. 68. C. W. Dymond, ‘Notes on the Men-An-Tol’, p. 176. 69. Ibid., p. 177. 70. Ibid. 71. C. Evans, ‘‘Delineating Objects’: Nineteenth-Century Antiquarian Culture and the Project of Archaeology’, in S. Pearce (ed.), Visions of Antiquity: The Society of Antiquaries of London 1707–2007 (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2007), pp. 267–306. 72. L. H. Courtney, ‘President’s Address’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 1888–1892, 3 (1888), p. 36. 73. Lach-Syzrma, ‘President’s Address’ (1889), p. 217. 74. Terms for other archaeological periods were being delimited at around the same time. The term ‘prehistory’ was coined in 1851 by Daniel Wilson in his Prehistoric Annals of Scotland, but came into general use in 1865 in John Lubbock’s Prehistoric Times. It was used in Britain to denoted the period prior to the Roman Conquest. Piggott, Ancient Britons. 75. W. S. Lach-Syzrma, ‘1885 Excursion’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 1884–1888, 2 (1888), p. 121. 76. On the slow incorporation of Thomsen’s schema into British archaeology more generally, see Trigger, A History of Archaeological Thought. 77. M. A. Morse, How the Celts came to Britain: Druids, Ancient Skulls and the Birth of Archaeology (Stroud: Tempus, 2005), p. 80. Morse provides a wide-ranging history of the idea of the Celts in Britain. 78. Blight, Cromlechs of Cornwall, p. 1. 79. J. G. Wilkinson, ‘Carn Brea, near Redruth, Cornwall’, Journal of the RIC(1860), pp. 1–17. 80. See for instance, J. G. Wilkinson, ‘Avenues and Carns about Arthur’s Stone in Gower’, Archaeologia Cambrensis (1870), pp. 22–45 and pp. 117–21; idem, ‘Cromlechs and other Remains in Pembrokeshire’, Collectanea Archaeologica (1871), pp. 219–40. 81. For a biography of Wilkinson see J. Thompson, Sir Gardner Wilkinson and his circle (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1992). 82. C. Barham, ‘The President’s Address’, Forty-third Annual Report of the RIC (Truro: Heard and Sons, 1861), p. 16.

Notes to pages 143–9

211

83. Ibid., p. 15. 84. Anon., ‘Cambrian Archaeological Association’, p. 229. 85. Anon [‘An Idle Member’], ‘Correspondence, The Truro Meeting’, Archaeologia Cambrensis, 17 October (1861), pp. 61–4, p. 62. 86. J. T. Blight, ‘Two Days in Cornwall with the Cambrian Archaeological Association’, in J. T. Blight, Churches of West Cornwall with Notes of Antiquities of the District (1865: Oxford: Parker and Co., 1885) pp. 187–236, p. 193. 87. Ibid., p. 191. 88. The visit was deemed a great success by both the Cornish and Welsh contingents, and resulted in amongst other things, the appointment of Blight as the CAA’s Local Secretary for Cornwall, and the subsequent publication of regular articles on Cornwall in Archaeologia Cambrensis by Blight and others. Anon., Minutes from the General Meeting of the Committee held in Truro (25 August 1862), Minute book of the Cambrian Archaeological Association, 1847–1925, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. 89. C. Evans, ‘The Birth of Modern Archaeology’, in S McCarthy (ed.), Making History: Antiquities in Britain, 1707–2007 (London: Royal Academy, 2007), pp. 185–200. 90. Peter, ‘Exploration of Carn Brea’, p. 94, original emphasis. 91. Anon., ‘1882 Excursion’, Transactions of the PNHAS, 1880–1884, 1 (1882–3), pp. 195– 204 92. C. Evans, ‘Natural Wonders and National Monuments: a Meditation upon the Fate of the Tolmen’, Antiquity 68 (1994), pp. 200–8, p.204. On Lubbock’s 1882 Ancient Monuments Protection Act see D. Gaimster, ‘Rescuing the Past’, in S. McCarthy (ed.), Making History: Antiquities in Britain, 1707–2007 (London: Royal Academy, 2007), pp. 201– 14. 93. Quoted in the RIC’s annual summary of noteworthy news stories: Anon., ‘Chronological Memoranda’, Journal of the RIC with the Fifty-Second Annual Report, 11 (1870), pp. 212–13. 94. Thomas Cornish, ‘President’s Address’, given at meeting of the PNHAS Council held on 2 May 1888, PNHAS Minute Books 1880–1889, PNHAS Archive, Morrab Library, Penzance, unpaginated. 95. Quoted in: Anon., ‘Chronological Memoranda’, p. 213. 96. W.C. Lach-Syzrma, ‘President’s Address’ (1885), pp. 127–32. 97. Blight, Ancient Crosses … in the West of Cornwall, p. iii. 98. Ibid. 99. Quoted in: Anon., ‘Chronological Memoranda’, p. 213. 100. Carne, ‘President’s Address’, p. 362. 101. Peter, ‘Exploration of Carn Brea’, p. 102, original emphasis. 102. Smiles, The Image of Antiquity, p. 23.

7 A Furious Tempest 1.

2.

Anon., ‘Annual Meeting, 31st October, 1856’, Journal of the RIC (1856), pp. 28–33. Barham was born in Truro and educated at Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities. He returned to Cornwall in 1837. As well as his work at the Infirmary he was Secretary of the Royal Institution of Cornwall from 1837 to 1859, and then became its President. Barham quoted in ‘Annual Meeting’, p. 29.

212 3.

4.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

28.

29.

Notes to pages 146–53 J. Burton, ‘Robert FitzRoy and the Early History of the Meteorological Office’, British Journal for the History of Science, 19 (1986), pp. 147–76; A. Barry, ‘The History of Measurement’, p. 467. James Glaisher, the Superintendent of the Magnetic and Meteorological Department of the Greenwich Royal Observatory since 1840, was the driving force behind the Society and became its Secretary. On the Royal Meteorological Society see J. M. Walker, ‘The Royal Meteorological Society as seen through its Membership’, Weather, 55 (2000), pp. 104–8. Golinski, Making Natural Knowledge. M. J. Cullen, The Statistical Movement in Early Victorian Britain: The Foundations of Empirical Social Research (Barnes & Noble: Sussex, 1975); Schaffer, ‘Metrology’. Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 159. Livingstone, Putting Science in its Place, p. 177. M. P. Moyle, ‘Meteorological Journal kept at Helston, Cornwall, for 1821’, T. Thomson’s Annals of Philosophy, 3 (1822), pp. 190–4; idem, ‘On the Temperature of the Cornish Mines’, Transactions of the RGSC, 2 (1822), pp. 404–15. See for instance, L. Squire, ‘Meteorological Register’, Report of the RCPS (1836), pp. 60–1. J. Couch, ‘Tables of the Thermometer and Weather’, Report of the RCPS (1836), p. 66. Mr Corbett, ‘Observations made at Pencarrow’, Report of the RCPS (1841), pp. 141. M. P. Moyle, Meteorological Journal, 1823–42, M. P. Moyle Archive, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro. Ibid. Quoted in Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 162. Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 163. Anon., ‘Meteorological Report’, Report of the RCPS (1842), p. 23. Anon., ‘Meteorological Report’, Reports of the RCPS (1842), p. 24. M. P. Moyle, Meteorological Journal, 1842–1880, M.P. Moyle Archive, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro. Ibid. Anon., ‘Thirty-Eighth Annual Report, 1856’, RIC (1857), p. 11. Anon., ‘Report of the Council’, Report of the RIC (1865), p. xi. M. P. Moyle, ‘Meteorological Summary of the Weather at Helston, in Lat. 50º 7’ N., and 5º 18’ W., for the year 1864’, Report of the RCPS (1865), unpaginated. Schaffer, ‘Metrology’, p. 445. Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 161. See for instance, W. P. Dymond, ‘Meteorology of West Cornwall. 1870’, Reports of the RCPS (1871), pp. 125–8. Paris, Guide to the Mount’s Bay; J. Forbes, Observations on the Climate of Penzance and the District of the Land’s End in Cornwall Containing Meteorological Tables, and a Catalogue of the Rarer Indigenous Plants (Read Before the Penwith Agricultural Society, and Published by Request of the Members) (Penzance: T. Vigurs, 1821). J. A. Paris, A Dialogue Between Dr. A.- A Physician, and Mr. B.- an Invalid, on the comparative merits of different Climates, as places of Winter residence, Appendix in A Guide to Mount’s Bay, pp. 239–59, p. 258. P. Nichols, Evolution’s Captain: The Dark Fate of the Man Who Sailed Charles Darwin Around the World (London: Harpercollins, 2003).

Notes to pages 156–8

213

30. Burton, ‘Robert FitzRoy’, p. 169. For a history of FitzRoy’s involvement in the Meteorological Office see G. Simpson, ‘FitzRoy and Weather Forecasts’, Meteorological Magazine, 84 (1955), pp. 167–73. 31. Anon., Report of the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society, for the Year ending 31st December 1870 (1871), p. 6. See also Burton, ‘Robert FitzRoy’, p. 170. 32. For a short biography of Scott see J. Burton, ‘Pen Portraits of Presidents [of the Royal Meteorological Society] – Robert Henry Scott, MA, DSc, FRS’, Weather, 49 (1994), pp. 323–4. 33. R. H. Scott, Instructions in the use of Meteorological Instruments. Compiled by Direction of the Meteorological Committee (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1875), p. 7. 34. Anon., Annual Reports of the Meteorological Council to the Royal Society, For the Year ending 31st of March 1883 (1884). 35. H. James, Instructions for Taking Meteorological Observations (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office 1861). Scott, Instructions. 36. Anon., Report of the Meteorological Committee, 1870. 37. Anon., Annual Reports of the Meteorological Council to the Royal Society, For the Year ending 31st of December 1867 (1868), pp. 55–60. This Report provides a detailed account of the correspondence between the Board of Trade (on behalf of the Royal Society) and the Treasury on the matter of finance for the observatories project. 38. K. Anderson, Predicting the Weather: Victorians and the Science of Meteorology (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2005). 39. Ibid. 40. K. Anderson, ‘The Weather Prophets: Science and Reputation in Victorian Meteorology’, History of Science, 37 (1999), pp. 179–216. Greenwich Observatory did serve as an informal eighth observatory. 41. Anon., Annual Reports, 1867, p. 22. 42. Anon., Report of the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society, For the Year ending 31st December 1869 (1870), p. 20; R. H. Scott, ‘On the Work of the Meteorological Office, Past and Present’, Weekly Meeting of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, April 30 1869, Pamphlet 19, Meteorological Office Archive, Exeter. 43. Falmouth Meteorological Observatory, Untitled Pamphlet, RCPS Minute Book 1873– 1884, June 1883, RCPS Archive, Falmouth. 44. See Anon., Annual Reports of the Meteorological Council to the Royal Society, For the Year ending 31st of December 1868 (1869), p. 22, which noted continuing discussions as to the conversion of continuous records into ‘mean numerical results, at once satisfactory to science and practically useful to the public’. 45. A full list of stations was provided by the Meteorological Council in: Anon., Annual Reports of the Meteorological Council to the Royal Society, For the Year ending 31st of March 1880 (1881), pp. 20–3. 46. Anon., ‘Annual Committee Meeting’, RCPS Minute Book, No. 3, 1857–1873, 30 January 1867, RCPS Archives, Falmouth. 47. Anon., ‘First meeting of the Meteorological Sub-Committee’, RCPS Minute Book, No. 3, 1857–1873, 6 March 1867, RCPS Archives, Falmouth. 48. Anon., ‘Second meeting of the Meteorological Sub-Committee’, RCPS Minute Book, No. 3, 1857–1873, 3 April 1867, RCPS Archives, Falmouth. 49. Anon., ‘Report of the Meteorological Sub-Committee’, RCPS Minute Book, No. 3, 1857–1873, 26 April 1867, RCPS Archives, Falmouth. 50. Anon., ‘Report of the Committee’, Report of the RCPS (1868), p. xiii.

214

Notes to pages 158–64

51. Anon., ‘Report of the Meteorological Committee’, RCPS Minute Book, No. 3, 1857– 1873, 18 January 1870, RCPS Archives, Falmouth. 52. Falmouth Meteorological Observatory, Untitled Pamphlet. 53. See Anon., ‘Description of a Self-Recording Rain-Gauge, Invented by Robert Beckley, of the Kew Observatory; Made by James Hicks, London’, Report of the RCPS (1869), pp. 43–7; Anon., ‘The Sunshine Recorder’, Report of the RCPS (1880), pp. 73–5. A history of the origin, development and use of the self-recording instruments was also provided by the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society: Anon., ‘A Description of the Self-recording Instruments recently erected by the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society in various Parts of the United Kingdom’, Report of the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society, For the Year Ending 31st December 1867 (1868) pp. 27–54. 54. K. Anderson, ‘Looking at the Sky: the Visual Context of Victorian Meteorology’, British Journal for the History of Science, 36 (2003), pp. 301–32, p. 302. 55. The required duties and activities of the Observatory’s staff was published in W. L. Fox, ‘Report of the Meteorological Committee for the year 1883’, Reports of the RCPS (1883), pp. 121–6. 56. Falmouth Meteorological Observatory, Untitled Pamphlet, RCPS Minute Book 1873– 1884, June 1883, RCPS Archives, Falmouth. 57. Anon., ‘Report of the Committee. February 9th, 1871’, Reports of the RCPS (1871), p. 13. 58. Anon., ‘Code of Regulation adopted by the Meteorological Committee for ensuring Accuracy in the Results derived from their Self-Recording Instruments’, Report of the Meteorological Committee of the Royal Society, For the Year ending 31st December 1868 (1869), pp. 62–72. 59. Anon., ‘Code of regulation’, p. 62. 60. Anon., ‘Report of the Committee, 1871’, p. 13. 61. Anon., ‘Report of the Committee’ of the RCPS, 1868, p. xiii. 62. Anon., ‘Report of the Meteorological Committee’. 63. Anon., ‘Meeting of the Meteorological Sub-Committee’, RCPS Minute Book, No. 3, 1857–1873, 18 January 1882, RCPS Archives, Falmouth. 64. Anon., ‘Meeting of the Meteorological Sub-Committee’, RCPS Minute Book, No. 3, 1857–1873, 26 January 1882, RCPS Archives, Falmouth; W.L. Fox, ‘Report of the Meteorological Sub-Committee for the Year 1882’, pp. 15–16. 65. Barry, ‘The History of Measurement’, p. 468. 66. See Anderson, Predicting the Weather, p. 143. 67. Dymond, ‘Meteorological Notes’. 68. W. L. Fox, ‘Report of the Meteorological Sub-Committee for the Year 1882’, Reports of the RCPS (1882), pp. 15–16. 69. Anon., ‘Meeting of the Meteorological Committee’, RCPS Minute Book, 1873–1884, 6 August 1881, RCPS archives, Falmouth. 70. Fox, ‘Report of the Meteorological Sub-Committee’, p. 16. 71. Whipple’s paper was subsequently published by the Society: G. M. Whipple, ‘Meteorology, or Weather Knowledge: its Progress and Modern Aspects’, Reports of the RCPS (1882), pp. 147–53. 72. G. J. Symons, ‘On Rainfall in Cornwall’, Reports of the RCPS (1882), pp. 129–33. For a history of Symon’s work in this area see D. E. Pedgley, A Short History of the British Rainfall Organization, Occasional Papers on Meteorological History No.5 (Reading: Royal Meteorological Society, 2002).

Notes to pages 164–8

215

73. R. H. Scott, ‘Minute Explanatory of the Reasons for which the Meteorological Council have Resolved to Close Some of Their Self-Recording Observatories’, Annual Reports of the Meteorological Council to the Royal Society, For the Year ending 31st of March 1884 (1885), pp. 91–2. It was reprinted in the minutes of the RCPS Minute Book, 1873–1884, RCPS Archives, Falmouth. 74. The Council sought the opinions of Dr Hann, the director of the Vienna Meteorological Observatory; Dr Wild, the head of the Meteorological Service in Russia; and Mr H. S. Eaton, a past President of the Meteorological Society of London. 75. Scott, ‘Minute Explanatory’, p. 93. 76. For a short biography of Mann, see J. M. Walker, ‘Pen Portraits of Presidents [of the Royal Meteorological Society] – Robert James Mann, MD’, Weather, 56 (2001), pp. 8–11. 77. Extract from the Report of the Treasury Committee, 1877, p. 88, quoted in Scott, ‘Minute Explanatory’, p. 95. 78. Anon., Annual Reports of the Meteorological Council, 1867, p. 21. 79. Anon., Annual Reports of the Meteorological Council to the Royal Society, For the Year ending 31st of March 1884 (1885). 80. Anon., ‘Report of the Committee’, Reports of the RCPS (1884), p. 2. 81. A lengthy extract from the letter is printed in the Reports of the society, in: Anon., ‘The Falmouth Observatory’, Reports of the RCPS (1885), pp. 103–4. A draft of the full letter is in: Anon., ‘Meeting of the General Committee, 4 April 1883’, RCPS Minute Book, 1873–1884, RCPS Archives, Falmouth. 82. Adams was a Cornishman by birth. His letter of support was re-printed in the Reports of the RCPS: Anon., ‘The Falmouth Observatory’, pp. 106–9. 83. Anon., ‘Meeting of the General Committee, 4 April 1883’, RCPS Minute Book, 1873– 1884, RCPS Archives, Falmouth. 84. Anon., Untitled entry dated 29 November 1883, Minute Book of the Meteorological Committee. 1882–1894, RCPS Archives, Falmouth, p. 34. 85. G. G. Stokes, letter to the RCPS from the Royal Society, dated 31 December 1883, Minute Book of the Meteorological Committee. 1882–1894, RCPS Archives, Falmouth, p. 48. This letter stipulated conditions on the grant and the yearly stipend: that all instruments would be the property of the Royal Society for instance; and that the RCPS would be obliged to furnish the Society with regular statements of expenditure, receipts, and results collected. 86. Anon., ‘Laying the Foundation Stone of the New Observatory’, Reports of the RCPS (1884), p. 34. 87. A full list of donors is provided in the Reports of the RCPS (1885), pp. 89–95. 88. Anon., article on the new observatory published in the Western Morning News and pasted into the Minute Book, 30 June 1885, Minute Book of the Meteorological Committee. 1882–1894, RCPS Archives, Falmouth, p. 63. 89. For a full account of the establishment of the magnetic house, see H. M. Jeffery, ‘Report of the Meteorological Committee on the Establishment of the Magnetograph Instruments at Falmouth Observatory’, Reports of the RCPS (1886), pp. 16–19. A description of the instruments was also given: Anon., ‘Falmouth Observatory Magnetographs’, Reports of the RCPS (1886), pp. 195–206. 90. Mr G. M. Whipple, quoted in the Minutes of the Meteorological Committee, 21 October 1889, Minute Book of the Meteorological Committee. 1882–1894, RCPS Archives, Falmouth, p. 139.

216

Notes to pages 168–75

91. Anon., Minutes of a Committee Meeting, 11 December 1886, Minute Book of the Meteorological Committee. 1882–1894, RCPS Archives, Falmouth; Anon., Minutes, 31 July 1888, Minute Book of the Meteorological Committee. 1882–1894, RCPS Archives, Falmouth. 92. Anon., Brief History of Relationships Between the Meteorological Office and the RCPS, undated, Meteorological Office Archives, Exeter. 93. Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 164. 94. Ibid., p. 167. 95. Ibid.; K. Anderson, ‘Mapping Meteorology’. 96. For further discussions on this theme, see L. Pyenson, ‘An End to National Science: The Meaning and the Extension of Local Knowledge’, History of Science, 40 (2002), pp. 251– 90.

Conclusions 1. 2. 3.

4.

5. 6. 7.

Fyfe and Lightman, ‘Science in the Marketplace’, p. 10. Secord, ‘Corresponding Interests’. There is an interesting parallel between this observation and the argument put forward by Laidlaw in her study of British rule in the colonies. She argues that in the 1830s there was a shift in the manner and language of colonial governance, from a reliance on personal information and gossip to the embrace of new statistical forms of knowledge. Z. Laidlaw, Colonial Connections, 1815–45: Patronage, the information revolution and colonial government (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005). This is similar to and overlaps with the process of ‘amateurisation’ that Alberti discusses in his work on amateur and professional natural history in Yorkshire. Alberti, ‘Amateurs and Professionals in One County’. See D. Knight, Humphry Davy: Science and Power (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). Halliday, A History of Cornwall. Janković, Reading the Skies, p. 159.

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INDEX

Académie Royale des Sciences, 25 acclimatization, 103, 110 Acton Castle, 70 Adams, John Couch, 165–6 Agassiz, Louis, 77 agricultural improvement, 66–8, 177 Airy, George, 163 Andrew, John, 17 Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 85, 92 Annals of Natural History, 117 antiquarianism, 208n28 conversazione, 128 destruction and preservation, 145–7, 177 and fieldwork, 127, 134, 137, 140–1, 148 inductive, 131–3 and photography, 132, 137–8 and religion, 125 societies, 129–31 surveys, drawings and plans, 127, 130, 132, 134, 136, 146–7 see also excavation; models aquarium, 93, 97 arboretum, see Royal Cornwall Horticultural Society archaeology, 125 Association of Cornish Societies, 57 Astronomical Society of London, 27 Baker, Henry, 17, 20 Baker, John Gilbert, 120, 176 Banks, Joseph, 26–7, 31, 187n73 Barham, Charles, 149–50, 211n1. Bassett family, 24, 146 Basset, Francis, 24, 30–1, 34, 59–60, 173 Bates, C. Spence, 81, 96

bazaar, 51 Bell, Thomas, 83, 88 The History of British Quadrupeds, 88 Bennett, A. K., 45 Berwickshire Club, 39 Bewick, Thomas, 85 biological laboratory, 97 Blight, John Thomas, 143–4, 147 Bodmin Asylum, 136 The Cromlechs of Cornwall, 136 A Week at the Lizard, 78–9, 144 Board of Agriculture, 67–8 Boase, Henry, 30, 59–60, 71–3, 179–80 fieldwork, 77 sections, 68 traverse, 69, 175 Treatise on Primary Geology, 72–3 Bodmin Asylum, see Blight, J. T. Bodmin Moor, 95 antiquities, 20, 125, 137, 139, 145 fossils, 70 meteorology, 151 Bolitho, T. Bedford, 167 Booth, William, 102 Borlase, William, 13, 17–23, 37, 125–8, 147, 150, 175, 180 antiquarianism, 19–20 Ludgvan, 13, 17, 21, 24 meteorology, 21–3 natural history, 20–21 Natural History of Cornwall, 20–21 Observations on the Antiquities … of the County of Cornwall, 19, 125, 144 upbringing, education and family, 17 wife, Anne, 21

– 237 –

238

Index

Borlase, William Copeland, 49, 139, 148, 174, 176 and Blight, J. T., 136 The Dolmens of Ireland, 133 fieldwork, 133 and Lukis, W. C., 134 Naenia Cornubiae, 125, 133, 136, 142 upbringing, education and career, 133 botanical garden, 115 see also Fox family; Lemon family; Royal Cornwall Horticultural Society Botanical Society of Edinburgh, 118 Botanical Society of London, 105, 118 London Catalogue of British Plants, 118–20, 124 see also Watson, H. C. Brand, William, 118 Briggs, Arthur, 119 Bristol, 47, 143 British Agricultural Society, 154 British Association of Archaeologists, 140 British Association for the Advancement of Science, 166 at Bristol, 47 at Cambridge, 59, 72 at Cork, 74 Dredging Committee, 92–3 at Edinburgh, 59–60, 72 at Plymouth, 47, 74 British Meteorological Society, see Royal Meteorological Society British Museum, 84, 87, 123 British Rainfall Association, 164 Buckland, Frank, 87 Buckland, William, 47, 70, 72, 75 Camborne, 24 Cambrian Archaeological Association, 128, 131, 143–5 Camden, William Britannia, 15 Camden Society, 132 Carclew, see Lemon family Cardynham, 106, 109, 146 Carew, Richard Survey of Cornwall, 15 Carn Brea antiquities, 19, 132, 139, 142–5

Carne, Elizabeth, 194n29 Carne, Joseph, 30–1, 173 map of St Just, 70 mineralogical collection, 65, 194n29 mine sections, 68 Caspary, Robert, 113 Celtic Academy, 137 Celts, 126–7, 136, 142–3, 178 Chacewater, 24, 151 Chambers, Robert, 75 chorography, 15–17, 67, 69, 82, 127 see also maps Civil War, 15 clerical naturalist, see religion climatological station, 163–4, 168 Coastguard, 74–5, 109 Cocks, William Pennington, 94, 97–8, 122–3 Colenso, John, 68 Colenso, William, 199n16 conversazione, 44–5, 128, 176 relation to excursion, 54 Conybeare, William, 47, 74 copper, see mining Corbett, Mr, 151–3 Cornish Copper Company, 65 Cornish Telegraph, 50 Cornish, Thomas, 36, 81, 96, 136, 146 Cornwall Agricultural Society, 189n103 cottage garden societies, 35 Cotton, William, 126–7 Couch, Jonathan, 74, 95, 97–8, 122–4, 151–3, 174, 176, 179 History of Cornish Fishes, 87 History of the Fishes of the British Isles, 85 Illustrations of Instinct, 85 publications, 85, 92, 200n43 translation of Pliny’s Natural History, 85 upbringing, education, career and family, 85, 87 see alsoCouch, Richard; fauna Couch, Richard, 36, 74, 85, 88–9, 94–5, 97, 172 see also Couch, Jonathan; fauna Couch, Thomas, 87 County Library, see Truro county maps, see maps cultural marketplace, 39, 47, 173

Index Cunnack, James, 119 Cunningham, William, 134 Curnow, William, 106, 109, 111–12, 174 Da Costa, Emanuel Mendes, 17 De Candolle, Augustin-Pyramus, 87 De Dunstanville, Lord, see Bassett, Francis De Jussieu, Antoine-Laurent, 87 De la Beche, Henry, 47, 68, 74–5, 77, 136 Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset, 74 Daniell, John, 153 Dartmoor, 139 Darwin, Charles, 7, 75, 101 Origin of Species, 29 Darwinism, 3, 45 Davy, Hamilton, 103 Davy, Humphry, 30, 65, 176 Defoe, Daniel, 22 Devon, 67–8, 104, 109, 137, 156 Devon and Cornwall Natural History Society, 189n103 Devonian, 74 Dorset, 68, 74 dredging, 92–3, 97, 201n65 druids, 125, 141–2, 207n3 Dryden, Henry, 132 Dymond, Charles William, 137, 139, 141 Dymond, W. P., 162–3 East India Company, 115 Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, 72 Edmonds, Richard The Land’s End District, 79, 145 Egyptian mummy, 129 Ellis, John, 17, 20 emigration, 178 Enys family, 104 Ethnological Society, 146 Evans, Frederick John, 156 excavation, 131, 133–4, 146 Excise Laboratory, 151 excursion, 54–6, 130, 144, 176–7 see also fieldwork Exeter, 17, 139 exhibitions, 47–53, 176–7 electric lighting, 51 train travel to, 53

239

Exmouth, Viscount, see Pellew, Edward Factory Inspectorate, 151 Falkland Islands, 98, 115 Falmouth, 24, 33–5, 40, 47, 57, 84, 91, 94, 103 Docks and port, 84, 97, 104, 115, 123, 163 fauna, 94, 97 flora, 113–4, 122 maritime connections to wider world, 114–15, 123 meteorology, 151, 153–4, 160, 163–5, 170 Post Office, 167 railways, 53, 123 Town Council, 168 see also Falmouth Observatory; Fox family; Packet Service; Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society Falmouth Observatory, 150–1, 157–169, 172, 175, 179 Farr, William, 154 Farrar, Thomas, 156 fauna, 81–4, 200–1 Cornish Fauna, 81, 85, 90, 200n48 local, 88–91, 200n54 fieldwork, 174, 176–7 see also antiquarianism; excursion fisheries, 89, 92, 163 Fitzroy, Robert, 149, 156 flora, 82, 101 of Britain, 82, 102, 118 Cornish, 104, 106, 110 see also Hortus Siccus of Devon, 104, 106, 109–10 Eastbourne, Flora of, 120 Plymouth, Flora of, 120 see also Hooker, William Flushing, 164, 203n20 see also Warren, E. A. folklore, 172 Forbes, Edward, 75, 93 foundry, 24 Harvey’s of Hayle, 24 Perran Foundry, 24, 34, 176 Fowey, 75 Fox family, 24, 34, 47, 104, 176

240

Index

estates and gardens, 103–4 Fox, Barclay, 47 Fox, Charles, 30–1, 104, 107, 173 Fox, Robert Were, 30, 103, 165 Fox, Wilson, 163 Galton, Francis, 156 Gatty, Margaret, 113 General Register Office, see Registrar-General Gentlemen’s Magazine, 22 gentry, 21, 37, 67 and antiquarianism, 14, 16, 131, 146 Cornish, 17, 19, 24–5 and Cornish geology, 30–1, 63 and Cornish science, 34, 36, 64, 173, 176 and gardens, 103 and science, 26 see also maps Geological Society of London, 27, 62, 175 Wollaston Fund, 76 Geological Survey, 67, 77, 175 Gibson, George, 119 Giddy, Edward, 149 Gifford, Isabella, 104, 113 Gilbert, Charles S., 126–8 Gilbert, Davies, 30–1, 59–60 Gill, Mr, 163, 168 Glaisher, James, 154–5 Glendurgan, gardens at, 103 Gorran Haven, 74, 93–4 Gosse, Philip Henry, 75, 87 A Naturalist’s Rambles on the Devonshire Coast, 93 Gould, John Birds of Europe, 42 greywacke, 72, 197n70 Great Exhibition, 29, 48, 50, 171 Greenough, George, 31 Greenwich Observatory, 154, 157 Gregor family, 149–50 Griffiths, Amelia, 113, 117 Grylls, Sarah, 106–7, 109 Halliwell, James Rambles in Western Cornwall, 79, 145 Harting, James The Birds of Middlesex, 83

Hayle, 24, 65 Hawkins family, 146 Hawkins, John, 59–60, 70, 73, 76 Hawkins, Thomas, 19 Helston, 107, 113, 204n40 meteorology, 152, 154, 157, 163, 168, 170 herbarium, 102 Highlands Society, 19 Hoare, Richard Colt, 133 Holman Brothers, 51 Honourable Society of Cymmrodorian, 19 Hooker, Joseph, 101, 103, 112, 136 Hooker, William, 101, 105, 174–5 The British Flora, 105, 109, 115–16 see also Johns, Charles; Ralfs, John; Warren, Elizabeth Hore, W. S., 106 Hornblower, Jonathan, 23 hortus siccus, 102, 105–7, 109–10, 114, 119 Hudson, William, 82 Humboldt, Alexander von, 2, 6 Hutton, James, 72 Huxley, Thomas, 75, 166 Imperial Magazine, 85 India, 115 indigenous plants, 102, 104–6, 110–11, 202–3n5 see also hortus siccus Intellectual Observer, 85 International Fisheries Exhibition, London, 49 James, Henry, 157 Jameson, Robert, 72 Jardine’s Magazine of Zoology and Botany, 85 Jenkins, Francis, 104, 115 Johns, Charles, 105–7, 109, 112, 174, 176, 204n40 Flowers of the Field, 114 and William Hooker, 111–13, 116 Journal of Botany, 117, 120 Jurin, James, 22 Kew Gardens, 3, 84, 120, 123 Kew Royal Observatory, 149, 151, 156–7, 169, 171, 174

Index King, R. J. Handbook for Travellers in Devon and Cornwall, 79 Kitto, Mr, 158, 162–3 Lach-Syzrma, W. S., 36, 39, 55–6, 130, 142, 147 Lamarck, Jean-Baptiste, 87 Lampen, Rev., 102 Land’s End, 65, 76, 144 The Land’s End District, 79, 145, 165 A Week at the Land’s End, 144 see also maps language, Cornish, 172 Laughrim, William, 92–3 Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, 26 Lees, Edwin, 101 Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society, 56 Leland, John, 19 Lemon family, 104 Carclew estate, 24, 103 Lemon, Charles, 32–4, 68, 75, 103, 113, 173 Lemon, William, 24, 32 Lewis, Alfred, 139–41, 148 Liddell, Commander, 151 Lightfoot, John, 82 Linnean Society of London, 26, 87, 92, 116 Journal of the Linnean Society, 85 Linneaus, Carl, 17, 87, 94, 185n20 Liverpool Naturalists’ Fieldclub, 56 Liverpool Royal Institution, 26, 189n102 Lizard Peninsula, 34 flora, 109, 120 geology, 65, 76 see also maps Lloyd, Humphrey, 47 Lobb, William, 106–7, 110–12, 204n44 Lockyer, Norman, 140–1 London Catalogue of British Plants, see Botanical Society of London London Chronicle, 22 London Polytechnic Institute, 53 Lubbock, John, 136, 146 Ludgvan, see Borlase, William Lukis, William Collings, 139–41, 147–8, 174, 176, 209n45

241

Lunar Society of Birmingham, 14 Lyell, Charles, 72, 75, 136 Lyme Regis, 74 Lysons, D. & S. Magna Britannia, 103 Lyttelton, Charles, 17–18, 20 Magazine of Natural History, 92–3 magic lantern, 44–5 Malvern Hills, 101 Manchester Field Naturalists’ Society, 27, 35 Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, 26 Mann, Robert, 164–5 maps, 6–7, 61–2, 179, 209n44 agricultural, 68 of antiquities, 144–5 of Cornwall’s geology, 58, 71–3, 76, 176–7 of the county, 67 estate, 15, 67, 69–70 keys and colours, 70–2 of Land’s End District, 69–70, 145 and mine surveys, 68 of the Parish of St Just, 66, 70 and sections, 68–9 and traverses, 68–9 Marazion, 122, 145 Marine Biological Association, Plymouth, 97 Marquand, E. D., 45, 97 Marriott, William, 163 medical topography, 152, 154, 172 meteoric tradition, 21–2 Meteorological Department of the Board of Trade, 149–50, 156–7 Meteorological Office, 157, 160, 163, 168 meteorology Enlightenment, 21–3 history of Cornish, 149, 151 and industry, 149–50, 166 instruments, 150–5, 158, 160–3, 169 observatories, 156–8, 164–5 see also Falmouth Observatory; Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society and tourism, 149–50, 156 metrology, 5 Weights and Measures Act 1824, 151 microscope, display of, 44–5

242 migration, animal, 88–9, 95, 180 Miller, Hugh, 75, 198n85 Milles, Jeremiah, 7 Millett, J. N. R., 130 Millett, Louissa and Matilda, 129–30 Millett, Tracey, 97 Mills, Thomas A Week’s Wanderings in Devon and Cornwall, 79 mining, tin and copper, 23–5, 63, 177–8 creation of middle class, 25 effects on poor, 24 models, 42, 50, 129–30, 132, 147 morality and science, 29 horticulture and botany, 35 Mount Edgcumbe, Earl of, 32, 166 Mousehole, 122 Moyle, Matthew Paul, 151–5, 157, 163 Murchison, Roderick, 70, 74–6, 175 The Silurian System, 74 museums, 41 displays, 43 Free Libraries and Museums Act 1850, 43 Mylor, 107 Napoleonic Wars, 5, 67 natural region, 67 natural system, 87 Neptunians, 73 see also Werner, Adraham Gottlob Newcomen, Thomas, 23 Newlyn, 50 see also Penzance Fisheries Exhibition Newman, Edward, 117 Newquay, 107, 122, 149 News Slip, 160 Old Red Sandstone, 74–5 Oliver, William, 17 opium pipe, Chinese, 50 Ordnance Survey, 67, 134, 157 Owen, Richard, 47, 75, 87, 98 Packet Service, 103–4, 115, 123 Padstow, 122 Paris, John Ayrton, 30, 63, 68, 155–6

Index Parliamentary Enclosure Acts, 67 Pascoe, Francis, 104, 119 Peach, Charles William, 95, 106, 109 and fieldwork, 77 and natural history, 93–4 research into Cornish fossils, 74–5, 175 and Scottish geology, 76 upbringing, family and career, 74 Peel, Robert, 75 Pellew, Edward, 32, 173 Pennant, Thomas, 17, 20–1, 82 Pengelly, William, 75, 167, 198n84 Penjerrick, gardens at, 103 Penwith Agricultural Society, 68, 189n103 Penzance, 13, 24, 30, 49, 53, 55, 57, 88, 94, 133, 136, 149 antiquities, 147 botany, 122 Choral Society, 94 climate, 156 excursions to, 130–1, 143–4 and geology, 64–5 Literary and Scientific Institution, 71 Market House, 40 meteorology, 45 Offical Guide to, 41 Public Buildings, 40, 41 Public Dispensary, 69, 71 Public Library, 120 transport, 24, 78 Union Bank, 71 Union Hotel, 30 see also Curnow, William; Penwith Agricultural Society; Penzance Fisheries Exhibition; Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society; Penzance Scientific and Industrial Exhibition; Ralfs, John; Royal Geological Society of Cornwall Penzance Fisheries Exhibition, 49–53 Lady Annie Brassey, 50 Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society, 173 and antiquarianism, 129–31, 133, 140, 143, 146 conversaziones, 44–6, 128 establishment, 35, 96 excursions, 39, 54–6, 131

Index financial straits, 40 library, 181n13 membership, 36 and natural history, 96–8, 124 property, 40 Penzance Scientific and Industrial Exhibition, 49–53 Peter, Thurstan, C., 139, 145–6 Phillips, John, 72, 74, 76–7 Phillips, William, 74 Phillpotts, W., 112 Philosophical Transactions, 22 photography, see antiquarianism Phytologist, The, 117 platform culture, 45 Plymouth, 47, 74, 97, 109, 120, 189n103 Plymouth Institute, 33, 189n103 Polperro, 85, 92–3, 123, 151, 176 Polytechnic Institution of London, 33, 53 Pope, Alexander, 17 popularization of science, 28–9, 188n91 Post Office, see Falmouth prehistory, 210n74 Price, Rose, 70 primary rocks, 72, 196–7n67 publishing, 28–9, 82, 107 railway, 78, 123, 143–4, 178 Ralfs, John, 36, 45, 97, 105–7, 114, 121–2, 175–6, 179, 206n102 The British Desmidieae, 117 The British Phaenogamous Plants and Ferns, 114 The Flora of West Cornwall, 120, 122 and the PNHAS, 119 and the vice-county system, 119 and William Hooker, 114, 116–7 Rashleigh, William, 30 Ray Club, 132 Redruth, 24, 149 meteorology, 22 see also Carn Brea Registrar-General, 151, 154, 157 religion clerical naturalist, 14–16 and science, 29, 64, 87 Reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 85, 92,

243

Ritter, Karl, 47 Robartes family, 146 Rodd, Edward, 36, 81, 91, 94–7, 123–4, 130 Rodd, Harriet, 106 Rowe, Joshua, 13, 81, 95 Royal Cornwall Horticultural Society, 177 accommodation, 40 arboretum, 103 botanical garden, 103 establishment, 34 exhibitions, 48, 102–3, 105 library, 43, 96, 103 membership, 35, 115 prizes and medals, 102, 105–7, 110–11 reason for demise, 35 see also hortus siccus; Warren, Elizabeth Royal Cornwall Infirmary, 149 Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, 164, 173–6 conversaziones, 47 establishment, 33 exhibitions, 48 Jubilee Exhibition, 49–53 membership, 34 Meteorological Committee, 158, 160, 162–6 and meteorology, 152–4, 168 see also Falmouth; Falmouth Observatory; Fox family; meteorology property, 40 Women’s Committee, 34 Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, 173 aims, 30, 64–5 establishment, 30 laboratory, 65 membership, 31–2, 34, 63–4 museum, 42–3, 65 property, 40 Royal Institution of Cornwall, 81, 90, 93, 149, 173 and antiquarianism, 129–31, 143, 146 establishment, 31–2 excursions, 54, 130 library, 139 membership, 32–3 and meteorology, 153–4, 157 museum, 43–4, 90, 93, 98, 123, 129–30, 132

244

Index

Presidents, 32 property, 40 Royal Institution of Great Britain, 26, 153, 189n102 Royal Meteorological Society, 150, 154, 157, 163 Royal Navy, 115 Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh, 26 Royal Society of Edinburgh, 26 Royal Society of London, 2–3, 17, 25, 31, 59 and meteorology, 149–50, 153–7, 160, 162–9, 174, 180 Rundle, S., 45 Sabine, Edward, 163 St Ives, 96, 98 St Just, 17, 70, 94 see also maps St Levan, Lord, 32, 34 St Michael’s Mount, 143–5 Scilly Isles, 54, 95, 144, 151 Scott, Robert, 156–7, 163 Scottish Meteorological Office, 150 second scientific revolution, 150 Sedgwick, Adam, 72, 74–5, 175 Sheffield Literary and Philosophical Society, 26 Sibthorp, John, 73 Skinner, Frederick, 163 Smiles, Samuel, 75 Smith, James Edward, 31, 82, 101 Smith, William, 71 Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, 20 Society of Antiquaries of London, 14, 19, 26, 129, 133–5, 176 Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 19 Somerset, 68, 104, 137 South Kensington Museum, 50 Southampton, 123, 143, 156, 167 Sowerby, G. B., 87 Sowerby, James, 101 Spry, H. H., 115 Squire, Lovell, 151, 153, 158, 162–3 Stackhouse, Emily, 106 and William Hooker, 114 Stackhouse, John, 70

Statistical Department of the Board of Trade, 151 Statistical Society of London, 32 Stewart, Balfour, 136, 158 stratigraphy, 17, 70, 179 see also maps Stukeley, William, 17–19 Swansea, 143 Symons, George James, 164 Symons’s Monthly Meteorological Magazine, 164 taxidermy, 95 Tehidy, see Bassett family Thomsen, Christian, 142 Thomson’s Annals of Philosophy, 152 tin, see mining Tonkin, Thomas, 13 Topographical and Statistical Description of the County of Cornwall, 8, 9 tourism, 78–9, 180 Trebah, gardens at, 103 Tregelles, George, 97, 140–1, 148 Trelowarren, see Vyvyan family Trevithick, Richard, 23 Trist, S. J., 69 Truro, 24, 33–5, 40, 43–4, 57, 90, 98, 104, 151, 154, 189n113, 211n1 antiquities, 143 County Library, 31 meteorology, 22, 154, 157, 170, 186n40, 187n47 and the railways, 53, 123 see also Royal Cornwall Horticultural Society; Royal Institution of Cornwall Turner, Dawson, 101 Tweedy, William Mansell, 87, 110 urbanization, 28 Val Le Grice, Charles, 64 Vallentin, Rupert, 97–8 Veryan, 65, 69, 107 Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, 5, 29 Vienna Congress, 156 Vingoe, W. H., 95

Index visual culture, 61, 130 see maps Vivian, John, 106 Vivian, Richard Hussey, 31, 173, 189n113 Vyvyan family estate at Trelowarren, 34, 136 Vyvyan, Richard, 19 Vyvyan, Richard Rawlinson, 34 Wallace, A. R., 7 Wallace’s Line, 7 Warren, Elizabeth, 104, 122–4, 174–5, 179, 180 botanical chart, 117, 206n82 botanical skills, 113, 116, 124 botanical network, 110–11 and fieldwork, 107–9, 112–13 and Flushing, 84, 104, 115, 123 and Hooker, William, 109, 112–3, 148 Kea, 104 membership of societies, 105–6, 113 Mylor, 107 and Ralfs, John, 114 upbringing, 104 see also hortus siccus Watson, Hewett Cottrell, 101, 176 Cybele Britannica, 118

245

Topographical Botany, 83, 118–19, 122 upbringing and career, 117 vice-county system, 118, 120, 124 see also Botanical Society of London Watt, James, 23 Werner, Abraham Gottlob, 72–3 Wernerian Club, 85 West Briton, 146–7 West Penwith, 68 antiquities, 20, 139, 142, 145 see also Penwith Agricultural Society West Penwith Agricultural Society, see Penwith Agricultural Society Western Chronicle of Science, The, 160 Western Daily Mercury, 160 Western Morning News, 160 Whipple, George, 160, 164, 167–8 Whitley, Nicholas, 45, 151, 172 Wilkinson, John, 132, 137, 142–3 Williams, Michael, 70 Worth, R. N., 133 Yarrell, William, 85, 87, 98, 174 Yorkshire Philosophical Society, 26 Zoological Society of London, 27, 87 zoological station, 97 Zoologist, The, 85, 92, 95, 117