September 23rd Frederick Hamilton Davey (Death)

Ponsanooth – born Frederick Hamilton Davey (1868–1915) trained as a chemist and assayer at the Redruth School of Mines and then succeeded his father as Works Manager of  the Cornwall Arsenic Company site at Bissoe.

His main interest though was botany, an outdoors interest which was encouraged as he suffered recurring bouts of ill health due to contracting rheumatism when he was seventeen, and he read his first paper in 1891, aged just 23, to the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society (April 22nd).

In 1899, he met the famous botanist and ornithologist, Allan Octavian (A.O.) Hume and accompanied him on tours of Devon and Cornwall.  By 1903, Davey had become the youngest member of the Linnean Society and collected a huge array of plants for his book, including about ninety species of bramble.

Hume encouraged Davey to write about Cornish flora leading to Davey’s major, 600-page, ‘Flora of Cornwall’ (1909) which became the standard text on the subject. Davey prepared a herbarium, comprising 4,000 sheets of pressed plants, which is now in the possession of the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro.

In 1911, Davey suffered a  heart attack and a stroke, leaving him unable to speak and he died four years later.
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