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Naturalists' Society

Cymdeithas Naturiaethwyr



John Walter Lukis, M.R.I.A. (1816-1894) 3rd and 5th President

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The life of J W Lukis is noted in a memorial written by C T Vatchell and published in Volume XXVIII of the Reports and Transactions of the Society

J W Lukis

J W Lukis from the Society Transactions

he was born in 1816 in Guernsey, son of archaeologist, naturalist, collector and antiquarian Frederick Corbin Lukis and Elizabeth Lukis. He was educated there and worked with his father on the study of burial tumuli on the island, an activity that clearly shaped his future

According to his obituary in the transactions, he settled in Cardiff in 1872 and joined the society, and was as rapidly as 1873 elected a vice president and from the papers he presented to the society he clearly was active in the study of burial mounds immediately upon his arrival

It is worth noting that the date of his involvement with in Cardiff may be earlier than that show above as a record in the Western mail of 28th July 1871 states that he was already contributing to The Royal Archaeological Society At Cardiff. However the same paper on the 2nd August 1871 has his address (when he was elected to that society) as Guernsey, but then again reports on 30th December 1871 he was Managing Director of Powell's llantwit Collieries and together with his wife Harriet hosted a collection of school children and "door boys" to an event. There are other newspaper reports such as the Cardiff times of 29th August 1874 which show he still held this position in 1874

J W Lukis Memorial in the transactions

J W Lukis Memorial in the transactions

From the Cardiff Times 22nd June 1872

THE GRAVES OF OUR FOREFATHERS. On Tuesday night an interesting lecture upon Chambered Tumuli was delivered by Mr. W. Lukis, of Cardiff, to a large assemblage of the members of the Cardiff Naturalists' Society and their friends, in the Town Hall. Mr. F. G. Evans, Tynant, presided. Mr. Lukis prefaced his lecture by a few remarks upon the purpose and work of the society, and then he proceeded to deal with the immediate subject of his discourse. By means of a variety of sketches and some excellent diagrams, the differenita of tumuli were illustrated, and the barrow and cromlech - wrongly so called, according to Mr. Lukis - were explained in their relation to the burial-places of byegone people.

Reference was made to the cromlechs in the neighbourhood - i.e., at Llantrisant and St. Nicholas - and their identity with those in Wiltshire, Brittany, and other parts of the world was shown. The more remarkable of these sepultural tumuli, such as that one at New Grange, that one at Carnac, and Maeshow in the Orkney Islands, were taken as types, and the audience were shown, by the illustrations, how a hypothetical chambered tumulus was constructed and another sketch-grim in character and subject - gave a vivid idea of how these huge graves were filled.

The discourse was enlivened by extracts from folk-lore and legend, and was listened to throughout with great attention. The usual votes of thanks terminated the proceeding

He was elected President in 1875 and again in 1877, but it is noted he left the area and therefore resigned the post.

J W Lukis Memorial in the transactions

J W Lukis Memorial in the transactions

J W Lukis

J W Lukis courtesy of Dr Philip de Jersey, Guernsey Museum

After leaving Cardiff he moved to Brittany until his wife Harried died and then back to Guernsey

Harriet Lukis

Harriet Lukis (nee Hunt) courtesy of Dr Philip de Jersey, Guernsey Museum

His death was noted in report to the Committee 1894-95 in the Transactions Vol. XXVII pt. II, and resulted in the words above:-

The Committee deeply regret the loss by death during the past year of Mr. J. W. Lukis, a past president and life member of the Society, of whom, at your Committee's request, Dr. C. T. Vachell has undertaken to write an obituary notice for publication in the Transactions.

Back to the 150th Anniversary index

Before this... Franklin George Evans (1826-1904) 2nd President

Next up... William Taylor, M.D., J.P., V.D. (1829-1912) 4th President

For his second presidency

Before this... William Taylor, M.D., J.P., V.D. (1829-1912) 4th President

Next up... Lt. Col. Thomas Picton Turbervill (1827 - 1891) 6th President

See our Full list of Presidents

These pages are part of the Cardiff Naturalists' Society 150th Anniversary celebrations and are about our history and are celebrating the people who developed our Society and helped build the city and the cultural heritage of Cardiff. You can read more about that using the links above

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