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Naturalists' Society

Cymdeithas Naturiaethwyr



Venerable Archdeacon David Davies, M.A. (1858-1930) 37th President

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We have an obituary for him in Volume LXIII of the Transactions for 1930

Venerable Archdeacon David Davies, M.A. 1858-1930.

Ven. Archdeacon David Davies from Volume LXIII of the Transactions

Ven. Archdeacon David Davies from Volume LXIII of the Transactions

President, 1910.

No one had a higher appreciation of the value of the work of our Society to the community at large than Archdeacon Davies. He regarded it as an educative force of great importance, and throughout his life he took a legitimate pride in its continued success. He became a member soon after taking up residence in Cardiff, and later joined the Council. He served as President in 1910, and did not cease for many years to actively interest himself in the affairs of the Society.

A native of Carmarthenshire, and educated at Shrewsbury and Jesus College, Cambridge, Archdeacon Davies, after taking orders and holding curacies in North Wales and Dalkeith, Midlothian, came to Cardiff as one of the clergy of St. John's. His first living was Newcastle, Bridgend, where he had hardly settled when the disastrous explosion at Park Slip Colliery, involving great loss of life, occurred. Of the large relief fund, that owed much to his initiative and organisation, he remained a trustee until its winding up. He became residentiary Canon of Llandaff in 1914, and Archdeacon in 1924, and during this period he rendered conspicuous service in the affairs of the diocese. When the Welsh Church Act came into operation, the work of the Representative Body in the difficult problem of reconstruction attracted him, and for this task his wide knowledge, sound judgement, and long experience of public affairs specially fitted him.

The human aspect of life, however, had a broader appeal for him. He was a valued member of the old Board of Guardians, and for many years gave devoted service on the Royal Infirmary Council. The Queen's Nursing Association, of which he was chairman, owed much to him. It was work he loved, work that could be done quietly he was entirely free from self-seeking and he had a profound belief in its value as a human institution but there were other interests which he steadfastly maintained during his life.

From boyhood he had a taste for natural history and outdoor life, which was ever a joy to him. A keen fisherman, and fond of travel, he was first attracted to Scandinavia over forty years ago, and spent many annual holidays there. He acquired a good knowledge of its flora and fauna, and always looked forward on his journeys to finding again the little Linnea borealis. His deep interest in its people provided a subject for his presidential address, in which he dealt with phases of Northern life as described in Bishop Olaus Magnus' Historia, contrasting them with conditions some that he had become familiar with three centuries later during many visits to the Far North.


The name David Davies is common in Wales so there are a lot of references to that name and its not as easy to pick him out as it has been for some other former presidents. However I have managed to find some additional information which rounds out the information above

In 1909 he was part of the group who presented the seismograph to the City

City Earthquake Recorder, Evening Express 20th December 1909

City Earthquake Recorder, Evening Express 20th December 1909

and as part of this article regarding his appointment, he was reported to be an ardent golfer, an ex-captain of the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, and a keen angler.

Former Bridgend Vicar Appointed Residentiary Canon The Glamorgan Gazette 3rd July 1914

Former Bridgend Vicar Appointed Residentiary Canon The Glamorgan Gazette 3rd July 1914

Back to the 150th Anniversary index

Before this... Archibald Brown (-1922) 36th President

Next up... Professor William Savage Boulton (18671954) 38th President

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