Members at our 2007 BBQ

Naturalists' Society

Cymdeithas Naturiaethwyr



Harold Augustus Hyde (1892-1973) M.A. F.L.S. F.M.A. 63rd President

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We do not have an obituary of Harold Augustus Hyde, but there is some good information about him available

as Dr Harold Augustus Hyde (1892-1973) (reproduced by permission of Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales)

as Dr Harold Augustus Hyde (1892-1973) (reproduced by permission of Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales)

This brief summary of him is given alongside his paper on "Grass Pollen and Hayfever" in The New Scientist in 1960

Biographical note from The New Scientist 1960

Biographical note from The New Scientist 1960

Born in 1892, he became the museum's second keeper of botany in 1922 and held the post until 1962he was an active member of the society in the years around his membership and contributed to a number of papers, many of which were published, and a selection of which are given here: -

  1. Volume LXVIII (1935) A Prehistoric Hearth at Radyr, Glamorgan and its Bearing on the Naitivity of Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in Britain
  2. Volume LXIX (1936) (Presidential Address) The Riddle of the British Flora
  3. Volume LXIX (1936) On a Peat bed at the East Moors, Cardiff
  4. Volume LXIX (1936) Barrow on Breah Farm. Llanbleddian, glamorgan, Appendix II Report on Plant Remains
  5. Volume LXXX (1950) Studies in Atmospheric Pollen IVa. Pollen Deposition at two Cardiff Stations in 1943 Compared
  6. Volume LXXXI (1952) The excavation of a Neolithic Dwelling and a Bronze Age cairn at Mount Pleasant Farm, Nottage (Glam.) Appendix Report on charcoal from the excavations at Mount Pleasant Farm, Pyle, Glamorgan

The second to last paper is a key reference from our transactions in relation to a discipline that clearly was a passion for him, indeed he created the name of discipline as recorded in this article published during our 150th Anniversary year How palynology could have been paepalology: the naming of a discipline from which this excerpt: -

Starting in 1943, the mimeographed Pollen Analysis Circular, edited from Ohio by Paul Sears, led to discussion of the content, organisation and naming of a developing discipline. This came to a head in 1944 with Ernst Antev's plea for "The Right Word" and the suggestion of the word "palynology" from the Cardiff duo of Harold Hyde and David Williams. In the search for a suitable term, Hyde consulted Cardiff-based Irish classicist Leopold Richardson who advised against the word palynology and suggested six alternatives. Hyde, however, was wedded to the term palynology and, in the interests of euphony and "hankering after my own offspring", was seemingly able to overcome Richardson's scholarly objections by argument. Hyde and Williams defined palynology as "the study of pollen and other spores and their dispersal, and applications thereof".

Heather Pardoe principal curator in the botany section of National Museum Wales has informed us that she and co-author of that article Kevin Edwards are working on a detailed biography of H.A. Hyde and it is hoped to be published in 2018. It is really good to see that the current museum staff are interested in their predecessors and we have continuity like this.

The national Museum of Wales and the BBC have put on-line this excellent article In pictures: featuring National Museum Wales botanist HA Hyde's work

The last in the list shows how he often worked as part of a multi-discipinary team and we have references to him supporting other workers with identifications and advice in a number of articles in the Transactions. The National Museum of Wales have also during our 150th Anniversary year, published the following article on Harold Augustus Hyde's Contribution To Welsh Archaeology which gives more insight into those aspects of his work.

Throughout all of this he was (like his contemporary F. J. North 56th President) a prestigious communicator and his WorldCat Identities page lists 34 works in 121 publications

He died in Cardiff on 17 March 1973, aged 81, His death was reported with regret in Volume XCVII of the Transactions in 1974

Back to the 150th Anniversary index

Before this... Morley Havelock Neale, (?-1965) 62nd President

Next up... Eleanor Vachell (1878-1948) 64th 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

If you want to read about the ways we study the wildlife and environment of the Cardiff area and its surroundings, and about the talks we have about the wildlife of the world, and find the programme of talks, walks and other events that we do then please take a look at our main website, our blog and our facebook and twitter feeds for up to date news