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ALTHOUGH the complete manuscript of this volume was 
placed in the hands of the editor before the publication 
of the late Mr. C. J. Cornish's Life of Sir William 
Flower (in 1 904), yet the present writer was aware that 
such a work was in progress, and that it would deal 
with the social and personal rather than with the 
scientific side of Sir William's career. Consequently 
it was decided at an early period of the work to con- 
centrate attention in the present volume on the latter 
aspect of the subject ; as indeed is only fitting in the 
case of a biography belonging to a series specially 
devoted to men of science. An incidental advantage of 
this arrangement is that the writer has been able in the 
main to confine himself to the discussion of topics with 
which he is more or less familiar, rather than to attempt 
to chronicle events and episodes to which he must of 
necessity be a stranger, and to attempt an appreciation 
of a fine character for which he is in no wise qualified. 

It will be obvious from the above, that any references 
in the text to earlier biographies do not relate to Mr. 
Cornish's volume. 

In the course of the text, it has been necessary to 
make certain allusions to the condition and the mode of 
exhibition of the specimens in the public galleries of the 
Zoological Department of the Natural History Museum 



previous to the new regime inaugurated by Sir William 
Flower. The writer may take this opportunity of 
stating that these are in no wise intended to convey the 
slightest reflection on those who had charge of the 
galleries previous to the new era. Technical museum- 
installation and display is a comparatively new thing ; 
and the old plan of arrangement had become obsolete, 
not for want of attention, but because a more advanced 
scheme had been developed by gradual evolution, and 
the adoption of this involved a clean sweep. 

In conclusion, the writer has to express his best 
thanks to Mr. C. E. Fagan, of the Secretariat of the 
Natural History Museum, for kindly reading and re- 
vising the proof sheets. 


HERTS, July 1906. 









WORK ON THE CETACEA . . . . 1 39 





Life of Flower 


BORN on 3oth November 1831 at his father's house, 
" The Hill," Stratford-on-Avon, William Henry Flower 
was a man who had the rare good fortune not only to 
make a profession of the pursuit he loved best, but 
likewise to attain the highest possible success in, and 
to be appointed to the most important and influential 
post connected with that profession. As he tells us in 
that delightful book, Essays on Museums, he was pleased 
to designate as a " museum " when a boy at home a 
miscellaneous collection of natural history objects, kept 
at first in a cardboard box, but subsequently housed in 
a cupboard. And as a man he became the respected 
head of the greatest Natural History Museum in the 
British Empire, if not indeed in the whole world. Very 
significant of his future attention to details and of the 
importance he attached to recording the history of 
every specimen received in a museum, is the fact that 
he compiled a carefully drawn-up catalogue of his first 
boyish collection. 

This early and persistent taste for natural history was 
not, as we learn from the same collection of essays, in- 
herited from any member of either his father's 'or his 


mother's family, but appears to have been an "idio- 
pathic " development. His isolated position in this 
respect may, perhaps, have caused Flower in later life 
to notice more specially than might otherwise have been 
the case, how comparatively rare is the development 
of an ingrained taste for natural history among the 
adult members of the British nation. This idea was 
exemplified by his remarking on one occasion to the 
present writer that he often wondered how many 
persons out of every thousand he passed casually in the 
street, or met in social intercourse, had the slightest 
sympathy with, or took any real interest in the subjects 
which formed his own favourite pursuits and lines 
of thought. 

As regards his parentage, his father was the late 
Edward Fordham Flower, who was a Justice of the 
Peace for his county, and from whom the son inherited 
his tall and stately figure and dignified bearing. Edward 
Flower, who was a partner in the well-known brewery 
at Stratford-on-Avon, was the eldest son of Richard 
Flower, of Marden Hill, Hertfordshire, who married 
Elizabeth, daughter of John Fordham, of Sandon Bury, 
in the same county. In 1827 Edward married Celina, 
daughter of John Greaves, of Radford Semele, Warwick- 
shire, by whom he had, with other issue, Charles 
Edward, late of Glencassly, Sutherlandshire, and William 
Henry, the subject of the present memoir. 

Edward Fordham Flower was noted not only for his 
philanthropy, but for his efforts to abolish the bearing- 
rein, which in his time was neither more nor less than 
an instrument of downright torture to all carriage 
horses. As the result of his efforts in this direction, 


was founded in 1890, by Mr. C. H. Allen, of Hampstead, 
a small local society for that district and Highgate, 
having for its object the abolition, or at all events the 
mitigated use, of the bearing-rein for draught-horses of 
all descriptions. That body did good work in this 
direction for many years in the north of London ; and 
by its means the Hampstead Vestry was induced to 
prohibit the use of the bearing-rein on the horses in its 
employ an example subsequently followed by many 
large coal-owners and others connected with horses. 

From this small beginning arose in 1897 the now 
flourishing society known as the Anti-Bearing Rein 
Association, of which, as was appropriate, Mr. Archibald 
Flower, a grandson of Edward Fordham Flower, became 
Co.-Hon. Secretary with Mr. Allen, while the late 
Duke of Westminster, and the late Sir W. H. Flower 
(the subject of this biography) respectively accepted 
the positions of Patron and President. 

In all the obituary notices it is stated that William 
Henry was the second son of Edward Fordham and 
Celina Flower. This, however, as I am informed by 
Mr. Arthur S. Flower (the eldest son of Sir William), 
is not strictly the case. As an actual fact, the eldest 
son of the aforesaid Edward and Celina was really 
Richard, who died in infancy, so that Charles, who was 
born second, grew up as the eldest son, and William 
Henry as the second, whereas he was really the third. 

The fair-haired and blue-eyed William not being 
intended to succeed his father in the business, was 
permitted from his early years fortunately for zoo- 
logical science to pursue that innate love of natural 
history which, as we have seen, developed itself in very 


early years and continued unabated till the close of his 
career. That career naturally divides into three epochs. 
Firstly, the period of boyhood and early manhood ; 
secondly, the long period of official life at the museum 
of the Royal College of Surgeons ; and thirdly, the 
time during which the subject of this memoir occupied 
the post of Director of the Natural History Branch 
of the British Museum, together with the short interval 
which elapsed between his resignation of that position 
and his untimely death. To each of the latter periods 
a separate chapter is devoted. It has, however, 
been found convenient, instead of restricting the present 
chapter to the first epoch, to include within its limits 
a general sketch of Flower's whole life. A fourth 
chapter is assigned to the period during which he was 
President of the Zoological Society of London, although 
this was synchronous with part of the period covered 
by the second, and with the whole of that treated of 
in the third chapter. Finally, the full description 
of his scientific work is reserved for subsequent 

According to information kindly furnished by his 
widow, Lady Flower, delicate health prevented William 
Flower from being much at school during his boyhood, 
and he was thus largely dependent upon his mother a 
sensible and well-read woman for his early education. 
He was also in the habit of accompanying his father in 
his rides, whereby he became much interested in all 
that concerns horses and their well-being. Best of all, 
as regards opportunity for developing a love of animal 
life, he was in the habit of taking long, solitary rambles 
in the country, thereby acquiring a knowledge of Nature 


which could be obtained in no other manner, and 
developing his powers of observation. 

This innate taste for natural history appears to have 
been further fostered in early life by frequent intercourse 
with the late Rev. P. B. Brodie, an enthusiastic zoologist 
and geologist ; but whether this took place during school 
or college life the writer has no means of knowing. Be 
this as it may, it appears that after a preliminary 
education, partly at home and partly at private schools, 
Flower matriculated at London University in 1849, (the 
year of his present biographer's birth), attaining honours 
in Zoology ; and that during the same year having made 
up his mind to adopt the study and practice of Medicine, 
or of Surgery as a profession, he entered the Medical 
Classes at University College and became a pupil at the 
Middlesex Hospital. It was apparently largely, if not 
entirely, owing to his fondness for zoology that young 
Flower selected Medicine as a profession, since at the 
time, as indeed for many years subsequently, this was 
practically the only career open to young naturalists 
devoid of sufficient private means whereby they might 
hope to be able to devote a certain amount of time and 
attention to the pursuits and more especially Com- 
parative Anatomy towards which their inclinations 

At University College Flower had a distinguished 
career, gaining the gold medal in Dr. Sharpey's class of 
Physiology and Anatomy, and the silver medal in Zoology 
and Comparative Anatomy ; the gold medal in the latter 
subjects having been carried off the same year by his 
fellow- student, Joseph Lister, who in after years became 
the distinguished surgeon, and, as Lord Lister, was for 


some time President of the Royal Society of London. 
In 1851 the year of the Great Exhibition Flower 
passed his first M.B. examination at London University, 
coming out in the first division. In the same year he 
made a tour in Holland and Germany, while in 1853 ^ e 
visited France and the north of Spain ; bringing home 
in both instances numerous sketches in pencil and sepia 
of the scenery and people of the countries traversed. 

In all the obituary notices of Flower that have come 
under the present writer's notice, it is stated that he 
obtained the post of Curator of the museum of the 
Middlesex Hospital after his return from the Crimea. 
This is, however, proved to be incorrect by his first 
zoological paper, " On the Dissection of a Species of 
Galago," which was contributed to the Zoological 
Society of London in 1852, and appeared in the 
Proceedings of that body for the same year, where the 
author describes himself as the holder of the post in 
question. As a matter of fact, he was elected Curator 
in 1854, anc * resigned the post in I854. 1 

Flower never took the degree of M.D., but three 
years after passing his M.B. he became (on 2yth March 
1854) a member of the Royal College of Surgeons 
of England. 

A few weeks after this event a call was made for 
additional surgeons for the army then serving in the 
Crimea, and young Flower, partly, perhaps, from 
patriotic motives, and partly with a view of extending 
his practical experience in surgery, promptly volunteered 
his services, which were accepted. After spending a few 

1 The writer is indebted to the Secretary of the Middlesex Hospital for 
these particulars. 


idle months with the Depot Battalion then stationed at 
Templemore, in Ireland, he was gazetted as Assistant- 
Surgeon to the 63rd (now the First Battalion of the Man- 
chester) Regiment ; and in July 1854 embarked with his 
regiment at Cork for Constantinople. On its arrival in the 
east the regiment was at once hurried up to join the main 
army at Varna, whence it proceeded to take part in the 
expedition to the Crimea, where both officers and men 
suffered severely from exposure to the inclemencies of 
the climate and an insufficient commissariat during 
the early months of the campaign. For ten weeks 
together, it is reported, neither officers or men took off 
their clothes, either by night or by day, and for the first 
three weeks all ranks were compelled to get such sleep 
as they could obtain on the bare ground. Flower, who 
was present at the battles of the Alma, of Inkerman, and 
of Balaclava, as well as at the fall of Sebastopol, under- 
went many and thrilling experiences during the campaign, 
alike in the field and in the hospital. The hardships 
and privations which caused the strength of his regiment 
to be reduced by nearly one-half within the short period 
of four months, could not but tell severely on the 
constitution of the young surgeon, which was never 
very robust ; and from some of the effects of these 
he suffered throughout his life. Nevertheless, in spite 
of all this, in the intervals of duty, Flower, with but 
scant materials at his disposal, managed to find time and 
energy sufficient to make a considerable number of 
vivid pen-and-ink, or dashes of ink-and-water, sketches 
of his surroundings, including one of his own tent 
overturned by the terrible snow-storm of 1 4th Novem- 
ber 1854, anc ^ a secon d of the wrecked condition of the 


camp in general at the end of the tempest. A pano- 
ramic view of Constantinople and a sketch of the 
military hospital at Scutari were also among his artistic 
productions at this period. In recognition of his services, 
Flower, after being invalided home, received from the 
hands of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, the Crimean 
medal, with clasps for the Alma, Inkerman, Balaclava, 
and Sebastopol ; while he was also permitted to accept 
from H.M., the Sultan, the Turkish war-medal. 

Apparently Flower had never entertained the idea of 
taking up the profession of an army surgeon as a per- 
manency, and after his return to London he definitely 
resigned military service, with the intention of settling 
down to private medical practice in the Metropolis. In 
the spring of 1857 he passed the examination qualifying 
for the fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons ; 
and about this time, or perhaps immediately on his return 
to London, he joined the staffof the Middlesex Hospital 
as Demonstrator in Anatomy. During the next year 
(1858) he was elected to the post of Assistant-Surgeon 
to the same Institution, where he resumed the Curator- 
ship of the museum and was also appointed Lecturer on 
Comparative Anatomy. Although a large portion of his 
time while at the hospital was devoted to surgical and 
other duties connected with the medical profession, his 
Lectureship and Curatorship required that he should 
devote a considerable amount of attention to the more 
congenial study of Comparative Anatomy. 

It was during his connection with the Middlesex 
Hospital that his first scientific work was published, this 
being the well-known and useful little volume entitled 
Diagrams of the Nerves of the Human Body, which 


appeared in 1861, and has passed through three editions. 
During this period of his career he also contributed to 
Holmes' System of Surgery an article on " Injuries to the 
Upper Extremities," which contained certain original ob- 
servations- with regard to dislocations of the shoulder- 
joint ; and he likewise wrote an essay on the same subject 
to the Pathological Society, as well as several articles 
on various surgical subjects to the medical journals of the 
day. But even at this comparatively early period of his 
career Flower's published scientific work was by no means 
strictly confined to his ostensible profession, for his two 
first papers on Comparative Anatomy the one "On 
the Dissection of a Galago " (Lemur) ; and the other " On 
the Posterior Lobes of the Cerebrum of the Quadru- 
mana " appeared during the period in question. During 
this period, as the writer of his obituary notice in the 
" Record " of the Royal Society well remarks, there is 
little doubt that Flower had breathing time, after his 
Crimean experiences, to collect his energies and gather 
up a store of valuable information which stood him in good 
stead in later years, when he had frequently less leisure 
to devote to pure study. 

It was, moreover, during his official connection with 
the Middlesex Hospital that Mr. Flower married Georgina 
Rosetta, the youngest daughter of the late Admiral W. 
H. Smyth, C.S.I., etc., a well-known astronomer, who 
was for some time Hydrographer to the Admiralty and 
likewise Foreign Secretary to the Royal Society, the 
wedding taking place in 1858 at the church of Stone, in 
Buckinghamshire, near the bride's home. This happy 
union had in many ways an important influence upon the 
future career of the young surgeon, for, in addition to 


her father, several of the relatives of Mrs. (now Lady) 
Flower were more or less intimately connected with 
scientific work and scientific people ; among them being 
Sir Warrington Smyth (sometime Inspector-General of 
Mines), Professor Piazzi Smyth, General Sir Henry 
Smyth, and Sir George Baden Powell. It was to Lady 
Flower that Sir William dedicated his last work, the 
volume entitled Essays on Museums. A tour through 
Belgium and up the Rhine followed the marriage. 

Although it scarcely comes within the purview of this 
biography to allude to the issue of this marriage, it may 
be mentioned that of the three sons born to Sir William 
Flower, the second alone, Stanley Smyth, inherited his 
father's zoological tastes. Captain S. S. Flower (who 
takes his first name from Dean Stanley, of Westminster, 
an intimate friend of the family, after serving for some 
time in the 5th Fusileers, obtained the appointment of 
Director of the Royal Museum at Bangkok, Siam, 
after which he was made Director of the Khedival 
Zoological Gardens at Giza, near Cairo, to which post 
(which he still holds) was subsequently added that of 
Superintendent of Game Protection in the Sudan. Cap- 
tain Flower has not only raised the menagerie at Giza 
to a high state of perfection, but has contributed several 
papers to the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of 
London on the zoology of Siam and the Malay countries. 

To revert to the proper subject of this memoir, during 
his tenure of the aforesaid official posts at the Middle- 
sex Hospital it was apparent to his intimate scientific 
friends among whom were included the late Professor 
T. H. Huxley and the late Mr. George Busk that the 
inclinations of Flower were all on the side of com- 


parative anatomy rather than towards practical surgery 
or medicine. Accordingly, when the appointment of 
Conservator to the Museum of the Royal College of 
Surgeons became vacant in 1 86 1 by the death of Mr. 
Quekett, Flower was strongly recommended by Huxley 
(then Hunterian Professor), Busk, and other friends as 
a suitable successor, and was in due course elected by the 
Council. When, nine years later (1870), Huxley him- 
self felt compelled by the pressure of other engagements 
and work to resign the Hunterian Professorship, the 
Conservator of the Museum was appointed to the vacant 
chair, thus once more bringing together two posts which 
had been sundered since Owen's resignation. 

On his appointment to the Conservatorship of the 
Museum of the College of Surgeons, Flower once for 
all definitely abandoned medicine as a profession, and 
determined to devote the whole of his energies for the 
future to the study of his beloved comparative anatomy 
and zoology. Nevertheless, he always remained in touch 
with his old profession, as he was always in sympathy 
with those who were actively practising the same. 
Indeed, since the collections under his charge included 
a large pathological series, while during his tenure of 
office a large display of surgical instruments was added 
to the exhibits, he could not, even had he so desired, 
cut himself entirely adrift from old associations and old 

Since a considerable amount of space in a later chapter 
is devoted to Flower's work as Museum Curator and as 
Hunterian Lecturer, it will be unnecessary to allude 
further to it in this place, although it will be appro- 
priate to quote the elogium on his efforts in this sphere, 


pronounced by the President of the Royal Society, when 
bestowing the Royal Gold Medal in recognition of his 
services to zoology. 

" It is very largely due," runs the address, " to his 
incessant and well-directed labour that the museum of 
the Royal College of Surgeons at present contains the 
most complete, the best ordered, and the most accessible 
collection of materials for the study of vertebrate 
structures extant." 

As regards his Hunterian lectures, it has been well 
remarked that few could have any idea of the amount 
of labour they involved, nor would any one be likely to 
guess this from the ever-ready and earnest efforts of the 
lecturer to give to others that knowledge he had so 
laboriously, and yet so pleasantly, acquired within the 
walls of the museum. 

In addition to the official Hunterian lectures, Flower 
during this portion of his career commenced the delivery, 
as opportunity occurred, of lectures of a much more 
popular description, at the Royal Institution and else- 
where, by means of which he appealed to a wider 
audience than any that could be attracted to technical 
discourses, and at the same time was enabled to give a 
wide circulation to the discussion of subjects connected 
with his own special studies which had more or less of 
a general interest. In one of his earlier discourses of 
this type he discussed at considerable detail the deformi- 
ties produced in the human foot by badly-designed boots 
or other covering among both civilised and barbarous 
nations. Indeed, " fashion in deformity " was at all 
times a favourite theme with the Hunterian Professor ; 
and in a lecture on this subject he uttered, for him, a 


strong protest against the evils caused by the corset 
among European females, illustrating his remarks with 
a ghastly figure of a female skeleton distorted by the 
undue pressure of that fashionable article of costume. 

In 1871, and again in later years, Professor Flower 
acted as Examiner in Zoology for the Natural Science 
Tripos at Cambridge, where his suave and dignified 
manner, and innate courtliness rendered him as great a 
favourite as in the Metropolis. He was during some 
portion of his career Examiner in Anatomy at the Royal 
College of Veterinary Surgeons. 

Flower's official connection with the museum of the 
Royal College of Surgeons was brought to a close by 
Owen's resignation of the Post of Superintendent of the 
Natural History Department of the British Museum, 
when it was felt by all that the efficient and successful 
administrator of the smaller museum in Lincoln's Inn 
Fields, was the one man specially fitted in every way to 
have supreme charge of the larger establishment in the 
Cromwell Road. Professor Flower was accordingly 
selected by the three principal trustees the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, and the Speaker of 
the House of Commons to fill this important post, into the 
duties of which he entered during the same year. His ad- 
ministration of the museum which lasted until he was 
compelled by failing health to send in his resignation a 
few months before his death is fully discussed in the 
fourth chapter, and was in every way a complete success. 

During his long and successful official career Sir 
William was the recipient of a number of honours (in 
addition to the medals he received for his Crimean 
service), and he was likewise on the roll of the more 


important societies connected with the branches of 
biological study in which he was specially interested. 

Of the Royal Society Sir William was elected a 
Fellow in 1864 at the relatively early age of thirty- 
three and he served on the Council of that body for 
three separate periods, namely from 1868 to 1870, from 
1876 to 1878, and again from 1884 to 1886, while in 
1884 and 1885 he was one of the Vice-Presidents. In 
1882 his conspicuous services to zoological science was 
recognised by the bestowal upon him of a Royal Gold 
Medal one of the most honourable distinctions in the 
gift of the Society ; the other recipient in the same year 
of a similar honour being Lord Rayleigh. In handing to 
Professor Flower this medal, the President dwelt upon 
the value of his contributions to both zoology and an- 
thropology, referring, in connection with the former 
science, to his paper on the classification of the Carnivora, 
and, in respect to the latter, to the then recently pub- 
lished first part of the "Catalogue of Osteological 
Specimens in the Museum of the Royal College of Sur- 
geons," in which descriptions and measurements of 
between 1 300 and 1400 human skulls are recorded. The 
present writer has been informed that Flower refused 
to be nominated for the Presidentship of the Royal 
Society, owing to the fear that the calls made upon his 
time by that office would interfere with his official duties. 
Of the Zoological Society Professor Flower became a 
Fellow so long ago as the year 1851, that is to say, 
three years previous to the commencement of his Crimean 
service. After serving for several periods on the Council 
he was elected to the honourable (and honorary) office 
of President on the death of the Marquis of Tweeddale 


in 1879, an d ' m this important position he remained till 
his death. It should be added that Flower never 
received one of the medals of the Zoological Society, 
and this for the very good reason that such rewards are 
bestowed in recognition of gifts to the Society's Mena- 
gerie, and not for contributions to zoological knowledge. 
Flower's contributions to both the Transactions and the 
Proceedings of the Society were numerous, and, needless 
to say, valuable ; the earliest in the former having been 
published in 1866, and in the latter in 1852. With very 
few exceptions, these communications relate to mammals. 
Fuller details with regard to Sir William's Presidency 
of the Zoological Society will be found in a later 

Of the Linnean Society, Flower was elected a Fellow 
in 1862, but he does not appear to have ever taken any 
active part in the administration of that body, or to have 
contributed to its publications, although for a time he 
was a Vice-President. 

To the Geological Society, on the other hand, of 
which he became a Fellow in the year 1886, Sir William 
contributed three papers on paleontological subjects, by 
far the most important of which was one on the affinities 
and probable habits of the extinct Australian marsupial 
Thylacoleo. Further allusion to this is made in the sequel. 
Of the other two, one recorded the occurrence of teeth 
of the bear-like Hyatnarctus in the Red Crag of Suffolk, 
and the other that of a skull of the manatee-like Ha/i- 
therium in the same formation. 

Of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and 
Ireland Flower was elected a Vice-President in 1879, 
while in 1883 he succeeded to the Presidential chair, 


and occupied that position till 1885. Of his numerous 
contributions to anthropological science, many appeared 
in the journal of the Institute. 

In the annual meetings of the British Association for 
the advancement of science, Flower, from an early date, 
took a lively interest. At the Norwich meeting, in 1868, 
he acted as Vice-President of the section of Biology, 
white he was President of the same section at the 
Dublin meeting of 1878. At York he presided over 
the section of Anthropology in 1 88 1 ; he was a Vice- 
President at the Aberdeen meeting of 1885, while for 
the second time he occupied the Presidential chair of 
the Anthropological section in 1894 at Oxford, when 
his opening address on Anthropological progress dis- 
played great breadth of thought and generalisation. 
Finally, he was President of the Association at the 
meeting held in Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1889, ^ s 
address at the latter meeting forming the first article in 
Essays on Museums. 

Among other offices of a kindred nature to the 
above, it may be mentioned that Sir William was 
President of the section of Anatomy at the International 
Medical Congress held in London in August 1 88 1. 
His address on that occasion (reprinted as article 7 of 
the volume just cited) being on the Museum of the 
Royal College of Surgeons. In July 1893 ^ e acte d as 
President of the Museum's Association at their London 
meeting, when, after referring to the general scope of 
that body, and a brief survey of some of the chief 
museums of Europe, he sketched out a plan for an ideal 
building of this nature. This address also appears in 
Essays on Museums. Sir William, the year before 


his death, had also undertaken to preside over the 
meeting of the International Zoological Congress held 
at Cambridge in the summer of 1898, but was pre- 
vented by failing health ; his place being filled by Lord 
Avebury (Sir John Lubbock). On 29th November 
1895, Sir William Flower delivered an address at the 
opening of the Perth Museum, in which he pointed out 
the special function of local museums. Five years 
earlier (3rd November 1890) he had delivered another 
address on a very similar occasion, namely, the opening 
of the Booth Museum, in the Dyke Road, Brighton, 
famed for its unrivalled collection of British birds, the 
great majority of which had been shot and subsequently 
mounted in a most artistic manner by its founder. This 
splendid collection, it may be mentioned, was bequeathed 
at Mr. Booth's death to the British Museum, but it 
was reluctantly declined by the Trustees, who waived 
their right in favour of the Corporation of Brighton. 
At the end of October 1896, Sir William, then in fail- 
ing health, somewhat rashly undertook a journey to 
Scotland to assist Lord Reay in the inauguration of the 
Gatty Marine Laboratory at St. Andrews. 

Another important address delivered by Flower was one 
read before the Church Congress at their meeting, held 
in October 1883, at Reading, on ' Recent Advances in 
Natural Science in Relation to the Christian Faith." It 
is reprinted in Essays on Museums. In this address 
Flower, while proclaiming his full adherence to the 
doctrine of the transmutation of species and the evolution 
of every organic form from a pre-existing type, urged 
that this did not in the least shake his confidence in all 
the essential teaching of the Christian religion. At the 


same time he pointed out that the new doctrine in no 
wise detracted from the position of the Divine Ruler of 
the world as the controller, and indeed the originator, 
of animal development. 

Shortly after his retirement from the post of Con- 
servator, Professor Flower was elected a Trustee of the 
Hunterian Collection of the Royal College of Surgeons. 
Many years later, in 1 88 1, he became a Trustee of Sir 
John Soane's Museum, in Lincoln's Inn Fields. 

Mention has already been made of the fact that in an 
early stage of his career Sir William became an M.B. of 
London, and that later on he was elected to the Fellow- 
ship of the Royal College of Surgeons. In addition to 
these professional qualifications, he was also the recipient 
of honorary degrees from the two elder Universities. 
Thus in 1891 he was made a D.C.L. of Oxford, the 
public orator of the University, when the degree was 
conferred, acclaiming him as a living proof of the truth 
of the old saying, dp^yj avdpa. dei%ti, attributed to one of 
the seven wise men of Greece, and as a man who had 
passed with increasing distinction from one important 
official post to another ; and he was likewise a D.Sc. of 
Cambridge. But this by no means exhausts the list 
of his academic honours, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, and 
Trinity College, Dublin, claiming him on their roll of 
honorary LL.D.'s, while in 1889 he received from 
Durham the degree of D.C.L. The Edinburgh degree, 
it may be mentioned, was conferred on the occasion of 
the celebration of the tercentenary of the University. 
Sir William was also a Ph.D. 

Nor were Flower's conspicuous services to zoological 
science suffered to remain unrecognised by the Govern- 


ment of his country, for he was created a C.B. in 1887, 
three years after his first appointment to the British 
Museum, and five years later (1892) followed the 
higher distinction of the K.C.B. But this does not 
exhaust the list of official honours, for in 1887 Sir 
William received from Her Majesty, the late Queen 
Victoria, the Jubilee Medal. Had he lived to the date 
of its foundation, it is possible that Flower might 
have been admitted by his Sovereign as one of the 
original members of the Order of Merit. 

From His Majesty the German Emperor Sir William 
Flower received the distinction of the Royal Prussian 
order, "Pour la Merite," an honour of which he was 
justly very proud. As a distinguished friend pointed 
out in his letter of congratulation on learning of the new 
distinction, "it is the one European decoration which an 
Englishman may be proud to wear, and bestowed, as I 
believe it to be, with the sanction of the very few who 
have already got it. It is the one order which real 
work, apart from rank and wealth and courtiers' trick, 
alone can win." As another eminent friend described 
it on the same occasion, it is truly < c the blue riband of 
literary and scientific decorations." 

Numerous foreign scientific societies, it is almost 
unnecessary to observe, were proud to claim the name of 
Sir William Flower on the list of their honorary members 
or associates. It is however by no means easy to give a 
complete list of these honourable distinctions, for Flower 
was not one who followed the fashion of adding every 
possible combination of letters to his name in every book 
or paper he wrote. Perhaps the most important of 
these distinctions was that of Foreign Correspondent 


of the Institute of France. Among other societies and 
academies to which he belonged, were those of the 
Netherlands, Sweden, and Belgium. 

Although Flower's scientific writings are discussed 
at length in the later chapters of this memoir, it may be 
mentioned in this place that during the " eighties " he 
contributed an important series of articles to the ninth 
edition of the " Encyclopaedia Britannica." At the 
commencement of that great undertaking, although the 
article u Ape " was confided to the competent hands of 
the late Professor St. George Mivart, some of the other 
articles, such as the one on" Antelope," were entrusted 
to writers who, whatever their other merits may have 
been, had certainly no claim to be regarded as specialists 
on the subject of mammals. It was not long before 
this was recognised by the publishers, who forthwith 
engaged for this section of the work the services of 
Flower, supplemented by those of the late Dr. Dobson 
and Mr. O. Thomas. Among the more important articles 
by Flower were those on the Horse, Kangaroo, Lemur, 
Lion, Mammalia (in co-operation with Dr. Dobson), 
Megatherium, Otter, Platypus, Rhinoceros, Seal, Tapir, 
and "Whale. These and other articles, together with the 
one on Ape by Professor Mivart and several on the 
smaller mammals by Mr. Thomas, were subsequently 
combined and revised to form the basis of the Study of 
Mammals Living and Extinct, by Sir William Flower 
and the present writer, and was published by Messrs. 
A. & C. Black in 1891, which long formed the standard 
English work on the subject, although now, owing to 
the rapid progress in zoology and the great change which 
has taken place in nomenclature, is somewhat out of date. 


The excellent little volume on The Horse in Sir 
John Lubbock's (Lord Avebury) Modern Science Series, 
published in 1891, and the Essays on Museums 
(1898), also appeared during this portion of Flower's 

Although so largely occupied in the study of 
mammals and other creatures from distant parts of the 
world, Sir William never travelled much, and never 
visited little known regions or did any important 
collecting abroad. In addition to his Crimean ex- 
periences, and the journeys in Holland, France, and the 
Rhine country, to which allusion has been already made, 
his foreign tours appear to have been but few. In the 
winter of 1873-74 he was, however, enabled to enjoy a 
trip up the Nile in company with Mrs. Flower, and he 
visited Biarritz in 1892. During the former excursion 
he made a number of sketches which bear ample 
testimony to his powers as an artist. With his great 
knowledge of anatomy, it may be here mentioned, 
coupled with his skill with the pencil, he enjoyed a 
great advantage over many contemporary zoologists in 
being able to draw accurate and life-like portraits of the 
animals he loved so well. Nevertheless, if only from 
lack of time, he never attempted to illustrate with 
his own hand any of his numerous scientific contributions 
at all events in later years. Owing to need for com- 
plete rest, after a short sojourn in the early part of 1897 
at Marazion, on the south coast of Cornwall, he spent 
much of the following winter abroad ; and after his 
resignation of the Directorship of the Museum in 1898, 
he spent the following winter at San Remo, from which 
he returned less than two months before his death. 


As regards the closing scenes of his life, a very few 
words must suffice. For the last two years of his 
existence he had evidently been in failing health, largely 
due to his incessant exertions and from his refusal 
to spare himself, even when warned of the absolute 
necessity of so doing by his medical adviser. In 
August 1898, after a long period during which he had 
been compelled to devote little or no attention to his 
official duties, he placed his resignation of the Director- 
ship of the Museum in the hands of the Trustees. The 
aforesaid sojourn at San Remo during the following 
winter effected some slight temporary improvement in 
his health, but on his return to London, in May 1899, lt 
was painfully apparent that his constitution never too 
robust was shattered beyond hope of permanent 
recovery. And, after a slight temporary rally, from his 
malady of heart-failure, a sharp relapse occurred on 
Thursday, 29th June, followed by pneumonia, and on 
Saturday, 1st July, Sir William Flower passed peacefully 
away, at the age of sixty-seven years, at his residence, 
26 Stanhope Gardens, London. 

A memorial service was held on the following 
Wednesday at St. Luke's Church, Sidney Street, Chelsea, 
which was attended by a large and sympathetic congre- 
gation of friends and scientific men, including Sir 
Edward Maunde Thompson, the Chief Librarian and 
Director of the British Museum, and Professor E. Ray 
Lankester, Sir William's successor in the Directorship of 
the Natural History Branch of the same. 

Sir William was undoubtedly a man of high and 
noble character, endeared to all with whom he was 
brought into intimate relations by his unfailing courtesy 


and charm of manner. To the present writer, it may 
be said perhaps without undue egotism, he was a friend 
and counsellor such as cannot be expected more than 
once in a life-time. 

No better summary of Sir William's general character 
and high attributes can perhaps be given (certainly the 
present writer cannot attempt to rival it) than the one 
drawn up by his biographer in the "Year-book" of 
the Royal Society for 1901, which may accordingly be 
quoted in extenso : 

" In private life no one was more beloved and 
esteemed. He was in every sense a domestic man, 
finding the highest joys that life brought him with 
his family and children. The same courtly bearing and 
high tone, the same preference for all that was good, was 
in private circles mingled with the same genial smile, 
the fascinating account of something interesting or novel, 
and the respect and deference to others, which was part 
of his upright, unselfish nature. Many a young natura- 
list will gratefully remember the kind encouragement 
and valued advice he was ever ready to offer, and the 
stimulus which the sympathetic interest of a leader in 
the department gave him. 

" In the busy life of Sir William and in the constant 
calls on brain and nervous system strong though these 
were there came times when a feeling of lassitude with 
headache and spinal uneasiness, if not prostration, 
showed that the indoor life and the strain of many 
duties had told with severity both on the central nervous 
system and on the heart. His annual holiday sufficed in 
many cases to recruit his energies, especially when he 
visited Scotland and the charming home of his friends, 


Mr. and Mrs. Drummond, of Megginch. There he met 
other friends, such as Dean and Lady Augusta Stanley 
[after whom a son and a daughter were respectively 
named] and Colonel Drummond-Hay, of Seggieden, 
brother of Mr. Drummond. Moreover, he was always 
interested in the splendid collection of birds made by 
Colonel Drummond-Hay during his wanderings with 
the Black Watch." 

Another passage from the same memoir of his life 
runs as follows : 

" One side of Sir William's life deserves special notice, 
viz., his social influence, and the endeavour to popularise 
the great institution with which he was officially con- 
nected. These influences, developed at the Museum 
of the College of Surgeons with great success, were 
brought to bear on a much wider circle in connection 
with the National Museum and as President of the 
Zoological Society ; and no one was more fitted than he 
either for the courtly circle or the large gatherings of 
working men who flocked on Saturday afternoons to the 
galleries of the museum. In all his many and varied 
social functions in his prominent positions he was ably 
seconded by one who identified herself with his every 
engagement, and to whom his last volume of collected 
addresses was dedicated. A man of wide sympathies, he 
is found at one time addressing a Civil Service dinner, at 
another a Volunteer gathering, now descanting on evolu- 
tion to a Church Congress, and again speaking at a 
Mayoral banquet, a girls' school, or an industrial exhi- 
bition. The strain on his physique demanded by these 
efforts would have been great to an ordinary man, but 
it must have been serious to one whose main energies 


were heavily taxed by exhausting scientific work. His 
powerful constitution was thus slowly but surely sapped, 
yet to an eager mind and a generous heart, such as his, 
little heed was paid to himself. 

" Taken all in all, we shall not soon see so talented 
and so accurate a comparative anatomist, so impressive 
a speaker, so facile an artist, or a public man with a 
higher type of character." 

The zoological and anthropological side of Sir William's 
work (with which the present writer is more competent 
to deal than he is with his social relations and character) 
is discussed at length in later chapters of this memoir ; 
but a few observations may be here introduced on sub- 
jects which scarcely come within the category of purely 
scientific work. 

At intervals during his life-time Flower communicated 
a considerable number of letters to the Times and other 
journals on topics more or less intimately connected with 
animals and animal life. His sympathy with the crusade 
against the tight bearing-rein, initiated by his father, 
has already received mention. Equally marked was his 
sympathy with the movement against the wearing by 
ladies of the plumage of birds (other than game-birds, 
etc.), and more especially the so-called " osprey plumes " 
really the breeding-plumes of the egrets and white 
herons -in the so-called decoration of their bonnets and 
hats. The extreme cruelty involved at least in the 
case of the " osprey s" in this practice, which entails 
the destruction of the birds during the nesting-season, 
when these nuptial plumes are alone donned, and con- 
sequently in many instances the destruction of the help- 


less young by slow starvation, was painted in forcible 
language by more than one letter from Flower's pen. 
Happily, as the result of these and other letters from 
sympathetic naturalists, and the foundation of the Society 
for the Protection of Birds (whose general aims were 
likewise strongly advocated by Sir William), this detest- 
able practice has been much diminished of late years, 
although very much remains to be done in this way 
before there can be any pretence of saying that birds, 
even in this country, are treated by man as they deserve. 

On another occasion he wrote, deprecating the whole- 
sale destruction of bottle-nosed whales, which had been 
advocated on account of the enormous quantities of fishes 
devoured by these cetaceans. The question of pelagic 
sealing in Bering Sea, and the best way of preventing 
unnecessary slaughter, and thus eventual extermination, 
of the sea-bears and sea-lions which visit the Pribiloff 
Islands, also occupied his attention. And to him was 
confided the duty of selecting the naturalists (Professor 
d'Arcy Thompson and Captain Barrett-Hamilton) who 
represented British interests in the International Com- 
mission despatched to those islands in 1896 and 1897, to 
report on the sealing generally and the habits of the sea- 
bears, or fur-seals. 

The best mode of disposing of the bodies of the dead 
was also a subject to which Sir William devoted a share 
of his attention, and he was a strong advocate for 
cremation, or, failing this, for burial in wicker caskets 
in light sandy soil. 

The effects of the weather on " Cleopatra's Needle " 
a comparatively short time after it had been set up on the 
Thames Embankment $ the best means of utilising and 


beautifying the gardens in Lincoln's Inn Fields ; and the 
anomaly that while a heavy book could be sent by post 
for a few pence, the charge on a heavy letter, at the 
time in question, was considerable, were among many 
other miscellaneous topics upon which he wrote. 

In conversation it was Sir "William's great delight, 
whenever possible, to turn the subject to his own par- 
ticular studies and pursuits ; but, as mentioned by an 
exalted personage on an occasion referred to in the 
sequel, he never wearied his hearers. In a new or rare 
animal, his delight was almost childish ; and the present 
writer has often reflected how intense would have been 
his pleasure had he been spared to see the first speci- 
men brought to this country of that wonderful animal, 
the okapi of the Semliki Forest. 

To his official subordinates Sir William was also 
readily accessible possibly almost too much so ; and he 
had always a word of praise for work faithfully carried 
out under his direction, even if, from a slight misunder- 
standing of his instructions, it had not been executed 
precisely on the lines he himself would have desired. 
He was never above lending a hand himself at manual 
work ; and the writer well recollects an occasion at the 
museum where a large animal was, with some difficulty, 
being moved, and Sir William, although at the time 
manifestly unfit for severe physical effort, would insist 
upon aiding in the task. 

As a host, Sir William Flower, ably seconded by 
Lady Flower, had few rivals and no superiors ; and 
although he absolutely detested tobacco, such was his 
good-nature, that he would not deny his male friends 
the luxury of an after-dinner cigarette the idea of 


ladies smoking would probably have been too much 
even for his good-nature and tolerance of other people's 
little weaknesses. 

This chapter may be fitly brought to a close by 
referring to the fact that it was largely owing to the 
advocacy of Sir William that a statue of his intimate 
friend Huxley was placed in the Central Hall of the 
Natural History Museum, in company with those of 
Darwin and Owen, so that u Huxley and Owen, often 
divided in their lives, would come together after death 
in the most appropriate place and amidst the most 
appropriate surroundings." In this Valhalla of men 
pre-eminent in British biological science of the nineteenth 
century, Flower's own bust has found its home ; but of 
this more anon. 

In this connection it may be added that Sir William 
Flower wrote for the Proceedings of the Royal Society 
the obituary notice of Sir Richard Owen, who had been 
his predecessor in his own two most important offices. 
Despite the fact that Flower had been instrumental in 
overthrowing at least one of Owen's " pet theories," this 
biographical notice is written in the kindest and most 
sympathetic spirit, giving full credit to the " immense 
labours and brilliant talents " of this truly remarkable 

An earlier obituary notice from Flower's pen which 
appeared in the same journal was devoted to a sketch of 
the life of George Rolleston, the brilliant Professor of 
Anatomy and Physiology of Oxford, whose comparatively 
early death in 1 88 1 was one of the real losses to 
biological science. 

Of a more varied and popular nature were Flower's 


reminiscences of his friend Huxley, which appeared in 
the North American Review for September 1895. A 
fourth biographical notice was the "eulogium" on 
Charles Darwin, delivered by Sir William at the centenary 
meeting of the Linnean Society, held on 24th May 1888, 
in which the speaker acknowledged the incomparable 
importance of Darwin's work, and incidentally avowed 
his own acceptance of the doctrine of evolution. Com- 
pared to Darwin's achievements, he observed, "most of 
the work which we others do is but irregular, guerilla 
warfare, attacks on isolated points, mere outpost 
skirmishing, while his was the indefatigable, patient, 
unintermittent toil, conducted in such a manner and on 
such a scale that it could scarcely fail to secure victory 
in the end." 



THE death, in 1 86 1, of the eminent histological 
anatomist, Professor Quekett, rendered vacant the 
important post of Conservator of the Museum of the 
Royal College of Surgeons of England in Lincoln's Inn 
Fields. This museum, it is almost superfluous to 
mention, was founded by the great anatomist, John 
Hunter, and is hence often known popularly, although 
not officially, as the Hunterian Museum. 

" Originally a private collection," observed Flower 
in his Presidential address to the Anatomical section of 
the International Medical Congress, held in London in 
the summer of 1 88 1, "embracing a large variety of 
objects, it has been carried out and increased upon much 
the same plan as that designed by the founder, with 
modifications only to suit some of the requirements of 
advancing knowledge. The only portion of Hunter's 
biological collection which have been actually parted with 
are the stuffed birds and beasts, which, with the sanction 
of the Trustees appointed by the Government to see that 
the college performs its part of the contract as custodians 
of the collection, were transferred to the British Museum, 
and a considerable number of dried vascular preparations, 
which having become useless in consequence of the 
deterioration in their condition, resulting from age and 


decay, have been replaced by others preserved by better 

In regard to the special purposes served by this 
museum, it is mentioned in the same address that it is 
maintained by the College of Surgeons " for the benefit 
not only of its own members, but for that of the 
profession at large, and indeed of all who take any 
interest in biological science, whether the young student 
preparing for his examination, or the advanced worker 
who has here found materials for many an important 
contribution by which the boundaries of knowledge 
have been materially enlarged. To all such it is freely 
open without fee or charge. Even the written or 
personal introduction of members, still nominally required, 
is never asked for on the four open days from any 
intelligent or interested visitor; and on the one day of 
the week on which it is closed for cleaning, facilities are 
always given to those who are desirous of making 
special studies, and to the increasing number of lady 
students, whether artistic, scholastic, or medical. Artists 
continually resort to the museum to find opportunities 
of studying anatomy of man and animals, which no other 
place in London affords ; and of late years it has been 
the means of a still wider diffusion of knowledge, by 
the visits which have been organised on summer 
Saturday afternoons by various associations of artizans, 
to whom a popular demonstration of its contents is 
usually given by the Conservator." 

Elsewhere in the same address we find the following 
passage in connection with the teaching functions of this 
body : 

"The various professorships and lectureships that 


are attached to the College have grown up chiefly in 
consequence of one of the conditions under which the 
Hunterian Collection was entrusted to it by Government 
that a course of no less than twenty-four lectures 
shall be delivered annually by some member of the 
College upon Comparative Anatomy and other subjects, 
illustrated by the preparations." 

For some years previously to Professor Quekett's 
death the offices of Conservator of the Museum of the 
College and of Hunterian Professor of Anatomy had been 
disassociated ; the occupant of the professorial chair at 
the date in question being the late Professor T. H. 
Huxley, while, as already mentioned, Quekett held the 
Conservatorship. At an earlier date the two offices had, 
however, been held conjointly ; Owen having fulfilled the 
duties of both for a period of no less than twenty-five 

It may be added that, from the varied nature of the 
collections under his charge, the Conservator is expected 
to have a knowledge not only of comparative anatomy 
and zoology, but likewise of palaeontology, physiology, 
surgery, and pathology. 

Such a wide range of knowledge is possible to few 
men at the present day, but it was possessed to a very 
considerable extent by Mr. Flower, even at this com- 
paratively early stage of his career ; and as the appoint- 
ment was congenial to his tastes, he applied for, and in 
due course was elected to, the Conservatorship. The 
acceptance of this involved the complete abandonment 
of practice as a surgeon a course of action which, 
I believe, was never regretted. For eight years Mr. 
Flower discharged the duties of the Conservatorship to 


the satisfaction of the Council of the College ; and when, 
in 1869, Professor Huxley found himself compelled by 
the pressure of other duties to relinquish the Hunterian 
chair, Flower was elected in 1870 to fill the vacancy. 
He thus, for the first time in his career, became entitled 
to the designation of u Professor," and he continued to 
hold the two offices till his transference to the British 
Museum. Here it may perhaps be well to mention, in 
order to avoid confusion, that in the early part of 
Flower's official career at the College of Surgeons the 
post of Articulator to the museum was held by a name- 
sake Mr. James Flower. 

For the first eight years of his connection with the 
museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields the time and attention 
of Flower were almost entirely devoted to the improve- 
ment, augmentation, and rearrangement of the collections 
under his charge ; and even when his duties as Hunterian 
Professor claimed a large share of his time, no efforts 
were spared to maintain the former rate of progress in 
the museum. 

To record in detail the improvements and alterations 
made in the museum under Flower's able administration 
would obviously not only occupy a large amount of 
space but would, likewise, be wearisome to the reader. 
Attention will therefore be concentrated on a few 
salient features in connection with his work. 

Although the anatomy of man naturally took a pro- 
minent place in what used to be called the " physio- 
logical" series, yet the preparations illustrating this 
subject were in the main restricted to the viscera ; the 
details of regional anatomy and of the arrangement and 
distribution of muscles, vessels, and nerves not finding 


a place in the original scheme of the museum. This 
appeared to Flower to be a serious omission, and he 
soon set to work to exhibit human anatomy largely on 
account of its paramount importance to the members of 
the medical profession on a much more extensive 
scale than was previously the case, thereby affording by 
means of permanent preparations a ready demonstration, 
accessible at all times, of the structure of every part of 
the human frame. To those who have already learnt 
their anatomy, it has been well remarked, and who wish 
to refresh their memory, or verify a fact about which 
some passing doubt may be felt, or to those who are 
precluded by circumstances from visiting the dissecting 
room, the preparations of this series must prove of great 

In connection with this series may be mentioned 
the fact that Flower published during the year he took 
office the work which heads the list of his numerous 
scientific contributions, namely, Diagrams of the 
Nerves of the Human Body, exhibiting their Origin, 
Divisions and Connections, which was favourably 
received by the medical profession. In the preparation 
of the anatomical series, Flower's almost unrivalled 
powers of dissection stood him in good stead, and it 
was probably during this period of his career that he 
first acquired the rudiments of that originality and care 
in museum arrangement and display that led to his being 
called in after life by a German savant " the Prince of 
Museum Directors." 

Perhaps, however, the portion of the museum under 
his charge in which Flower was most deeply interested 
was that devoted to the dentition and osteology of 


the different orders of the Mammalia. As regards 
the osteological series, he expressed himself in the 
above-mentioned address of 1 88 1 in the following 
words : 

" On this head we claim to be somewhat in advance 
of other museums, on account of the improvements 
which have been made of late years in preparing and 
articulating dried skeletons, and in displaying portions 
of the bony framework in an instructive manner. 
Formerly all the bones were rigidly fixed together, so 
that their articular surfaces, if not actually destroyed, 
were completely concealed, and no bone could possibly 
be removed and separately examined. The aim of a 
series of changes in the method of mounting skeletons 
introduced here, and n9w adopted, more or less com- 
pletely, in many other museums, has been to obviate all 
these difficulties, and to make each bone, as far as 
possible, independent of all the rest, whilst preserving 
the general aspect and form of the entire skeleton. 

" Another improvement in the osteological series in- 
troduced within the last twenty years has been the forma- 
tion of a special collection designed to show the principal 
modifications of each individual skeleton throughout 
the vertebrate classes, by the placing the homologous 
bones of a number of different animals in juxta-posi- 
tion. For convenience of comparison, the specimens 
of this series are all placed in corresponding positions, 
mounted on separate stands, and to each is attached a 
label bearing the name of the bone and the animal to 
which it belongs. This series is especially instructive 
to the students of elementary osteology, and forms an 
introduction to the general series." 


It might have been added with perfect truth that this 
series of the detached homologous bones of different 
animals is of equal value and importance to both the 
palaeontologist and the evolutionist ; since with its assist- 
ance the former has a ready means of ascertaining the 
nearest relationships of any fossil bone that may be brought 
under his notice, while the latter is able to observe the 
modifications that any particular bone has undergone 
in different groups of animals. He may notice, for 
instance, the elongation and slenderness distinctive of the 
humerus, or arm-bone, of the bat, and contrast it with the 
short and broad contour characterising the same bone in 
the mole, while he may observe the elongation of some 
of the bones of the hind-limbs distinctive of jumping 
mammals, and their almost total disappearance in the 
whales and dolphins. If the preparation of this series 
of specimens (which appears to have been closely con- 
nected with his lectures on the osteology of the 
Mammalia, and their subsequent incorporation in the 
well-known volume noticed in the sequel) had been 
the sole limit of the work accomplished by Flower, it 
would still have been sufficient to entitle him to the 
gratitude of posterity. 

It was while engaged in the development of the 
collections of this museum that Flower made his im- 
portant observations on the homologies and mode of 
succession of the teeth of various groups of mammals, and 
more especially the marsupials. Here, too, it was that 
he undertook the investigations which led to his publica- 
tion of a new scheme of classification for the Carnivora ; 
and it was likewise during his Conservatorship that he 
published his valuable series of observations upon the 


comparative anatomy of the mammalian liver. These 
and other kindred subjects may, however, better be con- 
sidered at greater length in a later chapter. It must 
suffice therefore, to add in this connection that during 
Flower's term of office the unrivalled series of human 
skeletons and skulls underwent a very marked and im- 
portant increase. 

By no means the least important part of Flower's work 
in connection with the museum of the College of Sur- 
geons was the compilation and publication of the 
first two volumes of the Catalogue of Qsteological Sped- 
mens the first, dealing with man alone, issued in 
1879, anc * the second, written with the aid of his 
assistant, Dr. J. G. Garson, and treating of the other 
members of the mammalian class, in 1884. The import- 
ance of these works consists in the fact of their being a 
very great deal more than mere catalogues of the contents 
of one particular museum. They are, on the contrary, 
systematic treatises, embodying the views of their chief 
author on such important subjects as zoological nomen- 
clature and classification, and on the best method of 
arranging museums which include specimens of the den- 
tition and osteology of both living and extinct animals. 
They accordingly deserve notice at some considerable 
length, not only on this account, but as forming a record 
of the great changes Flower introduced into the museum 
at this period under his charge. 

It appears that the first printed list of the contents 
of the museum was published in the year 1831. In a 
few years, however, it became evident that a work of a 
more ambitious nature was required; and in January 
1842, the then Conservator, Professor Owen, presented 


a report to the Council, on the supreme advantage to be 
gained by combining in the proposed new Catalogue both 
the recent and the fossil osteological Catalogues. Acting 
on this, the Committee of Council resolved that such a 
Catalogue should be prepared and published, and the 
duty of doing this was thereupon confided to Mr. 

For some reason or other, this excellent and far-seeing 
resolution was not acted upon in its entirety ; and al- 
though catalogues were in due course compiled by Owen 
and published, the specimens belonging to animals still 
extant were entered in volumes quite distinct from 
these devoted to fossil bones and teeth ; while the two 
series of specimens were likewise kept apart in the 
museum itself. " Hence," as Flower subsequently ob- 
served, " each series was incomplete, and required 
reference to the other for its perfect illustration and 
comprehension." These defects were remedied during 
the administration of Flower, who not only arranged the 
extinct specimens in their proper position among those 
belonging to recent animals, but likewise followed the 
same admirable plan in drawing up the Catalogues. 
Later on, as we shall see in the sequel, he endeavoured 
to introduce the same scheme into the Natural His- 
tory Museum, but was prevented by the force of 
circumstances from carrying his views into full effect, 
although a small step in the right direction was ac- 

The first part of the Catalogue of the osteological 
specimens in the museum of the College which, as 
already said, is devoted to man alone, is a most laborious, 
accurate, and valuable work, dealing first with the 


general osteology of man, then with his dentition, and, 
thirdly, with the special characters of the osteology and 
dentition of the different races of the human species 
a line of study which had formed the subject of several 
of his lectures as Hunterian Professor. Nor is this by 
any means all, for the introduction to this volume forms 
a valuable compendium of the principles and rules of the 
science of craniology ; the remarks on the mode of 
measuring skulls, and the method of calculating from 
such measurements " indices," whereby skulls of different 
types can be compared with one another with exactness, 
being models of accuracy and clearness, and rendered 
the more valuable from the tables by which they are 
accompanied. For measuring the cubic contents of 
skulls, Flower was convinced that mustard-seed formed 
the best and most accurate medium. 

In addition to its value as a summary of the contents 
of that portion of the museum of which it treats, and as 
a precis of its chief author's views at that time as to the 
classification of mammals, the second part of the Cata- 
logue is of special importance on account of containing 
an expression of opinion on the subject of zoological 
nomenclature a subject on which Flower had previously 
spoken in no uncertain tones in his Presidential Address 
to the Zoological section of the British Association at 
the meeting held in Dublin in 1878, which is republished 
in Essays on Museums. 

The keynote of Flower's introduction to his Catalogue 
was the urgent need of uniformity of nomenclature 
among zoologists ; and on this, and the subject generally, 
he expressed himself as follows : 

" As there is no matter of such great importance in a 


catalogue as the correct naming of the objects described 
in it, this part of the subject has engaged a very large 
share of attention in preparing the work. I am not 
sanguine enough to suppose that the names I have 
adopted always after careful research and considera- 
tion will in every case be deemed satisfactory by other 
zoologists, yet I hope that some advance will have been 
made towards that most desirable end a fixed and 
generally recognised nomenclature of all the best-known 
species of mammals. Having selected the generic and 
specific name which I considered most appropriate, I 
have given the place and date of their first occurrence, 
but have only admitted such synonyms as have found 
their way into standard works, judging it better that 
the remainder should be buried in oblivion, or at all 
events only retained in professedly bibliographical 
treatises. In selecting the name chosen, I have been mainly 
guided by the views which have been gradually gain- 
ing general currency among conscientious naturalists 
of all nations, and which were formulated in what is 
commonly called the Stricklandian Code, adopted by a 
Committee of the British Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science in 1842, and revised and reprinted by 
the Association in 1 865) anc ^ again in 1878. . . . The 
regulations laid down in these codes for the formation 
of new names are unimpeachable; and although some 
of the rules for the selection of names already in existence 
have given rise to criticism, and are occasionally difficult 
of practical application when an endeavour is made to 
enforce them too rapidly, they do in the main, when 
interpreted with discretion and common-sense, lead to 
satisfactory results. As what we are aiming at is simply 


convenience and general accord, and not abstract justice 
or truth, there are cases in which the rigid law of 
priority, even if it can be ascertained, requires qualifi- 
cation, as it is certainly not advisable to revive an obsolete 
or almost tfnknown name at the expense of one, which 
if not strictly legitimate, has been universally accepted 
and become thoroughly incorporated in zoological and 
anatomical literature ; and it is often better to put up 
with a small error or inconvenience in an existing name 
than to incur the much larger confusion caused by the 
introduction of a new one." 

These are weighty words of wisdom, and it must be 
a matter for profound regret to all persons of thoroughly 
philosophical and well-balanced minds that, by the newer 
school of naturalists led by an American section they 
have not only been received without the attention they 
merit as coming from a man of Flower's wide experience 
and mature judgment, but have been absolutely ignored 
and the principle they inculcate treated with disdain and 
contempt. Obscure names, frequently of the most 
barbarous construction and sound, have been raked up 
from all conceivable sources and substituted for the 
well-known terms adopted by Flower and many of his 
contemporaries ; while, to make matters worse, the 
good old rule that no names antedating the twelfth 
edition of the Sy sterna Nature of Linnaeus should 
be recognised in zoological literature has, so far as 
mammals are concerned, been treated absolutely as a 
dead letter. 

If it be asked what has been the result of thus ignor- 
ing the deliberately expressed and matured views of a 
judicial mind like Flower's, and whether we are per- 


ceptibly nearer the attainment of uniformity in the matter 
of biological nomenclature, the reply must be that the 
subject is in a more unsatisfactory state than ever, and 
the desired end as far off. It is perfectly true, indeed, 
that a section of the students of the systematic side of 
zoology have agreed among themselves to employ only 
such names as they believe to be the earliest, quite irre- 
spective of the obscurity of their origin or the rule that 
such names should be compounded according to classic 
usage. When, however, we take a broader survey of 
the field of biology, we find that, almost to a man, 
the anatomists, the palaeontologists, the geologists, the 
evolutionists, the students of geographical distribution, 
and other writers who discuss the subject from aspects 
other than the purely systematic, adhere to the more 
conservative side in respect of nomenclature. Moreover, 
even if this were not the case, we should be but little 
forwarder, seeing that in works like Darwin's Origin 
of Species and Wallace's Geographical Distribution of 
Mammals which must remain classical so long as 
zoology lasts as a science the older style of nomen- 
clature is used. Consequently, even if the proposed 
emendations and changes were universally adopted, the 
names employed by these and other contemporary 
writers would still have to be learnt and committed to 
memory by all zoological students ; so that, instead of 
one series of names, as would have been practically the 
case had Flower's proposal been loyally adopted by his 
contemporaries and followers, we are compelled to know 
and remember a double series. 

Whether in the end there will not be a reversion 
to the judicial and temperate conservative compromise 


proposed by Flower and almost everything in this 
world is based more or less upon compromise from 
the headstrong and radical mode of procedure fol- 
lowed by some of the younger zoologists, remains to be 

Another subject on which Flower insisted very 
strongly in the work under consideration was the 
inadvisability of multiplying generic and family divi- 
sions in zoology. Here again we may quote his own 

" I do not mean," he writes, " that with the advance- 
ment of knowledge improvements cannot be continually 
made in the current arrangement of genera. The older 
groups become so unwieldy by the discovery of new 
species belonging to them that they must be broken up, 
if only for the sake of convenience ; newly discovered 
forms which cannot be placed in any of the established 
genera must have new genera constituted for them, and 
fuller knowledge of the structure of an animal may 
necessitate its removal from one genus into another ; 
all these are incidents in the legitimate progress of 
science. Such alterations should, however, never be 
made lightly and without a full sense of responsibility 
for the difficulties which may be occasioned by them, 
and which often can never be removed. Complete 
agreement upon this subject can never be expected, as 
the idea of a genus, of an assemblage of animals to which 
a common generic name may be attached, cannot be 
defined in words, and only exists in the imagination of 
the different persons making use of the expression ; but 
there might be no difficulty in coming to some general 
agreement, if individual zoologists would look at the 


idea as held by the majority, and would not give way 
to the impulse to bestow a name wherever there is the 
slightest opening for doing so." 

Here, again, we have golden words, which are 
unfortunately ignored by a large number of the 
zoologists and palaeontologists of the present day. 
Most noteworthy, perhaps, in the whole passage, is the 
emphasis given to the fact that generic groups are but 
arbitrary creations of the human, and that, far from 
being natural realities, they are solely and simply 
formed as matters of convenience, so that their limits 
are absolutely dependent upon individual or collective 

Consequently, when we hear it said as we may that 
such and such an animal must constitute a genus by 
itself, we may be assured that in nine cases out of 
ten the speaker is talking nonsense. It may do so, 
but this is purely as a matter of convenience for 
purposes of classification. As examples of Flower's 
broad and far-seeing way of looking at the limits of 
generic groups, we may take his inclusion of the foxes 
in the same group as the wolves, of the polecats and 
weasels with the martens, of the two-horned with the 
one-horned rhinoceroses, and of the blackbirds with the 
thrushes ; and yet in all these instances, as in many 
others, a large number of his successors many of whom 
cannot lay claim to anything approaching his intellectual 
capacity and his power of separating essentials from 
trivialities cannot be content with the grand simplicity 
of his scheme of classification. What they gain by 
their involved systems and minute subdivisions is best 
known to themselves to the public such complexity 


tends to render zoology, which ought to be one of the 
most attractive and delightful of all sciences (and it was 
one of Flower's endeavours to make it as much so as 
possible), repulsive and distasteful. 

The present writers opportunities of intercourse 
with Professor Flower during his tenure of the Conser- 
vatorship of the Museum of the College of Surgeons 
were but few and intermittent, and restricted to the 
latter part of that time, he may therefore be pardoned 
for quoting from a biographer who appears to have 
enjoyed more favourable opportunities in this respect. 
Before doing so, however, the writer cannot refrain 
from putting it on record that his own appointment to 
the Geological Survey of India in the early seventies 
was largely due to the influence of Professor Flower, 
who had been his examiner in the Natural Science 
Tripos at Cambridge, in December 1871. 

To revert to the subject of Flower's personality 
in connection with his appointment in Lincoln's Inn 
Fields, his biographer in the " Year-Book " of the Royal 
Society for 1901 writes as follows : 

"His tenure of office, viz., twenty-two years, as 
Conservator of the museum of the Royal College of 
Surgeons, was a splendid record of original and laborious 
work, of great administrative capacity, and of unvarying 
courtesy to visitors. The museum was most popular 
under his management. There, amidst the almost 
unrivalled collections, the tall, fair-haired, and earnest 
worker was daily to be found, minutely studying, 
comparing and measuring, or giving directions for the 
extension, arrangement, and classification of the varied 
and valuable contents. From a scientific point of view 


no post could have been better adapted to the man or 
the man to the post. With many and varied lines of 
study lying conveniently around him, in the quietude 
of an office less conspicuous and exacting than the 
British Museum, in the full vigour of manhood, and in 
the midst of sympathetic seniors, friends, and assistants, 
it can well be imagined that Sir William's powers 
attained great development, and that perhaps he 
never felt so full of happiness and satisfaction with his 
original work. It could not well be otherwise. His 
conscientious devotion to duty, his remarkable skill 
in devising methods of mounting, his artistic eye, his 
tact with subordinates, and the esteem in which he was 
held by zoologists and comparative anatomists at home 
and abroad, give a clue to his subsequent career, 
and show the training of one of the most accomplished 
and courtly comparative anatomists our country has 

But there was another side to Flower's work during 
the greater part of his official connection with the Royal 
College of Surgeons, and one which brought him into 
wider and closer contact with the public than was the 
case with his Conservatorship. This was the delivery 
of the lectures which form the chief, if not the sole, 
duty of the Hunterian Professor. According to the 
statutes of the College, the annual course of lectures, 
which is short, must be on a different subject each year, 
but must in all cases be illustrated by preparations in 
the museum. 

The present writer was privileged to attend only 
one of these courses on the general structure of the 
Mammalia and is therefore not competent to speak 


from experience of these lectures as a whole. Never- 
theless the one course was amply sufficient to con- 
vince him of the lecturer's special qualifications for 
his task. Flower was indeed an ideal lecturer, endowed 
with a fine presence, a suave and yet penetrating voice, 
great power of expression, a slow and impressive 
delivery, and, above all, an absolute mastery of his 
subject (whatever it might be) down to the minutest 
and apparently most insignificant details. For him, 
every detail of structure, whether functional or rudi- 
mentary, had a significance and a meaning, and he 
would never rest satisfied till he had found out what 
that meaning was, and had laid the whole of the 
evidence on which he based his conclusions before his 
audience. That audience, which generally included a 
considerable number of the elder members of the 
medical profession, as well as many well-known 
zoologists and anatomists, invariably listened with rapt 
attention to the story told so admirably by the accom- 
plished lecturer. 

Of these lectures, the first course, delivered in 1870 
on the Osteology of the Mammalia, is perhaps the one 
which has rendered Flower most widely known 
among zoological students, since, as noticed below, 
it became the basis of a valuable little volume. 

His introductory lecture in February 1870 was 
largely devoted to the subject of plan, or " type," in 
Nature, and to the evidence in favour of the transmuta- 
tion of species and evolution of organised beings a 
doctrine which was at that time by no means so widely 
accepted, even among scientific men, as it is at the 
present day. In this address the lecturer prefaced his 


remarks by explaining that since the main part of his 
anatomical knowledge was derived from the splendid 
series of specimens and preparations in the museum 
under his charge, so he intended to act as the mouth- 
piece of the specimens themselves. After this intro- 
ductory lecture followed the regular course for the 
year, which was devoted to the Osteology of the 
Mammalia, and it is perhaps this series which has 
rendered the name of Flower most familiar to the 
ordinary students of scientific zoology and comparative 
anatomy, since it was published during the same year as 
a volume in Macmillan's Manuals for Students, under 
the title of An Introduction to the Osteology of the 
Mammalia : being the Substance of a Course of Lectures 
delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 
Such was the success of this admirable little volume 
which has ever since formed the recognised text-book 
on the subject of which it treats, that a second edition 
was called for in 1876, and a third in 1885. In expand- 
ing and revising the latter in which, by the way, the 
second half of the original title was dropped the 
author, owing to the pressure of official duties, called 
in the assistance of Dr. J. G. Garson, of Cambridge, a 
well-known zoologist and anatomist. 

This book, to be properly appreciated, should be 
studied in connection with the series of homologous 
bones of different species of mammals arranged by 
Flower himself in the museum of the College of 
Surgeons, to which reference has been made in an 
earlier part of this chapter, and from which most of the 
illustrations were drawn. The figures of the dog's 
skull have been reproduced in a large number of 


zoological and anatomical works. The plan followed 
in this volume forms an admirable model for all works 
of a kindred nature. In the first chapter the author 
discusses the classification of the mammalia; in the 
second he describes the skeleton of that group as a 
whole ; while in the remainder the modifications pre- 
sented by the various bones in the different groups are 
described in considerable detail. A special feature is 
the sparing use of technical terms, and the careful 
explanation of the meaning of those of which the use 
was unavoidable. Besides being carefully revised and 
brought up to date, the third edition differed from its 
predecessors by including a table of the number of 
vertebrae found in a large series of species. 

In the following year (1871) the Hunterian course, 
which comprised no less than eighteen lectures, was 
devoted to the functions and modifications of the teeth 
of mammals, from man to the monotremes, although it 
was not known at that time that either of the two generic 
representatives of the latter group really possessed 
true teeth, the discovery of these organs in the 
Australian duckbill not having been made till many 
years later. 

Among other subjects included in his Hunterian 
lectures was the anatomy and affinities of the Cetacea, 
or whales and dolphins, a group of mammals in 
which Flower almost from the first displayed a 
marked and special interest, and on which he became 
one of the first authorities. Since, however, this 
is a subject to which fuller reference is made in a 
later chapter, it need not be further discussed in 
this place. 


In 1872 Flower's Huuterian lectures were devoted 
to the subject of the digestive organs of mammals ; 
these lectures being reported, with illustrations, in 
the Medical Times and Gazette of the same 

Perhaps the most important and certainly the most 
voluminous of these lectures was the series on the 
" Comparative Anatomy of Man," which extended over 
several years, the course for 1880 dealing especially 
with the skulls of the Fiji, Tongan, and Samoan islanders. 
The subject of anthropology, or the study of the 
different races of mankind from a zoological stand- 
point, shared indeed with that of the Cetacea a large 
part of the Professor's attention, and the two together 
formed, perhaps, his favourite lines of investigation. 
In regard to the problems presented by the human 
race when viewed from this standpoint, Flower has 
expressed himself as follows : 

" Comparative anatomy is specially occupied in study- 
ing the differences between one man and another, 
estimating and classifying their differences, and especi- 
ally discriminating between such differences as are only 
individual variations (variations which, when extreme, are 
relegated to the department of the teratologist) and 
those that are inherited, and so become characters of 
different groups and races of the human species. 
Physical anthropology, moreover, extends its range 
beyond merely comparing and registering these differ- 
ences of structure. It also occupies itself with 
endeavouring to trace their cause, and the circumstances 
which may occasion their modifications. It endeavours 
also to form a classification of the different groups of 


mankind, and so to throw light upon the history and 
development of the human species." 

The races towards which special attention was directed 
in these lectures were mainly those inhabiting the 
islands of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, namely, the 
diminutive and degraded Andamanese, the Australians, 
and their near but very distinct neighbours, the Tas- 
manians, long since extinct, the Melanesians or Oceanic 
Negroes, and the Polynesians. With the exception of 
the latter, which the Professor regarded as an aberrant 
and somewhat mixed modification of the Malay stock, 
all these different island races were considered to belong 
to the black or negroid branch of the human species ; 
and it was suggested that the Andamanese were the 
purest living representatives of a great "Negrito" 
stock, which had been formerly widely distributed, and 
had given rise to the true African negroes on the one 
hand, and to the Oceanic negroes on the other. As 
regards his view that the aboriginal Australians are 
members of the negroid branch, it will be pointed 
out in a later chapter that an alternative opinion has of 
late years gained considerable favour among anthro- 

The Hunterian lectures of Flower were, however, by 
no means restricted to the negro-like races of the 
islands of the southern oceans. On the contrary, the 
Professor devoted much attention in the course of trje 
series to the various races to be met with in our Indian 
dependencies, dwelling especially on the so-called 
Dravidian (i.e. non- Aryan) tribes of the Nilgiris and 
other districts of southern India, and likewise on the 
still more remarkable and primitive Veddas of Ceylon. 


The Mongols, as typified by the Tatars and Chinese, 
and their relationship on the one hand to the Eskimo, 
and thus with the " Indians" of America, and on the 
other with the Malays, were also discussed at consider- 
able length in these lectures. 

The origin of the Egyptians was also a subject to 
which much attention was devoted by the Hunterian 
Professor. " The much vexed questions," he said, 
" who were the Egyptians ? and where did they come 
from ? receive no answer from anatomical investigations, 
beyond the very simple one that they are one of several 
races which inhabit all the lands surrounding the Mediter- 
ranean Sea ; that they there lived in their own land far 
beyond all periods of time measured by historical events, 
and that in all probability it was there that they gradu- 
ally developed that marvellous civilisation which has 
exercised such a powerful influence over the arts, the 
sciences, and the religion of the whole western world." 
The truth of these suggestions has been fully confirmed 
by the subsequent researches of Professor Flinders 

As a whole, these Hunterian lectures on anthropological 
subjects were a great success, and won for the Pro- 
fessor increased respect and admiration from scientific 
men of all classes. They paved the way for the pre- 
paration of that invaluable Catalogue of the anthropo- 
logical specimens in the museum of the College to which 
allusion has already been made. 

When in 1884 Professor Flower, on the resignation 
of Sir Richard Owen, accepted the Directorship of the 
Natural History Departments of the British Museum, 
and was thus compelled to sever his official connection 


with the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, 
after a service of two-and-twenty years, the following 
resolution, on the motion of Sir James Paget, seconded 
by Mr. Erichsen, was unanimously passed by the Council 
of the College : 

That the Council hereby desire to express to Mr. 
William Henry Flower their deep regret at his resigna- 
tion of the office of Conservator. That they thank him 
for the admirable care, judgment and zeal, with 
which for twenty-two years he has fulfilled the various 
and responsible duties of those offices. That they are 
glad to acknowledge that the great increase of the 
museum during those years has been very largely due 
to his exertions, and to the influence which he has 
exercised, not only on all who have worked with him, 
but amongst all who have been desirous to promote the 
progress of Anatomical Science. That they know that 
while he has increased the value and utility of the 
museum by enlarging it, by preserving it in perfect 
order, and by facilitating the study of its contents, he has 
also maintained the scientific reputation of the College, 
by the numerous works which have gained for him 
a distinguished position amongst the naturalists and 
biologists of the present time. And that, in their 
placing on record their high appreciation of Mr. Flower, 
the Council feel sure that they are expressing the opinion 
of all the Fellows and Members of the College, and that 
they all will unite with them in wishing him complete 
success and happiness in the important office to which 
he has been elected." 

This is indeed a splendid, although by no means ex- 
aggerated, testimonial to the success of Flower's 


administration of the Museum of the College' of 
Surgeons, and to the good and lasting work he there 
effected work which paved the way to the improve- 
ments he was subsequently able to effect in the Natural 
History Museum. 

Note. On Owen's retirement the post of Super- 
intendent of the Natural History Departments of the 
British Museum, which he had filled, was merged into 
the new office of Director ; a wider scope being given 
to the duties of the post. 



ON the resignation in 1884 by Sir Richard Owen of 
the post of Superintendent of the Natural History 
Departments of the British Museum, which four years 
previously had been transferred to the magnificent 
new building in the Cromwell Road, officially known 
as the British Museum (Natural History), but more 
commonly designated the Natural History Museum, 
it was felt by all competent to form an adequate opinion 
on the subject that Professor Flower was the one man 
specially and peculiarly fitted for the post. And 
accordingly, in the course of the year in question, he 
was duly appointed to that most important and influential 
position, which may be regarded as conferring upon its 
occupant the status of the leading official zoologist 
in the British Empire. It was in this position that 
Flower became most widely known to the general 
public ; and here that he received the honours, firstly 
of C.B., and later on K.C.B., conferred upon him by his 

At the date when Sir William (then Professor) 
assumed the reins of office, the position of Director of 
the Natural History Museum was of a somewhat 
anomalous and peculiar nature. At that time (as now) 
the administration of the museum was divided into 


four sections, or departments, namely Zoology, Geology 
(or rather Palaeontology), Botany and Mineralogy, each 
of which was presided over by a " Keeper," who had 
practically unlimited control, both as regards finance and 
general arrangement, of his own section. Consequently, 
as regards these four departments, the Director had very 
little control over the museum he was nominally sup- 
posed to govern; and his functions were to a great 
extent limited to regulating the t( foreign policy " of the 
institution under his charge, that is to say, its relations 
to the parent establishment at Bloomsbury, to the 
Treasury, and to the world at large. In fact, as Sir 
William once remarked to the present writer, the 
Director at that time had to find a sphere of work 
for himself. 

Fortunately, such a sphere of work lay ready to hand, 
and Flower immediately entered upon it with character- 
istic energy and enthusiasm. 

So long ago as the year 1859, Sir Richard Owen, in 
one of his reports to the Trustees of the Museum, 
recommended that the new building, in addition to 
affording ample space for the general series of natural 
specimens exhibited to the public, should likewise 
include a hall, or other suitable apartment, for the 
display of a series of specimens calculated to convey 
an elementary idea of the general principles of systematic 
natural history and biological classification to the large 
proportion of the ordinary public visitor not conversant 
with that subject. In other words, the feature of the 
proposed section would be the exhibition of a series of 
specimens selected to show the more typical characters 
of the principal groups of organised (and, it was at the 


time added, crystallised) forms. This, it was urged, 
would constitute an epitome of natural history, and would 
convey to the eye, in the easiest and most ready manner, 
an elementary knowledge of the sciences in question. 

In every modification which the plans of the new 
building underwent, a hall for the purpose indicated in 
the above passages formed, as Sir William has himself 
remarked, a prominent feature ; being in the later stages 
of the development of the building called, for want of 
a better name, the " Index Museum." 

The increasing infirmities of age, coupled with the 
short time during which he presided over the Natural 
History collections in their new home, combined, how- 
ever, to prevent Owen from making any real progress 
with the so-called Index Museum; and although he 
furnished the idea of the scheme and planned the 
general installation of the hall, the selection and 
installation of its contents were left to his successor. 
And, with the vast experience gained by Sir William 
during his tenure of office in the Royal College of 
Surgeons, they could not possibly have been left to 
abler hands. 

Here it is necessary to explain that, whether by 
design or by accident, history sayeth not, the Index 
Museum and the Central Hall generally were not 
included in any one of the four great administrative 
departments of the Museum, so that they consequently 
came under the immediate and exclusive control of the 
Director himself. 

Nor was Flower long in setting to work at the task 
which thus lay awaiting his master-hand ; and the 
Index Museum, as fast as the exigencies of finance 


and the difficulties of procuring suitable specimens 
permitted, gradually assumed the shape and character 
familiar to all visitors of the building, not that in these 
respects it exactly followed the lines suggested by 
Owen. In place of being, as was originally proposed, 
a sort of epitome or index of the main collections in 
the galleries, it developed rather into something " more 
like the general introduction preceding the systematic 
portion of treatises on any branch of natural history." 

Whether, in view of this departure from the original 
conception, Sir William, if starting de novo, would have 
grouped all these separate collections in a single apart- 
ment, or whether he would have split them up and 
placed them at the commencement of the various series 
in the exhibition galleries to which they respectively 
pertain, may be a moot point. But, at anyrate, no 
detriment to his work would ensue if such a splitting-up 
should be thought desirable in the future. And con- 
siderable advantages would undoubtedly result if the 
series displaying the general morphology and anatomy 
of the mammals were placed at the entrance of the 
mammalian gallery, and so on with the other series at 
present exhibited in the Index Museum. 

Be this as it may, the series of specimens and pre- 
parations arranged in the Index Museum under the 
immediate superintendence of Flower is probably 
unrivalled in its way, and displays in a marked manner 
that attention to detail and that eye to artistic effect 
which were among his special attributes. In the " bay " 
devoted to mammals, special attention was given to the 
display of specimens illustrating the various forms 
assumed by the teeth in the different orders and 


families, and their mode of succession and replacement ; 
subjects in which Flower always displayed special 
interest, and in regard to which he made some important 
discoveries. Here, too, were exhibited during the latter 
half of his tenure of office the skeletons and half models 
of a man and a horse, placed in juxtaposition, in order to 
display the special adaptations and modifications for, 
on the one hand, the upright posture and great brain- 
capacity, and, on the other, for the high degree of speed 
and endurance essential to an otherwise defenceless 
quadruped living, in a wild state, on open plains. In 
this exhibit, which forms the frontispiece to his well- 
known and deservedly popular little work on The 
Horse, Sir William always took an especial pride ; 
and it was one of the first objects to which he directed 
the attention of the many illustrious and distinguished 
visitors who sought his guidance in viewing the collec- 
tions under his charge. Another specimen in the same 
" bay " of which he was especially proud is the 
skeleton of a young chimpanzee, dissected by Dr. Tyson, 
and described by that anatomist in a work published 
in 1699, under the title of the Anatomie of a Pigmie, 
being the earliest scientific description of any man- 
like ape. 

As regards the vertebrate "bays," Sir William 
himself (always of course with the aid of trained 
assistants) took an active part in the selection and 
arrangement of the specimens. In the case of the 
invertebrate groups, on the other hand, the task was 
left more to his subordinates ; while as regards the 
botanical section such relegation was, of necessity, 
practically complete. Although it has been previously 


referred to elsewhere, it may be mentioned that it was 
during the work on the Index Museum the discovery of 
the absence in certain groups of birds of the fifth cubital 
quill-feather was made ; a fact now familiar to naturalists 
under the title of diastaxy, or aquintocubitalism. 

A special feature of the vertebrate section of the 
Index Museum was the attention devoted to the mount- 
ing of the skins of the mammals exhibited. In an 
address delivered to the British Association in 1889, 
Flower referred to " the sadly neglected art of 
taxidermy, which continues to fill the cases of most of 
our museums with wretched and repulsive caricatures 
of mammals and birds, out of all natural proportions, 
shrunken here and bloated there, and in attitudes 
absolutely impossible for the creature to have assumed 
while alive." And he was determined that the speci- 
mens of this nature in the section of the museum under 
his own immediate superintendence should be the best 
of their kind, and should serve as models for the 
renovation of these in the zoological galleries which he 
had determined to undertake so soon as the opportunity 
was afforded. 

Neither was he less particular in regard to labels de- 
scribing the exhibits. In the address already referred to, 
he had written that " above all, the purpose for which 
each specimen is exhibited, and the main lesson to be 
derived from it, must be distinctly indicated by the 
labels affixed, both as headings of the various divisions 
of the series and to the individual specimens. A well- 
arranged educational museum has been defined as a 
collection of instructive labels, illustrated by well-selected 
specimens." Most, if not all, of the descriptive labels in 


the vertebrate series of the Index Museum were written 
by the hand of the Director himself, while all came under 
his personal supervision before being placed in the 
museum. Labels of a descriptive nature had hitherto 
been mainly, if not entirely, conspicuous by their absence 
on the zoological side of the museum ; and for some time 
the Index series alone afforded an example of the nature 
of the Director's views on this all-important subject. 
Nor was this all; for in addition to these descriptive 
labels, other and larger labels were affixed in the cases, 
bearing the names of the various "classes," "orders," 
and " families," to which the specimens respectively 
pertained; the limits of the space occupied by each 
group being indicated by black laths, varying in width 
according to the grade of the group they demarcated. 
By this means systematic divisions were clearly indi- 
cated ; and on no consideration would Flower permit of 
any single specimen being placed elsewhere than in its 
proper systematic position. 

Another innovation so far at anyrate as the 
zoological side of the museum was concerned was the 
placing of small maps alongside each specimen or each 
group, to illustrate, by means of colour, the geographical 
distribution of the species or group. 

As regards the function of the Index Museum, it 
may be admitted that instead of, as originally intended, 
serving as an elementary guide in natural history to the 
uninstructed public, this exhibit is more generally used 
by serious zoological students, of whom numbers may 
from time to time be seen, book in hand, and sometimes 
under the guidance of a teacher, intently poring over 
the contents of the cases. Such a use although not 


perhaps the prime object of a national museum is, 
however, at least as important as catering to the require- 
ments of the ordinary visitor. 

The display in systematic and serial order of the 
external characters and internal anatomy of the leading 
types of living and extinct animals and plants formed, 
however, only a part of Flower's scheme of exhibits 
for the central hall of the museum. Such specimens 
occupied only the ' bays " or alcoves on the west and 
east sides, and there remained the large central floor 
space for exhibits of other descriptions. Advantage 
was taken of this to display examples of the phenomenon 
of seasonal colour-change in birds, accompanied in some 
instances, as in the ruff, by the development of special 
plumes round the neck, or elsewhere ; the two species 
selected for illustration being the aforesaid ruff and the 
wild duck or mallard; the latter bird, together with 
many other members of its tribe, being remarkable on 
account of the assumption by the males at certain 
seasons of the year of an "eclipse" plumage, almost 
indistinguishable from that distinctive at all times of the 
year of the female. Other cases were devoted to 
showing some of the more remarkable kinds of variation 
produced from a single wild stock by domestication 
and artificial selection ; the species exhibited for this 
purpose being several types of the common fowl, the 
various kinds of pigeons, and the more remarkable 
strains of the canary. The introduction of domesticated 
breeds, whose peculiarities are entirely, in the outset at 
anyrate, the result of man's interference with the 
ordinary course of Nature, is a notable feature of this 
portion of the work of Flower, and indicates his sense of 


the important bearing of such artificial variations on the 
doctrine of the evolution of organic nature. ' ' Mimicry " 
by animals of one group of those of another also formed 
an important part of this introductory series of exhibit ; 
as did likewise the colour-adaptation of animals to their 
inorganic surroundings. This latter phenomenon is 
specially illustrated by a series of animals (mammals, 
birds and reptiles) from the Libyan desert, which are 
set up amid rocks and sand from the same locality so as 
to imitate as nearly as possible the natural conditions. 
And this case, together with one of these to be noticed 
immediately, affords an excellent example of Sir William's 
painstaking efforts to make the exhibits in the museum 
as realistic as possible, and also his influence and per- 
suasive power in inducing friends or correspondents to 
aid his endeavours. For in both these instances the 
animals and their inanimate surroundings were collected 
on the spot by generous and enthusiastic donors. 

The second instance of the adaptation of animals to 
their surroundings is afforded by the two cases display- 
ing respectively a summer and a winter scene in Norway, 
with the birds and mammals in the one in their brown 
dress, and in the other in their snow-white livery. 
Since Sir William's death an Arctic fox, in the appro- 
priate dress, had been added to each case, with a decided 
improvement to the general effect. 

Another exhibit of the above nature is devoted to the 
phenomenon of albinism and melanism among animals ; 
the two cases in which the specimens are shown 
containing an extraordinary number of species, varying 
in size from leopards to mice, in which these remarkable 
colour-phases are respectively displayed. The admission 


of such departures from the ordinary type into the 
museum justifies, it may be mentioned, the introduction 
of abnormalities of a more startling nature. Finally, as 
illustration of a transition from one species towards 
another, Sir William caused to be set up a series of 
typical specimens of the common and the hooded crow, 
together with offspring produced by the union of the 
two, which are to a great extent intermediate between 
the parent forms. In the same cases is a series of gold- 
finches, showing a complete gradation between birds of 
different coloration, and commonly regarded as belonging 
to distinct species. 

All the above instances serve to demonstrate, however 
inadequately, Flower's broad conception of the field 
to be covered by a national and educational museum, 
altogether apart from the exhibition of specimens illustra- 
tive of systematic natural history. It is no secret that 
Sir William wished to add a series illustrative of the 
present geographical distribution of animals on the 
surface of the globe ; but, for lack of space, all that 
could be attempted in this direction was the exhibition 
of the British fauna, together with a map displaying the 
division of the world into zoological regions, according 
to the scheme of Messrs. Sclater and Wallace. 

For several years, apart from administrative duties, 
Flower devoted practically the whole of his available 
time to the elaboration of the Index Museum and the 
other exhibits in the Central Hall, although he found 
opportunity to draw up a list of the specimens of 
Cetacea (whales and dolphins^ in the collection of the 
Museum, which was published by order of the Trustees 
in 1885. Probably, indeed, this list was compiled 


before active work on the Index Museum had com- 
menced. It is a very useful work to the student of the 
group, although limited to species represented in the 
Museum collection. 

In the autumn of the year 1895 there occurred, 
however, an event, which may be said to have 
revolutionised Flower's position in the Museum, and 
gave him that immediate personal control over the 
zoological collections which was essential to the full 
development and perfection of his scheme of museum 
reform and expansion. At that date Dr. Albert Giinther 
retired from the position of Keeper of the Zoological 
Department ; and it was then resolved by the Trustees 
of the Museum that this post should be held by 
Sir William (who, by the way, had been made C.B. in 
1887 and K.C.B. in 1892), in conjunction with the office 
of Director. 

This arrangement was continued throughout the 
remainder of Sir "William's term of office, and was like- 
wise renewed when he was succeeded by Professor E. 
Ray Lankester, the present holder of the combined posts. 

This, then, gave Flower, as already stated, the 
opportunity for which he had so long been waiting; 
and in January 1 896 he undertook the supervision of the 
reorganisation and rearrangement of the mammal gallery. 

Here a digression of some length must be made, 
in order to make the reader acquainted in a certain 
degree with the conditions then prevalent in the 
museum in connection with the galleries open to the 
public. In the first place, as already indicated, while 
the skins and bones of recent animals were contained 
and exhibited in the Zoological Department, the remains 


of their extinct relatives, and even the fossilised bones 
and teeth of the living species, were relegated to 
the Geological Department, which occupies the ground- 
floor of the opposite side of the building. To make 
matters worse, the skeletons of living mammals were 
exhibited on the second floor of the zoological side of 
the building (instead of, as they should have been, 
on the ground floor), and thus as far away as they 
could possibly be from those of their extinct predecessors. 

Such an unnatural and illogical sundering of 
kindred objects was altogether repugnant to the mind 
of Flower, who in his address to the British Association 
in 1889, to which allusion has been already made, 
expressed himself as follows : 

" For the perpetuation of the unfortunate separation 
of palaeontology from biology, which is so clearly a 
survival of an ancient condition of scientific culture, and 
for the maintenance in its integrity of the heterogeneous 
compound of sciences which we now call ' geology,' the 
faulty organisation of our museums is in a great measure 
responsible. The more their rearrangement can be made 
to overstep and break down the abrupt line of demarca- 
tion which is still almost universally drawn between 
beings which live now and those which have lived in 
past times, so deeply rooted in the popular mind, and so 
hard to eradicate even from that of the scientific student, 
the better it will be for the progress of sound biological 

The force of circumstances, coupled with the expense 
which would have been involved, was, however, too 
much for even a man with Flower's force of character 
and determination, and the attempt to merge the 


palaeontological withfthe zoological collections was con- 
sequently perforce abandoned. 1 As a compromise a 
certain number of fossil specimens, or casts of the same, 
were to be introduced among the recent mammals ; 
while, conversely, a few skeletons of the latter were to 
take their place among the remains of their extinct 

In another mooted change, Sir William (as it lay 
entirely in the Department under his own special con- 
trol) was, however, more successful. Previously it had 
been the practice in the museum to separate the skeletons 
and skulls and horns of mammals from the mounted 
skins, placing the former in a gallery by themselves, 
known as the Osteological Gallery. As a result of this, 
if a visitor wanted to ascertain the peculiarities of the 
skeleton of any mammal of which the skin was exhibited, 
he had to mount to the gallery above, and on his arrival 
there, very probably forgot the essential features of the 
skin. One of the first resolves in connection with the 
rearrangement was to do away with the Osteological 
Gallery altogether, and to place a certain proportion of 
the skeletons and skulls in juxtaposition with, or near 
by, the stuffed skins. 

Another feature of the old method of exhibition in 
vogue in the museum was the crowding together of a 
vast number of specimens, good, bad, and indifferent 
(mostly either the second or third), many of which were 
duplicates, in such a manner that the great majority 
could scarcely be seen at all, while the effect of those that 

1 At the cost of a gap in the systematic series, a step has been subse- 
quently made in this direction by the transference of the elephants and 
sea-cows to the Geological Department. 


were more or less visible was marred and obscured by 
the adjacent specimens. To add to this unsatisfactory 
state of affairs was the bad condition due either to age, 
to bad taxidermy, or both combined of the bulk of 
the specimens. Moreover, by some inconceivable 
Vandalism, dating apparently from a very remote epoch 
in the museum's history, every specimen was mounted 
on a stand of polished sycamore, the effect of which 
was to mar even a first-class specimen of taxidermy. 
When to the above is added the fact that, beyond the 
scientific and in most cases also the popular name of the 
species, nothing in the way of indicating the serial 
position of the various groups was attempted, while all 
that was done in the way of descriptive labels was the 
suspension here and there of frames containing extracts 
from the " Guide" to the gallery, it may be imagined 
that the state of the collection was very far indeed 
behind the Director's idea of what it should be. More- 
over, although in the case of the smaller animals a 
systematic arrangement was followed, the cases con- 
taining the larger species were disposed without any 
reference to the systematic position of the latter. 

In regard to such matters the Director had, in the 
address quoted, already expressed his own views in no 
uncertain tone, as is evident from the following passage 
relating to the arrangement of specimens in the public 
galleries : 

" In the first place," he writes, " their numbers must 
be strictly limited, according to the nature of the subject 
illustrated and the space available. None must be 
placed too high or too low for ready examination. 
There must be no crowding of specimens one behind 


another, every one being perfectly and distinctly seen, 
and with a clear space around it. ... Every specimen 
exhibited should be good of its kind, and all available 
skill and care should be spent upon its preservation and 
rendering it capable of teaching the lesson it is intended 
to convey. . . . Every specimen exhibited should have 
its definite purpose, and no absolute duplicate should 
on any account be permitted." 

The purport of these golden words, which at the 
time they were written indicated an entirely new 
departure in museum arrangement and display, was, so 
far as possible, followed in the rearrangement of the 
mammal galleries. In the first place, the upper portions 
of the cases, which were far too high above the ground 
to permit of the proper exhibition of small specimens, 
were, except in those containing large mammals, 
closed up and employed for displaying the labels relating 
to the larger groups and the maps illustrating their 
geographical distribution. Then, again, the shelves, 
in place of being arranged one above another like those 
in a wardrobe, were reduced in number, and in most 
instances in width, so as to be suited to the best possible 
display of the specimens they were intended to carry. 
Duplicate specimens of all kinds, as well as representa- 
tives of species having but little general interest, were 
relentlessly weeded out and consigned to the store 
series ; while efforts were made to procure new 
examples, mounted in the best possible manner, of 
all species and these were by far the great majority 
represented by badly - mounted, or old and faded 
specimens. This part of the business was found, how- 
ever, to be a matter which must necessarily occupy much 


time, as it is impossible to procure examples of rare or 
large species, in a condition fit for stuffing, at the 
precise moment when they are required ; and there is 
also the question of expense, which becomes very heavy 
indeed when renovating and replacing a collection of the 
proportions of that of the National Museum. This 
portion of the work has therefore been going on 
uninterruptedly ever since the first start was made, and 
is indeed being continued at the present time ; for it 
has been found by experience that a collection of this 
nature, owing to the terribly bleaching effects of 
sunlight, requires constant renovation, and that ex- 
hibited museum specimens have only a definite and 
limited period, varying to a considerable extent according 
to the colour and nature of the hair in individual 
species, during which they are fitted to be publicly 
shown. Instead of a museum, when once arranged, 
being " a joy for ever," it requires constant attention 
and renovation, so that even, to keep them in proper 
order, the mammal galleries alone in the Natural 
History Museum demand a large proportion of the time 
of one of the officials. 

Not the least important of the changes made in the 
mammalian galleries under the supervision of Sir 
William Flower was the alteration of the colour of the 
stands on which the specimens were mounted. These, 
as already said, were of polished sycamore, the bright 
reflection from which was exceedingly unbecoming 
to the specimens, to say nothing of the obvious lack of 
aesthetic fitness in mounting stuffed mammals upon 
a polished surface of this nature. Before anything 
in the way of a change was attempted, Sir William 


sought the advice of his friend, the late Lord Leighton, 
after consultation with whom, it was finally decided 
that in future the stands should be of a good " cigar- 
colour." This was effected, in the first instance, by 
scraping and staining the original sycamore stands a 
work of great labour and expense ; but all new ones 
were subsequently made of wood more easy to work, 
walnut being employed in the case of the smaller sizes. 
Even this improvement, great as it undoubtedly was, 
did not, however, by any means represent the full 
extent of the changes in this direction. After a short 
experience of the aforesaid " cigar-coloured " stands, 
it was found that the general effect was much improved 
by gouging out the upper surface of these, with the 
exception of a narrow rim round the margin, to a 
depth of a quarter or half an inch, and covering it with 
a thin layer of sand or earth, upon which leaves, pebbles, 
etc., might be disposed if required. Instead of 
"skating on sycamore tables," the animals were by 
this means shown standing on a very good imitation of 
a natural land surface. 

Nor was this all. At an early period during the 
rearrangement of the mammal galleries, Sir William 
suggested that many of the larger species might be 
mounted upon imitation ground-work covering the 
entire floor of the cases in which they were exhibited. 
This idea was forthwith put into execution in several 
cases, notably in these containing the lions, the tigers, 
and the group of fur-seals from the PribilofF Islands, 
presented by Sir George Baden-Powell. Supposed 
difficulties with regard to the cleaning of the glass of 
the cases prevented this plan from being carried out to 


any greater extent during Sir William's lifetime. But 
these presumed difficulties were subsequently overcome, 
and of late years a considerable number of the cases 
containing the larger species of mammals have been 
treated in this manner with excellent effect and a vast 
increase to the general attractiveness of the museum. 
In some instances a merely conventional ground- work has 
been introduced, but in others a more realistic effect has 
been attempted. A notable example of this is the 
reindeer-case, in which the artificial ground-work is 
covered with rocks, lichen, moss, and birch-stems 
obtained from the reindeer pastures of Norway. 
Similarly, the Arctic musk-oxen have been placed on an 
imitation snow-slope. Although, as already said, much 
of this work has been carried out since his death, 
the idea originated entirely with Flower. A similar 
grouping of animals on artificial ground-work when 
possible in imitation of the natural surroundings has 
been instituted in some of the American museums, but 
whether following Flower's lead, or as an original 
inspiration, I am unable to say. 

At the time when Sir William took over the office of 
Keeper of the Zoological Department (in addition to the 
Directorship), the scheme then in vogue at the museum 
scarcely assigned to man his real zoological position 
at the head of the order Primates in the mammalian 
class. It is true that in the osteological gallery the 
genus Homo was represented by a couple of skeletons 
and a series of skulls. But in the gallery devoted to 
stuffed specimens man, as an integral portion of the 
exhibited series, was conspicuous by his absence. This 
by no means suited the views of the Director, who in an 


obituary notice of Owen quoted with approval a 
statement of the great anatomist to the effect that no 
collection of zoology could in any way be regarded 
as complete without a large amount of space being 
devoted to the display of the physical characteristics of 
the various races of the human species. " The series of 
zoology would lack its most important feature were the 
illustrations of the physical characters of the human 
race omitted." Such a series, thought Owen in 1862, 
would require a gallery of something like 150 feet in 
length, by 50 feet in width, for its proper display. 
Stuffed specimens being, of course, out of the question, 
the series was to include *' casts of the entire body, 
coloured after life, of characteristic parts, as the head 
and face, skeletons of every variety arranged side by 
side for facility of comparison, the hair preserved in 
spirit, showing its characteristic sign and distinctive 
structures, etc." Had photography been in anything 
like its present advanced position in 1862, no doubt its 
aid would have been claimed in illustrating the various 
racial types of the human species. 

A gallery of anything like the dimensions required by 
Owen was quite out of the question when Flower 
planned the addition of an anthropological section to the 
mammalian series, but one-half of the portion of the 
upper mammal gallery now open to the public was 
reserved for this purpose, so that man took his proper 
place in the zoological series immediately after the 
gorilla, chimpanzee, and the other man-like apes, which, 
in their turn, were preceded by the lower types of 
monkey. In the main, the specimens exhibited in this 
series follow on the lines suggested by Owen, including 


coloured casts of the upper part of the body, or the 
head and neck alone, specimens of the hair, skulls, 
skeletons, etc. 

In addition to these is a series of photographs of 
heads enlarged to natural size, and including, whenever 
possible, a full face and a profile view of each individual 
represented. Flower took great interest in these 
photographs (as in the anthropological series generally), 
and made several experiments before finally deciding as 
to the scale to which they were to be enlarged. As 
facilities for photographing in the museum itself were at 
the time very limited, Flower enlisted the assistance of 
Dr. H. O. Forbes, Director of the Liverpool Museums, 
who entered enthusiastically into the project, and under 
whose superintendence the great majority of the repro- 
ductions from photographs now exhibited was pro- 
duced ; the arrangement being that Liverpool should 
have a copy of every photograph forwarded for 

The races of mankind were arranged in the gallery 
according to Flower's own scheme, fuller reference to 
which is made elsewhere in the present volume. Flower 
himself did not survive long enough to see the arrange- 
ment he had plotted out fully installed. Of late years, 
although some progress has been made in this direction, 
the series of coloured casts of the various human races 
has not increased so rapidly as Flower had hoped they 
would ; but, nevertheless, a fairly representative series 
had been brought together, and there is, at present, 
ample space for additions when opportunities of acquiring 
new specimens occur. It should be added that Flower 
inaugurated the plan of making a collection of photo- 


graphs of the various human races to be kept in the 
study series. 

It must not, however, be supposed that Flower, 
during his too brief tenure of the office of Keeper 
of the Zoological Department, by any means confined 
his attention to the mammalian galleries. On the 
contrary, he had with his own hands rearranged two 
of the cases in the bird gallery, namely, those con- 
taining the humming-birds and the woodpeckers ; and 
shortly before his resignation he was planning the re- 
arrangement of all the cases in this section ; a work 
which since his death has been carried out to completion 
on the same lines. In this connection it is, however, 
only fair to state that in the obituary notice of Flower, 
published in the " Year-Book" of the Royal Society for 
1901, full justice has not been done to his predecessors. 
The passage in question runs as follows : 

" Every effort was made to give the specimens 
natural postures and natural surroundings. Thus, for 
example, the tree on which the woodpecker was at 
work, was cut down, the foliage modelled in wax, and 
all the surroundings carefully kept. Hovering birds 
were suspended by fine wire or thread. Birds making 
nests in holes, such as the Manx shearwater, sand- 
martin and kingfishers, either had the actual parts or a 
model of these beside them, just as the nests of the 
gannets and guillemots on the Bass Rock were shown 
with their natural environment." 

The obvious inference from this would be that the 
cases of birds mounted in imitation of their natural 
environment, inclusive of the splendid model of a portion 
of the Bass Rock, with its feathered inhabitants placed 


in the " pavilion " at the end of the bird gallery, are due 
to the initiation of Flower. This is far from being the 
case; and he himself would have been the very last 
man to claim credit which was not his due. As a 
matter of fact, the idea of mounting birds in this manner 
originated with Dr. Bowdler Sharpe during the Keeper- 
ship of Dr. Giinther ; the first case installed on these 
lines being the one containing the common coot. The 
series was continued during Dr. Giinther's term of office, 
and was kept up by Flower after his succession to the 
Keepership. As regards the Bass Rock model, this was 
also installed during Dr. Giinther's Keepership, and, I 
believe, while Owen was Superintendent. "What Flower 
did initiate in the bird gallery was the rearrangement of 
the wall-cases on much the same lines as the mammal 
galleries, including the rejection of duplicates and 
uninteresting species, and the replacement of worn-out 
and badly-mounted specimens, by new and artistically 
set-up examples, and the addition of maps and descrip- 
tive labels. As a matter of fact, the replacement and 
remounting of specimens have been carried out to a 
much greater extent among the birds than has been 
found possible with the mammals. A large number of 
the birds have been mounted by Cullingford of Durham, 
whereas nearly all the mammals have been set up by 
three London taxidermists, namely Rowland Ward, 
Ltd., Gerrard, and Pickhardt. This plan of employing 
several firms of taxidermists, instead of giving all the 
work to one, was much favoured by Flower, as it 
gave rise to a healthy competition and rivalry, and 
thus produced better results ; the different firms 
being kept up to the mark by having their names affixed 


to the more important examples of their respective 

Before his last illness Flower had in contemplation 
a plan for treating the reptile and fish galleries (in 
which the crowded exhibits displayed a monotonous 
and dismal "khaki" hue) on the above lines, but this 
work was left for his successor, by whom it is in course 
of being carried out with characteristic energy and 

There is, however, another section of the zoological 
department of the museum which owes its conception 
entirely to Sir William Flower, and which he was for- 
tunately spared to complete. This is the whale-room, 
or whale-annexe, as it might be better called ; for it is a 
temporary structure of galvanised iron, lined with match- 
boarding built out from the north-west angle of the 
building, and entered by a passage leading out of the 
corridor alongside the bird gallery. At the time that 
Flower took over the Keepership of the Zoological 
Department, with the exception of a skeleton of the 
sperm-whale, placed in the middle of the Central Hall, 
the specimens of Cetacea were housed in a portion of the 
basement, never intended for a public gallery and very 
unsuited to that purpose. The collection consisted 
mainly of skeletons and skulls, together with samples 
of whalebone and teeth ; for it had been found by 
experience that it was a practical impossibility to mount 
the skins of the larger whales for exhibition purposes. 
Indeed, there is great difficulty in doing this even in 
the case of the dolphins, porpoises, and smaller whales, 
owing to the fact that their skins are saturated with 
oil, which, even after the most careful preparation, is 


almost sure, sooner or later, to exude through the pores, 
and render the specimens unsightly, if not absolutely 
unfit for exhibition. 

Previously to Flower's attempt to make an adequate 
and striking exhibition of the bodily form of the larger 
whales, some of the smaller members of the group, such 
as the killer-whale, had been modelled in America in 
papier-mach ; one such model of the species in question 
being exhibited in the museum. Flower, however, 
conceived the idea of making models in plaster of even 
the largest species of whales ; but, in order to save 
both material and space, resolved that these should be 
restricted to one-half of the animal, and should be con- 
structed upon the actual skeleton, thereby ensuring, 
with the aid, when possible, of measurements taken from 
carcases, practically absolute accuracy as regards size 
and proportion. In due course, after great labour and care, 
such half-models were built up on the skeletons of the 
sperm-whale, the southern right-whale, and two species 
of fin-whale, or rorqual, while others were made of 
some of the smaller kinds, such as the narwhal and the 
beluga or white whale. Skeletons and skulls of other 
species, together with complete models or stuffed skins, 
or models of the head alone, of many of the porpoises 
and dolphins, and other specimens illustrating the 
natural history of the Cetacea, were likewise placed 
in the new annexe, which was opened to the public 
on Whit Monday 1897. Flower had always been im- 
pressed with the great structural difference between 
the toothed whales, as represented by the sperm-whale, 
grampuses, porpoises, dolphins, etc., on the one hand, 
and the whalebone whales, such as the right-whales, 


humpbacks, and finners, on the other ; and in order to 
emphasise this essential distinction, he caused the skele- 
tons and models of the one group to be mounted with 
their heads in one direction, while those of the second 
were turned the opposite way. 

Although it was found impossible to obtain a 
skeleton of the Greenland right-whale, Flower was 
able to persuade Captain Gray, a well-known whaler, 
to carve a miniature model in wood, which gives an 
excellent idea of the proportions, especially the huge 
size of the head and mouth, of this interesting 
species. Sketches on the walls of the building 
illustrate the habits and mode of capture of the sperm- 
whale, while others serve to show the bodily form 
of species not yet represented by models. 

At the time it was opened this exhibit was 
absolutely unique ; and, in the belief of the writer, 
it remains so to the present day. Unfortunately, the 
size and design of the building, which has a row 
of wooden posts down the middle, are such as greatly 
to interfere with the proper effect of the specimens 
exhibited ; and it is much to be hoped that means will 
be found to erect a larger gallery, of a more permanent 
nature, which will not only allow the contents of the 
present structure to be adequately seen, but will likewise 
leave space to permit of models of other species, such 
as the humpback whale, to be added to the series. 

Hitherto I have dwelt exclusively upon Sir William's 
efforts to improve the museum under his charge, from 
the point of view of the general public, that is to say, as 
an institution for the exhibition of natural history 
specimens. It must, however, be always remembered that 


this was but one side of his task, and that he laboured 
hard during the whole time of his official connection 
with the museum not only to increase the study, or 
reserve, collections (which are those on which the real 
scientific work of the museum is almost exclusively 
based), but to add to the space available for their 
storage and for the workers by whom they are 

Early in his career as Director he recognised the in- 
sufficiency of the accommodation of this nature, although, 
as usual, he expressed his opinion in extremely cautious 
and guarded language. For instance, in his address as 
President of the Museum Associations in 1893, a ^ ter 
referring to the deficiencies of all, at that time, modern 
museums, which were described as having been built 
during a period when opinion was still divided as to the 
proper function of institutions of this nature, he continued 
as follows : 

" In none, perhaps, is this more strikingly shown than 
in our own built, unfortunately, before any of the 
others, and so without the advantages of the experience 
that might have been gained from their successes or their 
shortcomings. Though a building of acknowledged 
architectural beauty, and with some excellent features, 
it cannot be taken structurally as a model museum 
when the test of adaptation to the purpose to which it 
is devoted is rigidly applied." 

This unsuitableness, it may be added, is apparent not 
only in the lack of accommodation for the study series, 
but in the exhibition galleries themselves, where 
architectural ornament interferes with the proper display 
of the specimens, if indeed it does not absolutely 


preclude their being placed on the walls, while an 
excess of light (which has been partially remedied by 
blocking up the lower portion of the windows in some 
of the zoological galleries) causes the specimens to 
become prematurely bleached and faded. 

As regards the deficiency of accommodation for the 
study series in the museum, Sir William endeavoured to 
remedy this, so far as possible, by closing some portions 
of the galleries previously open to the public a step, 
which, however necessary, tended to mar the building, so 
far as exhibition purposes are concerned. 

" While thus maintaining," writes his biographer in 
the Year-book " of the Royal Society for 1901, the 
high scientific reputation of the great National Museum, 
he continued to popularise the institution and science 
by taking parties of working men round the museum on 
Sundays, and occasionally a distinguished visitor, like 
Dr. Nansen, would also join the group. Nor was he 
less attentive to members of the Royal Family, or to 
distinguished statesmen, like Mr. Gladstone, who 
honoured the museum with their presence. Foreign 
rulers, like the Queen of Holland, the Prince of Naples, 
the Empress Frederick of Germany, and the King 
of Siam, were also interested in the collection, so that 
the popularity and welfare of the museum were greatly 
extended by the Director's tact and urbanity. Formerly, 
he had taken a leading part in interesting the Prince of 
Wales (his present Majesty), who was present at 
Sir James Paget's Hunterian Oration in 1877, * n the 
Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, and in 
arranging for an exhibition of the Prince's hunting 
trophies at the Zoological Society shortly afterwards, 


so in his new sphere royal and other powerful influences 
were utilised for the improvement and popularising of the 

King Edward, as Prince of Wales, it may be added, 
was a constant attendant at the meetings of the Board 
of Trustees at the Museum during Sir William Flower's 
administration ; and would occasionally, at the close of 
the meeting, accompanied by the Director, make an 
inspection of some of the galleries. As indicative 
of the interest he took in the details of the arrangement 
of the museum, it may be mentioned that on one of 
these tours of inspection His Majesty took exception to 
the position assigned to the head of a reindeer, and 
desired that it might be placed elsewhere. 

One other point in connection with Sir William's 
administration may be noticed. Ever since its establish- 
ment the hall and public exhibition galleries of the Natural 
History Museum had been guarded during exhibition 
hours by members of the Metropolitan Police an 
arrangement which involved a very large expense to 
the country. Flower suggested that, provided two or 
three police sergeants and constables were detailed for 
special duty, the general work of guarding the collec- 
tions could be equally well done by members of the 
Corps of Commissionaires, thereby not only effecting 
a considerable financial saving, but likewise a fresh area 
of employment for a very deserving class of the 
community. This arrangement, which was found to 
work smoothly and satisfactorily, has remained in force 
ever since. It may be added that the opening of the 
museum for a limited number of hours on Sunday 
afternoons commenced during Flower's tenure of office j 


this arrangement being common to other institutions of 
a like nature. 

At the special recommendation of the Trustees, the 
Treasury, when Sir William reached the age for 
retirement, according to Civil Service rules, extended 
his term of office for three years. A lengthened period 
of physical weakness and prostration rendered it, 
however, impossible for Flower to avail himself of 
the whole of this extension, and in July 1898 the state 
of his health was such that he felt himself compelled 
to send in his resignation. 

When this resignation was accepted by the Standing 
Committee of the Trustees of the Museum, a special 
Minute, signed by Lord Dillon, gave expression to the 
regret felt by that body and the Trustees generally at 
the retirement of Sir William, to whom every 
compliment was paid as a worthy successor of Sir 
Richard Owen, and as one who had done so much 
towards the re-organisation of a museum pre-eminent 
amongst institutions of its kind. 

To enter upon the relations of Flower to his 
subordinates in the Museum is treading upon somewhat 
delicate ground ; it may be safely affirmed, however, 
that to those who were in full sympathy and accord with 
his way of looking at things and his schemes for the 
general advancement and improvement of the institution 
under his charge, no truer friend or kinder master 
could possibly have been found. Owing to the fact 
that the time of the permanent officials of the museum 
is for the most part fully occupied in working out the 
store collections, and registering and, when necessary, 
describing new acquisitions, Sir William soon found 


that he had not sufficient skilled labour at his disposal 
wherewith to carry out the installation of the Index 
Museum and his meditated improvements in the 
exhibition series. Accordingly he obtained the assent 
of the Treasury to employ the services of a few 
scientific men not on the staff of the museum 
for these purposes ; an arrangement which has been 
continued under his successor. 

Sir William's services to the museum, as well as to 
science in general, are commemorated by a bust, executed 
by Mr. T. Brock, and placed on the south side of the 
entrance to the first " bay " of the Index Museum. 
The funds necessary for this were raised by the 
" Flower Memorial Committee," to which Mr. F. E. 
Beddard, Prosector of the Zoological Society, acted as 
Secretary. The bust, which in a profile view, is an 
excellent likeness of the late Director, was unveiled on 
26th July 1903, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 
the presence of a representative assemblage of men of 
science and personal friends, as well as of statesmen. 

The proceedings were opened by Professor E. Ray 
Lankester, the Director of the Museum, who moved 
that Lord Avebury (better known in scientific circles as 
Sir John Lubbock), the Chairman of the Memorial 
Committee, should take the chair. The Chairman, 
having taken his seat, expressed his pleasure in being 
called upon to preside at the ceremony, on account of 
his admiration and respect for the late Sir William 
Flower, and for the services he had rendered to 
zoological science. 

Dr. Philip Lutley Sclater, the Secretary of the 
Zoological Society, also spoke as an old and intimate 


friend of the late Director, with whom he had been 
brought into specially close contact during the long 
period the latter presided over the Zoological Society. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, in a brief speech 
previous to unveiling the bust, referred to two traits in 
Flower's character which had specially struck his 
Grace, and which were seldom found associated in the 
same individual, one of these being his great love of 
talking on his own special subjects of study, and 
the other that, in spite of this, he never bored even the 
least interested of his hearers. During his Directorship 
Flower had done more to popularise the museum, and 
museums generally, than had any other man of science. 

The proceedings closed with the usual vote of thanks 
to the Chairman. 

In addition to writing numerous scientific memoirs, 
Flower found time during his tenure of the Directorship 
of the museum to prepare for publication two volumes of 
considerable interest. The first was the one on The 
Horse, issued in 1891, to which fuller reference is made 
in a later chapter; and the second, the well-known 
Essays on Museums, which appeared in 1 898, and consists 
of a collected series of essays, articles, addresses, etc., 
on natural history and kindred subjects. A melancholy 
interest attached to this volume (which is dedicated to 
Lady Flower), since, as we are told in the preface, it 
was compiled during a period of enforced restraint from 
active occupation, which was evidently only the prelude 
to the final breakdown. 

It was also during his Directorship of the Museum 
that The Study of Mammals saw the light. 



DURING a portion of his tenure of office as Conservator of 
the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, and 
throughout the whole of his Directorship of the Natural 
History Museum, Sir William Flower occupied the 
Presidential Chair of the Zoological Society of London 
the oldest body of its kind in existence. The events 
narrated in the present chapter occurred therefore 
during the period covered by its two immediate pre- 
decessors; nevertheless, this method of treatment, 
although breaking the chronological order, has been 
found, on the whole, the most convenient. 

The Zoological Society, it may be observed, has 
been in the habit of selecting its presidents from three 
distinct classes. As in the case of the late Prince 
Consort, the president may be a personage of exalted 
rank without any claim to a special knowledge of 
zoology. . On the other hand, as exemplified by the 
Earl of Derby, who filled the office in the "fifties," the 
Marquis of Tweeddale in the " seventies," and the Duke 
of Bedford at the present time, he may combine high 
rank with a more or less pronounced taste for and 
knowledge of natural history, or, finally, as in the case 
of the founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, he may be selected 



solely for his eminence as a zoologist or as a lover of 

On the death of the Marquis of Tweeddale, 2pth 
December 1878, Professor Flower was selected by the 
Council to fill the presidential chair ; the appointment 
being duly ratified at the Annual Meeting of the Society 
held the following spring. From that date till the 
year of his death, Flower was annually re-elected 
president by the unanimous vote of the meeting. He 
made an admirable president, his deliberate mode of 
speaking being specially well adapted to the comments 
expected from a scientific man occupying the presidential 
chair at the scientific meetings. From his wide know- 
ledge of zoology, anatomy, and palaeontology, he was 
able to speak to the point on almost all the papers read 
at the Society's meetings ; and those privileged to listen 
to his remarks on any specimen in which he was speci- 
ally interested will not readily forget the impressive 
manner in which he brought its more salient and char- 
acteristic features to the notice of his hearers. Many 
of his more important scientific memoirs communicated 
to the Society had been published in its Proceedings or 
Transactions, before he accepted the presidential chair, in 
days when the calls on his time were not so pressing 
or so numerous as they afterwards became ; but even 
after his elevation to the presidency several valuable 
memoirs were received from him, the most important being, 
perhaps, one on the classification and affinities of the 
dolphins, to which fuller reference is made in another 

During Flower's presidency several important events 
and changes occurred in the affairs of the Zoological 


Society ; and although the management was to a very 
great extent in the hands of the Secretary, Dr. P. L. 
Sclater, yet in matters of extreme importance the 
influence and opinions of the president always made 
themselves felt the more so, perhaps, that they were not 
in special evidence in the case of trivial matters. In the 
early eighties the Society suffered severely from financial 
depression, its income in the years 1883 and 1884 
falling far below its expenditure. Thanks, however, 
to the patient sagacity and great administrative powers 
of the president and secretary, the affairs of the Society 
were soon put on a much more satisfactory basis, and 
long before the death of the former, a state of prosperity 
was reached which had seldom, if ever, been equalled, 
and certainly never excelled. 

In the first year of his presidency, Flower delivered 
one of the Davis lectures in the Society's Gardens, the 
subject being birds that do not fly, and he also lectured 
in the two following years, selecting as his subjects in 
1 88 1 firstly whales, and secondly dolphins. The 
following year was notable on account of the sale to 
the great American showman, Barnum, of the African 
elephant " Jumbo." The reason for thus parting with 
a valuable and interesting animal was that it was 
unsafe to keep it in the gardens any longer. The sale, 
as stated in the " Record" of the Society, caused a good 
deal of public excitement, but the Council would not 
have parted with the animal unless satisfactory reasons 
for so doing had been laid before it by the responsible 
Executive of the Gardens. 

A still more important event occurred in 1883, namely 
the transference of the Society's Offices and Library from 


No 1 1 to No 3 Hanover Square ; the freehold of the 
latter house having been secured by the Council at a cost 
of 16,250. Such an important transaction would not, 
we may be assured, have been allowed to take place 
without the most careful deliberation and consideration 
on the part* of the President. 

On the first meeting of the Society, held on 1st April 
1884, in its new premises, the President took the 
opportunity of congratulating the Fellows present on 
the very great improvement in the Meeting-room, the 
Library, and the Offices, resulting from the change. The 
Society had occupied the old house, No II Hanover 
Square, for forty-one years, and had long since quite 
outgrown the accommodation it afforded in all the three 
departments mentioned above. 

The income of the Society had increased from 9 1 37 
in 1843 to 28,966 in 1883, with a corresponding 
increase of clerical work. The Library had been almost 
entirely formed since the earlier of these dates, and 
was rapidly increasing, and the attendance of the 
Fellows at the evening meetings for scientific business 
had been such that the old rooms were quite inadequate 
for their accommodation. The President trusted that 
the increased facilities afforded by the move would be 
taken advantage of by the Fellows in promoting, with 
even greater zeal than previously, the work for which 
the Society was founded, and in maintaining and extend- 
ing the high reputation it had acquired in the scientific 

Few presidents or chairmen, whether of scientific 
societies or of commercial companies, could have had a 
more satisfactory record of progress to lay before their 


supporters. The following account of certain events 
in the Society's history which took place in 1887 is 
extracted from the " Record " of its work : 

" In ordertomark the Jubilee of her late Majesty Queen 
Victoria which took place this year, in some special way, it 
was decided to hold the General Meeting in June in the 
Gardens. After the usual formal business had been 
transacted, the Silver Medal awarded to the Maharaja 
of Kuch-Behar was presented to His Highness in person, 
and suitably acknowledged. Professor Flower, C.B., 
President of the Society, then delivered an address, 
which was printed as an Appendix to the Council's 
Report. It dealt in general terms with the principal 
points in the history of the Society, from its foundation 
in 1826, tracing its progress throughout. The con- 
nection of the Royal Family with the Society as Patrons 
and Donors, the scientific meetings, the publications, the 
Davis Lectures, the menagerie, and the recent improve- 
ments in the Gardens were passed in review. The 
President concluded by appealing for the continued 
support of the public, either by becoming Fellows or by 
visiting the Gardens, and expressed the hope that the 
' brief record of the Society's history would show that such 
support was not undeserved by those who have had the 
management of its affairs.' A reception held after the 
meeting was numerously attended by the Fellows and 
their friends, and by many specially invited guests, 
among whom were the Queen of Hawaii and Princess 
Liliokalani, the Thakor Sahib of Limdli, H.H. the 
Prince Devawongse, and the Maharaja of Bhurtpore." 

The reception, which was held on 1 5th June in 
brilliant weather, was a marked success ; the number of 


foreign visitors in their native dresses lending additional 
patches of colour to the scene. The President's address 
on the occasion is reprinted in his Essays on Museums. 

Referring to Sir William's death, the " Record" of the 
Society has the following paragraph : 

" On 1st July [1899] the Presidentship of the Society 
became vacant by the death of Sir William Flower who 
had filled the office for more than twenty years. During 
this period Sir William Flower had regularly occupied 
the Presidential chair, and had been constantly engaged 
on committees and on other matters connected with the 
Society's affairs. In Sir William Flower the Society 
lost a zoologist of the highest ability and a most able 
and energetic President. To succeed him the Council 
selected His Grace the Duke of Bedford as President, 
and their choice was confirmed at the Anniversary 
Meeting in 1900." 



IN the course of the preceding chapters numerous 
more or less incidental references have been made to 
the contributions of Sir William Flower to biological 
literature, as well as to his many improvements in 
museum organisation and arrangement. The more 
detailed discussion of these has, however, been reserved 
for the present and succeeding chapters, of which the 
first two are devoted to the zoological and the third to 
the anthropological side of his work, while in the 
fourth his views in regard to museums and certain 
other subjects are taken into consideration. 

Regarding the general scientific work of Flower, it 
must be confessed at the outset that this is characterised 
in the main by its conscientious carefulness and exactness, 
rather than by brilliancy of thought, conception, or 
style. Great attention to detail, both as regards the 
work itself and in reference to authorities (which were 
always most carefully verified), is indeed one of the 
leading features of his labours ; but there is no epoch- 
making discovery or comprehensive generalisation which 
can be associated with his name. In connection with 
his careful attention to small and apparently trivial points 
of detail, the following passage from Professor Ray 



Lankester's obituary notice in Nature may be appro- 
priately quoted : 

" He did his own work with his own hands, and 
I have the best reason to know that he was so deeply 
shocked and distressed by the inaccuracy which unfor- 
tunately crept into some of the work of his distinguished 
predecessor, Owen, through the employment of dissectors 
and draughtsmen, whose work he did not sufficiently 
supervise, that he himself determined to be exceptionally 
careful and accurate in his own records and notes." 

In another passage of his notice the same writer 
observes that : 

" Caution and reticence in generalisation certainly 
distinguish all Flower's scientific writings. Whilst he 
was on this account necessarily not known as the author 
of stirring hypotheses, his statements of fact gained in 
weight by his reputation for judgment and accuracy." 

Flower's zoological studies related entirely to the 
vertebrates and almost exclusively to mammals, although 
he devoted a few papers, such as the one on the 
gular pouch of the great bustard, and that on the skull 
of a cassowary, to birds. Other groups, I believe, he 
never touched. In the earlier years of his scientific 
career, at anyrate, his labours were in the main devoted 
to the anatomical aspect of zoology, such subjects as 
the dentition, osteology, and the structure and characters 
of the brain and viscera claiming a much larger share of 
his attention than was bestowed on the myology. In 
latter years the classification of the major groups of the 
mammalia received much attention from Flower. Not 
that he was in any way what is nowadays called 
a systematist in zoology, that is to say, he took no 


active part in describing new species (not to mention 
sub-species, which had scarcely begun to be recognised 
by naturalists in his day), or the redefining of generic 
groups, and other work of this nature. Indeed, as 
mentioned in the chapter devoted to his career at the 
College of Surgeons, he was extremely conservative in 
this respect, and strongly opposed to the modern 
fondness for small generic groups, and also for changing 
generic names which, from long association, have come 
almost to be regarded as household words and integral 
parts of the English language. The substitution of 
the name Procavia, for Hyrax, the familiar title of the 
Klip-dass, was, for instance, very repugnant to him, 
although loyally accepted when found to be coming 
into general use. 

As a matter of fact, so far as my information goes, 
with the exception of certain whales and dolphins, and 
one extinct sea-cow (Halitherium)^ Flower never named 
a new species of animal, nor, I think, did he ever pro- 
pose a new generic term. Indeed, so opposed was he 
to any interference with names of the latter description 
in general use, that when several such were replaced 
by alternative ones in the Study of Mamma/s, it was 
expressly stipulated by him that the responsibility for 
such substitution should rest solely with the present 
writer. 1 

The modern system of forming trinomials to indicate 
the local races, or sub-species, of mammals (as exempli- 
fied by Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi and Giraffa 
camelopardalis capensis for two of the local phases of 

1 An American writer has recently attributed, quite unjustifiably, the 
names in question to Flower. 


the species of giraffe typified by G. camelopardalis of the 
Egyptian Sudan and Abyssinia), was practically in its 
infancy during the active life-time of Flower, and it is 
doubtful how he would have approved of the extent to 
which it has been subsequently carried. Nevertheless, 
that he appreciated the practice of recognising minute 
local differences of colour, size, etc., in the same species 
of mammals is evident from an incident within the 
writer's own knowledge, which occurred at the Natural 
History Museum, when a tray containing the local 
phases of one of the species of the small squirrel-like 
rodents known as chipmunks was submitted to his 
notice; his remark being that such variations from a 
common type ought in nowise to be ignored, if we 
wished to make our knowledge of animals anything like 
complete, and that the simplest way of indicating such 
differences was to assign them distinct names. 

In a general way, however, it may be said that Sir 
William's sympathies were with the wider and more 
philosophical aspects of zoology rather than with the 
details of specific and sub-specific distinction (which, by 
the way, have scarcely any more right to be regarded 
as real philosophical science than has stamp-collecting) r j 
and that, from a systematic standpoint, his interest was 
very largely concentrated on the relationships existing 
between the mammals of to-day and their extinct pre- 
decessors. Several of his lectures and papers, and one 
especially of his separate works (that on The Horse) 
were indeed devoted to this aspect of the subject ; and 

1 The present writer has the less compunction in making this assertion, 
seeing that he himself is responsible for naming no inconsiderable number 
of these so-called sub-species of mammals. 


on every possible occasion he emphasised his conviction 
of the necessity of studying (and arranging in museums) 
living and extinct mammals together, if we wish to 
make our science really practical. 

As a matter of fact he had the strongest possible 
objection to the recognition of " palaeontology " as a 
science apart from zoology, and he even went so far as to 
mildly rebuke (in his own inimitably courteous and 
gentle manner) the present writer, for venturing to offer 
to the public a volume on that subject. To a great ex- 
tent, no doubt, he was perfectly right in this contention, 
although there are points of view from which " palae- 
ontological" works are decidedly convenient, even if their 
existence and production cannot be logically justified. 

As regards the particular groups of mammals (other 
than man) in which Flower was more especially in- 
terested, there can be no doubt that the Cetacea (whales 
and dolphins) occupied the first position. And on this 
subject he was undoubtedly one of the first authorities, 
his only possible rivals in this country, at anyrate, 
being Sir William Turner and Professor Struthers. 
Next to this group came, perhaps, the marsupials, 
in which a most important discovery was made by 
Flower in regard to the succession and replacement of 
the teeth. 

Not even the most sympathetic of biographers would 
attempt for one instant to assume that his hero if a 
zoologist could by any possibility be infallible ; and it 
has to be recorded that many changes and amendments 
have had to be made in Flower's conclusions. Perhaps, 
indeed, Sir William has been to some extent especially 
unfortunate in this respect, owing to the extreme im- 


perfection of the state of our palaeontological (I must 
use the objectionable word) knowledge at the date 
when much of his best work was accomplished. At 
that time, in spite of the enormous and valuable results 
achieved by Cuvier, Owen, and others, mammalian 
palaeontology may be said to have been in its infancy 
compared to its present state ; the wonderful discoveries 
in North and South America being then either unknown 
or only partially revealed, and the same being the case 
with regard to those made known by the working of 
the phosphorite beds in Central France. 

These and other discoveries have, for instance, totally 
revolutionised our ideas with regard to the affinities 
of the different families of the modern Carnivora, and 
have thus led to considerable modifications of the views 
entertained by Flower as to the relationships of the 
members of this group. 

Moreover, there is another important factor which has 
to be taken into consideration. At the time when Sir 
William wrote his celebrated memoir on the Carnivora, 
the effects of what is now universally known among 
zoologists as " parallelism in development " were quite 
unrecognised. By " parallelism " (to abbreviate the 
expression) is meant, it may be explained, a remarkable 
tendency which undoubtedly exists among animals of 
markedly diverse origin to become more or less like 
one another in at least one important structural feature, 
when living under similar physical conditions, or specially 
adapted for similar modes of existence. Not unfre- 
quently this structural resemblance, when closely ex- 
amined, is found to be less close than might at first sight 
have seemed to be the case ; the adaptation having been 


brought about by the modification of structures origin- 
ally more or less dissimilar towards a common type. 
In other words, the same goal has been reached by two 
different routes. 

An excellent example of this is offered by the de- 
velopment of " cannon-bones " in the lower portion of 
the limbs of the members of the horse tribe on the one 
hand and those of the deer and antelopes on the other ; 
the object of this lengthening and strengthening of this 
part of the limb being in both instances the attainment of 
increased speed. Whereas, however in the one instance 
the cannon-bone is formed from one original element, 
in the other it is the result of the fusion of two such 
elements. In this case, indeed, the difference in the 
structure of this part of the skeleton in the two groups 
is so apparent as to leave no reasonable doubt as to the 
remoteness of the affinity between their respective 
ancestors. There is, however, a certain group of ex- 
tinct South American hoofed mammals in which the 
cannon-bone corresponds exactly in origin and structure 
with that of the horse, from which it might be assumed 
that the two animals were closely related, whereas, from 
other evidence, we know that they are widely sundered. 
Approximately similar structures are therefore in many 
instances far from being indications of genetic affinity 
between the animals in which they respectively occur. 
Before the occurrence of this parallelism was recognised 
by naturalists as an important factor in their develop- 
ment, such resemblances were, however, frequently 
regarded as indications of a common parentage, so that 
animals which had comparatively little to do with one 
another were brigaded as members of the same assemblage. 


With these preliminary remarks, we may proceed to 
a general survey of Sir William's zoological work. It 
has, however, been found convenient to relegate the 
consideration of his numerous memoirs on the Cetacea to 
the next chapter, by which means their connection will 
be made more apparent than if they were discussed 
among those on other sections of zoology. 

The first zoological paper (and indeed the first 
scientific work of any description) published by Flower 
seems to have been that on the dissection of one of the 
African lemurs belonging to the genus Ga/ago, which 
appeared in the Zoological Society's Proceedings for 1852, 
and serves to prove, as mentioned in the first chapter, that 
the author was at that time holding the post of Curator 
of the Museum of the Middlesex Hospital. The paper 
itself is of little importance, dealing only with the 
structure of the muscles and viscera of the species in 

The next paper on the list, which appeared in the 
same journal for 1 860, was also written during this 
part of Flower's career ; it is one of the few devoted 
to the anatomy of birds, and describes the gizzard 
of the Nicobar pigeon and other graminivorous 

About this time Flower began to devote his attention 
to the mammalian brain ; his first contribution on this 
subject being " Observations on the Posterior Lobes of 
the Cerebrum of the Quadrumana, with the Description 
of the Brain of a Galago? of which an abstract appeared 
in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London for 
1860, although the complete memoir was not published 
till 1862, in the Philosophical Transactions. The date of 


publication of the abstract proves that these studies were 
commenced, and the memoir in question completed, be- 
fore (and not, as stated by Professor M'Intosh, 1 after) 
the author's appointment to the Conservatorship of the 
Museum of the College of Surgeons, which did not take 
place till the year 1 86 1 . The brain of another monkey 
was also described in a paper on the anatomy of a South 
American species then known as Pithed a monachus, which 
appeared in the Zoological Society's Proceedings for 1862. 
In the following year (1863) he published, in the 
Natural History Review, a still more important com- 
munication, dealing with the brain of the Malay siamang 
(Hylobates syndactylus), one of the man-like apes, in 
which it was shown that in this species (and probably 
therefore in gibbons generally) the posterior part of the 
cerebrum, or main division of the brain, overlapped the 
cerebellum, or hind brain, to an even less degree than in 
the American howling-monkeys, which had hitherto been 
regarded as the lowest members of the group, so far as 
the feature in question was concerned. That such a 
feature should occur in one of the highest groups of 
apes was certainly a remarkable and unexpected dis- 
covery. Yet another contribution to the same subject 
was made in 1864, when a paper appeared in the 
Zoological Society's Proceedings on the brain of the red 
howling-monkey, then known as Mycetes seniculus, but 
of which the generic title is changed by many modern 
naturalists to Alouata. 

The earlier memoirs of this series published (in the 
Philosophical Transactions), writes Professor M'Intosh in 
the Scottish Review for 1900, "formed important evidence 

1 Scottish Review, April, 1900, p. 5. 


in the discussions which took place between Owen and 
Huxley in regard to the posterior lobe of the brain, the 
posterior cornu, and the hippocampus minor. Professor 
Owen, at the Cambridge Meeting of the British 
Association in 1862, maintained, from specimens of the 
human brain in spirit, and from a cast of the interior 
of the gorilla's skull, that in man the posterior lobes of 
the brain overlapped the cerebellum, whereas in the 
gorilla they did not ; that these characters are constant, 
and therefore he had decided to place man, with his 
overlapping posterior lobes, the existence of a posterior 
horn in the lateral ventricle, and the presence of a 
hippocampus minor in the posterior horn, under the 
special division Archencephala. Moreover, he grouped 
with these features the distinctive characters of the foot 
of man, and showed how it differed from that of all 
monkeys. Flower's accurate investigations enabled 
Huxley to substantiate his antagonistic position to 
Owen's doctrines, viz., that these structures, instead of 
being the attributes of man, are precisely the most 
marked cerebral characters common to man with the 
apes. Huxley also asserted that the differences be- 
tween the foot of man and that of the higher apes 
were of the same order, and but slightly different 
in degree from those which separated one ape from 

The result of this controversy was the overthrow 
(except in the mind and works of its author) of Owen's 
separation of man on the one hand as the representa- 
tive of a primary group the Archencephala; and of 
apes, monkeys, Carnivora, Ungulates, Sirenians, and 
Cetaceans on the other hand, as forming a second 


group the Gyrencephaia. 1 As will be seen from the 
above quotation, this result was very largely due to the 
work of Flower, although it was brought into prominent 
notice by the superior fighting powers of Huxley, who 
was also an older, and at the time at anyrate, a better- 
known man. It may be added that Flower himself 
subsequently abandoned the use of the term " Quadru- 
mana," as distinguishing apes and monkeys on the one 
hand from man, as " Bimana," on the other, and 
brigaded all altogether under their Linnaean title " Pri- 

The contributions of Flower to our knowledge of 
(and, it may be added, to the clearing up of miscon- 
ceptions in regard to) the mammalian brain, was, how- 
ever, by no means confined to the Primates (man, apes, 
monkeys, and lemurs). On the contrary, his researches 
were of equal if not indeed of more importance with 
regard to the structure of that organ in the lower 
groups of the class, namely the marsupials and the 
monotremes (duckbill platypus and spiny ant-eater). 

In the well-known Reade Lecture of 1859, Professor 
Owen expressed himself as follows with regard to the 
brain of the two groups last mentioned : 

"Prior to the year 1836, it was held by comparative 
anatomists that the brain in mammalia differed from that 
in all other vertebrate animals by the presence of the 

1 From the extract from Professor M*Intosh's notice of Flower's work 
above cited, it might be inferred that Owen first proposed the terms 
Archencephala, Gyrencephaia, etc., at the Cambridge Meeting of the 
British Association in 1862. This is not so, as these terms were used by 
him in a paper read before the Linnaean Society in 1857, and also in his 
Reade Lecture " On the Classification and Geographical Distribution of 
the Mammalia," delivered at Cambridge on loth May, 1859, and pub- 
lished in London (by J. W. Parker) as a separate volume the same year. 


large mass of transverse white fibres called 'corpus 
callosum' by the anthropotomist ; which fibres, over- 
arching the ventricles and diverging as they penetrate 
the substance of either hemisphere of the cerebrum, 
bring every convolution of the one into communication 
with those of the other hemisphere, whence the other 
name of this part the ' great commissure.' In that 
year I discovered that the brain of the kangaroo, the 
wombat, and some other marsupial quadrupeds, wanted 
the ' great commissure ' ; and that the cerebral hemi- 
spheres were connected together, as in birds, only by 
the { fornix ' and ' anterior commissure.' Soon afterward 
I had the opportunity of determining that the same 
deficiency of structure prevailed in the Ornithorhynchus 
(duckbill) and Echidna (spiny ant-eater)." 

Owen's conclusions with regard to the absence of the 
great connecting band of fibres between the hemispheres 
of the marsupial brain were first published in the Philo- 
sophical Transactions for 1837 ; those, with regard to the 
same lack in the monotremes, being added in Todd's 
Cyclopedia of Anatomy and Physiology, Article " Mono- 
tremata." In the latter article it was also stated that 
the brain of the echidna was further distinguished from 
that of other mammals by the circumstance that whereas 
in the latter the portion of the brain known as the optic 
lobes consists of four lobes (corpora quadrigemina), in 
the echidna and duckbill there are only a pair of such 
lobes (corpora bigemina.) 

In consequence of this supposed lack of the corpus 
callosum in their brains, Owen separated the marsupials 
and monotremes from other mammals in a primary group 
by themselves, under the title of Lyencephala. 


Flower's attack on these conclusions was commenced 
by a paper which appeared in the Zoological Society's 
Proceedings for 26th January 1864, entitled "On the 
Optic Lobes of the Brain of the Echidna," in which it 
was conclusively demonstrated that these structures 
resembled those of the higher mammals in being four- 

More important still was his memoir " On the Com- 
missures of the Cerebral Hemispheres of the Marsupialia 
and Monotremata, as compared with those of the 
Placental Mammals," which was published in the Philo- 
sophical Transactions of the Royal Society for 1865. In 
this was shown, it was thought, the existence in both 
monotremes and marsupials of a distinct, although very 
small, corpus callosum connecting the two hemispheres 
of the brain ; the anterior commissure, which in the 
higher mammals is the smaller connecting band, being in 
this instance much the larger. 

Recent researches have, however, tended to show 
that Owen was after all right in denying the existence 
of a corpus callosum in the latter groups. Even allow- 
ing for this correction, the result of this important 
paper was to discredit among all zoologists capable 
of forming an adequate opinion on the subject Owen's 
proposed fourfold division of the Mammalia into Lyen- 
cephala, Lissencephala, Gyrencephala, and Archen- 
cephala. And these terms have now completely 
disappeared from zoological literature. 

In those days it required no considerable amount of 
courage to attack a man of Owen's established social 
and scientific position on an important subject like this ; 
and Flower's triumph was therefore the more con- 


spicuous. Of course such of these discoveries as are 
valid, if they had not been made by him, would have 
been made later on by somebody else, as they merely 
required accurate dissection and observation. But this 
may be said of every discovery of a like nature ; and 
Flower is entitled to all credit for having worked out 
the subject in the way he did. It may be added, that, 
with our present knowledge of mammalian morphology, 
a classification based on the characters of the brain is 
manifestly based on a misconception from first to last ; 
the degree of development and specialisation of that 
organ being purely adaptive features, and therefore not 
dependent upon structural relationships. Had Owen's 
classification been maintained, it would have been 
necessary to assign the primitive Carnivora and Ungulata 
to a group quite apart from the one containing their 
existing representatives. 

In the light of modern research, it cannot now 
be held that the result of Flower's investigations 
in this direction was to demonstrate the existence 
of a corpus callosum to the brain in all the members 
of the mammalian class. 

In another paper, dealing with the brain of the Javan 
loris, published in the Transactions of the Zoological 
Society, Flower made a further contribution to the 
study of this part of the organism. Previous to the 
appearance of the memoir on the marsupial and mono- 
treme brain, Flower had published, in the Natural 
History Review for 1864, one on the number of cer- 
vical vertebrae in the Sirenia (manati and dugong). 
Apart from several papers on whales and dolphins, 
which, as already mentioned, are reserved for considera- 



tion in a later chapter, the next noteworthy zoological 
contribution from Flower's pen appears to be one on 
the gular pouch of the great bustard, published in the 
Zoological Society's Proceedings for 1865. This pouch, 
which, it may be observed is confined to the cock-bird, 
and inflated during the breeding season, is a very re- 
markable structure, which has recently been described 
in greater detail by Mr. W. P. Pycraft. 

Two years later (1867), Flower contributed to the 
same journal a .paper on the anatomy of the West 
African chevrotain, Hyomoschus aquaticus, or, as it is now 
called, Dorcatherium aquatlcum. The specimen on 
which the paper was based was the first of its kind 
which had ever been dissected at least in this country ; 
and the result of its examination was to confirm the view 
that the mouse-deer, or chevrotains, cannot be included 
among the true ruminants, or Pecora, but rather that 
they form a group (Tragulina), in many respects inter- 
mediate between the latter and the pigs and hippopota- 
muses, or Suina. To the essential difference between 
the chevrotains and the musk-deer, which have often 
been confounded, Flower was very fond of recurring 
in his later writings. 

About the year 1 866 Sir William began to turn his 
attention to the teeth of mammals, more especially as re- 
gards the mode in which the milk or baby series is suc- 
ceeded by the permanent teeth, and the general homology 
of the milk with the permanent, and of the individual 
teeth of both series with one another. As the result of 
these investigations he published during the next few 
years the following papers on this subject. First and 
most important, one on the development and succession 


of the teeth of marsupials, which appeared in the 
Philosophical Transactions for 1 867 . In the following year 
he delivered before the British Association at Norwich 
a paper entitled " Remarks on the Homologies and Rela- 
tion of the Teeth of the Mammalia," which was published 
in the Journal of Anatomy and Physiology for the same 
year. In that year he also published, in the Proceedings 
of the Zoological Society, an account of the homology 
and succession of the teeth in the armadillos. A general 
sketch from his pen of the dentition of mammals 
was published in the British Medical Journal for 1871, 
while in the Transactions of the Odontological Society 
for the same year, appeared a paper on the first, or milk, 
dentition of the Mammalia. 

By far the most important of this series of papers is 
undoubtedly the one on the succession and homologies 
of the teeth in the marsupials or pouched mammals ; 
and it is the one which contains, perhaps, the most note- 
worthy discovery made by Flower. 

Owen had previously pointed out that marsupials 
differ from ordinary placental mammals in having four 
(in place of three) pairs of cheek-teeth at the hinder 
part of the series which have no milk, or deciduous, 
predecessors, and are therefore, according to the usual 
rule, to be regarded as true molars, in contradiction to 
premolars, in which such deciduous predecessors are 
generally developed. He considered, however, that all 
the premolars in the kangaroo (and therefore presumably 
in other marsupials) as well as the incisors or cutting 
teeth, and the canines or tusks, were preceded by milk- 
teeth. Flower, on the other hand (who it is only just 
to add had a much fuller series of specimens of young 


marsupials on which to work than was available to 
Owen), was enabled to show that in the Marsupialia 
only one pair of teeth in each jaw, at most, is preceded 
by a milk-tooth. The tooth, in question, is the fifth 
from the posterior end of the series, and whereas in the 
adult animal it differs in character from those behind it, 
its deciduous predecessor resembles the latter. The 
replacing tooth was further considered to correspond 
with the fourth or last premolar of placental mammals, 
while the replaced tooth was regarded as the only one 
in the entire series corresponding to the milk-teeth of 
placental mammals. This view rendered it necessary, 
of course, to regard all the four pairs of cheek-teeth 
behind this abnormal one as corresponding to the true 
molars of placentals, as had been done by Owen, thus 
making, as already mentioned, marsupials to differ from 
ordinary placentals by possessing four instead of three 
pairs of these teeth. 

Before proceeding to notice an amendment which has 
been proposed in regard to the homology of the one 
successional tooth of the marsupials, certain other 
features connected with it and its predecessor discussed 
by Flower may be briefly mentioned. He noticed, to 
quote from an admirable epitome of his observations on 
this point, drawn up by Professor M'Intosh in the Scottish 
Review for 1900, " that there were considerable differ- 
ences in the various genera as to the relative period of 
the animal's life at which the fall of the temporary molar 
and the evolution of its successor takes place. In some, 
as in the rat-kangaroos, it is one of the latest, the 
temporary tooth retaining its place and its functions 
until the animal has nearly, if not quite, reached its full 


growth, and is not shed until all the other teeth are in 
position and use. On the other hand, in the Tasmanian 
wolf the temporary tooth is very rudimentary in size 
and form, and is shed or absorbed before any other 
teeth enter the gum. Anterior to the period of Sir 
William Flower's communication, mammals had been, 
in regard to the succession of their teeth, divided into 
two groups the Monophyodonts, or those that generate 
a single series of teeth, and the Diphyodonts, or those 
that develop two sets of teeth, but, as he pointed out, 
even in the most typical Diphyodonts the successional 
process does not extend to the whole of the teeth, 
always stopping short of those situated most posteriorly 
in each series. The pouched animals (marsupials), he 
stated, occupied an intermediate position, presenting, as 
it were, a rudimentary diphyodont condition, the suc- 
cessional process being confined to a single tooth on 
each side of each jaw." 

All this is unexceptionable. Flower, however, went 
further than this, and claimed that the true molar teeth 
of mammals correspond serially with the permanent 
premolars, canines, and incisors, and not with their 
deciduous predecessors. And he therefore urged (as 
indeed must be the case on these premisses) that the 
whole dentition of adult marsupials corresponds with 
the permanent dentition of placentals. A further infer- 
ence from this is that the milk-teeth, instead of 
being an original development, may rather be a set 
superadded to meet the temporary needs of mammals 
whose permanent set is of a highly complex type. 

To review the objections which have been raised 
against these views would be entering on a very difficult 


question, and one in regard to which uniformity of 
opinion by no means exists among naturalists even at the 
present day. It may be mentioned, however, that from 
the circumstance of the later milk-premolars resembling 
(as was noticed by Flower in the case of the one tooth 
replaced in marsupials) the true molars rather than the 
permanent premolars, it has been suggested that the 
milk-dentition is serially homologous with the true 
molars. And on this view, the entire dentition of 
marsupials (with the exception of the one replacing 
tooth) corresponds to the milk-dentition of placentals. 
Possibly, however, the larger number of incisors which 
distinguish many of the carnivorous marsupials from the 
placentals may be due to the development of teeth 
belonging to the permanent series with those of the 
milk-set, and both persisting together throughout life. 
Be this as it may, it is evident, on the above view of 
the serial homology of their dentition, that marsupials, 
instead of as Flower supposed, showing the commence- 
ment of a milk-dentition, really exhibit the decadence 
of the permanent series. 

In this respect they display a precise similarity to the 
modern elephants, as indeed was pointed out by Flower 
in his original paper, although on a false premiss, for 
he at that time regarded the anterior cheek-teeth of the 
elephant as the representatives of the permanent pre- 
molars, whereas they really correspond with the milk- 

One objection has indeed been raised with regard to 

the identification of the adult marsupial dentition with 

the milk-set of placentals, namely, the existence in certain 

marsupialia of rudimentary teeth belonging to an earlier 



set than the one functionally developed. This has been 
got over by regarding these rudimentary germs as the 
representatives of a prelacteal series. 

Passing on to another point, it has to be noticed that 
exception has also been taken to Flower's view that the 
replacing tooth of marsupials and its deciduous prede- 
cessor correspond to the fourth, or last premolar of 
placentals. The question has been discussed in con- 
siderable detail in the Zoological Society's Proceedings 
for 1899 by the present writer, who had for material 
the dentition of certain extinct South American mammals 
quite unknown to science at the time Flower's paper 
was written. The result of these comparisons was to 
render it evident, in the present writer's opinion, that 
the replacing tooth of the marsupials corresponds to the 
third, instead of to the fourth, premolar of placentals. 
From this it follows that marsupials agree with 
placentals in possessing only three pairs of true molars ; 
the first of the four teeth in the former behind the 
replacing tooth being the last milk-premolar (which is 
never replaced) instead of, as supposed by Flower, the 
first true molar. This conclusion, as pointed out by 
the present writer in the paper referred to above, had 
really been arrived at years previously by Owen, who 
also believed the replacing tooth to correspond to the 
third premolar of placentals. 

In thus bringing marsupials into line with placentals 
as regards their dentition, this later interpretation 
accords well with recent discoveries in regard to other 
parts of the organisation of the former animals. It 
should, however, be mentioned that the newer view is 
by no means accepted by all zoologists, although it has 


received the support of the well-known American 
paleontologist, Dr. J. L. Wortman, 1 who is specially 
qualified to form a trustworthy opinion on a point of 
this nature. 

Finally, whatever be the eventual verdict as to the 
serial homology of the marsupial dentition as a whole, 
and also as to that of the replacing premolar, Flower 
must always be credited with the discovery that 
marsupials replace only a single pair of teeth in each 
jaw by vertical successors. 

The other papers on dentition referred to above as 
having been "written by Flower about the same time 
are, although interesting in their way, of far less im- 
portance than the one published in the Philosophical 
Transactions. Indeed the one read before the British 
Association in 1 868 and published in the Journal of 
Anatomy and Physiology for the same year, is little more 
than a recapitulation of the results arrived at in the former. 

The paper on the development and succession of the 
teeth in the armadillos, published in the Zoological 
Society's Proceedings in 1 868, is, on the other hand, of 
considerable interest on account of its confirming the 
fact first mentioned by the French zoologist, Professor 
Paul Gervais, but generally overlooked by subsequent 
writers up to that time, that the common nine-banded 
armadillo (^Tatusia peba) differs from its relatives in 
replacing some of its teeth by vertical successors. This 
at the time was an unexpected feature in any member 
of the so-called Edentate mammals ; and tended further 
to break down the supposed hard and fast distinction 
between monophyodonts and diphyodonts. 

1 American Journal of Science , vol. xi. p, 336 (1901). 


Closely connected with the subject of dentition is a 
paper on " The Affinities and Probable Habits of the Ex- 
tinct Marsupial, Thylacoleo carnifex (Owen)," communi- 
cated by Flower to the Geological Society of London 
in 1868, and published in the Quarterly Journal of that 
body for the same year. After alluding to the paper 
on marsupial dentition, Professor Ray Lankester, in his 
obituary notice of Sir William in Nature^ of 1 3th July 
1899, observes of the communication under considera- 
tion that " The next most striking discovery which 
we owe to Flower seems to me to be the complete and 
convincing demonstration that the extinct marsupial, 
called Thylacoleo carnifex by Owen, was not a carnivore, 
but a gnawing herbivorous creature like the marsupial 
rats and the wombat a demonstration which has been 
brought home to the eye even of the unlearned by the 
complete restoration of the skull of Thylacoleo in the 
Natural History Museum by Dr. Henry Woodward." 

If we are to believe later authorities, Flower's 
demonstration of the herbivorous nature of the creature 
in question was by no means so " complete and con- 
vincing " as the learned Professor would have us believe ; 
but of this anon. 

The first important paper on Thylacoleo, which was a 
creature of the approximate size of a jaguar, whose 
remains are met with in the superficial formations of 
Australia, was one by Owen, published in the Philo- 
sophical Transactions for 1859. From the general 
characters of the skull (which was at that time only 
known by fragments), and especially from the rudi- 
mentary condition of the hinder cheek-teeth and the 
enormous size of the secant replacing premolar, which 


bears a certain superficial resemblance to the carnassial 
tooth of the cats, its describer was led to the conclusion 
that Thylacoleo was a marsupial carnivore, and " one of 
the fellest and most destructive of predatory beasts." 
Probably Owen's views at this time were, that the 
creature had its nearest living relatives in the members 
of the Australian family Dasyurida, such as the 
Tasmanian devil (Sarcophllus ursinus), and that it bore a 
relationship to the existing carnivorous marsupials some- 
what similar to that presented by a lion to a dog. At 
this time there was no evidence to show whether the 
large teeth near the front of the jaw, the existence of 
which was indicated in the original specimen merely by 
its empty socket, was a canine or an incisor ; and though 
Owen was inclined to regard it as the former, he ad- 
mitted that it might be an incisor, in which event he 
recognised that the affinities of the animal would be 
more with the herbivorous, or diprotodont section of 
the marsupials, and more especially the phalangers, or so- 
called opossums of the colonists. This is clearly in- 
dicated by the following sentence appended by Sir 
Richard to his discription : " If, however, this be 
really the foremost tooth of the jaw, it would be one of 
a pair of terminal incisors according to the marsupial 
type exhibited by the Macropodidez (kangaroos) and 
Phalangistida (phalangers)." 

In 1866, after receiving additional specimens from 
Australia, Owen was enabled to describe the greater 
part of the skull and the entire dentition of Thylacoleo. 
The large anterior teeth were clearly recognised to be 
incisors, which, in Owen's opinion, "proved the 
Thylacoleo to be the carnivorous modification of the 


more common and characteristic type of Australian 
marsupials, having the incisors of the lower jaw re- 
duced to a pair of large, more or less procumbent and 
approximately conical teeth, or * tusks.' " Not only did 
the additional evidence serve to confirm Sir Richard in 
his view of the carnivorous propensities of Thylacoleo, 
but he considered that in this extinct form we have "the 
simplest and most effectual dental machinery for pre- 
datory life and carnivorous diet known in the mammalian 
class. It is the extreme modification, to this end, of the 
diprotodont type of marsupialia." 

Beyond, however, admitting its affinities with the 
diprotodonts, Sir Richard Owen does not appear in this 
later paper to have regarded Thylacoleo as a near relative 
of any of the existing forms ; but in the article on 
'* Paleontology " in the eighth edition of the Encyclopaedia 
Britannica, published in 1859? ^ e seems to have con- 
sidered it allied to Plagiaulax of the Purbeck strata of 
Dorsetshire, which had been shown by Dr. Hugh 
Falconer to be probably of herbivorous habits. 

Sir William Flower, in the aforesaid paper in the 
Geological Society's Quarterly Journal for 1 868, while 
agreeing with Owen that Thy/acoleo was related to the 
diprotodont rather than to the polyprotodont carni- 
vorous marsupials, differed from the conclusion that it 
was a carnivore. While the large cutting premolar teeth 
were considered by Owen to resemble the carnassial 
teeth of a lion, Flower was struck by their similarity to 
the corresponding teeth of the rat-kangaroos and the 
phalangers. After discussing the other teeth, he 
concluded that "in the number and arrangement of 
these teeth . . . Thylacoleo corresponds exactly with 


the modern families Macropodid* and Phalangistidx, and 
differs completely from the carnivorous marsupials." 

After alluding to the small size of the brain-cavity 
and the large space for the attachment of the powerful 
muscles which worked the lower jaw, and suggesting 
that these features may be only to be expected in a 
large form as compared with the smaller members of 
the same group, Flower concluded that the habits of all 
species with the same general type of dentition must 
necessarily be similar. And, on these premisses, it was 
urged that Thylacoleo must in all probability have been 
a vegetable-feeder. The large premolar may seemingly 
have been " as well adapted for chopping up succulent 
roots and vegetables, as for dividing the nutritive fibres 
of animal prey." It is further suggested that the 
nutriment of Thylacoleo "may have been some kind of 
root or bulb ; it may have been fruit ; it may have been 
flesh." While in conclusion it is argued that the 
organisation of the animal did not countenance the idea 
of its preying on the large contemporary marsupials. 

Omitting reference to Owen's reply to this reversal of 
his conclusions, and also to certain comments and addi- 
tions to the arguments by other writers, we may pass on 
to a paper by Dr. R. Broom, published in the Proceedings 
of the Linnean Society of New South Wales for April 
1898, and entitled "On the Affinities and Habits of 

In this the author admits that the animal in question, 
as suggested by Owen in his second paper, and more 
fully determined by Flower, was undoubtedly a dipro- 
todont, and that it was nearly allied to the modern 
phalangers. With the 'latter it is indeed closely con- 


nected by the recently discovered extinct Burramys, 
which differs from the existing members of that group 
by the large size of the secant premolar. 

After discussing numerous points in connection with 
the problem, Dr. Broom states that those who believe 
Thylacoleo to have been carnivorous, " evidently consider 
that the molars have been reduced through their functions 
being taken up by the large premolars. But could the 
large premolars take up the molar function could they 
grind ? Even those who favour the idea of Thylacoleo 
being a vegetable-feeder, admit that the premolars were 
cutting teeth, and the difficulty of imagining a herbi- 
vorous animal without grinders is got over by supposing 
that its food was of a soft or succulent nature." 

But for the creature to have lived on succulent roots 
and bulbs, the vegetation of that part of Australia 
where it lived must, urges Dr. Broom, have been quite 
different from what it is at the present day ; and we 
have no justification for assuming any such change to 
have taken place. Moreover, an animal that could only 
slice, and not grind up, vegetable food, could apparently 
subsist only on ripe fruit, and such is to be met with in 
Australia only at one season of the year, when, owing 
to the abundance of frugivorous mammals, little, i any, 
is allowed to fall to the ground. 

"It is probably however," adds Dr. Broom, "un- 
necessary to discuss further what food Thylacoleo could 
possibly have obtained, when we have, as I hold with 
Owen, the most satisfactory proof from its anatomical 
structure as to what food it did obtain. It must be 
admitted that Thylacoleo had enormous temporal muscles, 
and it is perfectly certain that such muscles would not 


have been developed unless the animal required them. 
For what could such powerful muscles be required ? 
Most certainly not for slicing fruits or succulent roots 
and bulbs, nor would they be required even for the 
slicing of fleshy fibres. Temporal muscles are chiefly 
used apparently for closing the jaws more or less forcibly 
from the open position, while for the more complicated 
movements of mastication it is the masseter and pterygoid 
muscles that are chiefly used. Hence in all carnivorous 
animals the temporals are largely developed and the 
n:asseters more feebly, because the killing process 
requires a very forcible closing of the jaws, and the 
work to be done by the premolars and molars is com- 
paratively little. In herbivorous animals the conditions 
are reversed. The jaws are here rarely required to be 
opened widely or to be closed with any great force, 
while a very large amount of grinding work has to be 
done ; hence the temporals are rarely much larger than 
the masseters, and often very much smaller. When 
we look at Thylacoleo, ^we find not only the enormous 
temporals and only moderate masseters, but everything 
else about the skull seems to be built on carnivorous 
lines. Owen has shown the wonderful similarity which 
exists between the molar machinery in Thylacoleo and 
the lion, and it is hard to conceive as possible any other 
cause giving rise to such a specialisation in Thylacoleo 
than that which led to a similar specialisation in the cat 
tribe. Another most striking feature is to be seen in 
the condition of the incisors. Leaving out of considera- 
tion the mode of implantation and structure of the teeth 
both confirmatory of the carnivorous hypothesis 
there is one point which appears to me absolutely con- 


elusive on the subject. Unless Owen's figures are 
altogether unreliable, the lower incisors are quite unlike 
those of the herbivorous diprotodonts. In such typical 
forms as the wombat, the koala, the kangaroo, and the 
phalanger, though there are different modifications of 
the arrangement, we have the lower incisors meeting 
the upper, and forming with them an instrument for 
biting through a moderately tough, fibrous tissue, and 
even in the very small diprotodonts, so far as I am 
aware, the lower incisors always meet and work against 
the upper. But in Thylacoleo we have powerful pointed 
incisors which do not meet, but overlap. Though 
technically incisors, they are not intended to incise, but 
to pierce and tear. Such powerful pointed and over- 
lapping teeth, though easily explained on the theory 
that they were intended to kill and tear animal prey, 
were never surely provided merely to pierce succulent 
vegetables or ripe fruit. It might of course be argued 
that the incisors were used as weapons of defence, as 
apparently are the canines in the baboon ; but against 
this idea is the objection that the incisors were put to 
some use which wore them down and blunted them 
more rapidly than would be the case if they were 
chiefly used on the rare occasions when the animal had 
to defend itself; and furthermore, were such the case, the 
temporals would not require to be greatly developed. 

" There is thus, in my opinion, no other conclusion 
tenable than that Thylacoleo was a purely carnivorous 
animal, and one which would be quite able to, and pro- 
bably did, kill animals as large as or larger than itself." 

This opinion as to the carnivorous habits of Thylacoleo 
is approved by Mr. B. A. Bensley, who has specially 


studied the Australian marsupials in a memoir recently 
published in the Transactions of the Linnean Society of 

If it be correct, it reduces the net result of Flower's 
investigations on this subject to a fuller realisation of 
the diprotodont affinities of the animal under considera- 

In the latter part of 1 868, Mr. Flower, as he was 
then styled, communicated to the Zoological Society a 
most important paper entitled, " On the Value of the 
Characters of the Base of the Cranium in the Classification 
of the Order Carnivora," which was published in the 
first part of the Society's Proceedings for the following 
year. Working on the lines suggested twenty years 
previously by Mr. H. N. Turner, who had pointed out 
the importance of certain peculiarities of the base of the 
skull in the Mammalia, and especially demonstrated their 
constancy in the different groups of the Carnivora, 
Flower felt himself justified in dividing, on these char- 
acters, the existing terrestrial representatives of that 
order into three groups. These were 1st, the 
^Eluroidea, comprising the cats (Felidts), the fossa 
(Cryptoproctidts), civets and mongooses (Viverrid<e) y the 
aard-wolf (Proteleidte), and hyaenas (Hyanidd) ; 2nd, the 
Cynoidea, including only the dogs, wolves, and foxes ; 
and grd, the Arctoidea, embracing the bears (UrwV<r), 
the raccoons and pandas (Procyonida and lurid<z), and 
the weasels, badgers, otters, etc. (Mustelida). 

One result of this classification from cranial character- 
istics was to determine definitely the position of the 
American cacomistle (Bassaris or Bassariscus), which 
had been previously uncertain. The genus, as might 


have been expected from distributional considerations, 
turned out to belong to the raccoon family (Procpnides). 
As regards the relationship of the three main groups, 
subsequent palaeontological discoveries have fully con- 
firmed Flower's view that the Canidte (Cynoidea) occupy 
a central, or perhaps rather a basal, position. Palaeon- 
tology has, however, also shown that the bears ( Uru&e) 
are a direct offshoot from the Canlda, and accordingly 
that, if extinct forms be taken into consideration, there 
is no justification for the separation of the two families 
into distinct primary groups (Arctoidea and Cynoidea). 
On the other hand, fossil forms from the Lower 
Tertiaries of France and of North America seem to de- 
monstrate the existence of a complete gradation between 
the primitive dogs (Canida) and the ancestral civets 
(Piverridx), thus breaking up the distinction between 
the Cynoidea and the -&luroidea. Nor is this all, for 
according to the French palaeontologists, there exists a 
transition between the primitive civets and the early 
weasels (Musttbd*) ; which, with what has been already 
stated in connection with the bears, indicates that the 
Arctoidea is a more or less artificial group, the members 
of which have come to resemble one another to a 
certain degree in regard to the .characters of the base 
of the skull, owing to " parallelism." In this connection 
it is somewhat curious to note that a certain resem- 
blance, which had been pointed out by Turner as exist- 
ing between the mongooses or ichneumons (Viverrida) 
and the weasels, was regarded by Flower as of no 
importance. Finally, it is by no means improbable that 
the cats (Felldai] have no near kinship with the civets, but 
may be directly sprung from more primitive Carnivora. 


It is thus evident that Flower's proposed triple 
division of the Carnivora is not altogether in accord 
with palseontological, or phylogenetic, evidence. An 
amendment is to merge the Cynoidea in the Arctoidea, 
and thus retain only two groups. The observa- 
tions recorded in the paper have a high permanent 
value, in respect to the structure of the carnivorous 

Another paper by Flower appeared in the Zoological 
Society's Proceedings for 1 869, dealing with the anatomy 
of the soft parts of that remarkable animal, the African 
aard-wolf (Proteles cnstatus). Although the skeleton 
had been previously described, no information had 
hitherto been available with regard to the viscera. In 
the paper discussed in the foregoing paragraphs Flower, 
from the external characters, coupled with those of the 
dentition and skeleton, had regarded the creature as the 
representative of a distinct family, intermediate in some 
respects between the Hycenidte and the Viverrldtz. The 
result of the examination of the viscera was in the main 
to support this conclusion, although it showed that the 
Proteleidts are more closely allied to the Hy&nldte than 
the author had previously believed to be the case. The 
aard-wolf may, indeed, be regarded as a kind of small 
and degraded hyaena, with an almost rudimentary type 
of dentition, suitable to the soft substances on which it 

Passing on to the year 1870, we have to note the 
appearance of two separate works bearing Flower's 
name. The first of these was the Introductory 
Lectures to the Course of Comparative Anatomy, de- 
livered at the Royal College of Surgeons in that year. 


Far more important was the issue of the first edition 
of that invaluable text-book, An Introduction to the 
Osteology of the Mammalia. Since, however, mention 
of this work had been already made in an earlier chapter, 
it need not be further alluded to in this place. 

During the same year, exclusive of those on the 
Cetacea, several papers were published by Flower in 
various scientific serials. Among these, bare mention 
must suffice for one, " On the Connexion of the Hyoid 
Arch with the Cranium," which appeared in the twentieth 
volume of the Report of the British Association. More 
important is the article " On the Correspondence between 
the parts composing the Shoulder and the Pelvic Girdle 
of the Mammalia." In this the author pointed out that 
although the homology between the scapula in the 
shoulder-girdle and the ilium in the pelvis had long 
been admitted by naturalists, yet much misconception 
existed with regard to the exact correspondence be- 
tween the respective surfaces and borders of these 
bones ; and he then proceeded to define and describe 
these correspondences in considerable detail. The names 
then assigned by Flower to the component surfaces and 
borders of the bones in question have ever since been 
generally adapted by naturalists. Observations were 
also recorded with regard to the homology between the 
coracoid bone and the ischium. A second paper in the 
same journal for 1870 dealt with the carpus of the dog ; 
while in 1873 he published in this medium a note on 
the same part of the skeleton in the sloths. 

Reverting once more to the Proceedings of the Zoolo- 
gical Society, in which the bulk of his contributions 
to the anatomy of mammals was published, we find a 


paper by Flower in the volume for 1870 on the anatomy 
of the Himalayan panda (JElurus fulgens.) 

The specimen on which the paper was based was the 
first example of this remarkable animal which had ever 
been dissected ; and the brain and viscera were described 
at considerable length. The result of the dissection 
was to confirm the author's previous opinion based on 
the external characters and skeleton as to the near 
affinity of JElurus to the American Procyonidte ; and it 
was left somewhat an open question, whether it should 
be included in that group, or regarded as the repre- 
sentative of a family (JEhtrida) by itself. In after 
years Mr. W. T. Blanford adopted the former view. In 
the following year (1871) Flower contributed a note to 
the Proceedings, recording the occurrence of a specimen 
of the ringed seal (Phoca hispida) on the Norfolk coast 
in 1846 ; and he also wrote a paper in the same 
volume on the skeleton of one of the cassowaries. 
The somewhat remarkable fact that the two-spotted 
palm-civet (Nandinia binotata) differs from the other 
genera of the same group by the absence of a blind 
appendage, or caecum, to the intestine, was recorded by 
Flower in the same serial for 1872. 

Of much more importance than either of the fore- 
going were two contributions to mammalian anatomy 
made by Sir William during the year last mentioned. 
The one, which appeared in the Medical Times and 
Gazette, was the report of " Lectures on the Comparative 
Anatomy of the Organs of Digestion in the Mammalia, 
delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons in February 
and March, 1872." In this article, which is well 
illustrated, will be found descriptions of the various 


forms assumed by the stomach in a large number of the 
ordinal and family groups ; especial attention being 
directed to the remarkable complexity of that organ in 
the porpoise. The other, which was published in 
Nature, and in abstract in the Report of the British 
Association, dealt with the arrangement and nomen- 
clature of the lobes of the mammalian liver. It is, 
perhaps, one of the most valuable of the author's con- 
tributions to visceral anatomy ; and introduced order 
and precision where confusion had previously reigned. 
The names then given to the different lobes of the liver 
have been very generally adopted in zoological and 
anatomical literature. 

In 1873 Flower delivered before the Royal Institu- 
tion a lecture on palaeontological evidence of gradual 
modification of animal forms, which is published in the 
Proceedings of that body for the same year. In this he 
touched on the important evidence afforded by the dis- 
coveries which had then been recently made in North 
America in favour of the derivation of one animal form 
from another, directing particular attention to the case for 
the evolution of the horse. Another paper on the same 
subject appears in the British Medicaljournal for 1874; 
while, as noticed below, Sir William again lectured on 
palaeontological evolution in 1876. 

The year 1874 was noteworthy, so far as palaeontology 
is concerned, by the appearance in the Philosophical Trans- 
actions of the Royal Society of a paper by Flower on 
part of a remarkable mammalian skull from Patagonia, 
described under the name of Homalodontotherium cun- 
ninghami. In justice to the author, it should be said 
that he was not responsible for the undue length of the 


generic name, which had been bestowed by his friend 
Huxley four years previously in the Geological Society's 
Journal, and which Flower was therefore compelled to 
employ. It refers to the fact that the jaws of the new 
animal are remarkable for the even and unbroken wall 
formed by the teeth, which show no enlarged tusks. 
At the time the geological age of this interesting fossil 
was quite unknown ; but it formed the forerunner of the 
marvellous discoveries of the remains of fossil mammals 
of middle tertiary age in Patagonia, which have been 
made of late years, and have done so much to increase 
our knowledge of the past life and history of the South 
American Continent. 

Of minor interest is a paper by the then Hunterian Pro- 
fessor in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society 
on a much rolled and battered skull from the so-called 
Red Crag of Suffolk, which the author referred to a 
species of that extinct genus of sea-cows (Sirenia) known 
as Halitherium. Such interest as the specimen possessed 
was due to its affording the first evidence of the occurrence 
of remains of that genus in Britain. Another paper, it 
may be mentioned, was published by Flower in the same 
journal for 1877, ' m which another well-known extinct 
continental genus of mammals was added to the fauna 
of the Red Crag of East Anglia. The paper described 
two molar teeth, in the York Museum, from the deposit 
in question, evidently referable to the large bear-like 
animal known as Hyeenarctus, of which the first remains 
had been described many years previously from the 
Siwalik Hills of North- Eastern India. As the mention 
of this paper has broken the chronological order of 
treatment, it may be added that in 1876 Flower published 


another paper, this time in the Zoological Society's Pro- 
ceedings, on a mammalian skull from the Red Crag. 
The specimen referred to in this communication was 
provisionally assigned to Cuvier's genus Xiphodon, and 
was believed to have been originally washed out from 
a formation much older than the Red Crag, and reburied 
in the latter. 

Next on our list comes a paper on the anatomy of the 
musk-deer (Moschus moschiferus), contributed to the 
serial last cited for 1875, m which the author points 
out how widely this animal differs from the more 
typical deer, and shows that it cannot even claim a near 
relationship with the Chinese water-deer, despite the 
fact that in both species the males are devoid of antlers, 
and are armed with long sabre-like tusks in the upper 
jaw. In several respects notably the presence of a 
gall-bladder to the liver the musk-deer is indeed 
nearer to the hollow-horned ruminants (Bovidae), than 
to the other members of the deer tribe (Cervidae). 

In 1876 Professor Flower delivered before the Royal 
Institution an extremely interesting lecture on the ex- 
tinct mammals of North America, which at that time 
were in course of being made known to the scientific 
world by the writings of Professors Marsh and Cope. 
In the course of this lecture Flower alluded at consider- 
able length to the ancestry of the horse then a com- 
paratively new subject and also discussed the structure 
and affinities of those gigantic many-horned mammals 
commonly known as Dinocerata. In concluding, the 
lecturer observed that the work accomplished in America 
taught us " First, that the living world around us at 
the present moment bears but an exceedingly small 


proportion to the whole series of animal and vegetable 
forms which have existed in past ages. Secondly, that, 
notwithstanding all that has been said, and most justly 
said, of the necessary imperfection of the geological 
record, we may hope that there is still so much pre- 
served that the study of the course of events which 
have led up to the present condition of life on the globe, 
may have a great future before it." 

The subsequent discoveries of fossil mammalian re- 
mains in such enormous quantities in Patagonia, and still 
later in the Libyan desert, have rendered this utterance 
almost prophetic. 

During the same year (1876) appeared, in the Philoso- 
phical ^Transactions, a notice by Flower of the seals and 
cetaceans obtained during the Transit of Venus expeditions 
of 1874 anc * l %75- The year 1876 likewise witnessed 
the publication, in the Proceedings of the Zoological 
Society, of an article on the skulls of the various exist- 
ing species of rhinoceroses, in which it was shown that 
the number of such species had been altogether unjusti- 
fiably exaggerated by the late Dr. J. E. Gray and other 
writers, and that in all probability there were really not 
more than five. Certain characters connected with the 
postero-lateral region of the skull were also described, 
which served to divide these species into groups. A 
further contribution to our knowledge of the skulls of 
the rhinoceroses was made by Flower in 1878, when he 
described, in the same journal, the skull of an Indian 
specimen, which it was thought might be the Rhinoceros 
lasiotis of Dr. Sclater now known to be (as then sug- 
gested) merely a local race of the two-horned ' R. 


Between the years 1880 and 1883 several papers on 
mammalian zoology were published by Flower in the 
Proceedings of the Zoological Society and elsewhere, 
none of which can be regarded as of first-rate import- 
ance. The first of these (P.Z.S. 1880) dealt with 
the internal anatomy of that rare mammal, the bush- dog 
(Speothus, or Icticyon, venaticus\ of Guiana, which had 
never previously been described. The author regarded 
this animal as a specialised member of the Canidae, 
showing some signs of affinity with the wild dogs 
(Cyon) of Asia. In 1880 the museum of the Royal 
College of Surgeons received a very large skull of the 
elephant-seal or sea-elephant (Macrorhinus leoninus); 
and this induced Flower to draw up some notes on that 
enormous creature, which appeared in the above-named 
journal for 1 88 1. The author described it as "an 
animal which, notwithstanding its former abundance 
and wide distribution, and its great zoological interest, 
is still very imperfectly known anatomically, and very 
poorly represented in collections." Fortunately, since 
that date mainly owing to the energy and liberality of 
Mr. Rothschild specimens of the skin and skeleton 
of this huge seal have been secured for our museums 
before it was too late. In the same volume Flower 
drew attention to the evidence showing that the sea- 
cow, or manati, of which a pair were living at the time 
in the Brighton Aquarium, occasionally, or periodically, 
comes ashore for the purpose of grazing. In the same 
year appeared an article from his pen in the British 
Medical Journal on the anatomy of the Cetacea and 
Edentata; while in 1882 the question of the mutual 
relationships of the mammals commonly included in 


the latter order (such as sloths, ant-eaters, armadillos, 
pangolins, and aard-varks) were discussed by him in 
the Proceedings of the Zoological Society. 

The trend of the paper last mentioned, as well as 
that of some of his other communications published 
shortly before, indicates that about this time, instead of 
restricting his attention more or less entirely to their 
anatomy, Flower was much occupied with the subject 
of the classification of the Mammalia. And the reason 
is not far to seek, for he had undertaken not only the 
volume of the "Catalogue of Osteological Specimens in 
the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons," dealing 
with mammals other than man, but he had likewise 
engaged (in co-operation with the late Dr. Dobson) to 
write the article "Mammalia" for the ninth edition of 
the Encyclopaedia Britannica. With the view apparently 
of clearing the way for these two important contributions 
to zoology, he published during the early part of 1883 
in the Zoological Society's Proceedings a paper on the 
" Arrangement of the Orders and Families of Mammalia." 

To discuss this important paper in detail on the 
present occasion is quite unnecessary ; and it will suffice 
to state that it has formed the basis on which all 
modern classifications of the group are framed. Indeed 
it has been accepted by most writers with little or no 
modification. In this scheme it was proposed to divide 
mammals into three primary groups, or sub-classes, 
namely, Prototheria, or Ornithodelphia, as represented 
only by the egg-laying group ; Metatheria or Didelphia, 
including the pouched group, or marsupials ; and 
Eutheria or Monodelphia, comprising the whole of the 
remaining or placental groups. Of late years, owing 


to the discovery of unexpected relationships between 
placeiitals and marsupials, it has been proposed to 
recognise only two sub-classes of mammals : the 
Eutheria, comprising the two groups last mentioned, 
and the Prototheria, or monotremes. The scheme chiefly 
differed from the one proposed some years earlier by 
Huxley in the inclusion of the Hyracoidea (klipdass) 
and Proboscidea (elephants) as sub-orders of the 
Ungulata, instead of their forming separate orders by 
themselves. In this instance Flower ranked the 
Artiodactyla, Perissodactyla, Hyracoidea, and Pro- 
boscidea as equivalent sub-orders of Ungulata, but later 
on he brigaded the two former together as Ungulata 
Vera, and the two latter as Subungulata. 

The above scheme was employed by Flower in the 
article " Mammalia," written by him for the ninth edition 
of the Encyclopedia Britannica, the volume containing 
which appeared in 1883. This article, with others by 
himself and other authors, formed, as will be noticed 
later on, the basis of the Study of Mammals pub- 
lished in 1891. Among other articles contributed by 
Flower to the Encyclopedia were those on the Horse, 
Kangaroo, Lemur, Lion, Mastodon, Megatherium, Otter, 
Platypus, Rhinoceros, Seal, Swine, Tapir, Whale, and 

The aforesaid scheme of classification was likewise 
used in the second part of the " Catalogue of Osteo- 
logical Specimens in the Museum of the Royal College 
of Surgeons," which was written with the assistance of 
Dr. Garson, and appeared in 1884. Since this valuable 
work has been already noticed at some length in the 
chapter devoted to Flower's official connection with the 


College of Surgeons, it need not be further referred to 
in this place, except that the writer may again take the 
opportunity of expressing his regret that the views on 
nomenclature there enunciated have not met with accept- 
ance among the modern school of naturalists. 

At the " Jubilee " meeting of the Zoological Society, 
held in June 1887, Flower, as President, read an address 
on the " Progress of Zoological Science" during the 
reign of Queen Victoria, which appeared in the Report 
of the Council of that year, and to which reference has 
been made in an earlier chapter. 

About this time the Natural History Museum received 
a series of antlers shed year by year by one particular 
red-deer stag, together with the complete skull and 
antlers of the same animal ; and this gift induced Flower 
to deliver in December 1887 a lecture on "Horns and 
Antlers " before the Middlesex Natural History Society, 
which is printed, with a plate of the aforesaid series of 
red-deer antlers, in a somewhat abbreviated form, in the 
Transactions of that Society. 

If we except a few on Cetacea, noticed in the next 
chapter, Sir William's contributions to the Zoological 
Society's Proceedings after 1883 were not numerous or 
of much importance. In 1884 he contributed, however, 
remarks on the so-called white elephant from Burma, 
then exhibited in the Society's Menagerie ; and in the 
same year he also wrote on the young dentition of the 
capibara. In 1887 he discussed the generic position 
and relationships of the pigmy hippopotamus of Liberia. 
The acquisition in the following year by the Natural 
History Museum of specimens of that breed of Japanese 
fowls remarkable for the excessive elongation of the 


tail-feathers of the cocks, led to a note on that subject 
in the Proceedings for the same year. This paper, it 
may be incidentally mentioned, is noteworthy, on account 
of the evidence it affords that Sir William did not 
regard the variations displayed by domesticated animals 
as in any way unworthy the notice of the naturalist ; 
while the next shows that monstrosities or abnormalities 
at all events to a certain extent are also worthy of 
recognition. The note incidentally alluded to in the last 
sentence appeared in 1889, and dealt with an African 
rhinoceros head, showing three horns. Finally, in 
1890, Sir William exhibited and commented upon a 
photograph of the nesting-hole of a hornbill, showing 
the female " walled up " with mud. 

The next year (1891) saw the publication of An 
Introduction to the Study of Mammals, Living and Extinct, 
written, as already said, in collaboration with the 
present writer, and embodying the whole of Flower's 
contributions to the Encyclopedia Britannica, together 
with certain articles by other authors from the same 
work, and such new material as was necessary in order 
to weave these disjecta membra into one connected and 
harmonious whole. 

In the same year was also published, in the Modern 
Science Series, Sir William's admirable little volume on 
The Horse, which was likewise largely based on his 
Encyclopedia articles. In this work Flower dwelt par- 
ticularly on the vestiges exhibited by the modern horse 
of its descent from more generalised ancestors ; and he 
was successful in demonstrating that the structure 
known to veterinarians as the " ergot," represents one 
of the foot-pads of the earlier forms. 


Undoubtedly the most important elements in the 
foregoing tale of work are those relating to the 
mammalian (and especially the marsupial) brain, and 
the marsupial dentition. And if Flower had accom- 
plished nothing more than this, he would have been 
entitled to gratitude of his successors. But, as we 
shall immediately see, all the above formed but a portion 
of his zoological labours. 



NEXT at any rate to the study of the various races of 
the human species (which he took up seriously later on 
in his career), the group of mammals to which Flower 
devoted special attention, and which attracted his 
greatest interest, was undoubtedly that of the Cetacea, 
or whales, dolphins, porpoises, etc. At the time when 
he set himself seriously to study these aquatic and 
fish-like mammals, the zoology of the group was 
certainly in a most confused and unsatisfactory state ; 
partly, no doubt, owing to the comparative rarity of 
complete specimens in our museums, and the consequent 
difficulty of instituting accurate comparisons, and partly 
to the reckless prodigality with which names had been 
given to imperfect or insufficiently characterised speci- 
mens by some of his predecessors and early con- 
temporaries, and the needless multiplication of generic 
terms. It was consequently at this time almost im- 
possible to be sure which was the right name for 
even many of the commoner species ; while in the case 
of the rarer kinds, the confusion was almost hopeless. 
When Flower left the subject which he only did 
when his working days were over it was in great 
measure thoroughly in order, although of course much 
was left for future workers to fill in. Unhappily, his 
views on the nomenclature of the group have not been 



accepted by all his followers ; so that a fresh and totally 
unnecessary source of confusion has been introduced of 
late years into a subject which had already sufficient 
difficulties of its own. 

In regard to the discrimination of species, Flower 
took a view almost the reverse of that held by some of 
his predecessors and colleagues ; and, as he says himself, 
he may have consequently erred in a direction the very 
opposite of theirs. " As species have not generally 
been recognised as such," he wrote in the British 
Museum List of 1885, "unless presenting constant 
distinguishing characters capable of definition, it is 
probable that, in the imperfect state of knowledge of 
many forms, some may have been grouped together 
which a fuller acquaintance with all parts of their 
structure, external and internal, will show to be 

Apart from his explaining to popular audiences that 
whales were mammals and not fishes, Flower emphasised 
three points very strongly in regard to the organisation 
and physiology of these animals. First of all, he 
pointed out that, as a rule, they do not " spout " water 
from their " blowholes." " The ' spouting,' or more 
properly the ' blowing ' of the whale," he wrote, " is 
nothing more than the ordinary act of expiration, 
which, taking place at larger intervals than in land 
animals, is performed with a greater amount of emphasis. 
The moment the animal rises to the surface it forcibly 
expels from its lungs the air taken in at the last inspira- 
tion, which is of course highly charged with watery 
vapour in consequence of the natural respiratory 
changes. This, rapidly condensing in the cold atmo- 


sphere in which the phenomena is generally observed, 
forms a column of steam or spray, which has been 
erroneously taken for water." 

Secondly, he drew attention to the importance of the 
rudiments of hind-limbs which occur in many whales as 
affording decisive evidence of the descent of the group 
from land mammals. And thirdly, he emphasised the 
marked distinction between baleen, or whalebone, 
whales (Mystacoceti), and toothed whales and dolphins 
(Odontoceti) ; although he appears never to have gone so 
far in this direction as some modern naturalists, who 
are of opinion that these two groups have originated 
independently of one another from separate types of 
land mammals. 

Another point to which Flower devoted a considerable 
share of attention was the dimensions attained by the 
larger species of whales. Previously, there is no doubt 
that very great exaggeration had been current in this 
respect, and that such things as I5o-feet whales are 
unknown. With his excessive caution, and determina- 
tion to be on the safe side, it is however probable that in 
some instances notably the Greenland right-whale and 
the sperm-whale Flower somewhat under-estimated 
the maximum dimensions. 

At what date Flower first began to study whales 
seriously, it is not easy to ascertain. From the fact of 
his contributing three papers on this subject to the 
Zoological Society's Proceedings for 1864, it may, how- 
ever, be inferred that by that time he had devoted no 
inconsiderable amount of attention to the group. In 
the first of those he described a specimen of a lesser fin- 
whale, then recently stranded on the Norfolk coast ; 


while in a second, and much more important communica- 
tion, he gave notes on the skeletons of whales preserved 
in the museums of Holland and Belgium which he had 
recently visited. Two of these he described as 
indicating apparently new species ; although their right 
to distinction was not maintained. In the same year 
he described two skulls of grampuses from Tasmania, 
which were regarded as representing a new species, 
under the name of Orca meridional^ ; a further note on 
these being added in the Society's Proceedings for 1865, 
when the species was transferred to the genus Pseudorca. 
Later still it was found that the supposed species was 
inseparable from the typical P. crassidens; named by 
Owen many years previously on the evidence of a 
skeleton from the Lincolnshire Fens. In another note 
published the same year in the same journal he showed 
that one of the whales named by him in 1864 was 
identical with the one now known as Balteonoptera sibbaldi ; 
while a second paper described a specimen of the fin- 
whale commonly known as B. musculus. A further 
note on the synonymy of B. sibbaldi appeared in the 
Proceedings for 1 868. 

Reverting to earlier publications, in 1 866 the Royal 
Society of London issued a volume containing transla- 
tions by Flower of certain very important memoirs on 
Cetacea by Professors Eschricht, Reinhardt, and Lillje- 
borg. As these were written in a language understood 
by comparatively few Englishmen, the translation was 
a distinct benefit to "cetology" in this country. 

Between the years 1869 and 1878 inclusive, six very 
important memoirs on whales (including in that term 
porpoises, dolphins, etc.) from Flower's pen appeared 


in the Transactions of the Zoological Society of London. 
The first of these, which was published in the year first 
mentioned, was devoted to the description of the 
skeleton of the very interesting and then little-known 
South American freshwater or estuarine dolphins, Inia 
and Pontcporia. In the course of this memoir it was 
demonstrated that, in spite of the wide distance between 
their habitats, these dolphins and the freshwater dolphin 
of the Ganges and certain other Indian rivers, Platanista 
gangetica, collectively form a distinct family group 
the Platanistidae, which exhibits many very generalised 

In the second memoir of this series, which appeared 
in 1869, Flower treated in an exhaustive manner of the 
osteology of the sperm-whale, or cachalot. " The fine 
skeleton of a young male which he procured for the 
Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons," writes 
Professor M'Intosh in his obituary notice of Sir William, 
" formed the basis of this important paper, and enabled 
him to add to and correct much which had been written 
on this subject. The description of its huge cranium 
as a large, pointed slipper, with a high heel-piece and 
the front trodden down, the hollow limited behind by 
the occipital crest, continued laterally into the elevated 
ridges of the broadly expanded maxillae, which rose 
from the median line to the edge of the skull, instead of 
falling away, as in most Cetaceans, must be familiar to 
all students of the group. In this vast cavity lies the 
' head-matter,' composed of almost pure spermaceti." 

It was further demonstrated that the available evidence 
pointed to the existence of only a single species of true 
cachalot ; the small adult jaws not unfrequently seen in 


collections being apparently those of females, which are 
known to be far inferior in size to the old bulls. 

It may be added, in connection with sperm-whales, 
that the abrupt termination of the muzzle, shown (in a 
somewhat modified degree) in the model of the old bull, 
set up under Sir William's direction in the Whale Room 
at the Natural History Museum, has been said by certain 
modern naturalists to be incorrect. Inquiries instituted 
at the present writer's suggestion at the New Bedford 
Cachalot-whaling Station have, however, proved that the 
abruptness is under-estimated rather than exaggerated 
in the restoration. 

This brief reference to the Whale Room at the 
museum, and Flower's work in superintending the 
construction of models of several of the larger members 
of the group, must, it may be further added, suffice in 
this place, seeing that fuller mention of the subiect has 
been already made in an earlier chapter. 

The third memoir of the series in the Zoological 
Society's Transactions treats of the Chinese white dolphin 
(DelphinuSy or Prodelphinus, sinensis), and was published 
in 1872. In the following year appeared one on Risso's 
dolphin, Grampus griseus, in which the author directed 
attention to certain variable markings always seen on 
the skin of this species. These, it has been subse- 
quently shown, are produced by the claws in the 
suckers of the cuttlefish which forms the food of this 

The two remaining memoirs in the Transactions, 
which appeared respectively in 1873 anc * 1878, were 
devoted to that difficult, and at the time imperfectly 
known group, termed ziphioid, or beaked whales. In 


the first of the two attention was concentrated on the 
aberrant and rare form known as Berardius arnuxi ; 
while the second was exclusively devoted to the much 
more abundant types included under the generic title 
Mesoplodon, in allusion to the single pair of lower teeth 
near the middle of the sides of the lower jaw, which 
forms the single dental armature of the cetaceans of this 
genus. The beaked whales, it should be added, had 
been previously discussed by Flower in a preliminary 
paper published in the Zoological Society's Proceedings 
for 1871 and 1876, and likewise in an article communi- 
cated in 1872 to Nature. 

Special interest attaches to a paper by Flower pub- 
lished in the Transactions of the Royal Geological 
Society of Cornwall for 1872, and also in the Annals 
and Magazine of Natural History for the same year, on 
the bones of a whale dug up at Petuan, in Cornwall, 
sometime previously to 1829, and now preserved in the 
museum of the above-named Society. The whale re- 
presented by these remains was made the type of the 
new genus and species Eschrichtius robustus, by the late 
Dr. J. E. Gray. That it was a member of the group 
of whalebone- whales, and that it could not be identified 
with either of the genera then known, namely Balana, 
Bal&noptera, and Megaptera, was fully demonstrated by 
Flower, who also showed that it agreed with the two 
latter in having the neck- vertebrae free. 

"The interesting question," he added, "remains, 
whether this species still exists in our seas ; if extinct, 
it must have become so at a comparatively recent period, 
certainly long after Cornwall was inhabited by man. 
The negative evidence of no specimen having been met 


with by naturalists in a living or recent state, is hardly 
conclusive as to its non-existence, as our knowledge of 
this group of animals is lamentably deficient. We are 
acquainted with many species, even of very large size, 
only through isolated individuals, and the discovery of 
others new to science is by no means an infrequent or 
unlooked-for occurrence at the present time." 

In the opinion of the present writer, it is quite prob- 
able that this whale may be identical with the grey 
whale of the Pacific, described many years subsequently 
by the late Professor Cope as Ityachianectes glaucus, in 
which event that name will have to give place to 
Eschrichtius robustus. 

In the year 1879^ and for some time after, Flower 
directed his attention more especially to the dolphins 
and porpoises, which collectively constitute the family 
Delphinidae of naturalists, and he published a series of 
papers on this group in the Proceedings of the Zoological 
Society. In the volume for 1879 tnere appeared, for 
instance, one paper on the common dolphin (Delphinus 
delphis) ; a second on the bottle-nosed dolphin, now 
known as Tursiops tursio ; and a third on the skull of the 
white whale, or beluga (Delphinapterus leucas). Of far 
greater importance was, however, the appearance in 
1883 of a paper in the same serial on the generic 
characters of the family Delphinidae as a whole. Special 
attention was directed in this communication to the value 
of the pterygoid bones, on the under surface of the skull, 
in the classification of the family ; and characters were 
formulated which enabled the various genera to be 
identified, wholly or in part, by this part of the skull. 
Flower's classification of the Delphinidae has, with some 


slight modifications, been very generally accepted by 
later naturalists. Some time after the publication of 
this paper the present writer pointed out to the author 
that two of the generic names employed by him were 
barred by previous use in a different sense ; and in a 
note subsequently published in the Proceedings, these 
were accordingly replaced. 

Flower was, however, by no means forgetful of his 
earlier love for the cachalot and beaked whales (Physe- 
teridae); and in 1883 and again in 1884 he published 
papers in the Proceedings on their near relatives the 
bottle-nosed whales (not to be confounded with the 
bottle-nosed dolphins) of the genus Hyperoodon. In 
these investigations he was much indebted, as on several 
previous occasions, to the observations of Captain Gray, 
a well-known whaler. As regards the common bottle- 
nose (H. restrains). Sir William succeeded in demon- 
strating that the great differences which had long been 
noticed in the skull were due to distinctions either of 
sex or age ; the old males developing huge maxillary 
crests with a broad and flattened front surface of 
which there is scarcely any trace in the younger mem- 
bers of the same sex, or in females of all ages. In 
consequence of this difference in the skull, the head 
of the old bull bottle-nose is easily recognisable by the 
abrupt and prominent elevation of the forehead immedi- 
ately behind the base of the beak. Flower was also 
able to show that bottle-noses yield true spermaceti, 
especially in the head ; a fact which does not appear to 
have been previously known to zoologists, although it 
may have been to whalers. At the present day there 
is a considerable trade in bottle-nose sperm-oil and 


spermaceti ; these being often blended with the products 
of the cachalot, from which they are distinguishable by 
their specific gravity. In his 1882 paper Flower 
described a water- worn bottle-nose skull from Australia, 
which he regarded as indicating a second species of the 
genus Hyper oodon planifrons. The correctness of this 
determination has been demonstrated by complete 
skeletons of the same whale from the South American 

The last two papers on Cetacea by Sir William in the 
Proceedings of the Zoological Society refer to the occur- 
rence of examples of Rudolphi's rorqual (Bal&noptera 
borealis) on the English coasts. In the one paper he 
described a specimen stranded on the Essex shore in 
1883, and in the other an example captured in the 
Thames four years later. 

As regards other contributions to our knowledge of 
the Cetacea, Sir William in 1883 delivered before the 
Royal Institution a lecture on " Whales, Past and 
Present," which is reproduced in the Proceedings of 
that body for the same year. A second lecture, " On 
Whales and Whaling," was delivered before the Royal 
Colonial Institute for 1885, and is published in the 
Journal of the Institute for that year. The article 
"Whale," for the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia 
Britannica, is also the work of Flower ; it is reproduced, 
almost as it stands, in the Study of Mammals. 

The year 1885 saw the publication of the "List of 
the Specimens of Cetacea in the Zoological Department 
of the British Museum," a small, but nevertheless 
valuable work, from which an extract has already been 
made. Even when this was written, the museum con- 


tained skulls or skeletons of nearly all the more 
important and well-established representatives of the 
order, the only notable deficiency being the large 
whalebone whale from the North Pacific commonly 
known as the grey whale, and scientifically termed 
Rhachianectes g/aucus. It was not many years before 
this gap was filled by the acquisition of a complete 
skeleton of the species in question. 

In concluding this brief notice of the work accom- 
plished by Flower on the Cetacea, an extract may be 
made to illustrate his views with regard to the ancestry 
and origin of the group : 

" The origin of the Cetacea," he wrote, " is at present 
involved in much obscurity. They present no signs of 
closer affinity to any of the lower classes of vertebrates 
than do many other members of their own class. 
Indeed in all that essentially distinguishes a mammal 
from the oviparous vertebrates, whether in the osseous, 
nervous, reproductive, or any other system, they are as 
truly mammalian as any other group. Any supposed 
marks of inferiority, as absence of limb-structure, of 
hairy covering, of lachrymal apparatus, etc., are 
obviously modifications (or degradations, as they may 
be termed) in adaptation to their special mode of life. 
The characters of the teeth of 'Leuglodon and other 
extinct forms, and also of the foetal Mystacocetes, 
clearly indicate that they have been derived from 
mammals in which the heterodont type of dentition was 
fully established. The steps by which a land mammal 
may have been modified into a purely aquatic one are 
indicated by the stages which still survive among the 
Carnivora in the Otariidae and in the true seals. A 


further change in the same direction would produce an 
animal somewhat resembling a dolphin ; and it has been 
thought that this may have been the route by which the 
Cetacean form has been developed. There are, how- 
ever, great difficulties in the way of this view. Thus 
if the hind-limbs had ever been developed into the very 
efficient aquatic propelling organs they present in the 
seals, it is not easy to imagine how they could have 
become completely atrophied and their function trans- 
ferred to the tail. So that, from this point of view, it is 
more likely that whales were derived from animals with 
long tails, which were used in swimming, eventually 
with such effect that the hind-limbs became no longer 
necessary. The powerful tail, with its lateral cutaneous 
flanges, of an American species of otter (Lutra brasiliensis) 
may give an idea of this member in the primitive Ceta- 
ceans. But the structure of the Cetacea is, in so many 
essential characters, so unlike that of the Carnivora, 
that the probabilities are against these orders being 
nearly related. Even in the skull of the Zeuglodon, 
which has been cited as presenting a great resemblance 
to that of a 'seal, quite as many likenesses may be traced 
to one of the primitive Pig-like Ungulates (except in 
the purely adaptive character of the form of the teeth) 
while the elongated larynx, complex stomach, simple 
liver, reproductive organs, both male and female, and 
foetal membranes of the existing Cetacea, are far more 
like those of that group than of the Carnivora. Indeed, 
it appears probable that the old popular idea which 
affixed the name of * Sea-Hog ' to the porpoise, contains 
a larger element of truth than the speculations of many 
accomplished zoologists of modern times. The fact 


that Platanista^ which, as mentioned above, appears to 
retain more of the primitive characteristics of the group 
than any other existing form, and also the distantly 
related Inia from South America, are both at the 
present day exclusively fluviatile, may point to the fresh- 
water origin of the whole group, in which case their 
otherwise rather inexplicable absence from the seas of 
the Cretaceous period would be accounted for. 

" On the other hand, it should be observed that the 
teeth of the Zeuglodonts approximate more to a carni- 
vorous than to an ungulate type." 

This difficulty with regard to the teeth is indeed one 
which it is impossible to disregard, since it is scarcely 
credible that grinding teeth such as characterise herbi- 
vorous mammals of all descriptions could ever have 
been modified into the teeth of whales, either living or 
extinct. There is, moreover, the unmistakable resem- 
blance presented by the cheek-teeth of the aforesaid 
extinct zeuglodons to those of Carnivora. Both these 
facts seem to point to the derivation of toothed whales, 
at any rate, from flesh-eating rather than herbivorous 
mammals ; although they have certainly no relationship 
with the eared seals. 

Since the foregoing passage was written it has been 
practically demonstrated that the toothed whales, at 
any rate, are the descendants of primitive Carnivora. 
Professor E. Fraas, of Stuttgart, and Dr. C. W. 
Andrews, of the British Museum, have, for instance, 
shown that the zeuglodons are derived from the Eocene 
group of Carnivora known as Creodontia ; while there is 
every reason for regarding the zeuglodons themselves 
as the ancestors of modern toothed whales. 



THE study of the physical characters of the various 
native races of the human species that is to say, 
anthropology, in contradistinction to ethnology 
occupied a very prominent position in Sir William 
Flower's scientific career ; and it is difficult to say 
whether this or the study of whales was the branch 
of biology on which his greatest interest was concen- 
trated. Perhaps we might say that the two together 
formed his especially favourite subjects. Whereas, how- 
ever, as we have seen in the last chapter, he was study- 
ing the Cetacea at least as early as the year 1864, when 
papers from his pen were published, anthropology does 
not appear to have been seriously taken up by him till 
considerably later in life ; the first papers and lectures 
by him that have come under the writer's notice dating 
from 1878. 

As regards the special departments of this science to 
which Sir William devoted a large share of attention, 
we may mention, in the first place, the discovery of the 
best methods of accurately determining the capacity of 
the human cranium, and the drawing-up of formulae 
for " indexes " to serve as a basis for comparing the 
cranial measurements of different races. Secondly, we 
may take the classification of these races as one of his 
most important lines of investigation. While, in the 



third place, may be noticed his partiality for the study 
of the inferior races of mankind, more especially those 
belonging to the black, or Negro, branch of the species ; 
dwarf races, like the Central African Akkas, and the 
Andaman Islanders, or exterminated types, like the 
Tasmanians, having apparently a very strong claim on 
his interest. And here it may be mentioned that not 
only is anthropology largely indebted to Flower for his 
published works on this subject, but likewise for the 
energy he displayed in collecting specimens of the 
osteology of dwindling races, while there was yet time. 
It was at his initiation that Sir Joseph Fayrer was 
induced to use his influence with the Indian authorities 
for the purpose of securing skulls and skeletons of 
Andamanese for the Museum of the Royal College of 
Surgeons. The result of this was the acquisition of 
a fine series of specimens of the osteology of this fast- 
disappearing race, at a time when it was still compara- 
tively uncontaminated and undeteriorated by contact 
with Europeans. That such contact must inevitably 
lead, sooner or later, to the disappearance of the 
inferior, or u non-adaptive " races of mankind, was a 
favourite dictum of Sir William's ; and its truth has 
been confirmed by the events of the last few years. 

If not actually the earliest, the first really important 
contribution to anthropology on Flower's part was a 
Friday Evening lecture " On the Native Races of the 
Pacific Ocean," delivered at the Royal Institution on 
3ist May 1878, and published in the Proceedings of that 
body for the same year. In this lecture Sir William 
described the native races of Oceania, or those inhabit- 
ing the islands, inclusive of Australia, scattered through 


the great ocean tract bounded on the east and west 
respectively by the continents of America and Asia. 
The subject was treated very largely upon the basis of 
the collection of skulls and skeletons in the Museum of 
the Royal College of Surgeons ; yet the lecturer was 
careful to point out that even this extensive series was 
wholly insufficient for the purpose of forming a classifi- 
cation of mankind founded on physical structure. 

"It can only afford certain indications, valuable as 
far as they go, from which a provisional, or approxima- 
tive system may be built up. Very many, indeed the 
majority of the islands, are totally unrepresented in it ; 
others are illustrated by only one or two individuals." 
" Were the collection anything like representative," it is 
added later, " it would probably be found possible to 
distinguish the natives of each island, or, at all events, 
of each group of islands, by cranial characters alone." 

Special attention was in this course directed to the 
Australians on the one hand, and to the frizzly-haired 
Melanesians, or Oceanic Negroes (as distinct from the 
straight-haired Polynesians) on the other. That the 
Melanesians were the primitive denizens of the greater 
part of Oceania, and that the original area they once 
inhabited has been much circumscribed by Polynesian 
invasion, the lecturer was fully convinced ; and the 
great difficulty of distinguishing in some instances to 
what extent this invasion has led, in certain cases, to 
a mixture of the two stocks, was earnestly insisted 
upon. At the conclusion of his discourse Flower 
commented very strongly on the tfrgent need of making 
anthropological collections in these islands forthwith ; 
and, although perhaps his prophecy of impending ex- 


termination was a little exaggerated, it is no less urgent 
at the present day. 

" In another half century," he said, " the Australians, 
the Melanesians, the Maories, and most of the Poly- 
nesians will have followed the Tasmanians to the grave. 
We shall well merit the reproach of future generations 
if we neglect our present opportunities of gathering 
together every fragment of knowledge that can still be 
saved, of their languages, customs, social polity, manu- 
factures, and arts. The preservation of tangible 
evidence of their physical structure is, if possible, still 
more important ; and surely this may be expected of 
that nation, above all others, which by its commercial 
enterprise and wide-spread maritime dominion has done, 
and is doing, far more than any in effecting that dis- 
tinctive revolution." 

What are we doing at the present day, it may be 
asked, to avoid this reproach ? If we may judge by the 
slowness with which anthropological specimens came 
into the national collections (and it is difficult to select 
a better test), the answer must surely be, I am afraid, 
in the negative. 

Of a still more popular type than the preceding was 
a lecture on the " Races of Men," delivered by Flower 
in the City Hall, Glasgow, on 28th November 1878, 
and published as a separate pamphlet. 

The third, and perhaps the most interesting lecture 
given by Flower during the year under consideration, 
was the one at Manchester on November 3Oth, on the 
" Aborigines of Tasmania," which is published in the 
tenth series of Manchester Science Lectures. In this 
discourse Flower traced the sad story of European 


intercourse with this interesting people and their final 
extermination ; pointing out that the last male died in 
1869, and the last female in 1876. At the time this 
lecture was delivered four complete skeletons of Tas- 
manians of both sexes had been obtained and sent to 
England by the late Mr. Merton Allport, of Hobart. 
Of these, two were then in the museum of the Royal 
College of Surgeons, while the third was in the collec- 
tion of the late Dr. Barnard Davis, and the fourth in 
that of the Anthropological Institute of London. Dr. 
Davis's specimen came to the Museum of the College 
of Surgeons after the owner's death ; and it was 
a great source of satisfaction to Sir William that, in 
after years, he obtained the Anthropological Institute's 
specimen (which is remarkable for retaining the inter- 
frontal suture of the skull) for the Natural History 
Museum. Somewhat less than thirty Tasmanian skulls 
were at this time known to exist in England, and a 
few have been since acquired for public collections. 
Flower dwelt upon the close affinity of the Tasmanians 
to the Melanesians (although the skulls of the two are 
perfectly distinguishable), and their wide difference 
from their Australian neighbours. 

Perhaps, however, the most important contribution 
made by Flower to anthropology in 1878 was his paper 
on the "Methods and Results of Measurements of the 
Capacity of Human Crania," which appeared in the 
Report of the British Association for that year and also 
in Nature. 

This was paving the way for the first part of the 
valuable " Catalogue of Osteological Specimens in the 
Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England," 


which appeared in the following year, and is entirely 
devoted to man. This accurate and laborious work 
was very far from being a mere catalogue of the 
contents of this section of the museum under the 
author's charge, for it is in fact to a great extent a 
manual of the methods employed in human craniology ; 
tables and figures being given of the manner in which 
the measurement of skulls are made, and the method of 
calculating " cranial indexes." For taking the cubical 
capacity of skulls Flower employed mustard seed, and 
the "craniometer " invented by Mr. Busk. In the 
introduction is given a general sketch of the osteology 
of man, followed by a dissertation on his dentition, and 
this, in turn, by an account of the special osteological 
and dental features of the various native races of the 
human species. 

Earlier in the same year Flower had entered in some 
degree on the domain of ethnology by contributing to 
the Journal of the Anthropological Institute a paper 
illustrating the " Mode of Preserving the Dead in 
Darnley Island and in South Australia," figuring the 
mummified body of a Melanesian from the above- 
named island. Another paper of somewhat similar 
nature from Flower's pen was published in the same 
journal for 1881, dealing with a collection of monu- 
mental heads and artificially deformed crania of 
Melanesians from the Island of Mallicollo, in the New 
Hebrides. These preserved heads have attracted the 
attention of Europeans ever since Cook's visit to the 
island in 1774 ; and appear to be quite unique. 

" Whatever the special motive among the Malli- 
collese," wrote Flower, " whether they are the objects 


of worship or merely of affectionate regard, it must be 
very difficult for a passing traveller without intimate 
knowledge of the language and of the condition of 
mind and thought of the people to ascertain ; but the 
custom is obviously analogous to many others which 
have prevailed throughout all historical times and in 
many nations, manifesting itself among other forms in 
the mummified bodies of the ancient Egyptians, and 
which has received its most aesthetic expression in the 
marble busts placed over the mouldering bones in a 
Christian cathedral." 

Reverting to 1879, we find in the "Journal of the 
Anthropological Institute for that year an important 
and interesting paper by Flower on the " Osteology 
and Affinities of the Natives of the Andaman Islands," 
a subject to which the author made a further contribu- 
tion in the same journal for November 1884. In the 
first of these communications the author gave the 
results of the examination of nineteen skeletons and a 
large series of skulls, while in the second he was able 
to amplify these, and thus to render his averages 
more trustworthy by the details of no less than ten 
additional skeletons. As in all his other papers of 
this nature, Sir William first traced in considerable 
detail the history of European intercourse^ with the 
Andamanese, or " Mincopies," as they were often 
called at one time, and then proceeded to point out the 
external and osteological features of these interesting 
and diminutive people. Relying to a great extent on 
the "frizzly," or "woolly" character of their hair, 
Flower was fully convinced that these people belong 
to the Negro branch of the human family. 


"With the Oceanic Negroes, or Melanesians, as 
they are now commonly called, we might naturally 
suppose they had the most in common. But this is 
not the case. Although the Melanesians vary much 
in stature, none are so small as the Andamanese, and 
some are fully equal to the average of the species. 
Their crania, whenever they are met with in a pure 
state, are remarkably long, narrow, and high. . . . The 
pure Fijians are perhaps the most dolichocephalic 
[long-headed] race in the world, and the New Cale- 
donians and the New Hebrideans come near them. In 
this respect they are therefore as distinct as possible from 
the Andamanese. ... As is well known, the African 
frizzly-haired races are mostly of moderate or tall 
stature, but there are among them some, as the Bush- 
men of the South, and others less known from the 
Central regions, as diminutive as the Andamanese." 

The lecturer then went on to state that although 
African Negroes were, as a rule, of the long-headed 
type, yet there were even then indications of the 
existence of round-headed races in the heart of the 
continent. In conclusion, it was added that although 
their very rounded skulls probably formed a special 
feature of the Andamanese, yet that he regarded the 
" Negritos," or group of which that race formed a 
section, "as representing an infantile, undeveloped or 
primitive form of the type from which the African 
Negroes on the one hand, and the Melanesians on the 
other, with all their various modifications, may have 
sprung. Even their very geographical position, in the 
centre of the great area of distribution of the frizzly- 
haired races, seems to favour this view. We may, 


therefore, regard them as little-modified descendants of 
an extremely ancient race, the ancestors of all the 
Negro tribes." 

On the other hand, it was suggested that long 
isolation and restriction to a confined area might have 
led to physical degeneration, so that the peculiarities 
of the Andamanese type might be of comparatively 
recent origin. 

Another interesting race to which Sir William 
devoted special attention was the Fijians, who, as 
already incidentally mentioned, offer the most extreme 
contrast to the round-headed Andamanese, by the 
extreme length and narrowness of their skulls. His 
paper on the " Cranial Characters of the Natives of the 
Fiji Islands," appeared in the Journal of the Anthropo- 
logical Institute for 1880 ; and was illustrated, like the 
one on the Andamanese, with carefully drawn figures 
of typical skulls. After mentioning that nothing 
definite was known with regard to the anthropology 
of one of the islands of the Fiji, or Viti, group, the 
author added that " with regard to Viti Levu, all the 
evidence we possess shows that the people who inhabit 
the interior of the island present in their cranial con- 
formation a remarkable purity of type, and that this 
type conforms in the main with that of the Melanesian 
islands generally j indeed they may be regarded as the 
most characteristic, almost exaggerated, expressions of 
this type, for in * hypersistenocephaly ' (extreme narrow- 
ness of skull), they exceed the natives of Fati, in the 
New Hebrides, to which the term was first applied. 

" The intermixture of Tongans or other Polynesian 
blood with the Fijian, appears to be confined to the 


smaller islands, and even in these not to have very 
greatly modified the prevailing cranial characteristics." 

At the meeting of the British Association for the 
Advancement of Science, held at York in the autumn 
of 1881, Professor Flower, as Chairman of the Depart- 
ment, read an address to the Anthropological Depart- 
ment on the study and progress of anthropology, more 
especially in this country ; at the conclusion of which 
he urged the strong claim of the Anthropological 
Institute of Great Britain and Ireland to the support 
of all interested in that subject. Three years later 
(1884) he gave, as President, an address u On the Aims 
and Prospects of the Study of Anthropology," before 
the last-named body, at the Anniversary Meeting in 
January. Here again the speaker directed attention to 
the comparatively small degree of interest taken in this 
country in this most important science, and urged that 
not only scientific students, but wealthy men, ought 
to do something towards aiding its progress. " Our 
insular position, maritime supremacy, numerous depen- 
dencies, and ramifying commerce, have given us," he 
remarked, " unusually favourable opportunities for the 
formation of such collections opportunities which, 
unfortunately, in past times have not been used so 
fully as might be desired." A change, indeed, it was 
added, had of late years come over matters in this respect ; 
but, while fully admitting this, it can scarcely be main- 
tained that even at the present day we are doing all 
that we might in this direction. 

Between the years 1879 and 1885 inclusive, Flower 
appears to have devoted much of his attention to 
elaborating a satisfactory biological classification of 


the various races of mankind. In the former he drew 
up a preliminary scheme of this nature, which was 
published in the British Medical Journal for 1879 and 
1880, under the title of " Anatomical Characters of the 
Races of Man." Impressed with the importance of 
having some well-marked feature, other than those 
afforded by the skull, by means of which the skeletons 
of such races could easily be distinguished, he turned 
his attention to the scapula, or shoulder-blade, and in 
1880, with the assistance of Dr. J. G. Garson, pub- 
lished in the Journal of Anatomy and Physiology a paper 
" On the Scapular Index as a Race-Character in Man." 
On the whole, although the number of skeletons ex- 
amined was confessedly insufficient, the results obtained 
were decidedly satisfactory, and agreed fairly well with 
those of other observers. The Australians and Anda- 
manesej for instance, accorded in this respect with the 
Negro type. On the other hand, Bushman skeletons, as 
had been observed in Paris, approached in this respect 
to the Caucasian type, while the Tasmanians were 
unexpectedly found to differ markedly from the other 
black races in their scapular index. 

In 1884, in a paper published in the Journal of the 
Anthropological Society, Sir William recorded the 
results of a large series of observations in regard to 
the value of the size of the teeth as a race-character, 
and was enabled, by means of a " dental index," to 
divide the human species into a "Microdont," or 
small-toothed group, a <c Mesodont " group and a 
u Macrodont," or large-toothed group. In the first 
group were included Europeans and other members 
of the Caucasian stock, as well as Polynesians, and 


many of the non-Aryan tribes of Central and 
Southern India. In the second group came Chinese, 
American Indians, Malays, and African Negroes ; 
while in the third were included Melanesians, 
Andamanese, Australians, and Tasmanians. If it be 
borne in mind, as explained in the original paper, that 
the teeth in African Negroes are actually larger than 
in Europeans, although the " index " is reduced by 
the great length of the base of the cranium (which 
forms a factor in the index) in the former, the results 
accord remarkably well with the under-mentioned 
classification of the human species, which is indeed 
partly based on the character in question. 

"The Classification of the Varieties of the Human 
Species " is the title of Flower's Presidential Address 
to the Anniversary Meeting of the Anthropological 
Institute, held in January 1885. In this scheme the 
species was divided into three main stocks, or branches, 
namely (i) the Negroid, or black ; (2) the Mongolian, 
or yellow ; and (3) the Caucasian, or white. In the 
first were included the African or typical Negroes, the 
Hottentots and Bushmen, the Oceanic Negroes or 
Melanesians, and the Negritos of the Andaman 
Islands and other parts of Asia ; the Australians being 
provisionally classed near the Melanesians. The second, 
or Mongolian, branch was taken to include the 
Eskimo, the typical Mongols of Central and Northern 
Asia, the brown Polynesians or " Kanakas," and the 
so-called American Indians, from the great lakes of 
Canada to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. In the 
third, or Caucasian, group were classed, of course, all 
the remaining representatives of the human race, 


including Europeans, the ancient Egyptians, and the 
modern fellahin of the Nile delta, the natives of India, 
the Ainu of Japan, and the Veddas of Ceylon. 

In the main, this classification has been very gener- 
ally accepted by anthropologists, although exception 
has naturally been taken to some of the items. The 
Australians, for instance, which differ markedly from 
all the undoubted representatives of the Negroid 
branch, form a case in point. Sir William was inclined 
to think that these people do not form a distinct race 
at all, but that they may be derived from a Melanesian 
stock, modified by a strong infusion of some other race, 
probably a low Caucasian type, more or less nearly 
allied to the Veddas of Ceylon or some of the 
Dravidian races of Southern or Central India. It is 
added, however, that the Australians may possibly be 
mainly sprung from a very primitive type, from which 
the frizzly-haired Negroes branched off; frizzly hair 
being probably a specialised feature not the common 
attribute of the ancestral man ; confirmation of this 
last supposition being afforded, it may be mentioned, 
by the straight hair of the man-like apes. 

Neither of the above theories is, however, alto- 
gether satisfactory ; and it has been suggested by some 
writers that the Australians, like the Veddas of Ceylon, 
and the Indian Dravidians, are a very primitive 
Caucasian type. Against this, is their scapular index, 
their large teeth, and projecting jaws (which must 
not be confused with protrusion of the lips alone). 
Until, however, we know which of the three great 
human branches was the one which traces its origin 
back to ape-like creatures, it is almost impossible to 


arrive at any satisfactory conclusion on this puzzling 

Another point in regard to which Flower's classifica- 
tion has met with adverse criticism is the position 
assigned to the brown Polynesians, which some 
authorities believe to be mainly of Caucasian origin, 
and accordingly term Indonesians. 

Taken as a whole there can, however, be no ques- 
tion but that the classification proposed by Sir William 
was an extremely valuable contribution to systematic 

The last two really important contributions to 
anthropology made by Sir William were both published 
in 1888 : the one, under the title of "The Pygmy 
Races of Man," in the Proceedings of the Royal Institu- 
tion (forming an address) ; and the other, entitled 
" Description of Two Skeletons of Akkas,a Pygmy Race 
from Central Africa," in the Journal of the Anthropo- 
logical Institute. The second of these two communica- 
tions dealt with two imperfect skeletons : male and 
female of the pigmy African race known as Akkas, 
obtained by the late Dr. Emin Pasha at Monbotto 
during his last expedition. The female specimen, 
which is the least imperfect of the two, and is said to 
be that of a very old individual, is now mounted in the 
Natural History Museum. In general character, the 
skulls were found to come very close to the Negro type - 3 
it is true they are somewhat less elongated, but the 
relative breadth proved to be much less than the 
describer was led to expect from what had been pre- 
viously written with regard to the craniology of this 
tribe. The whole skeleton fully confirmed earlier 


statements that the Akkas are the most diminutive 
living people. They are quite distinct from the 
African Bushmen (characterised, among other features, 
by their tawny skins), and also from the Asiatic 
Negritos, as represented by the Andamanese ; and they 
accordingly seem rightly referred to a distinct branch 
of the Negro stock, for which the name Negrillo has 
been suggested. 

In the first of the two papers cited above, Sir William 
gave a general account of all the races of mankind 
which can be included under the title of " pigmies," 
such as the Bushmen, Negrillos, and Negritos. As 
regards the second group he wrote as follows : 

" The fact now seems clearly demonstrated that 
at various spots across the great African Continent, 
within a few degrees north and south of the Equator, 
extending from the Atlantic coast to near the shores 
of the Albert Nyanza (30 E. long.) and perhaps . . . 
even further to the east, south of the Galla land, are 
still surviving, in scattered districts, communities of 
these small Negroes, all much resembling each other in 
size, appearance, and habits, and dwelling mostly apart 
from their taller neighbours, by whom they are every- 
where surrounded. ... In many parts, especially at 
the west, they are obviously holding their own with 
difficulty, ff not actually disappearing, and there is much 
about their condition of civilisation, and the situations 
in which they are found, to induce us to look upon 
them, as in the case of the Bushmen in the south and 
the Negritos in the east, as the remains of a population 
which occupied the land before the incoming of the 
present dominant races. If the account of the 


Nasamenians, related by Herodotus, be accepted as 
historical, the river they came to, c flowing from west 
to east,' must have been the Niger, and the northward 
range of the dwarfish people far more extensive twenty- 
three centuries ago than it is at the present time." 

Sir William's only remaining anthropological paper 
of any importance appears to be one on skulls of the 
aboriginal natives of Jamaica, published in the Journal 
of the Anthropological Institute for 1890. 

It should not, however, be forgotten that, as more 
fully narrated in an earlier chapter, one of the last acts 
of Sir William's scientific career was to organise 
the arrangement of the anthropological series in the 
Natural History Branch of the British Museum an 
undertaking of which he was not spared to witness the 
completion (so far as anything of this nature can be 
said to be anywhere near " complete "). 

If he had left nothing but his anthropological labours 
to bear testimony to his zeal for science and his capacity 
for organisation, Sir William Flower would have 
deserved well of posterity. And it should be recorded 
to his credit that the majority of naturalists, at all 
events in this country, are employing, with some 
minor modifications, not only his anthropological 
classification, but that of mammals in general. It is 
true that both these schemes were based on the labours 
and ideas of his predecessors, but it was reserved for 
him to so modify and improve them as to lead to the 
almost universal acceptation with which they have been 



MUCH of the substance of this chapter has been 
already alluded to in the earlier portions of the present 
volume ; but it has been found convenient to give Sir 
William's views on the objects and arrangement of 
museums somewhat more fully in this place, while 
reference is also made to various items of miscellaneous 
work which do not fall within the scope of either of the 
three previous chapters. 

Of Flower's hereditary interest in the crusade 
against tight bearing-reins, and his official connection 
with the Anti-Bearing-Rein Association, sufficient 
mention has been already made in the first chapter. It 
will likewise be unnecessary in this place to do more than 
mention his Diagrams of the Nerves of the Human Body 
published in 1 86 1, to his " Supplement to the Catalogue 
of the Pathological Series in the Museum of the Royal 
College of Surgeons," issued in 1863, and to certain 
articles on surgical subjects contributed by him at 
an early portion of his career. All these, coupled with 
the practical experience he gained during his Crimean 
service, indicate, however, that had Sir William decided 
to devote his energies and talents to surgery as a 
permanent occupation, there is little doubt he would 
have risen to high eminence in that profession. 

The little work entitled Fashion in Deformity , is based 


on a Friday Evening lecture at the Royal Institution, 
delivered on yth May 1 880, and first published in the 
Proceedings of the Institution for the same year. In its 
separate, and more fully illustrated form, it was issued in 
1 88 1. This is certainly one of Flower's most original 
efforts, touching upon ground much of which has 
received but little notice from either earlier or later 
writers. The subjects discussed include the origin of 
fashion ; mutilations of domesticated animals by man 
for the sake of fashion ; fashion in hair and in finger- 
nails ; tattooing ; fashion in noses, ears, lips, teeth, 
and head, the latter being illustrated by the curious 
custom prevalent among certain widely sundered races 
of forcibly compressing the cranium in infancy by 
means of bandages, so as to permanently modify and 
alter its contour to a greater or less degree. Analogous 
to this compression of the head is the crippling by 
bandages of the feet of Chinese female infants, which 
is described in some detail. But the author is of opinion 
that European nations are scarcely less to blame in the 
matter of distorting the feet for the sake of fashion ; 
and pointed-toed and high-heeled boots and shoes come 
in for his most severe condemnation. Neither, as 
mentioned in the first chapter, was he less scathing 
in his diatribes against the corset and tight-lacing. 
That the last-mentioned article of female attire is 
likewise charged in certain instances with being the 
inducing cause of cancer was however probably un- 
known to him. 

That these strictures against the prevalent fashions of 
our own days had little or no practical result (certainly 
none in the case of the female sex), may be taken for 


granted. The work has, however, a very considerable 
amount of interest as illustrating a number of instances 
of the manner in which uncivilised nations modify and 
mutilate various parts of the body for the sake of what 
they are pleased to regard as ornament, or fashion ; 
and is therefore a valuable contribution to ethnology. 

The address delivered by Flower at the meeting 
of the Church Congress, held at Reading in 1883, 
on the bearing of recent scientific advances on the 
Christian faith, has likewise been alluded to in the first 
chapter. It will therefore suffice here to quote a 
portion of the concluding paragraph, which demonstrates 
that nothing among modern discoveries had served to 
shake in the very slightest degree the author's profound 
belief in all the essential truths of the faith of his 

" Science," he observes, " has thrown some light, little 
enough at present, but ever increasing, and for which 
we should all be thankful, upon the processes or methods 
by which the world in which we dwell has been 
brought into its present condition. The wonder and 
mystery of Creation remain as wonderful and mysterious 
as before. Of the origin of the whole, science tells us 
nothing. It is still as impossible as ever to conceive 
that such a world, governed by laws, the operations of 
which have led to such mighty results, and are attended 
by such future promise, could have originated without 
the intervention of some power external to itself. If 
the succession of small miracles, supposed to regulate 
the operations of nature, no longer satisfies us, have we 
not substituted for them one of immeasurable greatness 
and grandeur ? " 


Although he does not say so in so many words, there 
is little doubt (reading between the lines) that Flower 
regarded the evolution of animated Nature as part of 
a preordained divine plan, and that he had little, if any, 
faith in such theories as " survival of the fittest," as the 
true explanation of Nature's riddle. 

This address, like most of the other addresses and 
papers discussed in this chapter, is reprinted in Essays 
on Museums. 

We pass now to the concluding portion of our 
subject, namely Flower's influence and example in 
modifying and advancing previous conceptions as to 
the functions and objects of museums, and the mode and 
manner in which their contents should be arranged and 
distributed : on the one hand for the purpose of instruct- 
ing and interesting the public, and on the other for 
advancing the study of biological science. In many 
respects this was perhaps the most important item 
in Flower's life-work ; and he may be said to have 
created the art of museum development and display. 

In regard to the value and importance of his labours 
in this respect, no better testimony can be adduced than 
that given by such a distinguished adept in this kind of 
work as Professor E. Ray Lankester, the present 
Director of the Natural History Departments of the 
British Museum. 

" The arrangement and exhibition of specimens 
designed and carried out by Flower in both instances," 
writes Professor Lankester, after alluding to his pre- 
decessor's labours first at the Royal College of Sur- 
geons, and afterwards at the British Museum, " was 
so definite an improvement on previous methods, that 


he deserves to be considered as an originator and inventor 
in museum work. His methods have not only met 
with general approval, and their application with 
admiration, but they have been largely adapted and 
copied by other Curators and Directors of public 
museums both at home and abroad." 

Much has been said with regard to Flower's views on 
museum arrangement in the chapter devoted to his 
official connection with the British Museum. It may, 
however, be permissible to repeat that in his epoch- 
making address on museum organisation, delivered 
before the British Association in 1889, he insisted, 
in the case of large central public museums, on the 
absolute necessity of separating the study from the 
exhibition series ; and likewise on the limited number 
and careful selection of the specimens which should 
be shown to the public in the latter, and the prime 
importance of carefully-written and simply-worded 
descriptive labels for each group of specimens, if not, 
indeed, for each individual specimen. His idea was, in 
fact, that the specimens should illustrate the labels 
rather than the labels the specimens. A limited 
number, rather than an extensive series, of exhibited 
specimens, and ample room for each, were also features 
in his progress of reform. Not less emphatic was 
Sir William on the importance of combining the 
extinct with the living forms in our museums ; but 
this, as stated elsewhere, he was unable to carry out in 
the national collection. 

It was, however, by no means only in our great 
national museums that Flower took so much interest, 
and advocated (and to a great extent succeeded in 


carrying out) such sweeping and beneficial changes. 
He was equally convinced of the supreme importance 
and value, as educating media, of school and county 
museums, if organised and kept up on proper and 
rational lines j and he did all that lay in his power to 
promote the establishment, extension, or development 
of institutions of this nature. 

At the request of the Head-Master, in 1889, Flower 
furnished some written advice as to the best method of 
arranging a museum at Eton College, and these were 
published as an article in Nature for that year, under 
the title of " School Museums." The writer observed 
that the subjects best adapted for such a museum are 
zoology, botany, mineralogy, and geology ; adding 
that u everything in the museum should have some 
distinct object, coming under one or other of the 
above subjects, and under one or other of the series 
defined below, and everything else should be rigorously 
excluded The Curator's business will be quite as much 
to keep useless specimens out of the museum as to 
acquire those that are useful." It was further urged that 
the " Index Museum," in the Natural History Museum, 
furnished the best guide to the lines on which a school 
museum should be furnished and arranged, but that the 
exhibits should be restricted to a simpler and less 
detailed series. 

Under the title of " Natural History as a Vocation," 
Sir William published in Chamber? Journal for April 
1897 an article dealing with biology as a profession, and 
also discussing the best means of encouraging and 
directing the "collecting instinct," which is so marked 
a feature in some boys. This article is reprinted 


in Essays on Museums, under the title of " Boys' 
Museums." It serves to show that Flower considered 
the aforesaid " collecting instinct " worthy, under cer- 
tain restrictions, of every encouragement. 

Since the appearance of Flower's article pointing out 
their value and importance, natural history museums 
have been established at many, if not most, of our public 
schools besides Eton. Those at Marlborough, Rugby, 
and Haileybury may be specially noticed as being, to a 
great extent, arranged on the lines advocated by Sir 

As regards county and other local museums, Flower 
in the article under the latter title, published in Essays 
on Museums, advocated that these, in addition to 
natural history specimens, should likewise illustrate the 
archaeology, and indeed the general history of the 
district ; obsolete implements, such as flint-and-steel and 
candle-snuffers, if of local origin, legitimately finding a 
place within its walls. The natural history of the 
locality, needless to say, should be well illustrated, and so 
arranged and named that any visitor can easily identify 
every creature and plant he may have met with during 
his rambles in the district. 

The subject of administration is next discussed, when 
after fully admitting the value of volunteer assistance, 
the writer lays it down as imperative that a com- 
petent paid Curator must be engaged if the museum 
is to be really useful and to properly fulfil its 

Now that so many institutions of this nature are 
under the control of the County Councils, and their 
expenses defrayed out of the rates, the following passage 


has a most important bearing on the management of 
local museums : 

"The scope of the museum," observes Sir William, 
" should be strictly defined and limited ; there must be 
nothing like the general miscellaneous collection of 
4 curiosities/ thrown indiscriminately together, which 
constituted the old-fashioned country museum. I think 
we are all agreed as to the local character predominating. 
One section should contain antiquities and illustrations 
of local manners and customs ; another section, local 
natural history, zoology, botany, and geology. The 
boundaries of the county will afford a good limit 
for both. Everything not occurring in a state of nature 
within that boundary should be rigorously excluded. 
In addition to this, it may be desirable to have a small 
general collection designed and arranged specially for 
elementary instruction in science." 

These words of warning deserve, in the present 
writer's opinion, more attention than they have yet 
received at the hands of those responsible for the ad- 
ministration of not a few local museums. 

It may be added that Flower was of opinion that 
ordinary local museums should not undertake original 
research work, which should be reserved for the larger 
establishments in our chief cities and the metropolis. 
With the means at their disposal often insufficient 
even for the proper functions local museums should 
have quite enough to do in illustrating local products. 

Not that Sir William Flower was of opinion that, in 
our larger cities, museums of a totally different nature 
from the local museum on the one hand and from the 
general museum on the other, may not have a justifi- 


able locus standi. This is amply demonstrated by his 
remarks (republished in Essays on Museums] on the 
occasion of the opening of the Booth Museum at 
Brighton, in November 1890, which contains one of 
the finest and best mounted collection of British birds 
in the kingdom. 




The Biograph and Review, vol. vi. No. 31 ( 1 88 1 ) . 
Medical News, i6th December 1881. 
Contemporary Medical Men. London, 1887. 
The Times, 3rd July 1899. 
The Spectator, July 1899. 

Nature, I3th July 1889. Professor E. R. Lankester. 
Natural Science, August 1899. R. Lydekker. 
Geological Magazine, August 1899. Dr. H. Woodward. 
Scottish Review, April 1900. Professor M'Intosh. 
"Year-book" of the Royal Society, 1901. W. C. M. 
" Sir William Henry Flower, K.C.B. ; A Personal 
Memoir." By C. J. Cornish. London, 1904. 




1 . " Diagrams of the Nerves of the Human Body, Exhibit- 
ing their Origin, Divisions, and Connections/' London, 

2. " A Supplement to the Catalogue of the Pathological 
Series in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons." 
London, 1863. 

3. "Introductory Lectures to the Course of Comparative 
Anatomy, delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons of 
England, 1870." London, 1870. 



4. " An Introduction to the Osteology of the Mammalia/' 
being the substance of the course of lectures delivered at 
the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1870. 
London, 1870. Second edition, 1876. Third edition 
(revised with the assistance of Hans Gadow), 1885. 

5. " Catalogue of the Specimens illustrating the Osteology 
and Dentition of Vertebrated Animals, Recent and Extinct, 
contained in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons 
of England." London. Part I. Man (1879); Part II. 
Mammalia (1884), written in conjunction with Dr. J. G. 

6. " Fashion in Deformity, as Illustrated in the Customs 
of Barbarous and Civilised Races." (Nature series). 
London, 1881. Also published in the Proceedings of the 
Royal Institution for 1880. 

7. " Recent Advances in Natural Science, in their Re- 
lation to the Christian Faith." A paper read before the 
Church Congress, 1885. London, 1885. 

8. " Recent Memoirs on the Cetacea," by Eschricht, 
Reinhardt, and Liljeborg. A Translation. London (Ray 
Society), 1866. 

9. " List of the Specimens of Cetacea in the Zoological 
Department of the British Museum." London, 1885. 

10. "An Introduction to the Study of Mammals Living 
and Extinct " (written in collaboration with R. Lydekker). 
London, 1891. 

ii. u The Horse : a Study in Natural History." London, 

12. " Essays on Museums and Other Subjects connected 
with Natural History." London, 1898. 


a. In the " Philosophical Transactions" of the Royal 
Society of London. 

13. "Observations on the Posterior Lobes of the Cere- 
brum of the Quadrumana, with the Description of the 


Brain of a Galago," vol. clii. pp. 185-201 (1862). Ab- 
stract in Proc. Roy. Soc., vol. xi. pp. 376-381 (1860). 

14. "On the Commissures of the Cerebral Hemispheres 
of the Marsupialia and Monotremata, as compared with 
those of the Placental Mammals," vol. civ. pp. 633-651 
(1865). Abstract in Proc. Roy. Soc., vol. xiv. pp. 71-74 

15.** On the Development and Succession of the Teeth in 
the Marsupialia/' vol. clvii. pp. 631-642 (1867). Abstract 
in Proc. Roy. Soc., vol. xv. pp. 464-468 (1867), and in 
Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. xx. pp. 129-133 (1867.) 

1 6. " On a Newly-discovered Extinct Mammal from Pata- 
gonia (Homalodontotherium cunninghami) ," vol. clxiv. pp. 173- 
182 (1874). Abstract in Proc. Roy. Soc.. vol. xxi. p. 383 


17. " Seals and Cetaceans from Kerguelen Island (Transit 
of Venus Expeditions, 1874 and 1875)," vo ^ clxviii. 
pp. 95-100(1876). 

b. In the " Proceedings " of the Royal Society of London. 

1 8. Reply to Professor Owen's paper : " On Zoological 
Names of Characteristic Parts and Homological Interpreta- 
tions and Beginnings, especially in reference to Connecting 
Fibres of the Brain," vol. xiv. pp. 134-139 (1865). 

c. In the " Transactions " of the Zoological Society of London. 

19. " On the Brain of the Jtvan Loris (Stenops javanicus, 
Illig.)," vol. v. pp. 103-111 (1866). 

20. " Description of the Skeleton of Inia geoffroyensis, and 
of the Skull of Pontoporia blainvillei" vol. vi. pp. 87-116 

21. " On the Osteology of the Sperm-Whale or Cachalot 
(Physeter macrocephalus}" vol. vi. pp. 309-372 (1869). 

22. "Description of the Skeleton of the Chinese White 
Dolphin (Delphinus sinewis)" vol. vii. pp. 151-160 (1872). 

23. "On Risso's Dolphin (Grampus griseus)," vol. viii. 
pp. 1-2 1 (1873). 

24. " On the Recent Ziphioid Whales, with a Description 


of the Skeleton of Berardius arnuxi" vol. viii. pp. 203-234 

25. "A Further Contribution to the Knowledge of the 
Existing Ziphioid Whales ; Genus Mesoplodon" vol. x. pp. 
415-437 (1878). 

d. In the " Proceedings " of the Zoological Society of London. 

26. ** Notes on the Dissection of a Species of Galago," 
1852, pp. 73-75. 

27. "On the Structure of the Gizzard of the Nicobar 
Pigeon and Granivorous Birds," 1860, pp. 330-334. 

28. "Notes on the Anatomy of Pithecia monachus, Geoffr.," 
1862, pp. 326-333. 

29. "On the Optic Lobes of the Brain of the Echidna" 
1864, pp. 18-20. 

30. " On a Lesser Fin-Whale (Balcenoptera rostrata, Fabr.) 
recently stranded on the Norfolk Coast," 1864, pp. 

31. " On the Brain of the Red Howling Monkey 
(Mycetes seniculus, Linn.)," 1864, pp. 335-338. 

32. "Notes on the Skeletons of Whales in the Principal 
Museums of Holland and Belgium, with Descriptions of 
Two Species, apparently new to Science (Sibbaldius schlegeli 
and Physalus latirostris)" 1864, pp. 384-420. 

33. " On a New Species of Grampus (Orca meridionalii), 
from Tasmania," 1864, pp. 420-426. 

34. "Note on Pseudorca meridionalis" 1865, pp. 470-471. 

35. "On Physalus sibbaldii, Gray," 1865, pp. 472-474. 

36. " Observations upon a Fin-Whale (Physalus anti- 
quorum, Gray) recently stranded in Pevensey Bay/' 1865, 
pp. 699-705. 

37. "On the Gular Pouch of the Great Bustard (Otis 
tarda, Linn.)," 1865, pp. 747-748. 

38. " Note on the Visceral Anatomy of Hyomoschus aquati- 
cus" 1867, pp. 954-960. 

39. " On the Probable Identity of the Fin-Whales de- 
scribed as Balanoptera Carolina, Malm., and Physalus sibbaldii, 
Gray," 1868, pp. 187-189. 


40. " On the Development and Succession of the Teeth 
in the Armadillos," 1868, pp. 378-380. 

41. "On the Value of the Characters of the Base of 
the Cranium in the Classification of the Order Carnivora, 
and on the Systematic Position of Bassaris and Other Dis- 
puted Forms," 1869, pp. 4-37. 

42. "Note on a Substance Ejected from the Stomach of 
a Horn-bill/' 1869, p. 150. 

43. " On the Anatomy of the Proteles cristatus, Sparmann," 

1869, pp. 474-496. 

44. " Additional Note on a Specimen of the Common Fin- 
Whale (Physalus antiquorum, Gray, Balanoptera musculus, 
Auct.) Stranded in Langston Harbour, November 1869," 
l8 7> PP. 330 and 331. 

45. " On the Anatomy of JElurus fulgens, Fr. Cuv.," 

1870, pp. 752-769. 

46. "On the Skeleton of the Australian Cassowary," 

1871, pp. 32-35. 

47. "On the Occurrence of the Ringed or Marbled Seal 
(Phoca hispida) on the Coast of Norfolk, with Remarks on 
the Synonymy of the Species," 1861, pp. 506-512. 

48. " Remarks on a Rare Australian Whale of the Genus 
Ziphius" 1871, p. 631. 

49. " Note on the Anatomy of the Two-Spotted Para- 
doxure (Nandinia blnotata)" 1872, pp. 683 and 684. 

50. " On the Structure and Affinities of the Musk-deer, 
(Moschus moschiferus, Linn.)/' 1875, pp. 159-190. 

51. "Description of the Skull of a Species of Xiphodon, 
Cuvier," 1876, pp. 3-7. 

52. "On some Cranial and Dental Characters of the 
Existing Species of Rhinoceros," 1876, pp. 443-457. 

53. ** Remarks upon Ziphius novce-zealandta and Mesopl- 
odon floweri" 1876, pp. 477 and 478. 

54. " On the Skull of a Rhinoceros (R. lasiotis, Scl.) from 
India," 1878, pp. 634-636. 

55. " On the Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis, Linn.) " 
1879, pp. 382-384. 

56. " Remarks upon a Drawing of Delphinus tursio" 
1879, p. 386. 


57. " Remarks upon the Skull of a Female Otaria (Otaria 
gillespii)," 1879, p. 551. 

58. " Remarks upon the Skull of a Beluga, or White Whale 
(Delphinapterus leucas)" 1879, pp. 667-669. 

59. " On the Cascum of the Red Wolf (Cants jubatus, 
Desm.)," 1879, PP' 766 and 767. 

60. "On the Bush-Dog (Icticyon venaticus, Lund)," 1880, 
pp. 70-76. 

61. '< On the Elephant-Seal (Macrorhinus /eoninus, Linn.)," 
1881, pp. 145-162. 

62. "Notes on the Habits of the Manatee," 1881, 

PP- 45S-45 6 - 

63. "On the Mutual Affinities of the Animals composing 
the Order Edentata," 1882, pp. 358-367. 

64. " On the Cranium of a New Species of Hyperoodon, 
from the Australian Seas," 1882, pp. 392-396. 

65. "On the Skull of a Young Chimpanzee," 1882, 
PP- 634-636. 

66. "On the Whales of the Genus Hyperoodon* 1882, 
pp. 722-734. 

67. " On the Arrangement of the Orders and Families ot 
existing Mammalia," 1883, pp. 178-186. 

68. "On the Characters and Divisions of the Family 
Dflpbinida" 1883, pp. 466-513. 

69. " On a Specimen of Rudolphi's Rorqual (BaUnoptera 
borealis, Lesson) lately taken on the Essex Coast," 1883, 

PP- S^-S 1 ?- 

70. " Remarks on the Burmese Elephant lately deposited 
in the Society's Gardens," 1884, P- 44- 

71. "Remarks upon Four Skulls of the Common Bottle- 
nose Whale (Hyperoodon restrains), showing the Develop- 
ment, with Age, of the Maxillary Crests," 1884, p. 206. 

72. "Exhibition of a Mass of pure Spermaceti, obtained 
from the 'head-matter' of Hyperoodon" 1884, p. 206. 

73. " Note on theiDentition of a young Capybara (Hydro- 
chorus capybara)" 1884, pp. 252 and 253. 

74. " Note on the Names of Two Genera of Delphimdce" 
1884, p. 417. 

75. " Remarks upon a Specimen of Rudolphi's Rorqual 


(Balanoptera borealis) taken in the Thames, 1887," p. 

5 6 4- 

76. "On the Pygmy Hippopotamus of Liberia (Hippo- 
potamus liberiensis, Morton), and its Claims to Distinct Generic 

Rank," 1887, pp. 612-614. 

77. " Remarks upon a Specimen of a Japanese Cock, with 
Elongated Upper Tail-coverts," 1888, p. 248. 

78. " Remarks upon the Skin of the Face of a Male 
African Rhinoceros with a Third Horn," 1889, p. 448. 

79. " Remarks upon a Photograph of the Nest of a Horn- 
bill (Tocus melanoleucus), in which the Female was shown 
* walled in,' " 1890, p. 401. 

80. " Remarks on the Rules of Zoological Nomenclature," 
1896, pp. 319-320. 

e. In the "Natural History Review" 

8 1. " On the Brain of the Siamang (Hylobates syndactylus, 
Raffles)," 1863, pp. 279-287. 

82. "Note on the Number of Cervical Vertebrae in the 
Sirenia," 1864, pp. 259-264. 

f. In the " Journal of Anatomy and Physiology." 

83. "On the Homologies and Notation of the Teeth of 
the Mammalia," vol. iii. pp. 262-278 (1869) ; Abstract in 
Rep. Brit. Assoc., vol. xxxviii. (Trans, of Sections), pp. 262- 
288 (1868). 

84. " On the Composition of the Carpus of the Dog," 
series 2, vol. vi. pp. 62-64 ( I ^ > 7 Q )- 

85. "On the Correspondence between the Parts Compos- 
ing the Shoulder and the Pelvic Girdle of the Mammalia," 
vol. vi. pp. 239-249 (1870). 

86. " Note on the Carpus of the Sloths," vol. vii. pp. 
255 and 256 (1873). 

g. In the " Quarterly Journal" of the Geological Society oj 

87. "On the Affinities and Probable Habits of the 
Extinct Australian Marsupial, Thylacoleo carnifex, Owen," 
vol. xxiv. pp. 307-319 (1868). 


88. " Description of the Skull of a Species of Halitherium 
(H. canhami) from the Red Crag of Suffolk," vol. xxx. pp. 

1-7 (1874). 

89. " Note on the Occurrence of Remains of Hycenarctos 
in the Red Crag of Suffolk," vol. xxxiii. pp. 534-536 

h. In the " Proceedings " of the Royal Institution. 

90. " On Palseontological Evidence of Gradual Modifica- 
tion of Animal Forms," vol. vii. pp. 94-104 (1873). 

91. "The Extinct Animals of North America," vol. viii. 
pp. 103-105 (1876), and Popular Science Review, vol. xv. 
pp. 267-298 (1876). 

92. " On Whales, Past and Present, and their Probable 
Origin," vol. x. pp. 360-376 (1883). 

i. In the "Report" of the British Association for the 
Advancement of Science. 

93. " On the Connexion of the Hyoid Arch with the 
Cranium," vol. xl. (Trans, of Sections), pp. 136 and 137 

94. "A Century's Progress in Zoological Knowledge," 
vol. xlviii., pp. 549-558 (1878), and Nature, vol. xviii. pp. 
419-423 (1878). 

j. In the Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 

95. "On a Sub- Fossil Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) Dis- 
covered in Cornwall," ser. 4, vol. ix. pp. 440-442 (1872). 

96. "Extinct Lemurina," ser. 4, vol. xvii. pp. 323-328 

k. In the "Journal" of the Royal Colonial Institute. 

97. "Whales and Whale Fisheries " : a Lecture delivered 
at the Royal Colonial Institute on 8th January 1885 (1885). 

/. In Nature. 

98. " On the Arrangement and Nomenclature of the 
Lobes of the Liver in Mammalia," vol. vi. pp. 346-365 


(1872) ; and also Rep. Brit. Assoc., vol. xlii. (Trans, of 
Sections), pp. 150 and 151 (1872). 

99. "On the Ziphioid Whales," vol. v. pp. 103-106 

100. "Museum Specimens for Teaching Purposes," vol. 
xv. pp. 144-146, 184-186, and 204-206 (1876). 

m. In the " Transactions " of the Geological Society of 

10 1. "On the Bones of a Whale found at Petuan," 
1872,8 pp. 

n. In the " Bulletin " of the Brussels Academy. 

102. <{ Sur le basin et le fe'mur d'une Balenoptere," vol. 
xxi. pp. 131 and 132 (1866). 

o. In the " Medical Times " and " Gazette" 

103. " Comparative Anatomy," a Lecture, 1870. 

104. " Lectures on the Comparative Anatomy of the 
Organs of Digestion of the Mammalia," delivered at the 
Royal College of Surgeons of England, in February and 
March 1872. 

p. In the " Transactions " of the Odontological Society of 

105. " On the First or Milk Dentition of the Mammalia," 
vol. iii. pp. 211-232 (1871). 

1 06. "Note on the Specimens of Abnormal Dentition in 
the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons," vol. xii. 
pp. 32-47 (1880). 

q. In the " British Medical Journal:' 

107. " Dentition of the Mammalia," 1871. 

1 08. " History of Extinct Mammals, and their Relation 
to Existing Forms," 1874. 


109. "The Anatomy of the Cetacea and Edentata," 1881 
and 1882. 

r. In the " Encyclopedia Britannic a" qth Ed. 

no. "The Horse," vol. xii. pp. 172-181 (1881). 
in. "Mammalia" (Insect'ivora, Chiroptera and Rodentia, 
by G. E. Dobson), vol. xv. pp. 347-446 (1883). 

112. "Whale," vol. xxiv. pp. 523-529 (1888). 
And other articles. 

s. In the " Report 1 ' of the Council of the Zoological Society. 

113. "On the Progress of Zoology" : Address to the 
General Meeting held at the Society's Gardens, i6th June 
1887. Appendix, 1887, pp. 37-67. 

/. In the <'' Trans actions" of the Middlesex Natural 
History Society. 

114. " Horns and Antlers," 1887, pp. i-io. 

a. In the '''Journal" oj the Anthropological Institute. 

115. "Illustrations of the Modes of Preserving the Dead 
in Darnley Island and in South Australia," vol. viii. pp. 
389-394 (1879). 

1 1 6. " On the Osteology and Affinities of the Natives ot 
the Andaman Islands," vol. ix. pp. 108-135 (1879). 

117. " On the Cranial Characters of the Natives of the 
Fiji Islands," vol. x. pp. 153-173 (1880). 

1 18. "On a Collection of Monumental Heads and 
Artificially deformed Crania from the Island of Mallicollo, 
in the New Hebrides," vol. xi. pp. 75-81 (1881). 

119. "On the Aims and Prospects of the Study of 
Anthropology," vol. xiii. pp. 488-501 (1884). 

1 20. "Additional Observations on the Osteology of the 
Natives of the Andaman Islands," vol. xiv. pp. 115-120 


121. "On the size of the Teeth as a Character of Race," 
vol. xiv. pp. 183-186 (1884). 

122. "On the Classification of the Varieties of the 
Human Species," vol. xiv. pp. 378-395 (1885). 

I22A. "On a Nicobarese Skull," vol. xvi. pp. 147-149 

123. <{ Description of two Skeletons of Akkas, a Pygmy 
Race from Central Africa," vol. xviii. pp. 3-19 (1888). 

124. " On two Skulls from a Cave in Jamaica," vol. xx. 
pp. 110-112 (1890). 

b. In the Report " of the British Association. 

125. " Methods and Results of Measurements of the 
Capacity of Human Crania," 1878, pp. 581, 582 ; and 
Nature, vol. xviii. pp. 480, 481 (1878). 

1 26. '< The Study and Progress of Anthropology" (Address 
to Anthrop. Dept. of Zoological Section), 1881, pp. 
682-689 ; and Nature, vol. xxiv. pp. 436-439 (1881). 

c. In " Nature" 

127. "The Comparative Anatomy of Man" (Abstract 
of Lectures), vol. xx. pp. 222-225, 244-246 (1879), and 
267-269 ; vol. xxii. pp. 59-61, 78-80, 97-100 (1880). 

d. In the "British Medical Journal" 

1 28. " The Anatomical Characters of the Races of Man," 
1879 an d 1880. 

e. In the *' Journal of Anatomy and Physiology" 

129. "On the Scapular Index as a Race-Character in 
Man," vol. xiv., pp. 13-17 (1880), written in co-operation 
with Dr. J. G. Garson. 

f. In the Manchester Science Lectures for the People. 

130. "The Aborigines of Tasmania, an Extinct Race." 
A Lecture delivered in Hulme Town Hall, Manchester, 
3Oth November 1878, ser. x. pp. 41-53. 

g. In " Report" of Glasgow Science lectures Association. 

131. " The Races of Man," 53 pp. Glasgow (1878). 


h. In the " Proceedings " of the Royal Institution. 

132. "The Native Races of the Pacific Ocean," vol. viii. 
pp. 602-652 (1878). 

133. "The Pygmy Races of Men," vol. xii. pp. 266- 
283 (1888). 


134. "The Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of 
England." Presidential Address to the Anatomical Section 
of the International Medical Congress, held in London, 
4th August 1 88 1. [Reprinted in Essays on Museums, as are 
the other papers and addresses quoted under this heading/] 

135. " Museum Organisation." Presidential Address to 
the British Association for the Advancement of Science, at 
the Newcastle-on-Tyne Meeting, nth September 1889. 
Rep. Brit. Assoc., 1889. 

136. "School Museums : Suggestions for the Formation 
and Arrangement of Natural History in connection with a 
Public School." Nature, 26th December 1889. 

137. "The Booth Museum." Address at the Opening 
of the Booth Museum, Brighton, 3rd November 1890. 
Zoologist, December 1890. 

138. " Local Museums." From a letter in support of the 
establishment of a County Museum for Buckinghamshire 
(24th November 1891), and an Address at the Opening of 
the Perth Museum (29th November 1895). 

139. "Modern Museums." Presidential Address to the 
Museums' Association, at the Meeting held in London, 3rd 
July 1893. Museums' Association Journal, 1893. 

140. "Natural History as a Vocation (Boys' Museums)." 
Chambers' s Edinburgh Journal, April 1897. 

Mostly Republished in " Essays on Museums.'' 

141. " Biographical Notice of Professor Rolleston." Proc. 
Roy. Soc., 1882. 


142. Obituary Notice of George Busk. Journ. Anthrop. 
Inst., vol. xvi., p. 403 (1886). 

143. " Biographical Notice of Sir Richard Owen." Proc. 
Roy. Soc., 1894. 

144. " Reminiscences of Professor Huxley." The North 
American Review, September 1895. 

145. " Eulogium on Charles Darwin." Centenary Meet- 
ing of the Linnean Society, 24th May 1888.