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John Stevens Henslow (1796-1861), professor of botany at Cambridge University and Anglican clergyman, is best remembered for his role as a mentor to Charles Darwin. First published in 1862, this biography by Henslow's colleague and brother-in-law, Leonard Jenyns, pays tribute to a man he describes as one of the most remarkable of his time. Through vivid accounts of times spent with Henslow both in the university and on travels around Britain, he paints a portrait of a modest and conscientious man, whose pursuits were intended solely for the benefit of others. Recounting Henslow's scientific work and religious endeavours, Jenyns also explores his pioneering contribution to botany and geology, his assistance to the farmers and the poor of his parish, and the role of his faith in his work. Compiled with help from Darwin and other colleagues, Jenyns' memoir provides a unique insight into an important figure in scientific history.
Table of Contents
Introduction - birth and parentage - early life and education - taste for natural history - introduction to Dr. Leach and Mr. Stephens - rare captures âÇô desire to travel in Africa âÇô entrance at the University - studies in the natural sciences - tour to the Isle of Wight with Professor Sedgwick - tour to the Isle of Man - tour to the Isle of Anglesea - Cambridge Philosophical Society - lodgings in Cambridge, and intimate acquaintance - natural history rambles in the neighbourhood of Cambridge
Professor of Mineralogy - dispute as to the mode of election - syllabus of lectures - Professorship of Botany - Cambridge Botanic Garden and Museum - botanical lectures - syllabus and plan of lectures - herborizing excursions - botanical publications
Removal to Hitcham - loss to the university - state in which he found the parish of Hitcham - steps taken for its improvement - school - ploughing matches - the Hitcham farmers - Hadleigh Farmers' Club - letters to the farmers of Suffolk - experiments on manures, &c. - condition of the labouring classes - allotment system - opposition of the Hitcham farmers - horticultural shows - school botany - village excursions
Ministerial duties âÇô religious instruction in the school - opinions of inspectors - constant residence in the parish - fanaticism caused by Revivalist meetings - his endeavours to check it - visiting the sick - his own religious views - studies of the prophecies - sermons and preaching - local preaching - influence of religion on his own heart - conversing upon the subject - special occasions for prayer - high views of the Christian dispensation - strength of his faith - his humility
Lectures in provincial towns, and at Buckingham Palace - Ipswich Museum - address delivered in the Museum - elected President - arrangement of the Museum - Museum of Economic Botany at Kew - Great Exhibition at Paris - tact in preparing museum specimens - education element in museums - London University - his examination in botany - Cambridge University - plea for the natural sciences - natural sciences tripos
Habits of observing - formation of pebbles - facts in botany and zoology - Jersey toads - hornets' nests, and method of taking them - parasitic larvae in hornets' nests - wasps' nests - method of taking them - food of micro-lepidoptera - registration of facts in natural history - diseases of corn - ergot - wheat midge - failure of red clover crop - phosphatic nodules - fossil ear-bones of whales - potatoe disease - preservation of animal and vegetable substances - vitality of seeds - mummy-wheat - transmutation and origin of species - flint implements in the drift
Antiquarian researches - Bartlow Hills - Roman pottery from Colchester - barrows at Rougham - skeleton of a Roman - his supposed history
General scientific character - labours at Hitcham - public teaching at the University - services rendered to medical students - fondness for collecting - extent and variety of his collections - liberality in giving away specimens - his study - daily habits - scientific societies - social character
Last sickness - slow progress of his disease - interest taken in his own case - religious feelings - remarks on various subjects - teaching from the bed - holy communion - visit from Professor Sedgwick - death - disposal of collections - funeral - concluding remarks
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