Biography

William Spotswood Green, a biography

William Spotswood Green, a biography

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

William Spotswood Green was born at Youghal, Co. Cork on 10th September 1847, as the only son of Charles Green, JP, of Youghal. In the historic port town of Youghal William Green developed an early interest and love for the sea and fishing.[1] William’s family were residents and merchants in Youghal for many generations. The earliest ancestor I found was Simon Green, a merchant of the town in 1720.[2]

Charles Green

William’s father, Charles Green was a successful corn merchant in Youghal and his rise in the local economic and social scene can be seen over the years. In the 1835 Charles Green was described as an esquire in the parliamentary election of that year but in 1837 his business had developed such that Charles was described as a merchant in the voter register.[3]

By 1840 Charles Green had grown in social and political status to contest the Youghal mayoral election against Nicholas Purdon Stout. Both candidates polled 62 votes each and the outgoing mayor gave the casting vote to Stout.[4] This setback/disappointment did not cause any setback in the advancement of Charles Green. In 1867 Charles Green was one of the three Vice-Presidents of the Youghal Savings Bank. In business he was now a butter and corn merchant with premises on Store Street. Like many merchants Charles Green was also a ship owner.[5] One of these ships was called the William S. Green after his son. This local vessel appears variously in the Youghal port books between 1879 and 1899 with Captain McLaughlin of Youghal as her master.[6]

By the time of the voter register of 1868 he was described as a local magistrate and extensive corn merchant. But Charles’s ambitions were not at an end just yet. In the parliamentary election of 1869 Charles Green contested the ballot for the Conservative Party. His opponent was Montague Guest from Wimborne, Dorset who contested for the Liberal Party. The contest was well fought but Montague Guest won by just three votes.[7] This defeat by so close a margin must have been a disappointment for Charles Green and him the local candidate. Yet the Liberal leader, W.E. Gladstone, had offered the electorate of Ireland an election platform which would satisfy many of their demands and the tide was with the Liberals.

After the election Charles Green returned to his merchant’s counter and continued to satisfy the demands of Youghal people in a way to get their shillings if not their vote. By 1881 Charles Green had moved his premises onto Green’s Quay.[8] This quay was extensively developed by his ancestor, Roger Green, a merchant of Youghal, in 1778.[9] During the Civil War (1922-3) Green’s Quay was blown up by the anti-Treaty forces in August 1922 to prevent or delay the landing of Free State troops.[10] The quay was later rebuilt after the war.

Education of William S. Green

William Spotswood Green’s interest in maritime subjects was further developed by his first years in school. In 1859 William Green entered the Rathmines School in Dublin. The headmaster at that time was C.W. Benson, an enthusiastic naturalist.[11]

After Rathmines School, William Spotswood Green returned to Co. Cork to continue his education at Midleton College.[12] If love of things maritime were a pathway to a life’s career there were few prospects of formal training or a career in biology for the young William Green in the Ireland of the 1860s.

Trinity College, Dublin and Europe

Thus William Spotswood Green entered Trinity College, Dublin as a student for the Church of Ireland ministry. But William’s adventurous spirit could not be contained within the hallowed walls of Trinity. While still an undergraduate William S. Green went on a number of expeditions to study glaciers in the Alps and Norway.[13] On the trip to Switzerland he was joined by his cousin, Rev. Henry Swanzy.[14] William Green was a member of the English Alpine Club.[15] This club was founded in London in 1857 and was the world’s first mountaineering club.

In 1871 William Spotswood Green graduated with a BA which was followed by a MA in 1874.[16] After William Green was ordained into the Church of Ireland in 1873 he received his first curacy in the town of Kenmare in south Kerry in 1874.[17]

Kenmare

The assignment of Kenmare parish was a very fortuitous placement. The seaside parish offered Rev. William Green the opportunity to explore the seashore and enjoy he wonders of sea life. South Kerry also offered Rev. William Green love of a more personal nature.[18]

On one of his journeys around the Kerry coastline Rev. William Green came to Waterville to meet Mr. Beatty who owned a fishery company. While there he was introduced to the daughter of the house, Belinda Beatty. A year later, on 22nd June 1875 William and Belinda got married. The couple had their first child in 1876, a son called Charles Green (later inspector of fisheries). Charles Green was followed by five daughters.[19]

Carrigaline

The young family moved to Carrigaline, Co. Cork in 1877 where they stayed until 1889 with a few gaps in between.[20] The new placement was also a step up in the clerical ladder. Thus Rev. William Spotswood Green became rector at Carrigaline. When Rev. William Green became a government commissioner on fisheries in 1889, he resigned from the church ministry.[21]

The late 1870s were years of heavy rain and poor harvests. Many tenant farmers struggled to survive. The Land League was formed to help tenant farmers get better conditions such as – fair rents – free sale and fixture of tenure. The landlords resisted such demands and the Land War resulted.

New Zealand

The wet weather also affected Rev. William Spotswood Green and in 1881 he was advised to leave Ireland for the winter months. Most people, on receiving such advice, would have gone to the sunny beaches of the south of France but not Rev. William Green. With characteristic courage and energy he decided to go to New Zealand and climb Mount Cook. At that time New Zealand was at least two month sailing time from Ireland and Mount Cook was an unconquered peak with unexplored glaciers.[22] Having travelled so far Rev. William Green was not for stopping at the base of Mount Cook or even halfway up. Thus in March 1882, he became the first person to climb the mountain. In 1883 Rev. William Green published the results of his travels in a book called The High Alps of New Zealand.[23]

Rev. William S. Green was joined in the climbing of Mount Cook by a Swiss hotelier, Emil Boss and the mountaineer, Ulrich Kaufmann. But some sources dispute the claim that Rev. Green was the first person to climb Mount Cook. These claim that Green and his party only got within 50 meters of the top and had to turn back because of bad weather and that the first person to reach the top was the New Zealander, Tom Fyfe in 1894.[24] But of course Mount Cook consists of three summits and thus both claims can have equal merit.

Image

William Spotswood Green

Fishery developments

As an island nation the fishery industry was an important feature of the economic life of the country. Many medieval port documents at English ports make numerous references to fish imports from Ireland. Irish fish was also sent to France in exchange for wine. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries sea fishing was one of the key sectors of the Irish economy.[25]

During the eighteenth century ports like Cork exported sizeable quantities of fish. But, as the century advanced, the exports of fish declined. This was despite the many attempts of Grattan’s Parliament to develop the fishery industry.[26]

The agricultural depression of the late 1870s highlighted the needed to develop the western fishery industry as a income support for small farmers. A report on the Western Islands to the Dublin Mansion House Relief Committee stated that “Valuable fishing grounds lay at their doors: but such boats as they possessed were too crazy, and their fishing-gear too rotten and primitive to yield them any sufficient return for the dangers of these wild sea”.[27]

The Royal Irish Academy and Ireland’s offshore resources

In 1885 the Royal Irish Academy decided to initiate studies into the continental shelf off the south-west coast of Ireland. Rev. William Green had by then built up a reputation as an expert on sea fishing and boat handling and was thus invited to join the first expedition. In the summer of 1886 and 1887 the steamer, the Lord Bandon, was chartered for the expeditions. The study team conducted dredging and trawling down to a depth of 2,000 meters.

The deep dredging produced little results but the trawling down to depths of 594 meters produced numerous specimens. One of these was a sea anemone new to science which was called Paraphellia greenii in honour of Rev. William Spotswood Green.[28]

Rev. William Spotswood Green was not the only specialist in the study of the marina fauna of the south-west. One of his colleagues was the zoologist and anthropologist, A.C. Haddon.[29]

Work for the Royal Dublin Society

The work done by Rev. William Spotswood Green for the Royal Irish Academy did not just end on a book shelf in the Academy’s fine library of Dawson Street. Around the corner, at the far end of Molesworth Street, the Royal Dublin Society was not asleep to the work of development. The Society was founded in 1731 by a small group of far-sighted people for the “improving Husbandry, Manufactures, and other useful Arts and Sciences”.[30]

The ideas of the Royal Dublin Society found a home in the heart of the new Chief Secretary for Ireland, Arthur Balfour (1887-1891). In the second half of the 1880s Arthur Balfour may have been to many the “Bloody Balfour” of the Land War but the Chief Secretary saw Ireland beyond the traditional battle grounds. In the climate of cultural revival in literature and language, Arthur Balfour wanted to accomplish land reform and economic regeneration to diminish Irish disaffection to Great Britain and may be even bring the Irish to enjoy the union with Britain.[31]

Rev. William Spotswood Green was not slow to recognise this climate of renewal and discovery. His work for the Royal Irish Academy was a good start but he needed an organisation which could provide practical assistance to develop the fishery sector, particularly along the west coast. In 1886 he approached the Royal Dublin Society for help. On 24th February 1887 a Fisheries Committee was established by the Society. They commissioned William Green to do a report on the fisheries in the south of Ireland which he presented on 2nd June 1887. In March 1888 Rev. William Green presented a further report “On the Fisheries of the South and South-West Coast of Ireland”.[32]

In the 1888 report on the Irish south-west Rev. William Green highlighted the quality of the Irish spring mackerel and the high returns that could be achieved. He wrote that the mackerel were “very large, from two and a half to three pounds each, and fetch nearly twice the price in Billingsgate of the mackerel caught on the English coast”.[33]

During this time the Royal Irish Academy continued its association with Rev. William Spotswood Green. In May 1888 they funded one of the research cruises of the Royal Dublin Society. This was on the previously named vessel, Lord Bandon, under its new name of Flying Falcon. This was one of those deep research voyages and the team went down to 2,322 meters.[34]

These reports were made known to Chief Secretary Arthur Balfour who at that time was formulating his ideas on how to tackle conditions in the impoverished and over-crowded province of Connacht. On 8th January 1890 Arthur Balfour proposed that the Royal Dublin Society undertake a survey of the west coast fisheries. It was estimated that the work would take two years and the cost estimate of £1,200 would be share 50:50 by the Society and the Government. William Green was charged with leading the survey and volumes 127 and 128 of the Proceedings of the Society contain William Green’s two reports.[35]

But the survey nearly never happened. William Green had been appointed Inspector of Irish Fisheries by the Government in 1890 and the Government insisted that William Green would act as the Government’s agent in the survey. The Royal Dublin Society wanted William Green to be survey leader but answerable to the Society. The standoff between the two parties nearly stopped the survey before it started until the Government gave in and William Green would act for the Society.

The battle to control the leader of the survey tells us much about William Spotswood Green. Both sides were in agreement that William S. Green was the only choice to lead the survey otherwise another person would have been nominated by one side or the other. Yet the idea that any side could control William S. Green is somewhat laughable.

Having solved the leadership problem finding a survey vessel became the next obstacle. William Spotswood Green had intended to use the yacht called, the Fingal but this was taken away from Green by its owner on a Mediterranean cruise and would not be back in time for the expedition.[36]

After going half way around the world to climb a mountain, William Green was not to be undone for lack of a boat. After visiting a number of ports in Ireland, Scotland and England without success William Green heard that steam yacht, the Harlequin, was available but at a price. As Green wrote in his report “the charter of this vessel involved a heavier expense than I was prepared for”.[37] Yet the Harlequin was a most appropriate vessel for the job. She was originally built in 1885 as the Shannon and was commissioned for the west of Ireland fishery work.[38]

With a survey vessel secured, William Green set about to having her fitted for the survey. At the same time he selected his survey team and the crew for the Harlequin. Among the survey team was zoologist, Ernest W.L. Holt. Holt made separate reports which proved an important contribution to the understanding of the marine life on the west coast of Ireland and are still consulted. With all this hands on management it comes as no surprise to find William Green announcing at the end of his crew list that “I acted as Skipper myself”.[39]

And indeed he did skipper the vessel. William S. Green went to Southampton to collect the Harlequin and sailed her to Cobh with a crew of four. The passage was no summer cruise. Around Portland Bill they hit snow and gale force winds. They even had to bail water out of the engine room. From Cobh the research voyage began in earnest. After hitting some bad weather off the south coast the research team were blessed with some good weather after Baltimore. Along the west coast the team did good work and visited many of the ports and islands to meet the local people. The voyage continued around the north coast before finishing in Dublin. After Dublin, William S. Green took the Harlequin back to Southampton.[40]

Yet William Spotswood Green was not under any apprehension that his work would be revolutionary. In the opening of his report, William Green said “In the records of the Royal Commissioners, the reports of the Board of Works and those of the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries will be found all the data for a complete history of the question [of fisheries development]. In some ways the study is disheartening, and in reading these old records it seems now, when writing a report, that one is only treading ground that had been traversed over and over again”.[41]

Yet the Ireland of the late 1880s and early 1890s was under different management. The reports presented by William Green added much technical information of the fisheries and marine life generally on the west coast. But the reports also portrayed the lives of the people in a spontaneous and unselfconscious way. Over shadowing these findings is the enthusiasm for the whole expedition that comes from the hand of William Spotswood Green.[42]

Canada

In the mist of his research studies for the Royal Dublin Society Rev. William Spotswood Green was attracted to further travel overseas. In the second half of 1888 he went across over sea to study tropical forests before heading to Canada for his next adventure.

In Canada William Green went into the Selkirk region to study glaciers for the Canadian government. His interest in Canada was encouraged by the 1884 expedition of his cousin, Rev. Henry Swanzy and Richard Barrington. Rev. Swanzy returned to the Selkirk as a companion for William Green.[43] On his way to the Selkirk, in the Rocky Mountains of western Canada, William Green took notice of the people and plants across the Prairies. In the Selkirk William Green climbed mountains and studied glaciers. Some of the valleys and mountains that he visited were never seen by Europeans before. In 1889 he read a paper to the Royal Geographical Society on his adventures. This was followed in 1890 when William Green published the results of his study in a book called Among the Selkirk Glaciers.[44] The book was dedicated to his mother.

It was on his way home from Canada that Rev. William S. Green made his study tour of the North American fishing ports for the Royal Dublin Society.[45] The North American fisheries had an important influence upon the Irish fisheries industry. For many seasons in the 1880s the Americans had killed a great number of immature fish which in 1888 caused a collapse in the American mackerel fishery. Ironically this was good for Irish fishermen as there was a demand in America for mackerel caught and salted in the autumn along the south-west coast of Ireland.[46] In 1889 Rev. William S. Green presented his report on North American fisheries to the Royal Dublin Society.[47]

On his return from Canada, William Spotswood Green and family left Carrigaline for Dublin. He found a house at 5 Cowper Villas which became his home until 1914.[48]

The expeditions to the Alps, Norway, and New Zealand gained standing for William Spotswood Green in the academic society circles. In 1886 he became a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.[49]

British Museum work

On his return to Ireland William Spotswood Green was commissioned in 1889 to do research work for the British Museum. This involved collecting deep sea fish of the south-west coast of Ireland. This was his last voyage as a clergyman as William Green left the Church in the following year on his appointment as Inspector of Irish Fisheries.[50]

Congested Districts Board

The fisheries survey by William Green contributed greatly to the establishment of the Congested Districts Board in 1891. The Congested District Board was framed in the Land Act of 1891 but its functions went beyond land reform. As Arthur Balfour declared in the House of Commons the Board would undertake “investigation into the localisation of fishing stations on the coast of Ireland”.[51]

The first secretary of the Board, W.L. Micks, outlined the principal functions of the Board as to “take such steps as it might think proper for aiding and developing agriculture, forestry, the breeding of livestock and poultry, weaving, spinning, fishing and industries subservient to fishing (including the construction of piers and harbours) and to aid and develop and other suitable industries.[52] Having provided much of the ground work for the development of west coast fisheries it should come as no surprise that William Green continued to figure in the story of the new Board. In 1892 William Spotswood Green was made a commissioner of the Congested Districts Board. He held this position until 1909.[53]

Inspector of Irish Fisheries

In 1890 William Spotswood Green was appointed Inspector of Irish Fisheries. His first report dealt with the mackerel industry in Ireland in the spring of 1890. This was written in conjunction with his fellow inspectors, Thomas Brady (replaced after 1893 by Cecil Roche) and Alan Hornsby. This report broke with the usual annual reports presented by the inspectors on the fisheries activity. Previously reports were only published the year after the event. Following on from complaints about this delayed publication of important information for the fishery industry, the new inspectors decided to publish the report in the current year. Thus the 1890 report was published in July 1890 so that fishermen could be up to date with the latest information.[54]

Over the previous two decades much progress had been made in developing the Irish fisheries industry. In 1880 the then Inspector of Irish Fisheries reported that there were 1,510 vessel exclusively engaged in fishing around Ireland and employing 5,866 men and 422 boys. Another 4,939 vessels were partially engaged in fishing with 17,813 men and 447 boys. These figures were an improvement on those of 1879.[55]

In the 1881 report of the Fishery Inspectors we see further figures of improvement. Whereas in 1870 about seventy vessels were engaged in spring mackerel fishing, this had increased to 249 vessels by 1881. Yet this great advance has to be seen in a wider context. Thus the 249 Irish vessels only made up over 3% of the total fleet of vessels operating on the south coast of Ireland. English vessels made up 48% with French vessels at 15% and the balance of Scottish vessels.[56]

As Inspector of Fisheries, William S. Green continued to organise research expeditions. The most spectacular of these were the two voyages to Rockall in June 1896 that yield valuable scientific information in spite of the bad weather.[57] It was important for the fishery industry that these research expeditions continued. One could say that after all the voyages and reports done by William S. Green and others that there would be no need for continued research. But the weather and the fish had other ideas.

From 1862 Kinsale was the port for the spring mackerel fisheries but by 1880 the mackerel shoals had moved westward from Kinsale to the area about Baltimore. Consequently in the 1880s Baltimore grew as a fishing port while Kinsale declined. But towards the end of the 1880s the mackerel shoals moved to English and Welsh waters to the loss of all the southern Irish ports.[58]

William Spotswood Green did not do all the research work himself. During the 1890s he supervised the work of a number of marine scientists. In 1900 a permanent research body was established in conjunction with the newly formed Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction.[59]

Activities of the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries

The 150 page report of the Fisheries Inspectors, published in May 1891, gives an idea of the activities of the Inspectors in 1890. Such items as oyster licences and salmon licences are mixed with the general account of fish caught in Irish waters. But the Inspectors also had responsibility for river fisheries. Thus sections of the report deal with fishery matters on the River Blackwater in County Cork and the River Boyne in County Meath. The number of fish carried on Irish railways and the amount exported was also of interest to the Inspectors.[60]

The 1891 report dealt with these subjects in addition to other items like loans for fishing boats and tackle, and examination of piers and harbours plus a survey of fishery grounds off the west coast. The latter item was a reissue of the work done by William Spotswood Green in the joint venture between the Government and the Royal Dublin Society.[61]

Further research

With all the above mention reports by William Spotswood Green and others it would seem that all knowledge was gained and there was nothing further to do that would develop the fishery industry. Yet the Royal Dublin Society, the Government and William Green were eager to learn more about the mysterious world beyond Ireland’s shore. In 1897 the Government gave the Society £400 for further research. A brigantine, The Saturn, was purchased and furnished as a marine laboratory. For five years the marine laboratory was jointly managed but owing to differences of approach the Society pulled out. The establishment of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction was a contributing factor to these differences.

Meanwhile, despite his government positions, William Spotswood Green continued to do work for the Royal Dublin Society. In 1898 he presented a detailed report on food fishes to the Society. This report was published in volume 135 of the Society’s Proceedings and show the developments made. In 1893 seven Arklow boats fished off the Aran Islands alongside sixteen local boats. The value of their catch was placed at £2,777. By 1897 no Arklow boats were seen off Aran but local boats more than made up for this absence. William Green reported that in 1897 twenty-nine local boats of the Aran Islands secured a catch of fish worth £12,044. Yet even this impressive improvement did not include the “considerable amount expended locally in wages for packers, boatmen, etc., nor does it include the profit to the railway company”.

William Spotswood Green’s report further shows that the Royal Dublin Society was no hoarder of reports but was active in the development of the west coast fisheries. The work of the Society at Cleggan, north of Cliften, Co. Galway also showed improvements. William Green reported that the spring mackerel fishing at Cleggan had accrued £1,300 to the local economy and Green predicted further improvements.[62]

By the end of 1898 William Spotswood Green was much occupied in his work as Inspector of Fisheries. Therefore it was left to E.W.L. Holt to finish the report of west coast fisheries for the Royal Dublin Society.[63]

All the work done by William Spotswood Green did not go unnoticed by the Royal Irish Academy. In 1895 he was made a Member of the Royal Irish Academy with the honour of placing those letters of M.R.I.A. behind his name.[64]

One of the people involved in these marine expeditions was Robert Lloyd Praeger, a natural historian from County Down. In the 1880s Robert Praeger made a study of the post-glacial geology of the north-east of Ireland which produced much information on the climate in Neolithic times. This study must have interested William S. Green who could share with Praeger his observations in Europe, New Zealand and Canada.

In the 1890s Robert Praeger worked at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin but in his spare time he made a detailed survey across the whole of Ireland of the flora that he saw. The result of this survey was published in Irish Topographical Botany in 1901.[65]

When Robert Praeger published his autobiography in 1935, The Way that I Went: an Irishman in Ireland, he wrote with deep affection for William S. Green as a man whose dedication to his work was equalled only by his sense of humour and a wiliness to help others.[66]

Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction

The last major piece of legislation tabled by Gerald Balfour as Chief Secretary of Ireland was the Agricultural and Technical Instruction (Ireland) Act in August 1899. This established the Department of Agriculture to manage Irish agriculture including veterinary services, agriculture education, advice and research. In addition the new Department had responsibility for fisheries and forestry along with vocational and scientific education, the School of Art and the country’s museums.[67]

The increase in tenant ownership and the growth of the co-operative movement called for such a department with Horace Plunkett driving the campaign. The Royal Dublin Society felt the government was taking over their long held role in developing Irish agriculture without any acknowledgement of the Society’s work and relations between the two became soured. Yet the government pressed on and in 1900 Horace Plunkett became first Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture.[68]

Chief Inspector of Fisheries

In 1900 William Spotswood Green was appointed Chief Inspector of Fisheries.[69] This job was partially administrative and partly scientific. William Green held the position until 1914. In that time the Irish fisheries industry continued to grow. In short time Ireland became a net fish exporter with a balance of trade which rose from £150,000 in 1904-7 to £450,000 by 1915-18.[70]

The task of continued research coupled with the need for protection of fish stocks encouraged the Department to purchased two vessels for research and fisheries protection. The first of these vessels was called the Helga I.[71] This vessel was replaced in 1908 by another vessel called Helga II. The research expeditions of the Helga II were organised by Ernest Holt as the Scientific Adviser to the Fisheries Branch of the Department. Among the research team was a young graduate from Trinity College, Dublin, called Stanley W. Kemp. He would later in 1913 become son-in-law to William Spotswood Green. The team explored the west and south-west coasts to a depth of 1,000 fathoms. The results were published in a series of papers in the Scientific Investigation Reports of the Irish Fisheries.[72]

The Helga II is more famous in Irish history for her role in suppressing the 1916 Rising than for her work with the Department of Agriculture. During the Rising the Helga II fired her 12 pounder guns from the River Liffey into the area around Liberty Hall at a time when British army found it difficult to gain access to the city centre. The Helga II was purchased by the Irish Free State in 1923 and renamed the Muirchu. She was used as a fisheries protection vessel. In 1947 she was sold for scrap to Hammond Lane scrap merchants of Dublin. On the delivery passage from Cobh she sank off the Saltee Islands, on 8th May 1947 though not before her crew safely evacuated.[73]

Census 1901

At the census night in 1901 William Spotswood Green was living on Cowper Road in the district of Rathmines and Rathgar in south Dublin. William S. Green was listed as fifty-two year old person, born at Youghal and having the Inspector of Irish Fishery as his job. In the house on census night were nine people including William S. Green. His wife, Belinda Beatty Green was fifty years old and born in County Cork. With their parents were the four daughters of William and Belinda. These were Agnes Sherwood Green (20 years), Belinda Butler Green (18 years), Mary Eleanor Green (17 years) and Marian Margaret Green (12 years). All the girls were born in County Cork and were Church of Ireland members like their parents.

Also in the house were two unmarried servant girls. Mary Sweeney was a cook and domestic servant. She was twenty three years old and born in County Cork. The other girl was Kate Elliott who was a house parlour maid and domestic servant. Kate was twenty two years old and from Newry, County Down. Both servant girls were Roman Catholic.

The final person in the Green household on census night 1901 was a visitor, Mary Elizabeth Wilmot. She was a twenty year old unmarried woman and was born in New Hampshire; U.S.A. Mary Elizabeth Wilmot was a Church of Ireland member.[74]

From other records we find that Mary Elizabeth Wilmot was the daughter of Mary Ann Wilmot, a widow living on Moyne Road, Dublin in 1911.[75] Earlier in the 1901 census Mary Ann’s husband was still alive and the family was living in the townland of Spunkane, just outside Waterville, County Kerry. There her husband, Thomas James Wilmot, was one of the superintendents at the cable station.[76]

The cable station at Waterville was established in 1884 and continued to operate until 1962. It was part of the Commercial Cable Company of New York which was incorporated in 1883 by J Gordon Bennett, junior and John W. Mackay, a Dubliner, who emigrated to America and made his fortune in the mines of Nevada.[77] Although Belinda Green had left Waterville by the mid-1870s it would appear that she did not forget Waterville as shown by her visitor in 1901.

Census 1911

On census night in 1911 William Spotswood Green was living at Cowper Villas, Rathmines and Rathgar district. On that night William Green felt in good mood and was proud to show off his achievements. In the box for occupation William wrote “CB-MA-(Chief Inspector of Fishing, Department of Agriculture, Ireland). One of his three daughters in the house, Marion Margaret Green, followed her father and declared her occupation as “B.A. London University”. The other two daughters were Agnes Sherwood Green and Mary Eleanor Green.

William Green’s wife, Belinda and their daughter Belinda were in the house on census night 1911. The two servant girls from 1901 were also absent by 1911 and possibly no longer working for the Green family. Instead the family was served by two new servants; Alice McGrath from Queen’s County (house and parlour maid/ domestic servant) and Lizzie McConnell from County Meath (cook/domestic servant). As in 1901 both servants were Roman Catholic.

Also as in 1901 the Green family had a visitor in 1911; Annie Sherlock Lennon, a single woman from Dublin but born in Galway City.[78]

Annie Sherlock Lennon was the daughter of Annie Lennon, a widow living in south Dublin in 1901 and born in County Cork. Annie Lennon was living in Castlereagh, County Roscommon in 1911 with her son William Sherlock Lennon, a District Inspector with the R.I.C.[79]

William Spotswood Green’s wife Belinda Green had returned to south Kerry in 1911 and was living at Coad, just north of Caherdaniel. With Belinda Green at Coad was Catherine Henry Pollock, daughter of the late James Gibson Pollock of Stillorgan, Dublin. In 1911, her mother, Rosamond Cara Pollock, was living as a widow with some of her family on Eglington Road, Dublin.[80]

Catherine’s brother, Henry Brodhurst Pollock was later in life a one time Governor of the Bank of Ireland.[81]

Life after 1911

In 1913 William Spotswood Green took time out from his busy professional life to enjoy a family occasion. In that year his daughter, Agnes Spotswood Green got married. Her husband was Stanley W. Kemp, a former employee of the Department of Agriculture’s marine research unit, who, in 1913, was working as a Senior Assistant of the Zoological and Anthropological Section of the Indian Museum. In the years 1925-1936 Stanley Kemp was manager and chief marine biologist on the Discovery (Captain Scott’s old vessel) during its expeditions to the waters around the Antarctic. The marriage was a very happy one and the new couple were noted for their kind and generous hospitality. The couple had one daughter.[82]

In 1914 William Spotswood Green retired as Chief Inspector of Fisheries.[83] He was succeeded as Chief Inspector by Ernest Holt.[84] The family always had affection for south Kerry and so following retirement William S. Green left Dublin to settle in West Cove, County Kerry. It was there that he died on 22nd April 1919. He was buried in Sneem within sight of the ocean and the sea that he loved so well.[85]

Publications

William Spotswood Green wrote many reports on fisheries, mountains and glaciers. Yet he was also the reputed author of a novel called Grania Waile in 1895. This was work done under the pseudonym of ‘Fulmar Petrel’.[86] William Spotswood Green continued his interest in history and the sea from this novel. Thus, in 1906, he published an article in the Geographical Journal [vol. 27 (5), 1906, pp. 429-451] on the wrecks of the Spanish Armada along the west coast.[87]

==================

End of post

==================


[1] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane (Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 2002), p. 166

[2] Richard Caulfield, Council Book of the Corporation of Youghal (Guildford, 1878), p. lx

[3] Ann Barry & K. Theodore Hoppen, ‘Borough Politics in O’Connellite Ireland: The Youghal Poll Books 1835 and 1837’, in Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, vol. 83 (1978), p. 137; ibid, in JCHAS, vol. 84 (1979), p. 26

[4] Rev. Samuel Hayman, The hand-book for Youghal (Youghal, Field, 1973), pp. 97-8

[5] Henry & Coghlan’s General Directory of Cork & Munster, 1867, pp. 335, 337, 338, 340

[6] Niall O’Brien, Blackwater and Bride, Navigation and Trade, 7000 BC to 2007 (Author, Ballyduff, 2008), p. 465

[7] Rev. Samuel Hayman, The hand-book for Youghal, pp. 97-8; B.M. Walker (ed.), Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922 (Dublin, 1978), p. 324

[8] Slater’s Commercial Directory, 1881, p. 293

[9] Rev. Samuel Hayman, The hand-book for Youghal, p. 70

[10] Tom Fitzgerald (ed.), An A to Z of Youghal (editor, 2008), p. 23

[11] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 166

[12] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2006), p. 114

[13] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 166

[14] Rev. William Spotswood Green, Among the Selkirk Glaciers (Macmillan, London, 1890), p. 4

[16] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork, p. 114

[17] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork, p. 114

[18] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 166

[19] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 166

[20] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 166

[21] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork, p. 114

[22] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 166

[23] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork, pp. 114-5

[25] Vivienne Pollock, ‘Fishing’, in The Oxford companion to Irish History, edited by S.J. Connolly (Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 196

[26] William O’Sullivan, The economic history of Cork City (Cork University Press, 1937), pp. 238-9

[27] Anon, The Irish Crisis of 1879-80: Proceedings of the Dublin Mansion House Relief Committee 1880 (Browne & Nolan, Dublin, 1881), p. 48

[28] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 166

[29] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork, p. 114

[30] Terence de Vere White, The Story of the Royal Dublin Society (The Kerryman, Tralee, 1955), p. 16

[31] David R.C. Hudson, The Ireland That We Made (University of Akron Press, 2003), pp. 2, 3

[32] Terence de Vere White, The Story of the Royal Dublin Society, p. 162

[33] Seamus Fitzgerald, Mackerel and the making of Baltimore, County Cork, 1879-1913 (Irish Academic Press, Dublin, 1999), p. 15

[34] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 166

[35] Terence de Vere White, The Story of the Royal Dublin Society, p. 162

[36] http://eppi.dippam.ac.uk/documents/18718/eppi_pages/500708 = Fishery Inspectors report, 1891, page 43 = accessed on 1 March 2014

[37] Terence de Vere White, The Story of the Royal Dublin Society, p. 163

[38] http://eppi.dippam.ac.uk/documents/18718/eppi_pages/500708 = Fishery Inspectors report, 1891, page 43 = accessed on 1 March 2014

[39] Terence de Vere White, The Story of the Royal Dublin Society, p. 163

[40] http://eppi.dippam.ac.uk/documents/18718/eppi_pages/500708 = Fishery Inspectors report, 1891, pages 43-52 = accessed on 1 March 2014

[41] Terence de Vere White, The Story of the Royal Dublin Society, pp. 164, 165

[42] Terence de Vere White, The Story of the Royal Dublin Society, p. 163

[43] Rev. William Spotswood Green, Among the Selkirk Glaciers (Macmillan, London, 1890), pp. 1, 5

[44] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork, pp. 114-5

[45] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 167

[46] Seamus Fitzgerald, Mackerel and the making of Baltimore, County Cork, 1879-1913 (Irish Academic Press, Dublin, 1999), p. 15

[47] Terence de Vere White, The Story of the Royal Dublin Society, p. 162

[48] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 166

[49] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 166

[50] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 167

[51] David R.C. Hudson, The Ireland That We Made, pp. 2, 3

[52] David R.C. Hudson, The Ireland That We Made, p. 87

[53] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork, p. 114

[54] Report of the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries on the mackerel fishery in Ireland during the spring of 1890, pp. 3, 4

[55] http://eppi.dippam.ac.uk/documents/16849/eppi_pages/447272 = Inspector of Fisheries report 1880, page 3 – accessed on 1 March 2014

[56] Seamus Fitzgerald, Mackerel and the making of Baltimore, County Cork, 1879-1913, p. 15

[57] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 167

[58] Seamus Fitzgerald, Mackerel and the making of Baltimore, County Cork, 1879-1913, pp. 13, 18

[59] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 167

[60] http://eppi.dippam.ac.uk/documents/18402/eppi_pages/487615 = Fishery Inspectors report, 1890, page 3 = accessed on 1 March 2014

[61] http://eppi.dippam.ac.uk/documents/18718/eppi_pages/500708 = Fishery Inspectors report, 1891, pages 4, 43-59 = accessed on 1 March 2014

[62] Terence de Vere White, The Story of the Royal Dublin Society, pp. 163, 164

[63] Terence de Vere White, The Story of the Royal Dublin Society, p. 164

[64] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 166

[65] Timothy Collins, ‘Robert Lloyd Praeger, Natural Historian’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, pp. 196, 197

[66] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 167

[67] Maurice Colbert, A Life of Sir Horace Plunkett: Visionary and Pioneer, Social Reformer and Humanitarian (author, 2009), p. 93

[68] David R.C. Hudson, The Ireland That We Made, pp. 130, 131; Terence de Vere White, The Story of the Royal Dublin Society, pp. 168, 169

[69] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork, p. 114

[70] Vivienne Pollock, ‘Fishing’, in The Oxford companion to Irish History, edited by S.J. Connolly (Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 197

[71] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 167

[72] Anon, ‘Obituary of Dr. S.W. Kemp, Sc.D., F.R.S.’, in Annual Reports and Transactions of the Plymouth Institution and Devon and Cornwall Natural History Society, Vol. XX (1945-46 & 1946-47), pp. 195, 196, 197

[81] http://www.thepeerage.com/p28225.htm#i282250 accessed on 21 February 2014

[82] Anon, ‘Obituary of Dr. S.W. Kemp, Sc.D., F.R.S.’, in Annual Reports and Transactions of the Plymouth Institution and Devon and Cornwall Natural History Society, Vol. XX (1945-46 & 1946-47), pp. 195, 196, 197

[83] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographicl Dictionary of Cork, p. 114

[85] Christopher Moriarty, ‘William Spotswood Green, Marine Scientist’, in Irish Innovators in science and technology, edited by Charles Mollan, William Davis & Brendan Finucane, p. 167

[86] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork, p. 115

Standard

4 thoughts on “William Spotswood Green, a biography

  1. Joanna Lee (n. Friel) says:

    Hi. William Spotswood Green was my great-grandfather. His daughter Linda Friel (my Granny) and her sisters Eleanor Friel (their husbands were brothers) and Agnes Kemp all lived nearby when I grew up and I knew them all well. He was a good amateur watercolour artist and his paintings are with various family members. Really interesting biography.

  2. Hi, I’m fascinated by this excellent piece as my grandfather, John Kerr (b. 1875, Stornoway-d. 1936, Glasgow) was chief superintendent of fisheries for the Congested Districts Board in Ireland from late 1907 until mid 1909.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s