Frederick DuCane Godman
|Frederick DuCane Godman|
|Born||15 January 1834|
|Died||19 February 1919(aged 85)|
|Fields||lepidopterist, entomologist, ornithologist|
|Known for||Founding British Ornithological Union|
|Notable awards||Linnean Medal|
|Author abbreviation (botany)||Godm.|
|Spouse||1) Edith Elwes
2) Alice Chaplin
Frederick DuCane Godman D.C.L., F.R.S., F.L.S., F.G.S., F.R.G.S., F.E.S., F.Z.S., M.R.I., F.R.H.S. (15 January 1834 – 19 February 1919) was an English lepidopterist, entomologist and ornithologist. He was one of the twenty founding members of the British Ornithologists' Union (BOU). Along with Osbert Salvin, he is remembered for studying the fauna and flora of central America.
Godman was the third son of Joseph Godman, of Park Hatch, Surrey and went to study at Eton College in 1844 but left due to poor health and studied under private tutors. He joined Trinity College, Cambridge in 1853. At Cambridge he became acquainted with Alfred Newton and Osbert Salvin. Both Salvin and Godman spent time learning to skin and mount birds at Baker's taxidermy shop on Trumpington Road. They also spent time in the field on the fens. The custom of these ornithological friends (and his brother Percy) to meet and talk over their recent acquisitions led to the idea of an organization which led to the foundation of the BOU a year later. At a meeting in Alfred Newton's room in Magdalene College on 17 November 1858, a group that included Godman, Salvin, Simpson, Wolley, Sclater and others decided that "...an Ornithological Union of twenty members should be formed, with the object of establishing a new Journal devoted to Birds: that Lieut.-Colonel H M Drummond should be President, Professor Newton the Secretary of the Union, and P.L. Sclater should edit the Journal: that the title of the Journal should be 'The Ibis'." Godman was Secretary of the BOU from 1870 to 1882 and from 1889 and 1897, and President from 1896. Joseph Godman was a partner in Whitbread & Co. and Frederick inherited a fortune that allowed him to travel the world.123
In 1857 he and his brother Percy visited Norway and met John Wolley the egg-collector in Lapland. In 1861 he joined Salvin (who was making his third trip to South America) to Guatemala, Jamaica and Belize. Godwin left Salvin in the Honduras due to a fever and returned home via the Atlantic coast. In 1865, he made a trip to the Azores with his brother Captain Temple Godman. In 1871 he visited the Canary and Madeira Islands. He corresponded with Charles Darwin. He made many other trips later including a trip to India in 1886 with H. J. Elwes. They visited Bombay, Delhi, Allan Octavian Hume at Simla, Calcutta and then travelled east to Sikkim. He purchased a collection of butterflies from Dr Robert Lidderdale (1835-1908). During this trip he had trouble walking particularly at high altitudes. They returned through Madras and Sri Lanka. Later on he had a blood clot in the veins of his legs, leading him to move and live in the warmth of Mexico in 1885. Even here he joined Elwes on a trip up Popacatapetl.43
Godman and Salvin decided to work on a project to document the fauna and flora of Central America in 1876. This monumental work Biologia Centrali-Americana (1879–1915) was to grow into a 63 volume encyclopedia on the natural history of Central America. Some of the botanical plates were painted by Salvin's wife. Salvin did not live to see it completed. Godman relied on Salvin for much of the systematics involved. The work was made possible by a number of other collaborators including Richard Bowdler Sharpe and George Charles Champion. The associated collection was also enormous and included collections made by others such as Henry Walter Bates that were purchased. Godman and Salvin also collected numerous bird and butterfly specimens. These were presented to the British Museum in 1885, including nearly 520,000 bird skins alone. Godman also took an interest in plants, maintaining a large collection of rhododendrons, orchids and alpine plants in his garden and rockery near Horsham. This estate is now part of the South Lodge Hotel.5 Godman also collected glazed pottery from China and Persia. Along with his brother Col. C. B. Godman, he took an interest in hunting with dogs, fishing and shooting. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1882, received a Gold medal from the Linnean Society in 1918, and was made a trustee of the British Museum.4
He married Edith, the daughter of J. H. Elwes (father of H. J. Elwes) and after her death in 18756 married Alice, daughter of Percy Chaplin. Along with his second wife, later Dame Alice Mary Godman (1868-1944, who became Deputy President of the British Red Cross Society), he travelled to the West Indies and through Africa. He had two daughters through his second wife while one from his first wife died young.41
Other works by Godman included The Natural History of the Azores (1870) and a two-volume Monograph of the Petrels (1907–10) with plates by J. G. Keulemans. The British Ornithologists' Union instituted the Godman-Salvin Gold Medal for contributions to ornithology while a memorial to Godman and Salvin was constructed and is exhibited in the Natural History Museum.17 Both his daughters took an interest in natural history. The older daughter Eva Mary Godman was killed by a vehicle when she crossed a street to post a letter.8 His collection of Islamic pottery was transferred to the British Museum through the will of his younger daughter Catherine Edith Godman, who died in 1982.9
- Elwes, HJ (1920). "Obituary Notices of Fellows Deceased". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B 91 (641): i–v.
- Papavero, N. and Ibáñez-Bernal, S. (2003). "Contributions to a history of Mexican dipterology.– Part 2. The Biologia Centrali-Americana". Acta Zoologica Mexicana 88: 143–232.
- Godman, FD (1915). "Introduction". In Godman FD & O Salvin. Biologia Centrali-Americana. Zoology, Botany and Archaeology. Introductory Volume. pp. 1–13.
- Anonymous. "Obituary: Frederick DuCane Godman". Ibis 61 (2): 326–343. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1919.tb02888.x.
- T P Hudson (Editor), A P Baggs, C R J Currie, C R Elrington, S M Keeling, A M Rowland (1987). "Cowfold: Manors and other estates". A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 3: Bramber Rape (North-Eastern Part) including Crawley New Town. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- "GODMAN, Frederick Du Cane". Who's Who 59: 692. 1907.
- "Memorial to the Late Frederick Du Cane Godman". Science 50 (1287): 204–205. 1919.
- Anonymous (1965). "Obituary: Eva Mary Godman". Ibis 107 (4): 551. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1965.tb07345.x.
- Bloom, Jonathan & Sheila Blair (2009). Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture. Volume 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 117–118.
- "Author Query for 'Godm.'". International Plant Names Index.
- Digital Version of Biologia Centrali-Americana
- Natural history of the Azores (1870)
- A monograph of the petrels (1907-10) Volume 1Volume 2
- British Museum collection information