|Pitt-Rivers and Moseley|
Henry Nottidge Moseley was a naturalist, educated at Exeter College at Oxford from 1864 where he started working with George Rolleston, Linacre Professor of Human Anatomy, Physiology and Comparative Anatomy. He later studied as a medical student at the University College, London and Leipzig. In 1871 he was invited to join the expedition of the Eclipse to Ceylon. A year later he was appointed to be one of the naturalists on the scientific staff of the Challenger, and travelled for four years around the world, mostly working as a botanist. Returning to England he was elected to a fellowship at his old college, Exeter, and wrote up his findings. In 1877 he visited North America, especially the NW Coast. In 1879 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society and also an assistant registrar of the University of Oxford. In 1881 he succeeded his mentor Rolleston to the Linacre chair now of human and comparative anatomy.
His Dictionary of National Biography entry says:
The same entry records that the pace of Moseley's life damaged his health which in 1887 gave way, in 1891 he died of bronchitis in Somerset. In the first image he is the one in the centre of the middle row with a large, droopy, moustache.
In 1881 Moseley became involved in the offer of the Pitt-Rivers' founding collection to the University of Oxford, remarking to a friend, A.W. Franks:
Moseley also took part in the various University committees with Acland, which oversaw the decision to agree to the donation from Pitt-Rivers, for further information about this see here. Edward Burnett Tylor was invited to lecture in Oxford in November 1882 by twenty prominent fellows of the University, including Henry Moseley. He delivered the lectures in early 1883, and was almost immediately appointed Keeper of the University Museum. Simultaneously, negotiations were taking place between Pitt-Rivers and the University of Oxford regarding the donation of his collection.
It was at this time that Pitt-Rivers inserted a clause into the Deed of Gift of his collection to the University of Oxford, specifying that 'a Lecturer shall be appointed ... who shall yearly give Lectures at Oxford on Anthropology'. Tylor was duly appointed to his post.
It was Tylor and Henry Nottidge Moseley who were responsible for the practical aspects of transferring the Pitt-Rivers collection from London to Oxford, employing Walter Baldwin Spencer (Moseley's assistant) to carry out the work. He later wrote to Balfour of this time:
Moseley and Tylor were also involved in the minutae of arranging the new building at Oxford which would house the founding collection, as usual with building work progress was traumatic. In addition, Moseley felt it important to get advice from the South Kensington Museum staff during the transfer. [University Archives, UC/FF/60/2/3] All the arrangements must have occupied a great deal of Moseley's time from 1884-1887. In 1885-6 Moseley also had to organize the transfer of other artefacts from the Ashmolean and University Museums into the Pitt Rivers Museum. Like Tylor Moseley also corresponded with Pitt-Rivers about individual objects though usually more about returning them than in intellectual debate.
In 1898 Pitt-Rivers reflected on the collection at Oxford and his relationship with Oxford and Moseley and Tylor:
Bibliography for this article
Brown, Alison, Jeremy Coote and Chris Gosden 2000 'Tylor’s Tongue: Material Culture, Evidence and Social Networks'.Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford 31(3):257–276.
Chapman, William Ryan 1981. ‘Ethnology in the Museum: A.H.L.F. Pitt Rivers (1827–1900) and the Institutional Foundations of British Anthropology’, University of Oxford: D.Phil. thesis.
Gosden, Chris , Frances Larson and Alison Petch 2007 'Origins and survivals—Tylor, Balfour and the Pitt Rivers Museum and their Role within Anthropology in Oxford 1883–1905'. In A History of Anthropology at the University of Oxford. Peter Rivière ed. Oxford, U.K.:Berghahn.
Larson, F. 2008. 'Anthropological Landscaping: General Pitt Rivers, the Ashmolean, the University Museum and the shaping of an Oxford discipline' Journal of the History of Collecting, vol. 20, no. 1. pp. 85-100
2004 ‘Moseley, Henry Nottidge (1844-1891)’, rev. Terrie M. Romano, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , Oxford University Press
See here for a letter from Moseley to A.W. Franks
AP, April 2011.