Here are a selection of Pitt-Rivers' obituaries and death notices from 1900. Several of these articles were published, more or less word-for-word in several publications.

The Athenaeum 12 May 1900 p. 594-5

GENERAL PITT-RIVERS, who died on May 4th, at the age of seventy-three, was, without any exaggeration, one of the first men of the century as an anthropologist and exact antiquary. As a young officer in the Grenadier Guards he went through the Crimean campaign with considerable distinction, being mentioned in the despatches. But at an early age his tastes and abilities developed in an extraordinary degree in the direction of collecting from all countries objects which illustrated the history of human development. He began this work just fifty years ago, and gathered together, mainly through personal travel, [sic] ethnological specimens, not as mere interesting curiosities, but with the idea of showing "to what extent the modern savage actually represents primeval man."

Notwithstanding many instances of remarkable similarity in habits, uses, and culture, he came to the conclusion that the modern savage presents us with a traditional portrait of primeval man rather than a photograph, and that the resemblance might well be compared to that existing between recent and extinct species of animals. In 1874 the catalogue of the anthropological collections lent by Col. Lane-Fox (as he was then termed) to the Bethnal Green branch of the South Kensington Museum was published by the Science and Art Department, with a valuable introduction. This, with various additions of later years, forms the grand Pitt-Rivers collection, illustrative of savage life and embryo civilization, which was so generously presented to the New Museum, Oxford.

In 1880 Col. Lane-Fox inherited the very extensive Rivers estates, on the death of the sixth Baron Rivers, in accordance with the will of his great-uncle, the second baron. General Pitt-Rivers has more than once told told the writer of this notice how, when he visited the Rivers property early in the "fifties," and noticed the signs of abundant prehistoric remains, the thought flitted through his mind how desirable such an estate would be to an antiquary of his tastes. But he almost immediately dismissed the idea as an impossibility, for there were at the time twelve lives between him and the succession. However, by a strange series of accidents and incidents, and through the fifth baron having only eight daughters, and the sixth dying childless, this distinguished anthropologist came into that great tract of Wiltshire land, formerly Cranborne Chase, which closely borders on Dorsetshire. This area proved indeed to be a most happy hunting-ground for a prehistoric archaeologist. Works of excavation were begun in 1881, and from that time to the end of his life, the most patient, minute, and thorough investigations were continuously made and duly recorded throughout the district, under the immediate supervision and direction of the General. He realized that the determination of the age of prehistoric works of the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages depends almost entirely on the identification of relics, such as fragments of pottery or broken household utensils, and therefore nothing was too small to be noted, and its exact site duly marked. The results of these explorations have been summed up in four magnificent quarto volumes, sumptuously illustrated, and privately published for personal friends and museum libraries. The first was printed in 1887, and the last in December, 1898. The three earliest volumes were devoted to villages of the Roman or Romano-British type, and to tumuli of the Bronze Age. The fourth volume chiefly relates to the Bronze Age, and to a single long barrow of the Stone Age.

With regard to the finds themselves, General Pitt-Rivers most wisely decided that they should not leave the locality, and, with the utmost generosity, supplied not only admirable rooms for their accommodation, but provided every facility for the comfort of those desirous of visiting the collections in the model country museum of the little village of Farnham. This museum consists of eight rooms and galleries. Here in side cases, against the walls of the four largest rooms, are exhibited the various objects from the different Romano-British villages that have been uncovered, whilst exact coloured models of the excavations occupy the centre parts. Other rooms contain specimens of peasant costume and personal ornament of different countries; peasant carvings, chiefly from Brittany; household peasant utensils from all parts; a marvellous collection of ancient and mediaeval pottery, literally of all nations and countries, from early Celtic, Swiss lakes, and Etruscan, to mediaeval British, Moorish, Cingalese, and Peruvian; the history of glass-making from the earliest times, including three stages of Egyptian glass; and agricultural implements and appliances. Another room contains an interesting and unique collection of primitive locks, keys, and padlocks, showing their gradual development. On this last subject General Pitt-Rivers issued in 1883 a valuable monograph, excellently illustrated, which was published by Messrs. Chatto and Windus. It is the only English treatise of any real worth on the subject.

Not far from the museum is "King John's House" at Tollard Royal. It is a building of the thirteenth century, considerably altered and enlarged during the Tudor period. It contains a series of small, and for the most part original pictures, illustrating the history of painting from the earliest times, beginning with Egyptian paintings of mummy heads of the twentieth and twenty-sixth dynasties (B.C. 1200-528), and of the first century A.D. General Pitt-Rivers took the keenest interest in the exceedingly careful restoration of this historic house during the latter part of his life, as well as in the purchase and arrangement of the remarkable series of pictures. He wrote a good treatise on it, which was well illustrated and privately printed in the year 1890. It was characteristic of the man that he should do all this for the good of the public, and it was a special delight to him to find the number of visitors to the museum, to King John's House, and the beautifully laid out Larmer Grounds steadily increasing year by year.

It would take far more space than can possibly be spared to enumerate, even after the most abbreviated fashion, the vast number of papers and reports on almost every branch of anthropology and prehistoric research. The index volume of the Journal of the Anthropological Institute shows that General Pitt-Rivers was a constant and prolific contributor from the origins of this association in 1871, and, indeed, for several years previously, when it was known as the Anthropological Society of London. The list of his contributions covers nearly three pages, and includes such diverse subjects as remains of pile-dwellings near London Wall and Southwark, discovery of chert implements in stratified gravel in the Nile Valley, the Egyptian boomerang and its affinities, arrow-marks in use among the Esquimaux, a dug-out canoe in the Thames at Hampton Court, votive statuettes found at Tanagra, Boeotia, and a rough stone implement from Borneo. On three occasions he gave the anniversary address to the Institute--namely, in 1876, 1877, and 1882--and was for many years its president.

The reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science from 1872 to the time of his death afford proof of the important part General Pitt-Rivers took in their discussions. For more than twenty years he was never absent from their annual gatherings, and was always considered one of the most distinguished of their number. even during the last two or three years of his life, when his health was unhappily failing, he took an active interest in much of the work of the Association, particularly in connexion with the two committees on which he was serving, the Ethnological Survey of the United Kingdom, and the Lake Village of Glastonbury.

In addition to being a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Society of Antiquaries, General Pitt-Rivers was an active member and vice-president of the Royal Archaeological Institute. For this last society he wrote in 1866 on Roovesmore Fort, co. Cork, and the Ogham inscriptions there, and in addition to other contributions delivered remarkable presidential addresses to the members of the Institute when they met at Salisbury in 1887, and again at Dorchester in 1897. The address at Dorchester was his last public deliverance, and was in the main a summary of what he had accomplished on his Wiltshire estates. The address at Salisbury, in 1887, on early man was slightly controversial, and one sentence gave rise to much subsequent discussion. Dealing with the question of the very low type of skull of many of the earliest specimens, he said: "Nor are our relations with the Supreme Power presented to us in an unfavourable light by this discovery, for if man was originally created in the image of God, it is obvious that the very best of us have greatly degenerated." The result of this and other like reflections was that they brought forth two powerful sermons on the origin of man, on the following Sunday, in Salisbury Cathedral: one by Bishop Wordsworth, and the other by Canon Creighton, now Bishop of London.

One of the disappointments of General Pitt-Rivers's life was the very little good he was able to achieve in the honourary office that he held of inspector under the Ancient Monuments Protection Act of 1882. He would occasionally wax indignant over the timidity of the Act, and over the thoughtless and selfish ignorance of certain English landowners. Until his health began to fail, the General was a most able conversationalist, and would pour forth from his abundant treasure-house of knowledge the most varied information, provided that he was in scientific company or with those who were genuinely anxious to learn. The extraordinary variety of his knowledge and the rapid way in which he could turn from one subject to another, reminded us on several occasions of Mr Gladstone. We can call to mind one occasion in his own grounds at Rushmore, when, well within the hour, he discoursed most learnedly and clearly on forestry, on Mexican pottery, on Egyptian painting, on modern brass bands, on the forms of the Christian cross and on simony in the Church.

He was generous in his gifts of his noble and costly volumes, but only provided he felt sure they would be readily appreciated. On one occasion he was deceived, and listening to the importune hints and eventual downright request of a troublesome museum visitor, he presented him with the first of his great volumes on the Rushmore excavations, but not without some misgivings and a variety of questions as to his identity. Within a month of the gift the General found this very volume at a second-hand bookshop at Exeter. he had no legal remedy, but he left no stone unturned till the man was found, and then gave him no peace until he had paid two guineas to the Dorset County Hospital.
He was a man of wide sympathies and generous instincts, in addition to being the possessor of a rare and discriminating intelligence. He will be sorely missed by many in different walks of life, as well as by the scientific world at large.

[I think this obituary must have been written by his secretary, Harold St George Gray, as one section of it, that which begins 'Until his health began to fail, the General was a most able conversationalist...' is word-for-word reprinted in Gray's introduction and memoir to the General in volume 5 of the Cranborne Chase volumes, see Rethinking Pitt-Rivers | Preface to Index of Cranborne Chase volumes AP]

The Times 7 May 1900, page 11 column G

The cause of anthropological and archaeological research has sustained a severe loss by the death of Lieutenant-General Augustus Henry Lane-Fox-Pitt-Rivers, D.C.L., F.R.S., which occurred at his seat, Rushmore, Salisbury, on Friday. The eldest surviving son of Mr. W.A. Lane-Fox, of Hope-hall, by a daughter of the 18th Earl of Morton, he was born in 1827. Educated at Sandhurst, he entered the Army in 1845, and obtained his company in 1850. In the Eastern campaign he served up to October 15, 1854, as D.A.Q.M.G., including the battle of the Alma and the siege of Sevastopol, and obtained mention in despatches, the medal with two clasps, the fifth class of the Medjidieh, and the Turkish medal. His subsequent promotions were :- Lieutenant-colonel, 1857 ; colonel, 1867 ; major-general, 1877 ; and lieutenant-general, 1882. In 1893 he was appointed colonel of the South Lancashire Regiment.

But it is not for his military career, distinguished though it was, that General Pitt-Rivers will be remembered by posterity. He was only 25 when he began to collect specimens of objects such as weapons, articles of dress, ornament &c., which were brought to England from various savage countries. In choosing his specimens he was guided by the principle of connexion in form, his desire being to illustrate the development of specific ideas among savage peoples and their transmission from one people to another. The result of his patience and scientific enthusiasm was the formation of a collection illustrative of savage life and embryo civilization which is certainly unrivalled in this country and probably in Europe also. It was exhibited, in 1874 and 1875, in the Bethnal-green Museum, and afterwards General Pitt-Rivers presented it to the University of Oxford, which gave it a home in the new Museum-buildings, opposite Keble College.

In 1880 the General, who had up to that time borne his father's name of Lane-Fox, succeeded to the Rivers estates under the will of his great-uncle, the late Lord Rivers ... From the point of view of the interests of science it would have been difficult to find a better heir for these unique estates. Lying in Wiltshire, near the Dorset border, where for some time the Romano-British territories marched with those of the conquering West Saxons, they had remained, for the most part forest land, containing numerous herds of fallow deer, practically untouched until the present century. They thus presented an unique field for excavation under trained archaeological guidance, and General Pitt-Rivers made full use of the opportunity which fortune had placed in his hands ... the results of them he described in several large volumes which are constantly cited by archaeologists. He also contributed a good deal of valuable material to the "Reports" of the British Association and to the Journal of the Anthropological Institute, of which body he was president. At the Oxford Encaenia of 1886 he received the honorary degree of D.C.L.

General Pitt-Rivers marred in 1853 the Hon. Alice Margaret Stanley, daughter of the second Lord Stanley of Alderley, and leaves five sons and three daughters ...

Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper - Sunday May 7 1900, page 7 column 5.

... General Pitt Rivers of Rushmore house near Blandford, died on Friday after a prolonged illness. Deceased, who was 73 years of age, was the largest landowner in Dorset and also owned a large acreage in Wilts.

The Standard (London) Monday 7 May 1900 page 4 column 6.

Lieut. General AUGUSTUS HENRY LANE FOX-PITT-RIVERS, of Rushmore Lodge, Berwick St John, Salisbury, the distinguished antiquarian and anthropologist, and formerly of the Grenadier Guards, died on Friday, at his seat, near Salisbury, after a long illness, having just completed his seventy-third year. He was the only surviving son of Mr. William Augustus Lane-Fox, of Hope Hall, by his marriage with the daughter of the eighteenth Earl of Molton, and grandson of James Lane-Fox,  of Bramham Park. Educated at Sandhurst, he entered the Grenadier Guards in May, 1845, served on the Staff in the Crimea from April to November, 1854, as Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General, taking part in the battle of Alma, being awarded the medal with two clasps, the Fifth Class of the Medjidie, and the Turkish medal for his services. He had been Colonel of the South Lancashire Regiment since March, 1893. The deceased General, who assumed the name Pitt-Rivers, by Royal licence, in 1880, under the will of his great-uncle the second and last Lord Rivers, married, in 1853, the Hon. Alice Margaret Stanley, eldest daughter of Edward John, second Lord Stanley of Alderley, and sister of the present Peer. He was a Magistrate for Dorset, of which county he served the office of High Sheriff in 1884. Lieut. General Fox-Pitt-Rivers was a most accomplished antiquarian, and a Fellow and Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and President of the Anthropological Institute, a D.C.L. of Oxford, and a member of the Athenaeum Club. He had published numerous anthropological and archaeological papers. Always taking the keenest interest in anthropology, he amassed a splendid collection of musical instruments, implements of war, models of boats, pottery, and other ornamental art, intending to illustrate the gradual development of invention and forming a most interesting history of civilisation. This collection, known as the "Pitt-Rivers Collection" he presented to the University of Oxford, where it is now housed in the Anthropological Museum as an annexe to the University Museum. he also presented another museum and pleasure grounds to his West Country neighbours. He leaves a numerous family, whose surname is Fox-Pitt.

The Leeds Mercury May 12 1900 'Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries'

Lieut.-General Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers, D.C.L., a Crimean veteran, and a distinguished archaeologist, died at Rushmore-house, Blandford, on the 4th inst. He was the son of Mr. W.A. Lane-Fox and on the death of his great-uncle, Baron Rivers, to whose estates he succeeded, he took the surname Pitt-Rivers. Hence the great collections he formed to illustrate the arts and life of savage races is sometimes referred to as the Lane-Fox collection and at others as the Pitt-Rivers collection. This is now a prominent feature of the New Museum at Oxford. Having presented his collection, General Pitt-Rivers became its honorary curator. On his Wiltshire estates he made extensive investigations, and the results of the Rushmore excavations are chronicled in volumes highly prized by archaeologists. General Pitt-Rivers was a Fellow of the Royal Society and many other learned bodies. He served the office of High Sheriff of Dorset in 1884. Aged 72.

Learned Societies' Obituaries

Folklore, 11 no. 2, p. 185-7

GENERAL PITT-RIVERS  died on May 4th last. This Society did not directly receive from him assistance in its labours, but it owes a deep debt of gratitude nevertheless to his encouragement and work in subjects kindred to folklore. It was only last Easter that Mrs. Gomme  and I, in company with Dr. Haddon, visited the scene of General Pitt-Rivers' life-work in Dorsetshire, and we were deeply impressed with the evidences of one man's achievements. Everywhere is care for the past memorials of the district, in their relationship to educational work, self-evident. Not the smallest detail is forgotten, and students and casual visitors alike are reminded constantly of what has been done for their benefit. Dr. Haddon and I had a moment's brief interview with the dying general. I could not but notice that the publications of our Societ were conspicuously placed on the book-shelves adjoining his room.

General Pitt-Rivers was formerly known as Colonel Lane-Fox. He served in the Crimea, and was afterwards attached to the School of Musketry at Hythe, where his energy and remarkable ability were used to perfect this branch of the military schools. Men who knew this young officer of the Guards there were struck with the fact that, unlike his fashionable brother officers, he took his profession seriously and worked hard. Besides his military work he found time to collect a museum of anthropological objects, which, when it grew too large for private ownership, he generously presented to the University of Oxford.

In I880 Colonel Lane-Fox inherited the Rivers estates in Dorsetshire, and he at once took up the work of exploration. In 188I he began systematic work, employing a staff of assistants, and excavating in a manner which no archaeologist had ever done before. The records of his great work are contained in four magnificent quarto volumes, which he printed privately and presented to students and friends. These volumes are a perfect model of research, and I do not think the "relic tables," which are compiled with extraordinary minuteness, can be too highly treasured.  But valuable as these volumes self-evidently are, their true value is hardly appreciated until one visits the museum at Farnham, where the objects are stored, classified, and arranged in such a manner that they at once speak out their story. In the same rooms where the objects are exhibited are plans of the places where the finds have been made, together with the most perfect models, showing first the site  as it was before being excavated, and secondly the result of excavations. The whole work is a marvel of magnificent research. Not only, however, does the museum contain the objects discovered on the estate, but also great collections of domestic, agricultural, and other objects, implements, tools, and what not, arranged so as to show the line of developement from the crudest types to the modern forms.  Perhaps one of the most interesting examples is afforded from the local manufacture of roofing tiles. It is of a singular pattern, but by placing the modern production side by side with older examples we gradually reach the prototype, which is seen to be the Roman tiles discovered on the sites of Roman villas in the neighbourhood. Another most interesting group for study is the wedding apparel of the East European peasantry. But indeed there is hardly any part of the museum which is not of the highest value. Folklore objects are not absent, and Mrs. Gomme made a note of them for the Society, and photographs have been kindly promised by the curator.

General Pitt-Rivers held the almost thankless office of Inspector of Ancient Monuments, under the Ancient Monuments Act, which we owe to Lord Avebury (Sir John Lubbock). He tried to make landowners see their duty in this respect as he saw his; but, alas ! here he failed for the most part.

Apart from archaeological work, General Pitt-Rivers did great things for the inhabitants of his part of the country, and nothing delighted him more than to see the people at the sports instituted by him at the Larmer Grounds on Whit Monday. He met opposition, as he met every difficulty, by overcoming it. One class of opposition was on account of his museum being opened on Sunday, but he laughed it down in characteristic fashion, and one felt how grand was this energetic, masterful mind, this kindly, generous heart, who, in collecting objects of art and antiquity, and in working at archaeological discoveries for his own delight and pleasure, placed the results unreservedly at the disposal of all who cared to step aside  from the beaten track and visit this great museum in the midst of green fields and charming country.


Geographical Journal, 15 no. 6, p. 654

Lieut.-General A.  H.  Pitt-Rivers,  D.C.L., F.R.S.
The death occurred early in May of Lieut.-General Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers, well known for his valuable work in the field of ethnology. The deceased general was a son of Mr. W. A. Lane-Fox of Hope Hall, and was born in 1827. Entering the army in 1845, he served with distinction in the Crimean war, being present at the battle of the Alma and the siege of Sebastopol. He became major-general in 1877 and lieut.-general in 1882. General Pitt-Rivers' taste for ethnology was early aroused, for when only twenty-five he commenced the collection of objects illustrating the life of savage man, which eventually reached such extensive proportions, and which he presented to the University of  Oxford. Succeeding to the Rivers estates in 1880, and adopting the name and arms of Pitt-Rivers, the general devoted his leisure to the investigation, by excavations and otherwise, of the interesting archaeology of the country round Rushmore, in Wiltshire, publishing the results in a series of volumes. He was for some years President of the Anthropological Institute, and took an active part in the proceedings of the British Association. He had been a member of our Society since 1859, and had served for a time on its Council.

Presidential Address [by C.H. Read] pp.18-19 delivered at the Anniversary Meeting of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 4th February, 1901 The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 31, (Jan. - Jun., 1901), pp. 9-19

... General Pitt-Rivers is for us in this room a much more familiar figure, and his death makes a gap which will scarcely ever by entirely filled. Endowed by nature with talents of no mean order, he was untiring in his investigations into the problems of early archaeology and anthropology. It is to him that we owe the application of the theory of evolution to ethnological objects which, even if it was at times strained by the application, was without doubt in the main justified. He had for many years been a collector and explorer of prehistoric sites, when by a singular chance he inherited the Rivers estates in Dorset and Wiltshire, which were full of ancient remains of just the character that was to him of such interest. There, within the limits of his own park, he found enough to give him occupation for the remaining twenty years of his life. His methods of exploration were most thorough and scientific, and the possession of ample means enabled him to print full accounts of all his work in a minute and accurate style that would be difficult to surpass. These volumes alone would be a sufficient monument for any man, but they were only a part of the work that he laid upon himself. In his museum at Farnham in Dorset is to be seen a large-scale model of every excavation he undertook, showing with the utmost precision the exact position of every object found, while the objects themselves were shown in cases near by. The museum  contained many other things, however, besides the local relics, and it was always fascinating to hear the General explain his reasons for gathering together, in the heart of the country, collections of such variety and extent. By a recent judgment of the Court of Chancery it is now clear that the museum is to be kept up in the same way as during the General's lifetime. This, I may say, was his intention, but the Court ruled that some of his provisions were impossible. I have made no mention of the Pitt-Rivers Museum at Oxford, a gift from the General to the University, for this, under the charge of my friend Mr. Balfour, is now so well known as scarcely to need a reference. It differs from other museums not so much in its contents as in the method of arrangement. This certainly adds greatly to the interest of the objects, and is at the same time a fresh testimony to the originality of the General's ideas.

To many of us his commanding figure and somewhat masterful ways were very familiar; while as President of the Institute he imported something of military methods into the procedure. His enthusiasm, his energy, even when in very poor health, and his versatile talents compelled one's admiration, and for my own part I may say that I had a great regard for him. He was of the type rarely found, and now he is gone there is no one to take his place.

This following are only 'sort-of' obituaries:

Northern Echo (Darlington) Friday May 11 1900 'Gossip from M.A.P.' column

General Pitt-Rivers' Sunday Band
General Pitt-Rivers, one of the largest landowners in the West of England, who died at a ripe age last week, was a man of many parts and remarkable abilities (says "M.A.P.") To make life more attractive to the scattered villagers he had an excellent band, trained from men on his estate, and had them dressed in the quaint livery of the old foresters of the Cranborne Chase, before the district was de-forested. This band played on certain specified occasions, and always on Sunday afternoons, when the weather was fine, during the summer months. This most commendable and innocent enjoyment - for there was no meretricious attractions of any kind - brought forth the wrath of certain peevish Sabbatarians of the neighbourhood, particularly of one well-to-do neighbour, who used to write fiercely to the local papers on the subject. General Pitt-Rivers, though somewhat vexed, admired what he conceived to be the honesty of his opponent's convictions, and remained placid under the fire of tracts and private letters, as well as public attacks. But suddenly all this Sabbatarian fervour fizzled out. The General was fond of telling how, on one fine, bright Sunday afternoon in London he suddenly came face to face with his foe at the "Zoo". "Needless to say," as the General used to remark, "his silence on the subject afterwards was eminently discreet!"

Hampshire Telegraph and Naval Chronicle (Portsmouth) Saturday June 23 1900

In the Ranks: Conscience Stricken
The late Lieut.-General Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers was wont to narrate as his most thrilling experience respecting his long connection with the Grenadier Guards the following story: Shortly after he joined the corps, about the middle of the forties, the regiment was paraded in Wellington Barracks to witness the flogging of a private for theft. The man, who throughout had protested his innocence of the charge, had been sentenced by a Court-Martial to 26 lashes for annexing a colour-sergeant's watch. The prisoner was tied up, and the provost-sergeant was on the point of signalling the two drummers to proceed to work with the cat-of-nine-tails when there was a hoarse cry from the ranks of "Stop!" A private grounded his musket, and, stepping to the front, confessed to the Colonel that he alone was the delinguent. The prisoner was at once unbound, and the culprit was put in the guard-room. The latter was also sentenced to be flogged, but in view of his confession, the punishment was reduced to a short term of imprisonment.

Transcribed by AP between 2010-2012

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