S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Kitton, Archdeacon Henry (stone artefact collection, butterfly collection)

Born: 1819, Place not known.
Died: 29 June 1891, King William's Town, South Africa.

Henry Kitton was an Anglican cleric who resided in King William's Town by 1860, for in that year he preached a sermon there on the occasion of the visit to the Cape Colony of Prince Alfred of England. The next year he was appointed by the [Anglican] Church of the Province of South Africa as Archdeacon of British Kaffraria, in the diocese of Grahamstown. He was stationed in King William's Town and remained in this post for the rest of his life, a period of thirty years. In June 1863 he wrote "On the best mode of dealing with certain forms of modern theological error", a manuscript in which he refuted the unorthodox views of Bishop Colenso of Natal. The manuscript is now in the libarary of the University of the Witwatersrand.

In 1872 Kitton presented stone artefacts found in the Orange Free State (now the Free State) to the South African Museum in Cape Town. Soon after the formation of the King William's Town Naturalists' Society in 1884 he became a member and in December 1885 was elected on its management committee. He was re-elected on the committee in November 1886. The society established and managed King William's Town Museum (later the Kaffrarian Museum). Roland Trimen* of the South African Museum, in the preface to his book, South African butterflies... (1887-1889) mentions that Kitton contributed various specimens of butterflies from King William's Town.

Kitton's health began to deteriorate in November 1890 and he died in June the next year. His book collection was bequeathed to the library of the Kaffrarian Museum (now the Amathole Museum) in King William's Town. The collection represented a variety of subjects, including religion, history, botany, zoology, African languages and biographies.


List of sources:

Amathole Museum: Library. Retrieved on 2018-3-21 from http://www.museum.za.net/index.php/research

Cape of Good Hope. Report of the trustees of the South African Museum, 1871/2.

Eastern Province year book and annual register for 1862 (p. 177). Grahamstown: Godlonton & Richards.

General directory of South Africa..., 1890/1, Clerical directory.

Grocott's Penny Mail, 2 July 1891, p. 2, Death of Archdeacon Kitton.

Kaffrarian Watchman, 5 November 1886, p. 3, King William's Town Naturalists Society.

King William's Town Naturalists' Society. Minute book. (Kaffrarian Museum, King William's Town).

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Kitton, Henry.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.

South African Magazine, 1 August 1891. Deaths. Retrieved on 2018-3-21 from https://www.genesreunited.co.uk/boards/board/general_chat/thread/1069183

Trimen, Roland. South African butterflies: A monograph of the extra-tropical species (3 vols). London: Truebner & Co., 1887-1889.


Compiled by: C. Plug


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