S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Langley, Mr E J (shell collection)

Born: 1860, United Kingdom.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Edward John Langley, a carpenter/wheelwright aged 22, arrived from Britain in January 1861 with his 17 year old wife Catherine (born Howland) and their infant son who was also named Edward John. They planned to settle in the Grahamstown area.

Either the father, or more likely the son, was probably the E.J. Langley who became a member of the Eastern Province Naturalists' Society in April 1885. He was elected on the society's management committee in January 1887. In 1888 "Mr Langley", presumably the same person, donated molluscs to the Port Elizabeth Museum. On 6 July 1890, E. Langley joined James Crawford* in some dredging experiments in Algoa Bay, during which they netted a number of live molluscs and some dead shells. (Dredging for molluscs in Algoa Bay seems to have been done earlier by S.T. Rous*). Crawford's report on the experiments was published in the Society's annual report for 1890 (pp. 11-12).

Langley sent shells to the British conchologist G.B. Sowerby* at some stage, and was commemorated in the names of the marine species Columbella langleyi and the non-marine species Pisidium langleyi. He was one of a small group of enthusiastic amateur shell collectors in Port Elizabeth at this time, including S.D. Bairstow*, Rous, Crawford, and Miss A. Walton*.

List of sources:
Barnard, K.H. Personal names in South African conchology. Cape Town: Conchological Society of Southern Africa, 1965.

Bull, E. Aided immigration from Britain to South Africa, 1857 to 1867. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council, 1991.

Cape of Good Hope. Report on the Port Elizabeth Museum, 1888.

Eastern Province Naturalists' Society. Ninth Annual Report... for the year 1890. Port Elizabeth: J. Kemsley, 1891. (Port Elizabeth Public Library, Africana Collection).

Eastern Province Naturalists' Society. Minute Book (1882-1885), 83rd meeting, 24 April 1885; (1885-1892), 127th meeting, 14 January 1887, and list of members.

Kilburn, R. & Rippey, E. Sea shells of southern Africa. Johannesburg: Macmillan, 1982.

Compiled by: C. Plug