S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Bowker, Miss Mary Layard (invertebrate collection)

Born: 26 April 1863, Cape Town, South Africa.
Died: 8 March 1928, Nanyuki, Kenya.

Miss Mary Layard Bowker of the farm Tharfield, near present day Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, was the fourth child of Thomas Holden Bowker* and his wife Julia Eliza McGowan. Her godfather was Edgar L. Layard*, which explains her second given name. In the preface to his South African butterflies... (1887-1889) Roland Trimen* of the South African Museum, Cape Town, acknowledged her as a contributor of butterflies from the Eastern Districts. In 1889 she continued her donations of insects and land shells, with natural history notes, to the museum. Around this time she collected the original specimens of the land snail Gulella mariae, which was named after her in 1892. Another species of the same genus, Gulella bowkerae, was named after her at the same time.

In March 1894, at Bathurst, Eastern Cape, she married Henry Mitford Barber*, with whom she had four sons.

List of sources:
Cape of Good Hope. Report of the trustees of the South African Museum, 1889.

Herbert, D. & Kilburn, D. Field guide to the land snails and slugs of eastern South Africa. Pietermaritzburg: Natal Museum, 2004.

Mary Layard Bowker. http://1820settlers.com/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I188&tree=master

Mitford-Barberton, I. & Mitford-Barberton, R. The Bowkers of Tharfield. Oxford University Press, 1952.

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

Compiled by: C. Plug