S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Furze, Mr Paul G (shell collection)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Paul G. Furze (sometimes Furse) was a member of the Commissariat Corps - the civilian organisation responsible for feeding the British army in South Africa. In 1877 he held the rank of major and was stationed in the Commissariat Department in Pretoria. By 1879 he held the position of commissary general and was stationed in Natal.

In 1876, when Roland Trimen, curator of the South African Museum in Cape Town, was temporarily absent on official duty, Furze was appointed acting curator of the museum. It seems that he did this work as a volunteer, receiving no pay.

Furze was a keen shell collector and during 1876 presented the museum with 21 named species of molluscs, of which two were believed to be new to science. Most came from the Cape Verde Islands, but some from Table Bay. During 1879 the museum purchased a collection of 365 named shells from him, representing 150 species of which many were new to the museum's collections. The specimens came from Table Bay, Green Point, the Bredasdorp coast, Algoa Bay, Natal, and Inhambane in Mozambique. He presented the museum with a further collection of some 250 specimens, representing 94 species, the next year. It seems that he left southern Africa soon afterwards.

List of sources:
Cape of Good Hope. Report of the trustees of the South African Museum, 1876, 1879, 1880.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Paul Furze / Major Furze / Commissary Furze.

Summers, R.F.H. A history of the South African Museum, 1825-1975. Cape Town: Balkema, 1975.

Compiled by: C. Plug