S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Bryden, Mr Henry Anderson (mammalogy)

Born: 1854, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom.
Died: 23 September 1937, Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom.

Henry Anderson Bryden, writer, sportsman, explorer and naturalist, played rugby for England against Scotland in 1874 and was a good long distance runner. He first came to South Afric in 1876, visiting the eastern Karoo in search of game. Thereafter he travelled widely in Europe and North Africa. Later he travelled extensively in the little known regions of the Northern Cape, Free State, Lesotho, Botswana and the Transvaal, for sport and natural history. His information about Ngamiland and the northern Kalahari was used in maps by the British War Office, while his natural history observations formed the basis of two scientific papers: "On the present distribution of the giraffe south of the Zambesi, and on the best means of securing living specimens for European collections" (Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1891) and "Notes on the fauna of South Africa" (Transactions of the Natural History Society, 1894-1902).

Bryden based a large number of books on his experiences in South Africa. Kloof and Karroo: sport, legend, and natural history in Cape Colony, with a notice of the game birds, and of the present distribution of the antelopes and larger game (1889) included accounts of the former distribution of game animals, some of which had become rare or extinct (e.g., the quagga). Gun and camera in southern Africa (1893) described his wanderings in the Kalahari. In 1899 he edited Great and small game of Africa: an account of the distribution, habits, and natural history of the sporting mammals..., which included contributions by himself, F.V. Kirby*, R. Lydekker*, P. Rendall*, and F.C. Selous*. The book contained much information on the distribution of game, while game birds were also dealt with. His other books included Nature and sport in South Africa (1897), two chapters in Percy Selous' Travel and big game (1897), Animals of Africa (1900), From veldt camp fires; stories of southern Africa (1900); and perhaps his best in this genre, Enchantments of the field; chronicals of sport and wild life (1930). He also wrote three historical studies of South Africa, and many novels and short stories.


List of sources:
Anglo-African who's who and biographical sketch book. London: Upcott, 1910.

Dictionary of South African biography, Vol. 3, 1977.

Mendelssohn, S. South African bibliography. London, 1910.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Rosenthal, E. Southern African dictionary of national biography. London: F. Warne, 1966.

Royal Society of London. Catalogue of scientific papers [1800-1900]. London: Royal Society, 1867-1925.

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

Summaries of some recent botanical and zoological papers referring to South Africa. Transactions of the South African Philosophical Society, 1902, Vol. 11 (4), pp. 383-418.

Who was who, Vol. 3, 2nd ed. London: Adam & Black, 1967.


Compiled by: C. Plug


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