S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Fisk, Rev George Henry Redmore (zoology)

Born: 1829, Place not known.
Died: 31 August 1911, Cape Town, South Africa.

Reverend Mr George Henry Redmore Fisk married Caroline Bradwell in Cape Town on 15 April 1852 and remained in that city for the rest of his life. In 1879 he was living in Church House, and in 1890 was listed in the clerical directory of the General Directory of South Africa as an archdeacon in the (Anglican) Church of the Province of South Africa and secretary of the Diocesan Finance Commission. At this time he was living in Rondebosch. He was already a corresponding member of the Zoological Society of London when he joined the South African Philosophical Society in 1877, the year of its formation. In 1883 he was elected a member of council of the latter society and served continuously to 1896. The next year he and R. Trimen* became the society's first two honorary members. Fisk remained an honorary member when the society became the Royal Society of South Africa in 1908.

His scientific activities comprised some minor contributions to zoology. He started out with an interest in zoological curiosities. For example, at a meeting of the South African Philosophical Society in October 1879 he exhibited a deformed gecko, and in August 1882 specimens of Serpula (marine worms that form twisted lime tubes) and a sand-filled penguin egg that had been found unbroken. His interests seem to have included geology, for he attended the second annual meeting of the short-lived South African Geological Society, which was held in Cape Town in July 1889. In 1894 he donated insects or arachnids from Robben Island to the South African Museum, followed by more specimens in 1896. According to H.W.R. Marloth* in his review of local science in 1895, Rev. Fisk had studied South African snakes and tortoises. This is borne out by his donation of seven tortoises, a sea snake and some spiders and scorpions to the South African Museum in 1898. The fish species Eumecichthys fiski (family Lophotidae) was named after him in 1890.

Fisk should not be confused with his son, Dr George Henry Bradwell Fisk, who practiced in Cape Town from 1875 to his death in 1893.

List of sources:
Argus Annual and South African Directory [Cape Almanac], 1890-1894.

Cape of Good Hope. Report of the trustees of the South African Museum, 1898.

ETYFish Project. http://www.etyfish.org/lampriformes/ as on 10 November 2016.

General Directory of South Africa, 1890/1, clerical directory.

Grahamstown Journal, 9 July 1889, p. 2; also Grocott's Penny Mail, 9 July 1889, p. 2: S.A. Geological Society.

Marloth, [H.W.]R. The progress of natural science in relation to South Africa during the last ten years. Transactions of the South African Philosophical Society, 1890-1895, Vol. 8, pp. civ-cxxi.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Fisk, George Henry Redmore / Fisk, G.H.R.

Robertson, H. . Biodiversity explorers. http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/people as on 10 November 2016.

Royal Society of South Africa. Transactions, 1908-1910, Vol. 1, list of members.

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

South African Commercial Advertiser, 1 May 1852: Marriage. Retrieved from http://www.eggsa.org/newspapers/index.php/south-african-commercial-advertiser/206-saca-1852-apr-jun on 10 November 2016.

South African Philosophical Society. Transactions, 1877-1907, Vol. 1-4, 6, 8-11, 16, 17.

Compiled by: C. Plug