HORNELL, James (A68)

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The evolution of primitive boat-construction and correspondence on either reading or publishing it as the Huxley Lecture. 1948-9.

James Hornell (JH) (1865-1949) received the Rivers Memorial Medal in 1944 and was elected Huxley Memorial Medallist and Lecturer for 1949. The Huxley Lecture was not delivered and Council considered it was not ‘suitable for printing and reading’ but decided ‘extracts might be published in Man‘ (see Council minutes, 5 Apr. 1949, CM/78/7, Item 6c, ff. 562-3). No summary was published.

JH’s pioneering work in fishery research and organization was done mainly in Sri Lanka and Madras from 1900-24 when he retired. He was subsequently fishery adviser to the governments of Sierra Leone, Palestine, Malta, and others. His interest in water craft began in 1907 and by the 1930s papers on sampans, junks, and other crafts predominated his publications. His books include: The canoes of Polynesia, Fiji and Micronesia, 1936, The fishing luggars of Hastings, 1938, Water transport, 1946, and Fishing in many waters, 1950. See H.S. Harrison’s obituary in Man, June 1949, Item 81 for details of JH’s career.


WBF        W.B. Fagg, CMG (1914-92), Keeper, Dept of Ethnography, British Museum, 1969-74; RAI Hon. Secretary, 1939-56, Hon. Editor of Man, 1947-65

HSH    H.S. Harrison (1872-1958), Curator, Horniman Museum; RAI President, 1935-7

JHH    J.H. Hutton (1885-1968), William Wyse Prof, of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University; RAI President, 1943-5

1    Typescript of lecture corrected by the author. Aug. 1948 [i], 25 leaves

2    HSH to WBF, London, 24 Mar. 1949 – encloses typescript for JH’s obituary in Man [not present]; information provided by Mrs Hornell; feels he cannot read lecture; encloses extract from Mrs Hornell’s note (see /3 below) (autogr., annotated by WBF)

3    Extract from Mrs Hornell’s note and comment by HSH (autogr.)

4    JHH to WBF, Cambridge, 4 Apr. – returns typescript; agrees with HSH’s views; suggests last 10 pages with some passages from earlier pages should be printed in the JRAI; prepared to rearrange contents; should not be read at the Huxley Lecture (tp.)