John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury: Wikis

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John Lubbock

Woodburytype print of
John Lubbock in middle age
Born 30 April 1834
Died 28 May 1913
Nationality English
Fields Finance, Biology, Archaeology, Politics, Spelling
Known for Bank Holidays
Influences Charles Darwin

John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury PC, FRS (30 April 1834 – 28 May 1913), known as Sir John Lubbock, 4th Bt from 1865 until 1900, was an English banker, biologist, archaeologist and Liberal politician.

Contents

Life

Lubbock was the son of Sir John Lubbock, 3rd Baronet, and was brought up in the family home of High Elms, near Downe. In 1842 his father brought home a "great piece of news", and while young John Lubbock initially thought that it might be a new pony and was disappointed that the news was just that Charles Darwin was moving to Down House in the village,[1] he was soon a frequent visitor to Down House, and became the closest of Darwin's younger friends.[2]

Lubbock was educated at Eton College from 1845 and afterwards was taken into his father's bank (which later amalgamated with Coutts & Co), where he became a partner at the age of twenty-two. In 1865 he succeeded to the baronetcy.

In 1870, and again in 1874, he was elected as a Liberal Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Maidstone. He lost the seat at the election of 1880; but was at once elected member for the University of London, of which he had been vice-chancellor since 1872. He carried numerous enactments in parliament, including the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 and the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882. When the Liberals split in 1886 over Irish Home Rule, Lubbock joined the breakaway Liberal Unionist Party.

Lubbock was elected the first president of the Institute of Bankers in 1879; in 1881 he was president of the British Association, and from 1881 to 1886 president of the Linnean Society of London. In March 1883 he founded the Bank Clerks Orphanage, which in 1986 became the Bankers Benevolent Fund - a charity for bank employees, past and present and their dependants. In January 1884 he founded the Proportional Representation Society, later to become the Electoral Reform Society.

Caricature from Punch, 1882

Lubbock received honorary degrees from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge (where he was Rede lecturer in 1886), Edinburgh, Dublin and Würzburg; and in 1878 was appointed a trustee of the British Museum. From 1888 to 1892 he was president of the London Chamber of Commerce; from 1889 to 1890 vice-chairman and from 1890 to 1892 chairman of the London County Council.

In February 1890 he was appointed a privy councillor[3]; and was chairman of the committee of design on the new coinage in 1891. In January 1900 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Avebury, his title commemorating the largest Stone Age site in Europe.

The quotation "We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth" is widely attributed to Lubbock. This variation appears in his book The Pleasures of Life: "Not only does a library contain "infinite riches in a little room," but we may sit at home and yet be in all quarters of the earth."

Lubbock in biology and archaeology

In 1865 Lubbock published what was possibly the most influential archaeological text book of the 19th Century, Pre-historic times, as illustrated by ancient remains, and the manners and customs of modern savages. He invented the terms Palaeolithic and Neolithic to denote the Old and New Stone Ages respectively, but more notable was his introduction of a Darwinian view of human nature. "What was new was Lubbock's... insistence that, as a result of natural selection, human groups had become different from each other, not only culturally, but also in their biological capacities to utilize culture".[4]

Lubbock felt he had a justifiable complaint against Charles Lyell:

"Note.—In his celebrated work on the Antiquity of Man, Sir Charles Lyell has made much use of my earlier articles in the Natural History Review, frequently, indeed, extracting whole sentences verbatim, or nearly so. But as he has in these cases omitted to mention the source from which his quotations were derived, my readers might naturally think that I had taken very unjustifiable liberties with the work of the eminent geologist. A reference to the respective dates will, however, protect me from any such inference. The statement made by Sir Charles Lyell, in a note to page 11 of his work, that my article on the Danish Shell-mounds was published after Ms sheets were written, is an inadvertence, regretted, I have reason to believe, as much by its author as it is by me." Preface to Pre-historic times.

Lubbock was also an amateur biologist of some distinction, writing books on hymenoptera (Ants, Bees and Wasps: a record of observations on the habits of the social hymenoptera. Kegan Paul, London; New York: Appleton, 1884.), on insect sense organs and development, on the intelligence of animals, and on other natural history topics. He was a member of the famous X Club founded by T.H. Huxley to promote the growth of science in Britain. He discovered that ants were sensitive to the ultraviolet range of the spectrum.[5][6] The Punch verse of 1882 captured him perfectly:

How doth the Banking Busy Bee
Improve his shining Hours?
By studying on Bank Holidays
Strange insects and Wild Flowers!

He carried out extensive correspondence with Charles Darwin, who lived nearby in Downe. Lubbock stayed in Downe except for a brief period from 1861–1865, when he moved to Chislehurst. Both men were active advocates of English spelling reform, and members of the Spelling Reform Association, precursor to the (Simplified) Spelling Society. Darwin rented ground, originally from Lubbock's father, for the Sandwalk wood where he took his daily exercise, and in 1874 reached agreement with Lubbock to exchange the land for a piece of pasture in Darwin's property.[7] When Darwin died in 1882, Lubbock suggested the honour of burial in Westminster Abbey, organising a letter to the Dean to arrange this, and was one of the pallbearers.[2]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Howarth & Howarth 1933, pp. 72–73
  2. ^ a b Freeman 1978, p. 192
  3. ^ London Gazette issue 26022 11 february 1890
  4. ^ Trigger, Bruce G. 1989. A history of archaeological thought. Cambridge. p173
  5. ^ Lubbock, J. (1881). "Observations on ants, bees, and wasps. IX. Color of flowers as an attraction to bees: Experiments and considerations thereon.". J. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Zool.) 16: 110–112.  
  6. ^ Kevan, Peter G.; Chittka, Lars & Dyer, Adrian G. (2001). "Limits to the salience of ultraviolet: lessons from colour vision in bees and birds". J. Exp. Biol. 204: 2571–2580.  
  7. ^ Freeman 1978, p. 125

References

  • Hutchinson H.G. 1914. Life of Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury. London.
  • Grant Duff U. 1924. The life-work of Lord Avebury. London: Watts & Co.
  • Sir John.Lubbock in The Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth Edition, 2001)
  • Lubbock J. 1865. Pre-historic times, as illustrated by ancient remains, and the manners and customs of modern savages. London: Williams and Norgate.
  • Trigger B.G. (1989); revised 2006. A history of archaeological thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg " Avebury, John Lubbock, 1st Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.  
  • Lubbock J. 1887-89. The pleasures of life
  • Patton M. 1997. Science, politics & business in the work of Sir John Lubbock - a man of universal mind. London, Ashgate.
  • Freeman, R. B. (1978), Charles Darwin: A companion, Folkestone: Wm Dawson & Sons Ltd, http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?viewtype=text&itemID=A27&pageseq=1  

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Buxton
James Whatman
Member of Parliament for Maidstone
1870 – 1880
With: James Whatman 1865–1874
Sir Sydney Waterlow 1874–1880
Succeeded by
Alexander Henry Ross
John Evans Freke-Aylmer
Preceded by
Robert Lowe
Member of Parliament for London University
1880 – 1900
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Foster
Political offices
Preceded by
Earl of Rosebery
Chairman of the London County Council
1890 – 1892
Succeeded by
Earl of Rosebery
Academic offices
Preceded by
Andrew Carnegie
Rector of the University of St Andrews
1907 – 1910
Succeeded by
The Earl of Rosebery
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Avebury
1900 – 1913
Succeeded by
John Lubbock
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Lubbock
Baronet
(of Lammas)
1865 – 1913
Succeeded by
John Lubbock
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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury, PC (April 30, 1834May 28, 1913) was an English banker, politician, naturalist and archaeologist. He served as President of the Royal Statistical Society.

Sourced

  • When we have done our best, we should wait the result in peace.
    • The Pleasures of Life, vol. 1 (1887), ch. II: The Happiness of Duty
  • We often hear of bad weather, but in reality no weather is bad. It is all delightful, though in different ways. Some weather may be bad for farmers or crops, but for man all kinds are good. Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating.
    • The Use of Life (1894), ch. IV: Recreation
  • Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time.
    • The Use of Life (1894), ch. IV: Recreation
  • Earth and Sky, Woods and Fields, Lakes and Rivers, the Mountain and the Sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.
    • The Use of Life (1894), ch. IV: Recreation

Unsourced

  • In this world we do not see things as they are. We see them as we are, because what we see depends mainly on what we are looking for.

External links


Simple English

John Lubbock
File:John
Woodburytype print of
John Lubbock in middle age
Born 30 April 1834
Died 28 May 1913
Nationality English
Fields Finance, Biology, Archaeology, Politics, Spelling
Known for Bank Holidays
Influences

Charles Darwin

John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury PC, FRS (30 April 1834 – 28 May 1913), known as Sir John Lubbock, 4th Bt from 1865 until 1900, was an English banker, biologist, archaeologist and Liberal politician.

Life

Lubbock was the son of Sir John Lubbock, 3rd Baronet, and was brought up in the family home of High Elms, near Downe in Kent. In 1842 his father brought home a "great piece of news". Young John Lubbock thought it might be a new pony, and was disappointed that the news was that Charles Darwin was moving to Down House in the village.[1] He was soon a frequent visitor to Down House, and became the closest of Darwin's younger friends.[2]

Lubbock was educated at Eton College from 1845 and afterwards was taken into his father's bank, where he became a partner at the age of twenty-two. In 1865 he succeeded to the baronetcy.

In 1870, 1874, and 1880 he was elected to Parliament, where he promoted a number of laws. Lubbock was elected the first president of the Institute of Bankers in 1879; in 1881 he was president of the British Association, and from 1881 to 1886 president of the Linnean Society of London. In March 1883 he founded the Bank Clerks Orphanage, which in 1986 became the Bankers Benevolent Fund – a charity for bank employees, past and present and their dependants. In January 1884 he founded the Proportional Representation Society, later to become the Electoral Reform Society.

Lubbock received honorary degrees from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Dublin and Würzburg; and in 1878 was appointed a trustee of the British Museum. From 1888 to 1892 he was president of the London Chamber of Commerce; from 1889 to 1890 vice-chairman and from 1890 to 1892 chairman of the London County Council.

In February 1890 he was appointed a Privy Councillor,[3] and was chairman of the committee of design on the new coinage in 1891. In January 1900 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Avebury, his title commemorating the largest Neolithic site in Europe.

Lubbock in biology and archaeology

In 1865 Lubbock published what was possibly the most influential archaeological text book of the 19th Century, Pre-historic times, as illustrated by ancient remains, and the manners and customs of modern savages. He invented the terms Palaeolithic and Neolithic to denote the Old and New Stone Ages respectively, but more notable was his introduction of a Darwinian view of human nature.

"What was new was Lubbock's... insistence that, as a result of natural selection, human groups had become different from each other, not only culturally, but also in their biological capacities to utilize culture".[4]

Lubbock was also an amateur biologist of some distinction, writing books on hymenoptera, on insect sense organs and development, on the intelligence of animals, and on other natural history topics.[5] He was a member of the famous X Club founded by T.H. Huxley to promote the growth of science in Britain. He discovered that ants were sensitive to the ultraviolet range of the spectrum.[6][7] The Punch verse of 1882 captured him perfectly:

How doth the Banking Busy Bee
Improve his shining Hours?
By studying on Bank Holidays
Strange insects and Wild Flowers!

He carried out extensive correspondence with Charles Darwin, who lived nearby in Downe. In addition to their shared interest in natural history, both men were active advocates of spelling reform, and members of the Spelling Reform Association. When Darwin died in 1882, Lubbock suggested the honour of burial in Westminster Abbey, and was one of the pallbearers.[2]

References

  1. Howarth & Howarth 1933, pp. 72–73
  2. 2.0 2.1 Freeman 1978, p. 192
  3. London Gazette issue 26022 11 february 1890
  4. Trigger, Bruce G. 1989. A history of archaeological thought. Cambridge. p173
  5. Lubbock J. 1884. Ants, bees and wasps: a record of observations on the habits of the social hymenoptera. Kegan Paul, London.
  6. Lubbock, J. (1881). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Observations on ants, bees, and wasps. IX. Color of flowers as an attraction to bees: Experiments and considerations thereon."]. J. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Zool.) 16: 110–112. 
  7. Kevan, Peter G.; Chittka, Lars & Dyer, Adrian G. (2001). [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Limits to the salience of ultraviolet: lessons from colour vision in bees and birds"]. J. Exp. Biol. 204: 2571–2580. 
  • Hutchinson H.G. 1914. Life of Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury. London.
  • Grant Duff U. 1924. The life-work of Lord Avebury. London: Watts & Co.
  • Sir John.Lubbock in The Columbia Encyclopedia 6th ed, 2001.
  • Lubbock J. 1865. Pre-historic times, as illustrated by ancient remains, and the manners and customs of modern savages. London: Williams and Norgate.
  • Lubbock J. 1887-89. The pleasures of life
  • Patton M. 1997. Science, politics & business in the work of Sir John Lubbock - a man of universal mind. London, Ashgate.

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