TitlePapers of Harry Marshall Ward
DescriptionThis collection consists of a series of various personal letters written by Harry Marshall Ward to various family members and friends over a period of four years. Some of the letters also contain diary extracts from Ward's personal journal.
Creator NameMarshall Ward, Harry (1854-1906)
Extent2 boxes
Administrative HistoryHarry Marshall Ward was born on the 21st of March 1854 in Hereford; he was the eldest son of Francis Marshall Ward. Harry was originally educated at the Cathedral school in Lincoln but later moved to a private school in Nottingham. He left school at the age of 14 but continued his education by attending evening courses organised by the science and art department at Owens College at Victoria University in Manchester. Here he was admitted to a course of instruction for teachers in training which was taken by botanist William Thiselton-Dyer and Sidney Vines. Ward secured an open scholarship at Christ College, Cambridge in the university and began studies there in 1876. In 1879 Ward was awarded a first class degree in the natural Science Tripos as the only botanist of the year. Ward published his first paper in the Jodrell Laboratory at Kew in 1879. In this he seriously criticised and corrected the work of Vesque on the embryo-sac of phanerogams.

At the age of twenty four Ward went to Germany for a short time for purposes of study and to strengthen his knowledge of the language. He worked at Wurzburg with Sachs whose lectures on the physiology of plants he later translated. Before the end of the year Ward was appointed to proceed to Ceylon for two years as Government Cyptoganist to investigate the leaf disease in coffee. Ward worked from Peradeniya for twenty months, during this time he produced many meticulous reports and papers of his findings on the disease however they were largely ignored. The coffee planting industry of Ceylon was destroyed and the oriental bank succumbed in the general ruin. After this time Ward sailed back to England to report back to de Bary with his findings.

In 1882 Ward gained a research fellowship and an assistant lectureship at Owens College, Victoria University, Manchester. The next year he married Selina Mary Kingdon, the eldest daughter of Francis Kingdon of Exeter. The couple later had a daughter, Winifred Mary Kingdon-Ward, and a son, Francis Kingdon-Ward, who became a plant collector and explorer. Having lost out to Bower the position of Glasgow University Chair in 1885, Ward had to be content with a lesser post when he became the Chair of Botany at the Royal Engineering College in Surrey in 1886. In 1892, Ward was elected to the Royal society and awarded a ScD Cantab. In the following year (1893) In 1892-1899 Ward, in collaboration with Percy Frankland, carried out a series of laborious investigations on the bacteriology of water at the request of the Royal Society. Ward identified eighty species of bacteria in the water of the Thames. His conclusions about the destructive effects of light upon bacteria attracted public attention because of their hygienic implications. His last important line of research was the investigation of rusts that affect the brome grasses (oat-like grasses). In connection with these investigations he became involved in a controversy on the mycoplasm theory. His position as University Chair came in 1895 when he became a Professor of Botany at Cambridge. In 1897 Ward became a professional fellow of Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge and was one of the 60 founding members of the British Mycological Society and its president from 1899-1901.

Ward received many honours for his contributions to science. He was made ScD at the Royal Indian Engineering College in 1892 and was awarded an honorary DSc of Victoria University in 1902. He became Fellow of the Linnean Society in 1886 and served on its council in 1887-1889. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1888 and received the royal medal in 1893. Ward died at Babbacombe, Torquay, on 26 August 1906. He was buried on 3 September in the Huntingdon Road cemetery in Cambridge. His wife survived him.
Custodial HistoryThe first set of letters (HMW/1/1-1/75) was donated to Kew by Oliver Tooley, a descendant of Harry Marshall Ward, via Professor Peter Ayres of Lancaster University . Accesssion Number PrP 02-0009, 28th Feb 2002. The second set of letters (HMW/1/76-79) was deposited in the Archives in April 2006, Accession Number PrP-06-0008, donated again by Oliver Tooley via Professor Peter Ayres.
ArrangementThe letters were catalogued chronologically in the order they were received in the Archives.
Accession NumberPrP 07-0008

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DS/UK/7Ward; Harry Marshall (1854-1906)1854-1906
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