The Reverend Henry Eley ma was a little-known Victorian cleric who wrote a delightful book entitled Geology in the Garden in 1859. In it are described and illustrated many foraminifera preserved in flint, which are some of the first recorded Upper Cretaceous foraminifera from south east England. Jones & Parker thought well enough of his work to review Eley’s material in 1872. Eley’s collection is preserved in The Natural History Museum, London.
Whilst undertaking an investigation into the life and work of Professor Thomas Rupert Jones, I came across an old collection of foraminifera in The Natural History Museum (registration numbers 54916–54944) attributed to a Rev. H. Eley. This, Jones had not only recorded in his Catalogue (1882: p. 14) but earlier in 1872 (with W. K. Parker) had thought worthy of revision – much as they had done with other more famous collections during the 1860s in their series On the Nomenclature of the Foraminifera. Why they should choose such an apparently obscure collection was unclear until I had chance to read a letter in the Museum’s archive, which Jones (1882) had previously mentioned. The letter was written by Eley to Jones on the 23 February 1872 from 5 Bloomsbury Place, Brighton. This indicates that Jones knew Eley and his whereabouts, since the former writes that he was going to read the March 1872 issue of the Geological Magazine with interest, because he remembered that ... ‘the note at the foot of page 195 of the Geology ...
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