From James S. Bowerbank (1797-1877)

Scope and Content

Letter sent from J. S. Bowerbank (1797-1877)

Administrative / Biographical History

Born July 14, 1797 and died March 8, 1877, James Scott Bowerbank was a British naturalist and paleontologist best known for his studies of British sponges. Henry Willett (1823-1903) was a wealthy collector of paintings, porcelain, rocks and fossils, especially those of the Brighton area. He wanted his collections to be available to the people to encourage their taste and artistic education. When he presented his collections to the town of Brighton, this provided the impetus to the setting up of a Museum and Art Gallery. Willett was also active in other areas, most notably setting up an Emigration Society to aid poor people living in the Brighton area to emigrate to Canada. He was a friend of John Ruskin, and apparently persuaded the great critic that his books must be published cheap enough for the general populace to afford them.