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Dallinger, Rev. Dr. W. H. (1839 - 1909)


¹ Illustrated London News

Biographical notes

I recently bought a first edition of Archbald Geikie's 1882 "Textbook of Geology"; although interested in the subject matter, my primary reason for purchase was that it had been advertised as carrying a bookplate of Rev. W. H. G. Kenrick, an amateur botanist who had interested me for many years. On its arrival I noticed that some of the pages were embossed with the name and seal of Rev. W. H. Dallinger the noted microscopist. It also seemed significant that Kenrick's bookplate was inscribed with the date 24 December 1909, less than two months after Dallinger's death. I have, as yet, been unable to discover any link between the two men but it is tempting to believe that it was a gift from either Dallinger's wife, who inherited all of his effects, or his son Percival, who was also a naturalist. The book then passed into the posession of W H Wintle on 1 June 1943, six months after Kenrick's death.

Dallinger is probably best known for his correspondence with Charles Darwin, who took a great interest in his experiments. These finally laid to rest any theories of the spontaneous generation of micro-organisms. He also demonstrated that, given time, single celled organisms were able to evolve a tolerance of high temperature, leaving them unable to thrive under their original conditions.


1841 June 6 Census - Pembroke-street, Devonport
1851 March 3 Census - 13 Banack-street, Devonport
1861 April 7 Census - Hawkhurst, Kent
1862 Boughton
1864 August Woolwich
1865 August Cardiff
1866 August Clifton
1867 October Albert Villa, Cotham, Bristol
1868 Liverpool
1871 April 2 Census - 34 Greenfield-road, West Derby
1871 August Rock Ferry, Birkenhead
1881 April 3 Census - Wesley College, Eccleshall Bierlow
1891 April 5 Census - 38 Newstead-road, Lee, London
He is absent and his wife is described as head.
1901 March 31 Census - 38 Newstead-road, Lee, London
He is absent


Additional links

Annotated family tree. link
Rev William H Dallinger warrants a Wikipedia entry. link
Naturalist - Obituary
[Biodiversity Heritage Library]
Correspondence, etc. with Charles Darwin.
[Darvin Correspondence Project]
Creative Commons Licence

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1839 : Birth The birth of William Henry Dallinger was registered in Stoke Damarel, Devon, third quarter.
Note - this is earlier than most biographers give but is consistent with his age as given in the censuses of 1841, 1851 and 1861.
1861 June 12 : Sunday School ¹Sussex Agricultural Express - 1861 June 22
TICEHURST. On Wednesday, the 12th instant, the anniversary of the Wesleyan Day and Sunday Schools too place. The children and friends having assembled, the Rev. W. H. Dallinger and Mr. J. Harmer (the master) examined the children …
1861 July : Faversham ¹Kentish Gazette - 1861 July 30
STATIONS OF WESLEYAN MINISTERS. - The annual conference of Wesleyan Methodist body is now being held at Newcastle-on-Tyne. From the first draft of the report of the stationing committee we extract the following appointments for this district :-

Faversham - Robert Lewis, Wm. H. Dallinger …

The next year he was specifically appointed to Boughton within the Faversham circuit.
1862 February 12 : Popular lecture ¹Kentish Gazette - 1862 february 18
BOUGHTON BLEAN. - POPULAR LECTURES. - The third lecture of a course was delivered here on Wednesday evening, by the Rev. W. H. Dallinger, the subject being "Common Things: Air, Water, Light, and Heat." …
1863 July 4 : Paper by father ¹Western Daily Mercury - 1863 July 7
STONEHOUSE YOUNG MEN'S MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION. - The usual weekly meeting of this society was held on Saturday evening last, 4th inst. Mr J. H. Dallinger read a paper entitled "Reason: do animals possess it?"
This lecture by his father shows that although he was an engraver he also had an interest in education and self improvement.
1864 August : Woolwich ¹Bradford Observer - 1864 August 11
WESLEYAN CONFERENCE … A few alterations may yet be expected, but in the main the following are likely to stand … Woolwich - James Ford, William H. Dallinger; …
1865 August : Cardiff ¹Aris's Birmingham Gazette - 1865 August 12
BIRMINGHAM WESLEYAN CONFERENCE … Cardiff. - Peter Budd, James R. Webb, Humphrey Jutsum (Penarth), William H. Dallinger…
1866 August 2 : Ordination ¹Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - 1866 August 3
This morning the service for the ordination of ministers was held in the Oxford-place chapel. These ministers are those who have satisfactorily passes the usual term of probation. They have all engaged in the work of the ministry for at least four years, and have each year been examined as to their fitness for the work of the ministry. … W. H. Dallinger, …

¹Cardiff Times - 1866 August 10
WESLEYAN CONFERENCE. … Many of our readers will be pleased to hear that the Rev. W. H. Dallinger has been appointed colleague to the Rev. W. M. Punshon, at Clifton.
1866 December 18 : Marriage ¹Kentish News - 1866 December 25
MARRIAGES. DALLINGER - GOLDSMITH. - December 18, at Wesley Chapel, Cardiff, by the Rev. W. M, Punshon, A.M., assisted by the Rev. Marmaduke C. Osborn, the Rev. W. H. Dallinger, of Clifton, to Emma Jane, only surviving daughter of the late David Goldsmith, Esq., of Bury St. Edmonds,
1867 July : Supernumeray ¹Western Daily Press - THE WESLEYAN CONFERENCE. The first draft of the stations of Wesleyan ministers has been issued by the Stationing Committee, The local appointments are as follows: - THE BRISTOL DISTRICT. … Wm. H. Dallinger, supernumeraries. …
Other reports add that this was only for a year on account of his health.
1867 October 8 : Birth of son ¹Cardiff Times - 1867 October 19
BIRTHS. On the 8th inst., at Albert Villa, Cotham, Bristol, the wife of the Rev. W. H. Dallinger, of a son.
[Percy Gough Dallinger was an agriculturalist and field naturalist.]
1868 August : Liverpool ¹Cheshire Observer - 1868 August 1; STATIONS OF WESLEYAN METHODIST MINISTERS. Liverpool District - … W. H. Dallinger…
The appointment was to St Paul's Wesleyan Chapel, Greenfield-road, Old Swan. The following year it was to Liverpool, Pitt Street.
1870 January 24 : Liverpool Lit. & Phil. ¹Liverpool Courier and Commercial Advertiser - 1870 January 28
LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY. - The seventh ordinary meeting of this society, for the current session, was held on Monday evening last, at the Royal Institution. Dr Nevins, the president, occupied the chair. The Rev. Dr. Jones, principal of King William's College, Isle of Man, was elected a corresponding member, and the Rev. W. H. Dallinger an ordinary member of the society. …
1870 September : BAAS ¹Liverpool Daily Post - 1870 September 16
THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION … SECTION D - BIOLOGY … on a rare and remarkable parasite from the collection of the Rev. W. Dallinger. …
1871 August : Birkenhead The Wesleyan Conference - he was appointed as minister for Rock Ferry, Birkenhead.
1871 November 3 : Liverpool Microscopical Society ¹Liverpool Mercury - 1871 November 4
MICROSCOPICAL SOCIETY. Last evening, a meeting of the members of this society was held in the Royal Institution, Colquitt-street. There was a very good attendance of members. The Rev. W. H. Dallinger, F.R.M.S., was duly elected president for the ensuing year. …
1880 June 3 : Royal Society ¹York Herald - 1880 June 19
Multum in Parvo. … The Rev. W. H. Dallinger, Wesleyan minister, has been "received" by the president (Dr. Spottiswoode) as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Mr Dallinger has paid much attention to the question of "spontaneous generation," and other scientific matters.
1880 July : Sheffield College ¹York Herald - 1889 July 24
DOMESTIC NOTES. … The Wesleyan Conference resumed its sitting on Wednesday … The Rev. W. H. Dallinger, F.R.S., who was on Tuesday admitted a member of the Legal Hundred, refered to the scientific labours in which he had been engaged, and said he chiefly valued scientific honours as giving him a position in the breach between science and revelation. … Thursday … The Rev. W. H. Dollinger [sic] F.R.S., was appointed Govenor of Sheffield College …
1884 March : Yorkshire Naturalists' Union ¹Sheffield Daily Telegraph - 1885 March 4
YORKSHIRE NATURALISTS AT DONCASTER … It was announced that the Rev. W. H. Dallinger, F.R.S., LL.D., of sheffield, had accepted the invitation to become president for the ensuing year.
1888 February : Resignation ¹York Herald - 1888 February 11
ECCLESIASTICAL NEWS … The Rev. W. H. Dallinger, LL. D., F.R.S., has forwarded to the council of the Wesley College, Sheffield, a letter, resigning his position as governor and chaplain of that institution. The precise reasons which have led Dr. Dallinger to send in his resignation are not known, except to the members of the council, but it is believed that they have reference to the work of the college, and to the position which it should occupy among the great educational establishments of the country.
1891 : Publication The 7th edition of William Benjamin Carter's The microscope and its revelations was edited and enlarged by Dallinger. It is considered one of his most important contributions to the field of microscopy.
[Biodiversity Heritage Library]
1909 November 8 : Death ¹Whitby Gazette - 1909 November 12
DEATH OF DR. W. H. DALLINGER; PREACHER AND SCIENTIST. The death took place on Monday, at his residence at Lee, Kent, at the age of sixty-seven years, of the Rev. Dr. William Henry Dallinger, F.R.S., the eminent biologist, microscopist, and one of the most eloquent preachers of the Wesleyan Methodist body.
[Some newspapers state that his death was on Sunday night. His age is incorrect in all contemporary reports.]

1 Transcription reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

Managed by Richard Middleton : last updated 2016 July 31