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Mennell, Henry Tuke (1835 - 1923)

Henry Tuke Mennell was a prominent Quaker naturalist with broad interests including botany and conchology. He was born in Scarborough but spent much of his adult life working as a tea dealer in Croydon.
Henry and his brother Samuel Tuke Meynell/Mennell married the two daughters of the celebrated naturalist Edward Newman (1801 - 1876).
An obituary appeared in 1924 Journal of Botany 62 81-82.


1835 Birth - Scarborough
1851 Census - York
1861 Census - Newcastle-upon Tyne
1868 Tower House, Croydon
1871 Census - Southbro' Villa, Croydon
1911 Census - Red House, Croydon
1923 Death - Red House, Croydon


Additional links

Natstand family document - pedigree of the wider Mennell/Meynell family. Shows links to the Tukes of York and the Newmans of
The Herbaria@Home project has catalogued over 250 of H T Mennell's botanical
The Fenscore database documents the specimens collected by H T Mennell held by various museums,


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1835 June 19 : Birth Birth of Henry Tuke Mennell, son of George Mennell, draper of Scarborough, and his wife Hannah recorded at the Monthly Meeting of Pickering (Quaker Records)
1868 May 14 : Marriage ¹Newcastle Journal - 18868 May 16
MARRIAGES. At the Friend’s Meeting House, Peckham, on the 14th inst., Henry Tuke Mennell, of Tower House, Croydon, and St. Dunstan’s Buildings, London (formerly of Newcastle-upon-Tyne), to Maria Bradley, eldest daughter of Edward Newman, of Peckham.
[Maria's father was the noted naturalist Edward Newman (1801 - 1876)]
1877 November :
Exhibits fossils
¹ Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter - 1877 December 1
THE MICROSCOPICAL CLUB SOIREE, Wednesday evening this annual gathering, which is anticipated with pleasure by a large and influential section of the residents of Croydon and neighbourhood, was held, and passed off well in every respect. The Croydon Microscopical and Natural History Club, the latter part of which title has been added comparatively recently ... Fossil shells from the lower tertiary Woolwich beds on Park-hill were shown by Mr. H. J[sic]. Mennell, who courteously supplied inquirers with information relative thereto.
1884 : Montreal Henry attended the British Association meeting in Montreal and took advantage of the free rail transport to the Rocky Mountains that was offered to the delegates.
1885 : Publication Across Canada to the Rocky Mountains from a botanist's point of view. York.
1923 December 9 : Death Henry Tuke Mennell died at the Red House, Croydon.
¹Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - 1923 December 12
Mr. Henry Tuke Mennell, whose death has occurred at Croydon at the age of 88, was one of the grand old men of the Society of Friends. Born at Scarborough in 1835, he was at Bootham School, York, from 1846 to 1850, when he joined the tea and cocoa manufacturing business of Messrs. Tuke and Co., at Castlegate. Shortly afterwards this was sold to Mr. H. I. Rowntree. After a time in London, Mr. Mennell joined his father in a Newcastle coal and coke business. This involved relations with the Consett Ironworks, which was closely connected with the Northumberland and Durham Bank. The latter was known to be in a precarious position, and Henry was sent to watch the bank instead of attending the Quakers' quarterly meeting. As a result he was the first to bring news that payment was suspended.
In 1862 he took over the tea business of Messrs. Tuke and Co., with which he was associated until the end of his life. He was an enthusiastic and highly efficient botanist and conchologist, and up the age of 70 was an active climber. Quaker concerns were very near to his heart. In 1870 he was one of those who volunteered to take relief to sufferers in the Franco-Prussian war, and he was a distributor of relief, both at Metz and Paris. In 1881 he did similar work with Mr. James Hack Tuke, of York, to sufferers in Donegal, in whose condition Friends were interested.
His memory is, however, particularly associated with Quaker educational work. He was in succession secretary, chairman, and treasurer of the Friends' Central Education Committee, He was trustee and treasurer of the Flounders' Institution, and a member of the Ackworth School Committee, and of the Croydon and Saffron Walden School Committee. On Quaker trusts, educational and otherwise, was the standing authority.
Mr. Mennell's second son is Mr. George H. Mennell, well known for a long time as a York City Councillor, and chairman the Parks Committee. Mr. Robert O. Mennell is secretary of the York Old Scholars' Association, which deals with the alumni of Bootham School the Mount.

1 Transcription reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

Managed by Richard Middleton : last updated 24 February 2018