Howes, Thomas George Bond (DNB12)

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HOWES, THOMAS GEORGE BOND (1853–1905), zoologist, born at Kennington on 7 Sept. 1853, of Huguenot descent, was eldest son of Thomas Johnson Howes by his wife Augusta Mary, daughter of George Augustus Bond, captain in the East India Company's service. After private education, he was introduced to Professor Huxley in 1874 as a good draughtsman and keen naturalist. For five years he assisted in the development of Huxley's practical instruction in biology at the Normal School of Science and Royal School of Mines (now Royal College of Science), and in 1880 succeeded T. J. Parker as demonstrator of biology at the Royal School of Mines. In 1885 Howes was made an assistant professor of zoology at the Normal School of Science, and on the retirement of Huxley in 1895 was appointed first professor of zoology at the Royal College of Science, South Kensington. He held this appointment at the time of his death on 4 Feb. 1905. In 1881 Howes married Annie, daughter of James Watkins, and had one daughter. His widow was awarded a civil list pension of 50l. in 1905.

Howes excelled as a teacher and colleague. The thoroughness of the training in biology at South Kensington was largely due to his knowledge and zeal. His reading in zoological literature was very wide and was freely dispensed to all who sought his advice. He devoted much time and energy to founding or extending the work of societies that promote natural knowledge, and he occupied a responsible position on most of the London societies. At the Belfast meeting of the British Association in 1902 Howes was president of section D (zoology). His skill as a draughtsman was great, and the work by which he is best known to students, 'Atlas of Elementary Biology' (1885), was entirely illustrated from his own drawings; the zoological part was revised as 'Atlas of Elementary Zootomy' (1902); another well-known text-book, Huxley and Martin's 'Elementary Biology ' (1875), was issued in a revised form by Howes in conjunction with Dr. Dukinfield Scott in 1888.

As an investigator, Howes dealt chiefly with the comparative anatomy of the vertebrata, to the knowledge of which he made many contributions, his chief memoir being an account, written in collaboration with Dr. H. H. Swinnerton, of the development of the skeleton of the rare Norfolk Island reptile, 'Sphenodon' (Trans. Zool. Soc. 1901). He was elected F.R.S. in 1897, LL.D. St. Andrews in 1898, and D.Sc. Manchester, 1899.

[Proc. Roy. Soc. 79, B. 1907; Nature, vol. 71, 1905, p. 419; Proc. Linn. Soc, Oct. 1905, p. 34; private sources.]

F. W. G.