Henry Haselfoot Haines

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Henry Haselfoot Haines (1867-1945)

Henry Haselfoot Haines was the fifth child of Frederick Haines and Laura Ann Tweed; Frederick was a trustee of Shakespeare's birthplace. His grandfather was William Haines, the artist. He was educated at University College School, and then trained as a forester at the Royal Engineering College at Cooper’s Hill, Surrey (established by Schlich to prepare people for the Indian Forestry service). Haines arrived in Calcutta late in 1888, and was sent to Darjeeling. Through 1888 & 1899, he served in various forestry divisions in this area. In 1899, he was transferred to the south of the Ganges - first working on plans for the Singhbhum forests and then in charge of the forests.

His transfer to the Singhbhum brought him in contact with plants and trees that he did not know, and this period saw the start of his personal herbarium - which was annotated copiously with his observations. When it was time for his leave, he visited other districts of Chota Nagpur - collecting diligently.

In 1905, Haines was sent to Dehra Dun to act as Deputy Director of the Imperial Forest School, and then, Imperial Forest botanist. This allowed him some time to work on the specimens that he had collected. He continued as Principal of the imperial Forest College until 1907, when he obtained leave and sought help and advice with his 'taxonomic difficulties' to Kew. After this period of leave, he returned to India and continued to work on the Forest Flora of Chota Nagpur, which was published in Calcutta. After a short spell in Burma, in 1914 he was appointed Conservator of Forests (Behar and Orissa). He collected materials during this last period of service for his “Flora of Behar and Orissa’

He clearly appreciated some of the effects of ‘deforestation’ (see "Famine in Bengal: A Comparison of the 1770 Famine in Bengal and the 1897 Famine in Chotanagpur", Vinita Damodaran, The Medieval History Journal (2007) 10, 143.) from whence the following quote is taken “H.H. Haines, recording the forest flora of Chota Nagpur in 1910, noted that the larger plateau of the region was under cultivation and in the dry season was a monotonous expanse of dried up fields with scarcely any vegetation, while the once jungle-covered scarps had been reduced to a state of scrub.”, which in turn derives from his ‘Forest Flora of Chota Nagpur’).

In 1919, he took some leave prior to retirement and took up residence in the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta using the time to work on his collections. He then returned to England (and Kew) to complete ‘The Flora of Behar and Orissa’ - which appeared in six parts from 1921 onwards. It is a complete flora – in that it includes all the plants not just trees and those of interest to foresters (unlike some others published previously). He gave his collections to Kew (many of these can be viewed on line). When he retired, the Indian Government made him a ‘Companion of the Indian Empire’.

He bought a house and land overlooking Wimborne (Dorset), but was not content here. He did not like the management strategies employed in the New Forest - particularly the management of streams and drainage of hollows. He moved to Berriew, near Montgomery (SJ192005), and on this larger property he resumed the planting of the trees he loved. He died in 1945.

In the 'Botany of Bihar and Orissa', Haines writes as follows "For the preparation of the Index to the Flora grateful thanks are tendered to my niece Miss Sylvia Haines and her sisters". His brother was Frederick Haselfoot Haines. (The other daughters of F.H. Haines were Gladys Mary and Rowena Mabel).

Details provided by the Obituary of H. Haselfoot Haines in the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, 1947, 158, p 68-70 by I.H. Burkill. Some of Haines’s work can be downloaded from archive.org [1] for example, A Forest Flora of Chota Nagpur.

Some examples of his handwriting / labels are to be found below :

Image:haines.jpg Image:HHH6.jpg


information included from the herbariaunited database

Collection activity by county

1882

1944

VC4
VC5, VC6, VC9
VC11, VC12, VC13
VC14
VC29
VC7, VC34
VC36, VC39, VC40, VC42, VC43, VC47, VC48
VC70


Examples of handwriting

 

Search for specimens collected by Henry Haselfoot Haines.

references and external links


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