Rev. Arthur Chas. Waghorne
Newfoundland Botanist. (Tribune 1900 (Christmas) p. 3)
Rev. A.C. Waghorne, a striking engraving of whom appears on page five, was born in London, 1851. He was educated at St. Augustine’s College, Canterbury, and came to Newfoundland in 1875. He held several missions in connection with the Church of England in this country, during which his health became shattered.
Mr. Waghorne was a man of marked personality, truly devoted to his ministerial calling, and an earnest worker in the cause of temperance. He was also a distinguished lover of nature, and in the latter role made for himself an imperishable name. In the study of the Flora of Newfoundland and Labrador, he was untiring and persistent, and became well versed in the whole range of this subject. His investigations, particularly into the mosses, lichens and fungi of this country were first published in the Newfoundland Daily Colonist, and subsequently in the Transactions of the Nova Scotia Institute of Science, 1893, 1895 and 1898. His last paper on the fungi was unfortunately left unpublished. Other papers of his on this subject were read before the Torrey Botanical Club. Altogether, these papers embracing the researches from the labours “of other” botanists and the result of his own observations form the most complete compilation of the Flora of Newfoundland and Labrador ever published, the study of them will enable any lover of nature to admire intelligently the diversified scenery of this country, and to mark its individual and minutest features.
Rev. Mr. Waghorne’s calligraphy was not “loved of the printers.” On asking the editor of the Colonist to publish his notes on the “Flora of Newfoundland” he frankly said he had requested others to insert them in their papers, but they had declined, on the ground that his handwriting was so illegible. On looking over the MSS, the editor, as candidly remarked, he was not in the least surprised, but if left with him he would do the best he could to decipher it. The same matter once engaged the attention of Synod, but that grave and learned body could not solve it.
During a visit to the Bay of Islands in the summer of 1899, the special correspondent of the New York Herald, hearing that the author of notes on “The Flora of Newfoundland” was sick, called on him, and found him reading, resting on a couch placed in the pretty little garden of trees, shrubs and flowers, “surrounding the Church of England parochial residence, which commands an extensive view of the majestic Humber. Mr. Waghorne did not, at first, recognize his visitor, who, after the usual salutations, said: “You have forgotten me.” “I know your voice,” the Rev. Gentleman answered. “I can never forget the Colonist; only for the appreciation and encouragement of whose editor my work, probably, never would have been published. No, I will never forget him.” “Nor will he the MSS. Of the notes on Newfoundland Flora,” was the humorous remark which led to a few minutes pleasant conversation on the subject on which Mr. Waghorne was an enthusiast. Though cheerful, bright and sanguine, he was evidently in the last stages of consumption. He went to Jamaica, the same fall, in hope of recovering, and died there on the 11th of April in this present year.
Over twenty boxes of botanical specimens of Newfoundland, collected by Rev. Mr. Waghorne are stored in a private residence in Bay of Islands. His sickness prevented him from classifying them. They should be secured for the St. John’s Museum.
Among his correspondents Mr. Waghorne numbered some of the greatest scientists in both hemispheres: Dr. Trelease of St. Louis; Dr. Robinson of Harvard; Dr. Eaton of Yale; Mr. Coville of Washington; Professor Malcolm, and of the leading botanists in Sweden, Germany, France and England.