GEORGE DOWKER, F.G.S.
BORN A P R IL 2, 1828. D I ED SEPTEMBER 22, 1899.
THIS well-known Kentish Geologist, Botanist, and Archaeologist,
passed away at Kamsgate on the very day of his return from the
Meeting of the British Association. He was born on April 2, 1828,
at Stourmoutb House, Stourmouth, the home of his father, James
Dowker, and was educated at Sandwich Grammar School; he
afterwards studied farming at Hoddesdon Agricultural College, and
at the age of 30 farmed his own estates. It is probable that an
early love for botany was due to bis schoolmaster, the Rev. J.
Layton, and it is certain that a warm friendship with William
Whifaker turned bis attention seriously to geology. He was
a good antiquary and contributed numerous papers to Arcliaologia
Cantiana, chiefly dealing with Eichborough, Reculvers, Wingham,
and Preston Roman remains, and with the Anglo-Saxon cemetery
at Wickhambreaux. His botanical researches are mainly contained
In " The Flora of Kent," edited by Hanbury & Marshall, and his
geology found expression in the following papers : " On Tertiary
Strata at Bekesbourne," " Water Supply of East Kent," " On the
Junction of the Tertiaries and the Chalk," " Chalk of Thanet,"
'• On the Mouth of the River Stour."
Dowker was a good mioroscopist and was well acquainted with
the pond life of his district. He was President of the Margate
Microscopical Club, a prominent member of the East Kent Natural
History Society, and was its President for several years. He paid
special attention to coast erosion, and contributed a paper on the
subject to the last meeting of the British Association, while one on
Dungeness formed the subject of a recent lecture to the Geologists'
Association of London. Dowker was a good draughtsman; his
fossils found a home some years ago in the Maidstone Museum,
but he leaves a valuable local herbarium. He was a F.G.S. for
thirty-five years, and a member of the Dover Antiquarian Society.
He leaves a widow and nine children to mourn his personal loss ;
but bis death deprives Thanet, and indeed Kent, of an energetic
and devoted servant of science, of a type only too rare in his district.