Tempest Anderson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tempest Anderson
Portrait of a balding middle-age man with grey hair and beard, wearing a dark overcoat over a blue jacket and white shirt.
Portrait of Tempest Anderson by Irish artist William Orpen. It currently resides in the Yorkshire Museum's Tempest Anderson Hall.
Born Tempest Anderson
(1846-12-07)7 December 1846
Died 26 August 1913(1913-08-26) (aged 66)
Red Sea
Nationality British
Alma mater St Peter's School, York
University College London
Honorary degree from the University of Leeds
Occupation Ophthalmic surgeon
Organization President of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society
Known for Early amateur photography, vulcanology and gifting the Tempest Anderson Hall to the Yorkshire Philosophical Society.

Tempest Anderson (7 December 1846 – 26 August 1913[1]) was an ophthalmic surgeon at York County Hospital in the United Kingdom, and an expert amateur photographer and vulcanologist. He was a member of the Royal Society Commission which was appointed to investigate the aftermath of the eruptions of Soufriere volcano, St Vincent and Mont Pelee, Martinique, West Indies which both erupted in May 1902. Some of his photographs of these eruptions were subsequently published in his book, Volcanic Studies in Many Lands.[2]

He was born in York, and studied medicine at the University of London.[3] His father was William Charles Anderson, surgeon and Sheriff of York. His sister Constance married Percy Sladen, and his brother was Yarborough Anderson, a barrister.

In 1904 Anderson received an honorary degree of DSc from the University of Leeds. He was President of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, and in 1912 he presented the society with a 300-seat lecture theatre (the Tempest Anderson Hall) attached to the Yorkshire Museum in York Museum Gardens.[4] This was one of the world's first concrete buildings.

Anderson lived at the family home[5] of 17 Stonegate in the centre of York.[6] He built a pair of houses on the road now known as Moorgate, on land purchased from the Holgate Garden Society.[citation needed] He died on board ship on the Red Sea while returning from visiting the volcanoes of Indonesia and the Philippines. He was buried in Suez, Egypt. After his death, the houses he had built were left to his cousin, Colonel Fearnley Anderson.[citation needed]. He also bequeathed a substantial sum to the Yorkshire Museum.[7]

In 1911 Anderson was made one of the vice-presidents of the Old Peterite Club at St Peter's School, York.[8] It is unclear whether Anderson was definitely an alumnus or this was through his connection to George Yeld, his exploration partner and a master at the school.

Mexico, Guatemala and the West Indies[edit]

Tempest Anderson spent nine months in Mexico, Guatemala and the West Indies in 1906/1907. He travelled to Mexico to attend the 10th Congres Geologique International before sailing by mail steamer to Guatemala to study the after effects of the 1902 earthquake and subsequent tidal wave. During the trip he observed and photographed Cerro Quemado, Santa Maria, and Atitlan.[9] During this trip he collected first hand accounts of the 1902 eruption of the Santa Maria and the immediate aftermath. Captain Saunders of the Pacific Mail Steamer S.S. Newport observed the eruption cloud which rose to a great height. The Captain measured it using a sextant and recorded it as reaching 17 to 18 miles. The sounds accompanying the eruption were loud and were heard even louder at more distant places than close to the mountain. The eruption was heard as far away as Guatemala City, the noises so strong, they were assumed to come from neighbouring volcanoes.[9]


  1. ^ Who's Who 1914, p. xxi
  2. ^ Tempest Anderson (1903) Volcanic Studies in Many Lands, London, John Murray, 202pp
  3. ^ Pyrah, Barbara, ed. (1988), History of the Yorkshire Museum, p. 110 
  4. ^ Suthren, R. J. (2004). "Anderson, Tempest (1846–1913)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 3 December 2007. 
  5. ^ Jim Spriggs (2013). "Dr Tempest Anderson (1846–1913)". Yorkshire Philosophical Society. Yorkshire Philosophical Society. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Records for Dr. Tempest Anderson". Exhibitions of the Royal Photographic Society 1870–1915. De Montfort University. 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Pyrah, Barbara, ed. (1988), History of the Yorkshire Museum, p. 129 
  8. ^ "The Old Peterite Club Annual Meeting" (PDF). The Peterite 21 (201): 570. July 1911. 
  9. ^ a b Anderson, Tempest (1908). The Volcanoes of Guatemala. London: The Royal Geographical Society. pp. 473–489. 

Further reading[edit]

Media related to Images from the Tempest Anderson Collection at Wikimedia Commons