Horace Byatt

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Horace Archer Byatt
Horace Archer Byatt.png
Sir Horace (Archer) Byatt by Bassano. Whole-plate glass negative, 15 August 1922
Commissioner of British Somaliland
In office
July 1911 – 1914
Preceded by William Henry Manning
Succeeded by Geoffrey Francis Archer
Governor of Tanganyika
In office
22 July 1920 – 20 July 1922
Preceded by Heinrich Schnee
(German East Africa)
Succeeded by Donald Cameron
Governor of Trinidad and Tobago
In office
22 November 1924 – 1929
Preceded by Samuel Herbert Wilson
Succeeded by Alfred Claud Hollis
Personal details
Born 22 March 1875
Tottenham, Middlesex, United Kingdom
Died 8 April 1933(1933-04-08) (aged 58)
London, United Kingdom
Spouse(s) Olga Margaret Campbell

Sir Horace Archer Byatt GCMG (22 March 1875[1] – 8 April 1933)[2] was a British colonial governor. In the early part of his career he served in Nyasaland, British Somaliland, Gibraltar and Malta. Later, he served in British East Africa, becoming the first governor of the British mandate of Tanganyika. He was then the governor of Trinidad and Tobago.


Byatt was born 22 March 1875 in Tottenham, Middlesex to school teacher Horace Byatt M.A., of Midhurst, Sussex (where he taught H. G. Wells at Midhurst Grammar School)[3] and Laura (née Archer).[4] He attended Lincoln College, Oxford, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1898.[4] Following university, he began a career in the Colonial Service. In 1898 he began working in Nyasaland (what is now Malawi), and in 1905, he went to British Somaliland. He was appointed commissioner and commander-in-chief of British Somaliland in 1911, serving until 1914, when he became Colonial Secretary in Gibraltar.[4] From 1914 to 1916 he was lieutenant-governor and Colonial Secretary of Malta. [5]

From 1916 he was an administrator in British East Africa, and in 1920 he became the first governor of the new British mandate of Tanganyika.[6] In Tanganyika he was responsible for the transfer of power between the Germans and the British, following World War I. Byatt was noted as a liberal governor with sympathies towards African interests.[7] He was governor and commander in chief of Trinidad and Tobago between 1924 and 1929.[8]

Personal life[edit]

He married Olga Margaret Campbell of Argyll in 1924 and they had three sons[9]:

Horace Byatt died 8 April 1933 in London, aged 58.[4]

Byatt's Bush Squirrel (Paraxerus vexillarius var. byatti), a rodent endemic to Tanzania, was named after Byatt.[12]