Nina Frances Layard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Nina Frances Layard (Stratford, Essex 1853 – 12 August 1935, Ipswich) was an English poet, prehistorian, archaeologist and antiquary who made many important discoveries, and by winning the respect of contemporary academics helped to establish a role for women in her field of expertise. She was one of the first four women to be admitted as Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, in the first year of admission, and was admitted Fellow of the Linnean Society in the second year of women's admission. In 1921 she was the first woman to be President of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia.[1]

Family connections[edit]

Nina Layard was the fourth child of Charles Clement Layard and his wife Sarah, née Somes. Her father was first cousin (on his father's side) of Sir Austen Henry Layard (excavator of Nineveh and Nimrud), Edgar Leopold Layard (Curator of the South African Museum at Cape Town, and Governor of Fiji), and of Lady Charlotte Guest (translator of the Mabinogion and collector of ceramics). Nina's grandfather Brownlow Villiers Layard was aide-de-camp and afterwards (1802) private chaplain to the Duke of Kent (and brother of the Governors of Malta and Curaçao and of Lady Lindsey), and was the son of a Dean of Bristol and grandson of the accoucheur Daniel Peter Layard. C. C. Layard was also first cousin (on his mother's side) of Lady Llanover (of the Welsh cultural revival), being the son of Louisa Port, sister of Georgiana (favoured grandniece of Mrs Delany and companion of Fanny Burney), and therefore a descendant of Bernard Granville of Calwich and of Sir Richard Grenville of 'The Revenge'. Nina Layard's mother Sarah Somes was sister of the MPs Samuel Somes and Joseph Somes, who in the 1830s were the largest ship-owners in London and held contracts for convict shipping to Australia. Nina Layard was a sister of the essayist and litterateur George Somes Layard, and therefore the aunt of John Willoughby Layard, psychologist and anthropologist.


  1. ^ "History of the Prehistoric Society | The Prehistoric Society". Retrieved 2017-02-21.  horizontal tab character in |title= at position 39 (help)


  • S.J. Plunkett 1994, 'Nina Layard, Hadleigh Road and Ipswich Museum 1905-1908', Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology 38, 164–192. (Incomplete scan, first pages missing).
  • S.J. Plunkett 1994, Guardians of the Gipping: Anglo-Saxon Treasures from Hadleigh Road, Ipswich (Ipswich Borough Council 1994).
  • S.J. Plunkett 1995, 'Nina Layard and the Sub-Crag committee of 1910', in A. Longcroft and R. Joby (Eds), East Anglian Studies — Essays presented to J C Barringer (Norwich, Marwood), 211–222.
  • S.J. Plunkett 1997, 'Hamlet Watling 1818-1908: artist and antiquary', Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology 39, 48–75.
  • S.J. Plunkett 1999, 'Nina Frances Layard, Prehistorian (1835-1953)', in W Davies and R Charles (Eds), Dorothy Garrod and the Progress of the Palaeolithic: Studies in the palaeolithic archaeology of the Near East and Europe (Oxford: Oxbow), 242–262. ISBN 1-900188-87-2.
  • M. White and S.J. Plunkett, 2005, Miss Layard Excavates: a Palaeolithic site at Foxhall Road, Ipswich, 1903–1905 (Western Academic and Specialist Press: Liverpool). ISBN 0-9535418-8-6.
  • S.J. Plunkett, 'Layard, Nina Frances (1853–1935), poet and archaeologist', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.