William Spotswood Green

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William Spotswood Green CB (1847 – 22 April 1919[1]) was an Irish naturalist, specialized on marine biology.

Born at Youghal and educated at Trinity College in Dublin,[2] he was ordained a priest in 1873. Already before he left the services of the Church in 1890, he had worked on marine biology. In the 1880s, he participated as a leading member in several research expeditions sponsored by the Royal Irish Academy. In 1892, he became the Inspector of Fisheries. Combined with this work he was a Commissioner on the Congested Districts Board, where his intimate knowledge of human conditions in western Ireland was of great service. In 1914 he shook off the trammels of office, and retired to Westcove House, Caherdaniel, County Kerry. There he died five years later.[3]

Green was also a member of the English Alpine Club and became a mountain climber well-known especially in Canada and New Zealand.[4] In 1882, he attempted with two Swiss guides a first ascent of Mount Cook in New Zealand, but the party was forced back by bad weather shortly before they reached the top.[5] At a dinner in their honour he proposed the "founding of a New Zealand Alpine Club", which eventually occurred in 1891. In the late 1880s Green did survey work in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, including the first ascent of Mount Bonney in 1888.

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ N.N.: "Obituary: William Spotswood Green", The Geographical Journal 55(1) (January 1920), pp. 70–71. Published by the Royal Geographical Society.
  2. ^ Fallon, N.: The Armada in Ireland, Wesleyan University Press 1978. ISBN 0-8195-5028-0.
  3. ^ N.N.: [1], . URL last accessed 2014-02-24.
  4. ^ Biographical Etymology of Marine Organism Names – G. URL last accessed 2007-10-31.
  5. ^ N.N.: Mount Cook - near ascent 1882, South Canterbury NewZealandGenWeb Project. URL last accessed 2007-10-31.