William Patterson

Life
1835-1918 [var. William Hugh; W. H. Patterson]; b. Belfast, ed. Belfast Acad. Institution, and QUB, worked from sixteen in family linen business; fnd. member Belfast Naturalist Field Club, and Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society; President of both societies; MRIA, RHArchaeol. Assoc. of Ireland; Hon. Sec. Ulster Soc. for Prev. of Cruelty to Animals; exhibited paintings Belf. Arts Soc.; published A Bibliography of Anglo-Irish Dialects and A Glossary of Words and Phrases used in Antrim and Down [London: Trubner 1880), 118pp.

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Commentary
[Q. auth.,], Linenhall Review, article on W. H. Patterson et al.: member of Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club, issed glossary of Antrim and Down dialect (A Glossary of Words in use in the Counties of Antrim and Down, 1880); his daughter Clara M. Patterson took a long sequence of photographs of local children playing traditional games. The club formed a BNFC committee for Ulster, starting with a lecture by F. J. Bigger on ‘Local Folk-Lore’; on 1 Nov 1893, Yeats addressed them on folklore, the folk and their relationship to poetry, calling Homer, Sophocles, Virgil, Shakespeare, et al., products of folktalks from which ‘rose up a gentle and harmonious influence which filled all their poetry like a far-off murmur of fairy bells.’ In subsequent ventures Clara and the photographer Robert Welch organised photographic records; Prof. A. C. Haddon (‘soon it would be too late’) from Dublin revisited; Hyde lectured on Celtic language and literature in Nov. 1894. The Patterson family had been associated with cultural activities since the early century, when Robert Patterson (1802-1872) participated with Dr. Drennan in founding the Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society; Patterson wrote The Insects Mentioned in Shakespeare (1838), and On the Study of Natural History as a Branch of General Education (1840), then then hugely popular schoobooks Zoology for Schools (2 Pats., 1846-48), and First Steps to Zoology. He married Mary Elizabeth Ferrar, dg. Belfast magistrate, whose father in turn was John Ferrar, printer of Limerick Chronicle and author of The History of Limerick (1787), and A Tour from Dublin to London (1796). Other marriages connected the family with Francis Ward of the firm Marcus Ward; William Emlius Praeger, whose son was Robert Lloyd Praeger, author of 25 books. (q. auth. Linenhall Review, Winter 1993).

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References
Kate Newmann, Dictionary of Ulster Biography (Belfast: QUB/IIS 1993) lists Robert Patterson (1802-1872), RIA; FRS, author of Zoology for Schools, &c.; and Robert Lloyd Patterson (1836-1906); President of Chamber of Commerce, and recurrent President of Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society; knighted 1902; The Birds, Fishes, and Cetecea of Belfast Lough; bequeathed art collection to Belfast city.

Hyland Books (Cat.1997) lists Belfast Natural History & Philosophical Society Proceedings & Reports; 1930-2, 1934-45, 1948-50, 1959-70, 1977-82 [19 issues plus spare 1949-50] [75].

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