Hunt, Arthur Roope


Published in DA Transactions, 1915.


Mr. Hunt was descended from an old Devonshire family who had resided for generations in or near Dartmouth. He was the son of Mr. Arthur Hunt, a partner in the firm of Messrs. Hunt, Roope and Teage, wine exporters of Oporto, where Arthur Roope Hunt was born on 8th January, 1843, but which place, owing to a revolution endangering the lives of British residents, he left, with his parents, in a British war vessel, when eight or nine years of age. His family settled in Torquay in 1852, and he was educated by the Rev. Townsend Warner, matriculating at Trinity College, Cambridge, at the age of 18, where he took his degree of M.A. in 1864, and was afterwards called to the Bar by the Hon. Society of the Inner Temple, though he never practised. He was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society in 1870, and in 1884 became a Fellow of the Linnean Society.

After spending a few years in the business house of a cousin in London, he settled in Torquay, at Southwood, and devoted himself for the remainder of his life to many and diverse pursuits, but chiefly to those of a scientific nature. His contributions to geological literature were numerous and varied, and among his many writings may be mentioned a series of valuable papers dealing with the age of Dartmoor granites and the Devonshire schists. He was an authority also on the formation of ripple-mark, on coast erosion, and wave-action on sea-beaches and sea-bottoms, and in particular on the raised beaches and the submerged forest of Torbay, and the submarine geology of the English Channel. The products of his fertile pen appeared in the Transactions of the Devonshire Association, in the Geological Magazine, the Journal of the Torquay Natural History Society, in the Proceedings of the Royal Dublin Society, of the Linnean Society, of the British Association, and in the Westminster Review. His first contribution to the Trans. Devon. Assoc, was written in 1873 on some gold coins found, in 1869, at Blackpool, near Dartmouth. Altogether he published nearly one hundred papers in the Transactions of various learned societies, while his letters on scientific and general subjects, which appeared in the Torquay Directory and other newspapers, probably reached several hundreds. His paper on ” Ripple-mark ” was read by Lord Rayleigh before the Royal Society in 1882.

Among his school and college fellows were Lord Rayleigh and Field-Marshal Lord Grenfell, and in manhood he numbered among his most intimate scientific friends, William Pengelly, Philip Henry Gosse, John Edward Lee, E. B. Tawney, Daniel Pidgeon, R. N. Worth, Arthur Champernowne, W. A. E. Ussher, A. J. Jukes-Browne, Alexander Somervail, and the Revs. T. R. R. Stebbing and G. F. Whidborne.

In company with William Pengelly he devoted much time to the exploration of Kent’s Cavern and wrote many papers thereon, and later, with the co-operation of Adam Corrie and W. Bruce-Clarke, he explored the cave at Borness, Kirkcudbrightshire, a description of which, together with six plates from photographs by A. R. Hunt, appears in the Pros. of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. x., 1873-74.

Mr. Hunt became a life member of the Devonshire Association in 1868, and was one of the largest contributors to its Transactions, and one of its most valued members, and the loss his death occasions will be most keenly felt by its members.

But Mr. Hunt’s attainments were not limited to science alone, for he was a clever boat sailer, a good shot and golfer, an enthusiastic musician, an accomplished photographer, and displayed much knowledge of engineering. He had been a member of the Royal Dart Yacht Club, Captain of the Torquay Golf Club, and Captain of the Miniature Rifle Club at Torquay. He was also past President of the Torquay Natural History Society, one of the founders and managers of its museum, and a frequent benefactor, and, on no less than three occasions, he was offered the office of President of the Devonshire Association, an honour which he found himself unable to accept.

Mr. Hunt married Miss Gumbleton, of County Waterford, who survives him together with a son, Mr. C. A. Hunt, barrister-at-law, and Member of the Royal Society of British Artists, and a daughter, who is the wife of Mr. Ernest Smith, the Yorkshire cricketer. Another daughter, Miss Muriel Hunt, famed as a painter of cats, died in 1910.

Mr. A. R. Hunt died on 19 December, 1914, in his 72nd year.

Papers published in DA’s Transactions

Year     Vol. Pages
1873 A. R. Hunt On some Gold Coins found at Blackpool, near Dartmouth, in 1869 6 pt 1 197-199
1877 Arthur Roope Hunt On Some Large Aplysiae Taken in Torbay in 1875 9 400-403
1878 Arthur Roope hunt Notes on Torbay 10 182-195
1878 Arthur Roope Hunt On the Growth of Aplysiae in Torbay 10 611-617
1879 Arthur Roope Hunt On a Granite Block from the Salcombe Fishing Grounds 11 311-318
1880 Arthur R. Hunt Notes on the Submarine Geology of the English Channel off the coast of South Devon 12 291-303
1881 Arthur R. Hunt Notes on the Submarine Geology of the English Channel off the Coast of South Devon. Part II 13 163-172
1881 Arthur Roope Hunt On Exposures of the Submerged Forest Clays at Paignton and Blackpool Beaches in April 1881 13 344-350
1883 Arthur R. Hunt A Reply to a Recent Critique of Notes on the Submarine Geology of the English Channel off the Coast of South Devon. Part II 15 202-210
1883 Arthur R. Hunt Notes on the Submarine Geology of the English Channel off the Coast of South Devon. Part III 15 353-367
1885 A. R. Hunt Notes on the Submarine Geology of the English Channel off the Coast of South Devon. Part IV 17 292-297
1887 Arthur Roope Hunt The Evidence of the Skerries Shoal on the Wearing of Fine Sands by Waves 19 498-515
1888 Arthur Roope Hunt The Raised Beach on the Thatcher Rock: Its Shells and Their Teaching 20 225-253
1889 Arthur R. Hunt On the Age of the Granites of Dartmoor and the English Channel 21 238-260
1889 Arthur R. Hunt Notes on the Submarine Geology of the English Channel off the Coast of South Devon. Part V 21 460-487
1895 A. R. Hunt Professorial and Amateur Research in South Devon 27 243-296
1896 A. R. Hunt West Country Geological Problems 28 507-532
1897 A. R. Hunt West Country Geological Problems 29 390-424
1900 A. R. Hunt “Maister Thomas Hunt, Late Mayor of this Citie of Exeter” [dd 1548] 32 460-490
1902 Arthur R. Hunt Start Point to Petitor, and the Drifting of Shingle 34 482-495
1903 A. R. Hunt Notes and Comments on the Raised Beaches of Torbay and Sharkham Point 35 318-337
1904 A. R. Hunt Thirty-five Years’ Natural History Notes: A Retrospect and Anticipation 36 445-486
1907 Arthur R. Hunt The Ripplemark Controversy [physical effects of sea waves] 39 179-193
1908 A. R. Hunt Tests of Granitic Temperatures 40 264-275
1909 A. R. Hunt Notes on the Crystallising Temperature of Cassiterite 41 290-297
1909 A. R. Hunt An Inclusion of Culm Grit in Coarse Granite 41 320-323
1910 A. R. Hunt Trowlesworthite and Luxulyanite 42 413-419
1911 Arthur R. Hunt Modern Science and Marine Wave-Action 43 293-308
1912 Arthur R. Hunt Advancement of Science, Some General Reflections 44 616-648
1913 A. R. Hunt Torbay and its Raised Beaches 45 377-393
1913 A. R. Hunt On a New Geological Survey of Dartmoor 45 394-408