Obituary: J. E. Cooper, 1864–1952


Extracted from Journal of Conchology, Volume 23 p. 339-341

JAMES EDDOWES COOPER, well known to many conchologists, passed peacefully away in his sleep on 17 August 1952 at his sister's home at Bedford. Born on 5 August 1864, at St. Helier, Jersey, he was the eldest son of James Cooper, of Sidcup, Kent, and his wife Mary Catherine (née Eddowes), of Shrewsbury. He was educated at Victoria College, Jersey, and, when the family moved to England in 1879, at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Cranbrook. He was in business as market clerk and tea-taster to a London firm of tea brokers, retiring in 1926. For some years he lived at Muswell Hill, Highgate, and later with his sisters at Church End, Finchley. He married Elizabeth Ann Austin in December 1920, and they took up residence at Herne Bay on his retirement, until owing to the infirmity of both they went to live with his sister, Mrs. Twamley, at Bedford.

From childhood Cooper was keenly interested in natural history, his specialities being Botany and Recent and Tertiary Conchology. Geology and Entomology were also favoured subjects, and at one time he had a very good collection of butterflies. These interests later gave way to the less energetic hobby of stamp collecting.

The Conchological Society, which he joined in 1892, particularly the London Branch, of which he was secretary for many years, owes a great deal to Cooper’s energy and administration. He was a member of Council and became President of the Society in 1932. Cooper conducted most of the field meetings in the London area and was an assiduous and energetic worker. Sometimes all one could see of him was the lower ends of his legs and a pair of boots protruding from some hedge or herbage, this energy being often rewarded by the find of some unusual or rare form, including more than one sinistral specimen.

Cooper's collection of foreign shells was disposed of some years ago, when some members of the Society were able to acquire groups in which they were specially interested. Cooper then concentrated his attention on the fossil shells of Thanet; a collection of local Eocene shells was given to Herne Bay Museum, and a duplicate set was destined for Canterbury Museum. He also specialized on introduced alien plants, particularly in the home counties of Essex, Middlesex and Buckinghamshire; his herbarium is now in the Botanical Department of the British Museum, and numbers of specimens were also given to the Kew Herbarium.

Many friends will recall the keen and kindly interest shown by Cooper, as well as his unassuming manner in offering help, especially to new and younger members of the Society. All benefited by his experience and success in the field and often by gifts of specimens, for he was generous as well as helpful. It is difficult to realize that his membership of sixty years has now ended.

Some of the above biographical details are due to the kindness of Mrs. Twamley, who made a restful home for her brother and his wife in her own home at Bedford for the last few years. A brief obituary appeared in Proc. Malac. Soc. 29, 215



Journal Of Conchology
1893. Valvata piscinalis monstr. sinistrorsum at Hunstanton, West Norfolk. 7, 174.
Note on Helix pisana in the Channel Islands. 7, 265.
1894. Notes of Dorsetshire marine shells. 7, 435.
1898. Valvata cristata Müll. 9, 119.
1899. Note on Petricola pholadiformis Lam. 9, 243.
1903. Helix pisana var. alba Shuttl. in Guernsey>. 10, 299.
1905. Note on Crepidula fornicata L. 11, 227.
1907. Vertigo moulinsiana in Middlesex. 12, 19.
1908. Vitrea rogersi with pale animal. 12, 138.
1909 Pyramidula rotundata m. sinistrosorum in Bucks. 12 237.
Pisidium supinum A. Schmidt living in the Thames. 12, 294.
Crepidula fornicata L. on the coast of Kent. 12, 315.
(With A. Loydell.) Notes on the Mollusca of the valley of the Colne.12, 326.
1910 Note on decollated shells. 13, 14.
Pisidium supinum A.Schm. in Bucks. 13, 14.
Assiminea grayana in East Suffolk. 13, 14.
Obituary: A. Loydell. 13, 64.
Abnormal radula of Vitrea lucida (Drap). 13, 76.
1911 Paludestrina jenkinsi in Merionethshire. 13, 138.
Pseudanodonta elongata the Thames. 13, 138.
Vertigo substriata Jeffreys in Bucks. 13, 146.
Succinea oblonga in Merionethshire.13, 148.
New county records of Pisidium. 13, 216.
1912. Association of Ancylus fluviatilis and Velletia lacustris. 13, 273.
Variation in Littorina littorea. 13, 340.
1914 Monstrosities of Tapes pullastra and Mactra stultorum. 14, 181.
1918 Physa acuta Drap. in Middlesex. 15, 233.
Paludestrina jenkinsi Smith in Bucks. 15, 274.
1922. Physa heterostropha Say in Middlesex. 16, 308.
1924. Note on Planorbis stoemi. 17, 119.
1927. The rate of growth in Planorbis. 18, 78.
1928. Littorina rudis var. tenebrosa Mont. 18, 204.
1929. Planorbis laevis Alder( = glaber Jeff.) in E. Suffolk. 18, 317.
1931. Amphipeplea glutinosa (Müll.) in East Kent. 19, 113.
Field notes on Helicella virgata da Costa. 19, 148.
Life-history of Myxas glutinosa (Müll.) 19, 180.
1932. Pearls in Mytilus edulis L. 19, 259.
1933. The Mollusca of Chislet marshes. 19, 31.
1934. Oldhaven and Thanet Sand Mollusca of Herne Bay (Presidential Address). 20, 4.
1937. Anodonta in East Kent. 20, 290.
Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London
1895. On Petricola pholadiformis Lam. from Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex. 1, 291 (exhibit).
1896. Note on the occurrence of Petricola pholadiformis Lam. at Shellness, Kent. 2, 134.
1907. Holocene Mollusca from Staines. 7, 310.
1909. (With A. Loydell.) A preliminary list of recent Middlesex Mollusca. 8, 219.
1913. Note on a Holocene deposit at Boveney, Buckinhamshire. 10, 318.
1920. Additions to the list of recent Middlesex Mollusca. 14, 5.
1922. Note on a Holocene deposit at Penton Hook. 15, 35.
1924. Note on Planorbis stroemi Westerlund ( = acronicus Férussac) living in the Thames. 16, 15.
1925. A tentative list of Buckinghamshire Mollusca. 16, 249.
Hardwicke’s Science Gossip
1887. An eligible building site. 189.
1889. Casual and alien plants in north London. 223.
Journal of Botany
1914. Casual plants in Middlesex. 52, 127.