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Mrs Horatia Katharine Frances Eden
Dates: British, 1846 - 1945
Biographical Account:

Horatia Katharine Frances Eden (nee Gatty) was the 4th child of the noted marine biologist, Margaret Gatty.   It is often said that of all of Margaret Gatty's children, Horatia was most similar to her.  She shared her mother's passion for marine biology more than any of her siblings and was an active member of the Sheffield Naturalists Club.  When Margaret died in 1873, her collection of marine animals and plants was bequeathed to Horatia.  She also took over editorship of her mother's magazine, Aunt Judy's Tales and expanded the 'Aunt Judy's Club' which had hitherto only supplied material to London hospitals, to produce clothes for the Sheffield hospitals too.  Over the following 40 years, Horatia added to the collection, continued to attend lectures on the subject and corresponded with professional naturalists all over the world.

Horatia married Thomas Bainbridge Eden in 1889.  Thomas was the headmaster at Hillbrow School, in Rugby, where the too would live together.  Eden was 11 years her junior, and the marriage was apparently marred by controversy and scandal.  In 1908, Eden was dismissed from Hillbrow for inappropriate behaviour.  After the scandal, which was hushed up as much as was possible, Eden officially retired with Horatia to a house in London.

Horatia donated some of the Gatty collections in 1877, shortly after the founding of Weston Park Museum.  In 1909, the centenary of her mother's birth, Horatia donated a large portion of  her collection, including 12 type specimens, even though she was no longer living in Sheffield.  She continued her relationship with the curator at the museum and donated another large quantity of material in 1926.  She was also involved in the decision to transfer the type material to the natural history museum in the 1930s.  Horatia died in 1945 and bequeathed the rest of her collection to Sheffield Museums


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