Edward Heron-Allen FRS (1861–1943)
Edward Heron-Allen, a lawyer by profession, was a true polymath with interests covering an extremely wide variety of topics. ‘The beauty and mystery of the foraminifera’, in particular, fascinated him and for nearly 50 years he worked on the group, for most of the time at the Natural History Museum, London, in an unpaid, unofficial capacity. During his scientific career, he published over 70 papers and obtained several fellowships, culminating in 1919 in his election to the Royal Society. Most of this work was undertaken with Arthur Earland (a senior Post Office official), until the collaboration sadly ended in acrimony in the early 1930s. He amassed a very fine collection of mostly recent species and probably one of the finest foraminiferal libraries and archives in the world, which he bequeathed to the Museum in 1926 (and subsequently). These are housed today in a room named in his honour and remain a great source of research potential.