Haines, Henry Haselfoot (1867-1945)

Henry Haselfoot Haines was the fifth child of Frederick Haines and Laura Ann Tweed.  His father, Frederick was a trustee of Shakespeare’s birthplace.  His grandfather was William Haines, the artist. Henry was educated at University College School.  He then trained as a forester at the Royal Engineering College at Cooper’s Hill, Surrey (established by Schlich to prepare people for the Indian Forestry service).

Haines was ‘posted’ to Calcutta late in 1888, and was sent to Darjeeling.  Through 1888 & 1899, he served in various forestry divisions in this area. In 1899, he was transferred to the south of the Ganges – first working on plans for the Singhbhum forests and then was in charge of the forests.  His transfer to the Singhbhum brought him in contact with plants and trees that he did not know, and this period saw the start of his personal herbarium – which was annotated copiously with his observations. When it was time for his leave, he visited other districts of Chota Nagpur – collecting diligently.

In 1905, Haines was sent to Dehra Dun to act as Deputy Director of the Imperial Forest School, and then Imperial Forest botanist. This allowed him some time to work on the specimens that he had collected. He continued as Principal of the Imperial Forestry College until 1907, when he obtained leave and sort help and advice with his ‘taxonomic difficulties’ at Kew. After this period of leave, he returned to India and continued to work on the Forest Flora of Chota Nagpur, which was published in Calcutta. After a short spell in Burma, in 1914 he was appointed Conservator of Forests (Behar and Orissa).  He collected specimens and materials during this last period of service for his ‘Flora of Behar and Orissa

He clearly appreciated some of the effects of ‘deforestation’ – see http://mhj.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/10/1-2/143.pdf from which the following quote is taken

‘H.H. Haines, recording the forest flora of Chota Nagpur in 1910, noted that the larger plateau of the region was under cultivation and in the dry season was a monotonous expanse of dried up fields with scarcely any vegetation, while the once jungle-covered scarps had been reduced to a state of scrub……

which in turn derives from his Forest Flora of Chota Nagpur.

In 1919, he took some leave prior to retirement and took up residence in the Royal Botanic Garden in Calcutta,  using the time to work on his collections. He  returned to England and Kew to complete ‘The Flora of Behar and Orissa’, which appeared in six parts in 1921 and 1922.  It is a complete flora; in that it includes all the plants of interest to foresters, not just trees  (unlike some floras published previously). He gave his collections to Kew (many of these can be viewed on line). When he retired, the Indian Government made him a Companion of the Indian Empire.

He bought a house and land overlooking Wimborne (Dorset), but seemingly was not happy there.    He moved to Berriew, near Montgomery, and on a larger property he resumed the planting of the trees he loved.  He died in 1945.

Details above provided by the obituary of H Haselfoot Haines in the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, 1947, 158, p 68-70 by I H Burkill.

Some of Haines’ work can be downloaded from www.archive.org for example,

A Forest Flora of Chota Nagpur.

Details of sheets associated with H H Haines can be found at the Herbaria@Home project ; however, they do not appear to be in his handwriting, so are perhaps best described as ex herb H H Haines.  Other members of the Haines (and Tweed) family have made significant contributions to botany and natural history.

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3 Responses to Haines, Henry Haselfoot (1867-1945)

  1. Chris says:

    Any information that you come across would be most interesting .

  2. mahendra kardam says:

    I am looking for records that can pinpoint the residence of HH Haines in Ranchi, Jharkhand,India.

  3. Pingback: The roots of forestry in the U.K. | Woodlands.co.uk

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