Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society

    Charles Gabriel Seligman died from infective endocarditis in a nursing home at Oxford on 19 September 1940. He was bom in London on 24 December 1873, the only child of Hermann and Olivia (née Mendez da Costa) Seligmann. (He dropped the last letter of his surname after 1914.) His interests in natural science became early manifest: while still at a preparatory school, he began to collect butterflies and, at the house of a boy friend, carried out chemical experiments. He then entered St Paul’s School, but the education he received there was far from congenial to him. Lonely and unhappy at home, reserved and discontented at school, he would often play truant to satisfy his growing interests in animal and plant life, spending his time collecting, dissecting and reading. His mother, an invalid, would sometimes remove him from St Paul’s to spend a term with her at a seaside resort. On these occasions he educated himself by reading widely in the local public library. When he was about sixteen years old he lost his father, and his mother died not long after. On her death an uncle, his guardian, arranged for him to be housed in a family of relatives between whom and himself unfortunately there existed little affection or sympathy. He formed friendships with far older men who encouraged him in his tastes, notably with the late F. M. Halford, an ardent amateur microscopist and the most distinguished dry-fly fisherman of his day.


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