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Tracing the disparate ancestries of four great families

George Parker Bidder III

George Parker Bidder III

Male 1863 - 1953  (90 years)

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  • Name George Parker Bidder III 
    Born 21 May 1863  Kensington, London Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Census 1871  Cedars Road, Clapham, Surrey Find all individuals with events at this location 
    age 7, son 
    Education 1876 to 1881  Harrow Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Harrow School 
    Education 1881  London Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Kings College 
    University 1882 to 1886  University of Cambridge Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Trinity College 
    Died 31 Dec 1953 
    • The Times 1 Jan 1954
      DR. G. P. BIDDER
      Dr. G. P. Bidder, for many years president of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, died yesterday after a short illness at the age of 90. George Parker Bidder was the son of G. P. Bidder, Q.C., and the grandson of the G. P. Bidder whose remarkable powers in mental arithmetic eamed him fame as the " calculating boy " in the early years of the last century. G. P. Bidder the third was born on May 21. 1863, educated' at a private school at Brighton and afterwards, between 1876 and 1881, at Harrow. On leaving Harrow, after studying for a year at King's College, London, he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he remained till 1886. In 1886 he was granted a place at the Cambridge table at the Naples Aquarium. There, and at Cambridge and Plymouth, he was largely engaged in research till his marriage, in 1899, to Miss Marion Greenwood, herself a scientist of very considerable distinction, who died in 1932. In 1902 he made his home at Cambridge. But Bidder had not spent all his time at Naples doing research in marine biology. In 1889 he purchased the hotel in which he was staying, renamed it "Parker's Hotel " and ran it for a considerable time as padrone.
      AUTHORITY ON SPONGES
      In scientific matters Bidder was an authority on sponges and made several important contributions to the literature of this group of animals. It was, however, in the more general field of marine biology that he rendered his most notable services to the progress of science; most of the major developments in this field of biology during the last 40 years owe their success to his foresight and support. It was due to his persistent energy that the disastrous effect of the last war on the great marine station at Naples was made good. His encouragement and support played a most important role in the development of the laboratory at Plymouth and other centres of research, and he was a true friend to his own university, which owes to him many gifts- not the least of which was the fund enabling biological students to visit Naples. It was due to him that a trawler was provided for research in the North Sea and pro- vision made available at critical moments for the development of new aspects of marine biology, while in later years he spent the winter months at Plymouth, remaining there during some of its most intense air raids, in- different to personal danger but doing all he could to assist the staff of the damaged laboratory. Active encouragement and generous financial aid were Bidder's natural response to any appeal for help: with almost unerring instinct he applied his support at the right moment. WIDE SCIENTIFIC INTERESTS
      In 1939 he became president of the Marine Biological Association and he was vice-president of the Linnean Society in 1924 and 1931. In 1927 he was president of the Zoological Section of the British Association, and also chairman of the Meeting of British Zoologists. In 1916 he became a Doctor of Science. His scientific interests were wide; for many years he took an active part in biological discussions, and when he spoke the meeting was seldom dull. But it would be wrong to write of him as though his interests were confined to science. He was in politics an unchanging Liberal, and his mind and culture were liberal in the more fundamental use of the tern. Harrow under Dr. Butler, a cultivated home and an active literary gift had given him a wide command of literature, a very varied experience, including such diverse roles as managing director and chairman of Cannock Chase Colliery and hotel-keeper at Naples had given him a still wider knowledge of life. Possibly a certain diffuseness of mind, a certain fancifulness in speculation prevented his ability from being as productive as it might have been, though it must be remembered that some of the most critical years of his life were stolen from him by serious illness. But perhaps he brought to the service of humanity and of science qualities rarer and more important than those which have given other men greater reputations. For the timely help and wise advice which he gave to many, both scientists and non-scientists, were guided by unusually understanding sympathy, and were completely unselfish. These qualities had as their natural symbol his unfailing and distinguished courtesy; and that also helped to give its characteristic style to that sturdy bearded figure with white tie, Inverness cape, and quite unconsciously patrician bearing, whose departure many men and women in all branches of study and in all ranks of society will now most sorely regret.
    Person ID I3030  Potter
    Last Modified 14 Sep 2009 

    Father George Parker Bidder II, QC,   b. Aug 1836, Brampton, Middlesex Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Feb 1896, Queen Anne's Mansions, Westminster, London Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 59 years) 
    Mother Anna McClean,   b. 1839, Westminster, London Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Mar 1910, Kensington, London Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Family ID F1166  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Spouse Marion Greenwood,   b. 24 Aug 1862, Oxenhope, Yorkshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1932  (Age 69 years) 
    Married Jun 1899  Leeds Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Children 
     1. Anna McClean Bidder, Ph.D,   b. 4 May 1903, Cambridge Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2001  (Age 97 years)
     2. Caroline Greenwood Bidder
    Last Modified 14 Sep 2009 
    Family ID F1167  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 21 May 1863 - Kensington, London Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEducation - Kings College - 1881 - London Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsUniversity - Trinity College - 1882 to 1886 - University of Cambridge Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    George Parker Bidder III
    George Parker Bidder III

    Histories
    Biography: George Parker Bidder I
    George Parker Bidder III
    based on the biography "The Calculating Boy" by his great-great-grandson, E F Clark MA

  • Notes 
    • George Parker Bidder (1863-1953)
      by E. F. Clark

      Dr George Parker Bidder (1863-1953), the author of "Merlin's Youth" and other poems, was primarily a distinguished marine biologist whose main field of study was sponges. He was the grandson of the distinguished engineer of the same name who in later life was the partner and close friend of Robert Stephenson, but as a boy was even better known as a self taught prodigy in mental calculation, fully the equal of his contemporary Zerah Colbourn.

      The grandson, Dr G. P.Bidder, not only made several important contributions to the study of sponges but also gave notable service to the general advancement of marine biology by active encouragement and support to the laboratories at Plymouth and Naples as well as specific assistance, such as the provision of a trawler for research purposes at Plymouth. His main scientific training had been at Cambridge where he made his home from 1902 for the rest of his life, becoming a well known figure in both the University and the town. He was unable to serve in the 1914-18 war because of earlier serious illness, but was therefore available to become the successful Chairman of the family owned colliery company after other relations had left for active service. Composing poetry became a relaxation for him, particularly in wartime. He appears in both the original and the new Dictionaries of National Biography. His obituary in The Times of London for 1 January 1954 concludes that his "departure many men and women in all branches of study and in all ranks of society will now most sorely regret."
    • (Research):Bidder, George Parker (3rd)- Son of George Parker Bidder, Jr.: 13- President and benefactor, Marine Biological Association: 13
      - President, Devonshire Association: 13
      - Zoologist: 13

  • Sources 
    1. [S50] birth i3030.

    2. [S67] marriage f1167.