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HARTLAND , EDWIN SIDNEY ( 1848 - 1927 ), one of the founders of the modern science of folklore

Born at Islington , son of E. J. Hartland , a Congregational minister . No particulars of his education are recorded. On 13 Aug. 1873 , he m. Mary Elizabeth , youngest daughter of Price Morgan , vicar of Llansamlet, Glam.

Hartland came from Bristol to Swansea , and practised as a solicitor there from 1871 to 1890 ; in the latter year he was appointed county court and district registrar at Gloucester , subsequently becoming district probate registrar as well. Both at Swansea and at Gloucester he took a prominent part in local government , especially in matters of education. He was mayor of Gloucester in 1902 .

The whole of his leisure was devoted to the study of anthropology and folklore , and he was a prominent member of the company of ardent spirits, who founded a science that had then not yet been professionalized. The record of his publications is referred to below; but among his more important works were: The Science of Fairy Tales , 1891 ; The Legend of Perseus , 3 vols., 1892-6 ; Primitive Paternity , 2 vols., 1910 ; Primitive Society , 1921 ; and Primitive Law , 1924 . He was a constant attendant at congresses and meetings connected with his subject, received honorary degrees from the universities of S. Andrews and Wales ( D.Litt. , 1924 ), was president of the Folklore Society in 1899 , delivered the first Fraser lecture in Oxford in 1922 , and was awarded the Huxley medal in 1923 . He d. after a long illness on 19 June 1927 , and left a widow, a son, and two daughters. His library and manuscripts were acquired by the National Library of Wales after his death.


  • Folklore. What is it, and what is the good of it (1899) , xxxvii, 178, with bibliography (by A. C. Haddon ), xxxviii, 88 (by R. R. Marett );
  • NLW MSS 5923-9, 6798-6848, 7539;
  • personal recollection.


Henry John Randall, F.S.A., (1877-1964), Bridgend

Published date: 1959