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Pitt-Rivers, Augustus Henry Lane-Fox

PITT-RIVERS, AUGUSTUS HENRY LANE-FOX (1827-1900), English soldier and archaeologist, son of W. A. Lane-Fox, was born on the 14th of April 1827. It was not till 1880 that he assumed the name of Pitt-Rivers, on inheriting the Dorsetshire and Wiltshire estates of his great-uncle, the second Lord Rivers. Educated at Sandhurst, he received a commission in the Grenadier Guards in 1845, being captain 1850, lieutenantcolonel 1857, colonel 1867, major-general 1877 and lieutenantgeneral 1882. He served in the Crimean War, and was at the Alma and the siege of Sebastopol. His talent for experimental research was utilized in investigation into improvements of the army rifle, and he was largely responsible for starting the Hythe School of Musketry. It is not, however, for his military career, but for his work as an anthropologist and archaeologist, that General Pitt-Rivers will be remembered. His interest in the evolution of the rifle early extended itself to other weapons and instruments in the history of man, and he became a collector of articles illustrating the development of human invention. His collection became famous, and, after being exhibited in 1874-1875 at the Bethnal Green Museum, was presented in 1883 to the university of Oxford. When, in 1880, General Pitt-Rivers obtained possession of his great-uncle's estates practically untouched by the excavator since they had been the battleground of the West Saxons, the Romans and the Britons he devoted himself to exploring them. His excavations round Rushrnore resulted in valuable " finds "; he founded a local museum and published several illustrated volumes. As a scientific archaeologist he attained high rank. Oxford gave him the D.C.L. in 1886; he was president of the Anthropological Institute, and F.R.S. He married, in 1853, Alice Margaret, daughter of the second Lord Stanley of Alderley, and had a numerous family; his second daughter became in 1884 the wife of Sir John Lubbock (Lord Avebury). General Pitt-Rivers died at Rushmore on the 4th of May 1900.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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