Obituary notices: Humphrey Blackmore

Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1877, Vol IX, p. 60.


Rev. W. Harpley

Prepared by Michael Steer

Mr Blackmore’s numismatic collection was sold at auction on Monday 18th of March 1878by Messrs Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, Auctioneers, at their premises in the Strand, WC.  A searchable copy of the sale catalogue, entitled-  Catalogue of the Greek, Roman, English, and Foreign Coins and Medals of the Late Humphrey Blackmore, Esq., Of Garston, Torquay: Including Some Valuable Numismatic Works, Coin Cabinets, &c is available. The present article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Humphrey Blackmore was a native of Salisbury, but he resided many years at Torquay, where he devoted much time to microscopy and numismatics. He had made a very valuable collection of coins and china. He became a member of the Torquay Natural History Society in 1863, and for some years took an active part in its management, filling the office of vice-president in 1866-7. Though the state of his health for a few years had been by no means robust, he continued to the last to take an active interest in various institutions for the benefit of the poor.

He joined the Association in 1864, and for some years regularly attended the annual meetings, and was the means of introducing several new members. Many of the older members will recall the interest he took in the excavations in the tumuli at Broad Down, Farway, at the close of the meeting at Honiton in 1868, where he was so fortunate as to rescue from the rejected débris an "incense-cup," which had been overlooked by the workmen and superintendent.(1)  He died at his residence, Garston, Torquay, on the 5th of July, 1877, in the 77th year of his age. 

(1)    See Trans. Devon, Association, vol. ii. pp. 635-641