Morris, Francis J.A.

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Morris, Francis J.A.

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1869-1949

History

Francis J.A. Morris was born in a parsonage near the town of Crieff, in Perthshire, Scotland. Living in the country, he developed a passion for nature very early in life, and, with his brother, Charles, he enthusiastically investigated the various forms of flora and fauna in the countryside. Morris' father died when he was thirteen, and the family was forced to move to a suburb of London. There he entered Dalwich College to study the Classics and English Literature, and with his brother and a friend, continued to make excursions into the country to collect insects. Through his studies, Frank developed an interest in Darwin and the theory of evolution. Later, he continued his study of the Classics and English Literature at Balliot College, Oxford. His encounters with Wordsworth's poetry added to his own emotional feelings towards nature. In 1895, at the age of twenty-five, Frank Morris came to Canada and attended the School of Pedagogy in Toronto. There, he came under the influence of Dr. William Brodie who introduced him to Canadian natural history. In 1896, Morris joined the staff of Smith's Falls High School. There, the science teacher taught Morris some basic scientific botany and the use of identification keys. In 1899, he returned to Toronto to carry on more pedagogic study. By 1900, he had become the Classics Master at Trinity College School in Port Hope. He spent thirteen years there, during which time he married Miss Elma Walker. In 1911, he attended the University of Toronto to take a Master of Arts Degree and a Specialists Certificate in Classics. In 1913, he was appointed to the staff of the Peterborough Collegiate Institute, where he first taught Classics and later became head of the English Department. He remained in this position until ill health forced him to retire in 1936. Francis J.A. Morris died 31 December 1949.

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