Ainsworth, Percy
1873-1909; e.m. 1896

WM minister, poet and naturalist, born on 28 June 1873 at Woodbridge, Suffolk. A prophetic preacher with a powerful command of language, he held truth to be beauty and beauty, truth. He exercised a forceful social and temperance ministry and actively supported the Wesley Guild movement. He was an authority on reptiles, a keen sportsman and a gymnastic instructor. His publications included two volumes of sermons, biblical meditations and Poems and Sonnets (1910). He died at Pendleton on 1 July 1909 of a fever contracted in the course of his pastoral work.

His son, Geoffrey Clough Ainsworth (1905-1998), born at Handsworth, Birmingham on 9 October 1905, was educated at Ipswich Grammar School, Kingswood School and University College, Nottingham, where he graduated with first class honours in botany. This launched him on an outstanding career in mycology. His first book, The Plant Diseases of Great Britain (1937) was followed by others on the biology of fungi. He worked at the Imperial Mycological Institute at Kew and after the war at the Wellcome Research Laboratories at Beckenham. From 1948 to 1957 he lectured at the University of the South West (now the University of Exeter). A committed Quaker and socialist, he died at Derby on 25 October 1998.

  • Methodist Recorder, 8 July 1909; 28 June 1973
  • Oxford DNB


Entry written by: WDH
Category: Person
Comment on this entry