More, Alexander Goodman (1830–95), naturalist, was born 5 September 1830 in London, eldest of three children of Alexander More of Malvern and his wife, a Goodman of Leeds, Yorkshire. He spent his early childhood in Woodford, Essex. After the death of his young brother (1837) the family moved to Renens near Lausanne, Switzerland. He spent a lot of time outdoors and his interest in natural history began with collecting butterflies. His family also became friends with the Shawe-Taylors of Castle Taylor, Co. Galway, a friendship that lasted a lifetime.
He returned to England in 1841 and attended school first in Clifton and then in Rugby from 1844. He took a great interest in birds and began his own personal naturalist library. In 1850 he renewed his childhood friendship with Walter Shaw-Taylor (1832–1912) and spent the summer in Galway. This visit, where he ‘botanised for the first time’ (Moffat, 1898), influenced the subsequent course of his life. He returned to enter Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a certificate in geology, but illness prevented his taking a degree in natural science. Poor health dogged him for the rest of his life. He joined the Botanical Society of Edinburgh in 1853 and began to study and describe plants in detail. Over the next few years he spent several periods in the west of Ireland, becoming familiar with the local flora, and in 1856 he was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society. His first botanical essay was ‘Notes on the flora of Castle Taylor’ (1855) and he subsequently contributed to a number of important publications. These include ‘On the geographical distribution of butterflies in Great Britain’ (1858), along the lines of the Watsons’ Cybele Britannica, and several articles on the distributions of birds (Ibis (1895)) and plants. In 1860 he published ‘Flora and fauna of the Isle of Wight’, as part of a guidebook to the island, where his parents lived. He was keen to see an equivalent Cybele of Irish plants and approached David Moore (qv), who had already collected much of the relevant botanical material. In order to proceed quickly he came to live in Glasnevin, Dublin, and the men worked together for two years. The Cybele Hibernica was published in 1866.
In 1867 More was appointed assistant naturalist to the Dublin Natural History Museum, and for the next twenty years worked on the flora and fauna of Ireland. He took a delight in all discoveries, and his infectious enthusiasm and encouragement made his room a popular meeting place for all naturalists who came to Dublin. In a reorganisation of the museum he was responsible for the selection, purchase, identification, and arrangement of the specimens. To expand the collection he undertook numerous field trips around the country, adding many birds and fishes. He had a particular love of the islands of the west coast. One such trip to Inishkea in Mayo resulted in a violent attack by the islanders, who mistakenly believed More was from Achill and the source of a scurrilous article about the people of Inishkea and their belief in the power of the ‘Neve-ogue’. He survived without too much harm, continuing his work on the west coast.
On the death (1881) of Alexander Carte (qv), he was appointed curator of the museum. He held this position until his early retirement because of ill health in 1887, but continued his work and correspondence from his home in Rathmines. He was always greatly in demand, as his knowledge of the Irish flora and fauna was extensive. He received several honours in his life: honorary member of the Zoological and Botanical Society of Vienna (1877), FRS, Edinburgh (1887), and MRIA (1860). A list of his extensive publications is found in the Irish Naturalist (1895). He never married, and died in his home 22 March 1895.