ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE: A NOTE ON HIS STAY IN RADNORSHIRE By GWYN ILLTYD LEWIS (Department of Extra-Mural Studies, University College of Swansea) The celebrated naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace who jointly with Charles Darwin presented a paper on the theory of evolution through natural selection to the Linnean Society on 1st July, 1858, had an intimate connection with Wales. Much of this he relates in the first volume of his memoirs.1 As is already well known, he was one of those remarkable men who contribute richly to their own age and to posterity, whilst having had little or none of the advantages of higher education, leisure, or private means in youth. As a young man his career was never mapped out for him, and he was not certain where to direct his talents and energies, until life itself had suggested a way. He was born at Usk, Monmouthshire, in 1823. When his family moved to England, Alfred attended the old grammar school at Hertford where he also became a pupil teacher according to the monitorial system. Before he was sixteen he began helping his elder brother William, a land surveyor. These duties took him to many places, and contributed marked- ly to his awareness and love of nature. In 1839 he came with his brother to Kington, Herefordshire- a small town of about two thousand in- habitants situated two miles from the boundary of Radnorshire He writes of a craggy hill-just within the Radnor County border on the road to Old and New Radnor. This hill, the Stanner Rocks, being of a very hard kind of basalt, very good for road metal' was, he said con- tinually being cut away by the roadmakers. The Stanner Rocks, and the scrubby wood around, were prominent on the landscape, and are de- scribed as the most picturesque objects in the immediately surrounding country At Kington, Wallace records that he met another surveyor- a thorough Welshman in appearance and speech '-one Stephen Pugh, who was very fond of poetry and general literature. Although Pugh was ten years his senior, he found him to be a most congenial companion, and he corresponded with him for some years afterwards, often by means of letters written in rhyme. From Kington Wallace went alone to New Radnor to correct a map of the parish. He was required to note and make insertions on the map of new roads, buildings, and divisions of fields, and to remove from the map objects that had disappeared. He found that but few changes had taken place since the map was made, but as the date of the map is not given, it is not possible to glean from this recollection anything about the speed of change during the eighteen forties. New fences he notes were almost always straight lines The skill of the sixteen-year old land surveyor may be gathered from what he says about the methods he used as a mere boy alone in a strange country. Sometimes the direction was checked by taking an angle IA. R. Wallace, My Life-A Record of Events and Opinions, Chapman & Hall, London, 1905.