Edward George Treweeke Roberts, 1898 - 1984

by Brian Stevenson
last updated November, 2022

Amateur microscopist E.G.T. Roberts marked his microscope slides with either custom-printed labels or used a hand stamp to apply his name to generic labels (Figure 1). Roberts was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society in 1928. He was also a member of several other scientific societies.

Figure 1. Microscope slides that were made by Edward G.T. Roberts, dated 1926 and 1928. The labels were either custom-printed or hand-stamped with his name.


Figure 2. Trachea from a honey bee, showing infestation by Acarapis woodi mites, known as “acarine disease” or “Isle of Wight disease”. Prepared on April 17, 1928 by E.G.T. Roberts (see Figure 1). Photographed with a 10x objective and a C-mounted digital SLR camera on a Leitz Ortholux II microscope.


Edward George Treweeke Roberts was born on July 29, 1898, in Helston, Cornwall, England. He was the second child, and first son, of William George and Clara Maud Roberts. All four of Edward’s siblings were also given names that ended with “Treweeke Roberts”, implying that Treweeke was an important, legacy family name. Father William was listed on the 1901 national census as a “glass, china, and hardware dealer” and an “employer”. That business evidently did not do well, as the 1911 census recorded him as being a “time keeper in stone quarries” and a “worker”.

Edward served in the Royal Airforce during the First World Way, enlisting on March 27, 1917.

In the spring of 1923, Roberts married Gwendoline Gunn. They appear to have had one child. The 1939 Register of England listed Edward’s occupation as “bank cashier”.

By 1928, the Roberts were living in Launceston, Cornwall. Edward joined the Royal Microscopical Society from there in 1928. He was also a member of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom and the British Astronomical Association. I found little else about Roberts’ scientific studies. The amateur nature of his slides suggest that they were made for his own interests, or to exchange with colleagues.

Edward G.T. Roberts died on May 9, 1984, at his home in Launceston, Cornwall.

Figure 3. Transverse and horizontal sections of a horse’s hoof, prepared by E.G.T. Roberts on November 20, 1926 (see Figure 1). Photographed with crossed polarizing filters, a 3.5x objective, and a C-mounted digital SLR camera on a Leitz Ortholux II microscope.



England census and other records, accessed through ancestry.com

Journal of the British Astronomical Association (1932) Vol. 42, page 364

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (1922) Members, Vol. 12, page 570

Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society (1928) Vol. 48, page 253, Vol. 50

Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society (1930) Fellows, “1928 Roberts , Edward George Treweeke, Pendennis, Tavistock-road, Launceston, Cornwall”, Vol. 50

Probate of the will of E.G.T. Roberts (1984) “Roberts, Edward George Treweeke of Bedwyn 30A Tavistock Road Launceston Cornwall died 9 May 1984 Administration Bristol 31 July Not exceeding £40000”, accessed through ancestry.com