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Darwin Correspondence Project

Thereza Mary Llewelyn (1834–1858)
Thereza Mary Story-Maskelyne (1858–1926)


Welsh botanist, astronomer, and experimental photographer. A granddaughter of the naturalist Lewis Weston Dillwyn, and daughter of the photographer John Dillwyn Llewelyn and his wife Emma Thomasina Talbot. Supplied climate data to the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Married Mervyn Herbert Nevil Story-Maskelyne, professor of mineralogy, University of Oxford, in 1858. Mother of three daughters, including the educator and gardener Thereza, Lady Rucker.

Further Reading

Further information

Thereza Story-Maskelyne nee Llewelyn (1834-1926) was the daughter of John Dillwyn Llewelyn, the first photographer in Wales. Like her father, Thereza enjoyed photography; she helped her father with his scientific endeavours, including his photographic experiments. In her youth she also conducted botanic experiments, even receiving aid from George Bentham. Additionally, she maintained meteorological records from her father’s weather station.

She was married to English geologist and politician Nevil Story-Maskelyne in June 1858. Her husband was supportive of her scientific endeavours: he even wrote to John Lubbock to ask if Darwin would be willing to send Thereza copies of two texts for use in her botanical studies. Darwin responded to this request and sent the Maskelynes a couple of memoirs, as evidenced by a thank you note Nevil Maskelyne sent on behalf of his wife, who was an invalid at the time. Thereza wrote about both photography and astronomy. Darwin was aware of observations she made of her canary and siskin attacking flowers: he cited her observations in an 1874 Nature article.

Relevant Gender Resources:

Primary Sources:

Darwin Correspondence Database,

Darwin Correspondence Database,

Darwin, C. R. 1874. Flowers of the primrose destroyed by birds. Nature. A Weekly Illustrated Journal of Science 10 (14 May): 24-25.

Secondary Sources:

Brück, Mary. Women in early British and Irish astronomy: stars and satellites. Dordrecht [Netherlands]: Springer, c2009.

Early Swansea Photography. Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru: The National Library of Wales: Aberystwyth.

Pritchard, Michael.“Exclusive: British Library secures Dillwyn Llewelyn/Story-Maskelyne photographic archive.” British Photographic History. ⁠⟨⁠⁠⟩⁠.


Glamorganshire, Wales, Anglican baptisms, marriages and burials, 1570–1994 (, accessed 18 October 2022)

V. Morton 1987

ODNB s.v. Llewelyn, John Dillwyn, and Rucker, Thereza Charlotte

Worcester Journal, 4 July 1833, p. 1


Morton, Vanda. 1987. Oxford rebels. The life and friends of Nevil Story Maskelyne, 1823–1911, pioneer Oxford scientist, photographer and politician. Gloucester: Alan Sutton.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.