Hodge and Byron F. Caws

Dr Johnson’s cat

Walking along Fleet Street in London last week, we sidetracked a little to have a look at Dr Johnson’s house in Gough Square. The first thing you see when entering the square is a statue of Johnson’s cat, Hodge. But the amazing thing we found on the back of the statue is a plaque relating to H.W. Fowler. It reads:

‘Castigavit et emendavit’

Plaque for Major Byron F. Caws

Plaque for Major Byron F. Caws

H.W. Fowler’s tribute to the work of Major Byron F. Caws in the preparation of the Concise Oxford Dictionary.

Erected by his grandson, Richard Byron Caws, CVO, CBE, FRICS

September 1997

Reading the plaque evoked a lot of questions:

  • Who was Major Byron F. Caws?
  • In what ways did he contribute to Fowler’s work on the COD?
  • Why was the plaque erected in the first place, and why in September 1997?

Can anyone help us find the answers?

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4 Responses to Hodge and Byron F. Caws

  1. Cornelis van Eykelen says:

    Just type Byron F. Caws in your address/search field and you get what you are looking for. This is an example: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Statue_of_Hodge_-_Dr_Johnsons_cat_-_in_Gough_Square_(4043332443).jpg

    • Dear Cornelis,

      Thanks for the suggestion, and your interest in our blog (as always). Of course I tried to google the man, but only got into a string that led to his great-grandson saying it was his great-grandad. And I also found the link you mention. But really, I was hoping for some more. So who knows what we’ll find out this way!

      All best wishes,
      Ingrid

  2. Reba says:

    I also am a great grand child of Major Byron Frank Caws, As far as family history goes he was posted to Jamaica and then stayed there the rest of his life, he is the friend by correspondence who sent fortnightly packets to H W Fowler to help him with the COD as mentioned in the acknowledgements. As far as I am aware they never met. Hope this helps!

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