Dr William Evans Hoyle was born in Manchester on 28 January 1855 and died on 7 February 1926 in Porthcawl. He was educated at Owens College and Exeter College and went up to Christ Church, Oxford where he obtained not only a Bachelor of Arts in 1877 but also a Master of Arts in 1882 and a Doctor of Science. On top of this he was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. From 1889 to 1909, he was the director of the Manchester Museum and then became the first director of the National Museum of Wales from 1909 to his retirement in 1926.
In 1882 he was invited to be a naturalist on the editorial staff of the Challenger Expedition, under the supervision of Sir John Murray. This was the start of a love of cephalopods (octopuses, cuttlefish and squid). All of those collected over the three and a half years of the expedition (1872-1876) passed through his hands. His identifications and descriptions of cephalopods eventually went into a final report in 1886. His tenure with the Challenger team lasted six years but for the remainder of his life he studied them and produced numerous publications.
Some of Hoyle’s collection of molluscs is kept at National Museum Cardiff.