BATES, Frederick

Born in Leicester, a younger brother of Henry Walter Bates. He spent most of his life in the town, or in the county, until moving to London in 1896. He was a successful brewer becoming Vice-Chairman of his own company. Bates's interests included music, of which he is recorded to have had ‘a thorough knowledge'; Latin; French, which he could read easily; and the works of Spencer, Huxley and Darwin. On philosophical subjects 'he possessed as complete a knowledge of, and insight into ... as any man living' (Donisthorpe, op. cit..) He died at his residence, 417, High Road, Chiswick. Bates's interest in entomology appears to have begun with the Coleoptera. He published various notes in Zoo. from 1849, and in 1854 was able to prepare fot the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society 'A Catalogue of the Coleoptera of Leicestershire' which was read on his behalf by H.E.Quilter. (This was not published. It is noted by Bates's son Ernest in a list of his father's works sent to Horace Donisthorpe when the latter was preparing his obituary for the ERJV., 15, 1903, pp.347-9.) Some time after this he became interested in the Heteromera, doing much original work, and describing many new genera and species. Most of his publications concerned the Heteromera, but he did publish 'Descriptions of new genera and species of Tenebrionidae from Australia, New Caledonia, and Norfolk Island' and 'Descriptions of new genera and species of Tenebrionidae from the Island of Madagascar in Trans.ESL., 3, 1873, pp.347-380 and 4, 1879, pp.277-307. A third and earlier paper on this group also appeared in the same periodical in 1872. Bates's other publication on the Coleoptera was a list of the species found in Bradgate Park which appeared in Trans. Leics. lit. phil. Soc., 4, 1896, pp.170-176. Bates's Heteromera collection was purchased by the NHM in two batches in 1881 and 1897 and consisted of 22,390 specimens representing 7,200 species. It incorporated, according to a note by Bates: 'Laferte's collection, comprising second specimens from Dejean's collection. R. Bakewell's collection, including that of Lacordaire (The remaining portion after the British Museum had made a selection). G.R.Waterhouse’s collection. First selection of Major Parry's collection. Desbrochers des Loges' collection of Asida’. A further collection of 22 Rutelidae entered the Museum's collections in 1859 by exchange. The NHM also has some manuscript material. This includes a notebook titled A Census of Mr Fred Bates Collection of Heteromera with notes, October 1880; an Index to Bates’s collection with localities (formerly the property of Horace Donisthorpe; a Catalogue of the duplicate Heteromera of the collection Dejean purchased of the Marquis F. de Breme by the Marquis de Laferte-Senectere 1841 Now in the possession of F. Bates Leicester 1861; and a List of Eriodius and Tentyria. There is a black bound manuscript book titled 'Geodephaga’ in the RESL library which apparently belonged to Bates and lists his collection of world ground beetles. Notes against some of the species indicate that he owned some of his brother's collection of Amazonian specimens. Apart from the obituary already noted there are others in EMM., 39, 1903, pp.286-7 and Trans.ESL., LXXIV-LXXV, 1903. (MD 9/01)Sharon Reid of the Central Science Laboratory (DEFRA) at York tells me that there is a collection of beetles there all of which are labelled F.Bates and some of which are dated from the 1890s. According to Bates’s obituary in EMM he formed an extensive British Coleoptera collection towards the end of his life and this must be this collection about which Charles Mackechnie Jarvis wrote to me: ‘The F.Bates collection passed to the late Prof. G.W.Nicholson (a medic) and thence to B.S.Williams of Harpenden, my wife’s father. The collection then in poor condition, was housed in single sided shallow varnished store boxes in three vertical rows in two glass fronted book cases with heavy sliding doors of the thickness of sash windows (and very like them). I saw this collection at Harpenden many years ago and know that Williams incorporated in his own cabinet collection, the species he needed. The remainder was largely used to augment a collection of Coleoptera at the Plant Pathology Laboratory at Harpenden. B.S Williams was on the staff and built up a good reference collection there.The B.S.W. private collection was presented to the Liverpool Museum by his widow... The Bates store boxes were dispersed but the two ‘bookcases’ of heavy construction are in use in my office... In the Manuscript list the Leicestershire species are distinquished by a capital L and where captured by or known to Bates the localities and details of occurrence are entered in fine writing on the interleaving. Whether Nicholson had the Bates collection from Donisthorpe I do not know. I see he mentions it as his in the F. Bates obit. But Horn and Kahle give Nicholson only.’ I am grateful to Tony Irwin who has pointed out that there are a large number of insects which bear the initials F.B, presumably Frederick Bates, in E.A.Butler’s foreign collection of Coleoptera and Hemiptera at Norwich Museum. See also Nevinson Basil (QV). (MD 10/03, 11/09)

Dates: 

18 November 1829 - 6 October 1903