Biographical dictionary

The Biographical Dictionary of British Coleopterists is compiled and maintained by Michael Darby. The Dictionary can be accessed below, and see also the additional information provide by Michael:

Michael would be pleased to hear from anyone wishing to make corrections or alterations to the Dictionary, which will be fully acknowledged. Email Michael Darby or write to Michael at 33 Bedwin Street, SALISBURY, Wiltshire, SP1 3UT.

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Namesort descending Dates Biography
WATERHOUSE, Edward Alexander 1849 - 2 February 1916 Youngest of the three sons of G.R.Waterhouse. The obituary of his father in EMM., 24, 1888, p.234 mentions that he was at one time Entomological Curator to the Marquis of Ripon, and that is certainly where he lived for much of his life. Mentioned in the Gorham diary at Birmingham and the Janson diary at Cambridge eg. 7 April 1873. There is a letter of 9 September 1908 in the Sharp correspondence at Liverpool, vol.2, p.356. He published 16 notes on beetles in EMM. between 1865 ‘Capture of rare Coleoptera in London’[included Cicindela campestris found in the courtyard of the British Museum] (2, pp. 13-14) and his addition of Adrastus pusillus to the British list in 1888 (25, p.133). His other addition to our list was Quedius brevicornis found in Studley Park and determined for him by Rye (8, 1871, pp. 14-15). (MD 12/04)
WATERHOUSE, Frederick Herschel 4 October 1845 – 12 March 1920 Middle of the three sons of George Robert Waterhouse. He joined the ZSL as Librarian on 1 February 1872 and remained in this post until the end of 1912. His major work was the preparation of a new catalogue of the library, which was published in 1902. Like his father and brothers Frederick was also keen on beetles and in 1879 published his only article on this subject: ‘Descriptions of new Coleoptera of Geographical Interest, collected by Charles Darwin, Esq.’ In J.LSL., 14, 1879, pp.530-534. Pedersen (2002) p.64 records that there is correspondence with Herbert Druce dated 29 December 1895 in the RESL. FLS from 1879. (MD 12/04, 11/09)
WATERHOUSE. George Robert 6 March 1810 – 21 January 1888 Born in Somers Town the son of James Edward Waterhouse, a Solicitor’s Clerk and keen entomologist. Commenced his career as an architect but pursued natural history and particularly entomology as a hobby no doubt as a result of the influence of his father. He is mentioned frequently by Stephens (1828) and when the ESL started in 1833 he was appointed the first curator. There is some debate as to who exactly was responsible for founding the ESL but in Proc.ESL, 1888, p.lxxvi, C.O.Waterhouse attributed it to an idea put forward in his own home by his father. He quotes from one of his father’s notebooks: ‘Full of the idea, I went to Mr Hope next day... and told him, and he immediately communicated with some leading entomologists. A meeting was called at the Thatched House Tavern, St. James’s Street, soon afterwards (May 22nd, 1833), and I was elected Honorary Curator.’ Finding curatorship to his liking, Waterhouse appears to have given up architecture in 1835 in order to accept the position of Curator to the Museum of the Royal Institute at Liverpool, a post which he held for only a few months before he moved back to London as Curator of the ZSL. By the Spring of the following year he had completed a Catalogue of the Mammals, which was not published until 1838, because of debate over the system of classification which he had used. This is interesting because Darwin had entrusted to him many of the mammals and insects he had collected on the Beagle voyage and which Waterhouse subsequently wrote up. These publications included six articles on his beetles published 1838-45.(see Darwin, C.) In 1851 he succeeded Konig as Keeper of the Mineralogical branch of the Natural History Department at the British Museum. This department included fossils and one of his publications in this role included Archaeopteryx which he had found when inspecting fossil collections on a visit to Germany. Of Waterhouse’s 117 or so scientific publications (many illustrated by himself) 60 notes and articles and 2 catalogues concerned Coleoptera. The Catalogue of British Coleoptera, 1858 (a separate version printed on one side only for labelling collections also printed) and a Pocket Catalogue of British Coleoptera, 1861, were particularly useful in that they sorted out some of the synonymies in Stephens’ earlier works. His first note ‘Monographia Notiophilon Angliae’ appeared in Ent.Mag., 1, 1833, pp.202-211, and his last, on two new species of British Aleochara, in Trans.ESL., 2, Proc. 1864, p.10. He was wide ranging in his interests writing on many families from the Carabids to the weevils and described new species from all over the world. The sudden cessation of his publishing activities on beetles appears to be due to the huge amount of work in which he was involved in the design and building of the new museum at South Kensington (Alfred Waterhouse, the architect, was not a relative as far as I know) and the subsequent moving of the collections there. This caused him considerable anxiety and led to his resignation in 1880. There are some drawings of insects by Waterhouse in ‘Templeton’s’ scrapbook in the RESL library (Pedersen (2002) p.46. FESL (President 1849-50. Hon.FLSL. FZS (Vice President 1862-63). (MD 12/04)
WATERTON, Charles 1782 – 1865 This is the author of Wanderings in South America (1825, and many later editions) and the series of Essays on Natural History (1838-1871). The collections of his now at Wakefield Museum (formerly at Stonyhurst College) include 70 beetles collected by himself. (MD 12/04)
WATKINS, Charles James c.1847 – 1907

Published 'Some inmates of a decayed cherry-tree', Ent., 27, 1894, 284-287. Gave a collection of insects including Coleoptera (specially from Gloucester) to Bristol Museum. Atty (1983, iii-iv) records that Watkins was a good hymenopterist and contributor to V.R.Perkins Gloucestershire list of Coleoptera. He also notes that his collection in Bristol Museum is without data. FESL 1900-1907. (MD 12/04, 8/17)

WATSON, A.O.C. J.Rennie (1914) mentions that Watson carried out an enquiry into the beetles of the Aberdeen district having begun to arrange the museum collections in Spring 1909 ‘and in a very short time become an ardent collector himself... Up to date 379 species and varieties have been found within the area... 37 are recorded of which only single examples have been found in the district.’ (p.4). (MD 12/04)
WATT, James Cromar A collection of Coleoptera made by Watt was acquired by Aberdeen University in 1920-21. It is accompanied by ms notes. (MD 12/04)
WATTS, Walter J. d.1965 Worked at Billingsgate Fish Market and lived at 42 Bramerton Road, Beckenham. Ernest Lewis, who was his friend, tells me that he was a Freeman of the Fishmongers Company and worked at the market from 4am to noon which left him time for beetling in the afternoons. Keith Lewis has told me that his initial interest was Lepidoptera but he became interested in beetles in the late 1920s and that he was very friendly with William Hunt with whom he collected in Devon and Dorset while on holiday. Keith Lewis published a letter from Donisthorpe found in a copy of Fowler that had belonged to Watts in Bull.AES., December 2000. Watts’ collection was sold to Southend Museum for £100 . He had intended to leave it to Ernest Lewis but fell on hard times. Member of the SLENHS from 1928. (MD 12/04)
WEALE, J.P.M. Sold insects of all orders from Caffraria to the HDO for £4 in March 1878 (Smith (1986) p.159). (MD 12/04)
WEAVER, R. Many mentions in Stephens (1828) including a reference (p.62) to Dale and Curtis collecting with Weaver in Cumberland. R.Kauffmann mentioned to me that Weaver had written on Lamia but I have not been able to track this down. I presume that it is the same R.Weaver who published on the New Forest Cicada in Mag. Nat. Hist., 5, 1832, pp.668-69. (MD 12/06)