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:

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Namesort ascending Dates Biography
BAKER, John R. Collections of insects, mainly Coleoptera, made in the New Hebrides and adjacent groups were given by Baker and the Percy Sladen Memorial Fund to the HDO in 1923 and 1927. Identifications for the 1923 collection exist in the archives. (Smith, A.Z. 1986). (MD 9/01)
BAKER, Henry 8 May 1698 -25 November 1775 Born in Chancery Lane London, the son of William Baker, a clerk in Chancery. Apprenticed at the age of 15 to John Parker a bookseller. At the close of his indentures in 1720 he became involved with the education of deaf mutes, and ‘his services being in great demand among the upper classes, he soon realised a substantial fortune'. His remarkable success attracted the attention of Daniel Defoe whose daughter Sophia Baker he subsequently married in April 1729. Until the late 1730s Baker wrote and published poetry, and in 1728, under the name Henry Stonecastle he began with Defoe the Universal Spectator and Weekly Journal. He is said to have been responsible for the introduction of rhubarb into England. Baker had a wide-ranging interest in natural history which resulted in his becoming involved in microscopy, a subject on which he published books in 1743 and 1753, both of which went through several editions, and in beetles which he appears to have collected. He published a note on 'Some curious experiments and observations on a beetle that lived three years without food' in Phil. Trans., 41, 1740, pp.441-448. Chalmers-Hunt,J.M. (1976) records that Baker’s antiquarian and natural history collections were sold at auction 13-23 March 1775, shortly before his death in the same year. Baker was elected FSA and FRS in 1740, and was involved with the establishment of the Society of Arts in 1754. He is noticed in DNB. which lists other sources. (MD 9/01)
BAKER, C.F.S There are beetles collected by him in the Museum at Colombo, Sri Lanka. (all bear printed labels dated 1916) and various references in G.J.Arrow’s FBI volumes. (MD 9/01)
BAIRSTOW, S.D. Smith, A.Z. (1986, p.101) notices that a collection of Coleoptera made by Bairstow in the Cape of Good Hope was acquired by the HDO in 1882. (MD 9/01)
BAINBRIGGE FLETCHER, Thomas see Fletcher, Thomas
BAINBRIDGE, William d. November 1841

This is probably the same Bainbridge who is mentioned by Stephens,J.F. (1828-1831, I, pp.11, 12 etc.) He was a Fellow of the Entomological Society from 1833 until his death, and in 1836 was appointed Curator of the collections. Neave,S.A. and Griffin,F.J. (1933, pp.66-67) record that his wages were initially six shillings a day for three days a week and that his main task was to add red labels to distinguish the Kirby collection from the rest. A committee of Messers Hanson, Shuckard and Westwood was set up to supervise his work. Bainbridge exhibited at the meetings of the ESL., e.g. 2 March 1840 when he showed a 'monstrous Lucanus cervus one of the mandibles of which was strangely distorted', and published one article in the Trans: 'On several species of Balboceras Kirby from New Holland in the collection of the Rev. Hope’, (39 1842, pp.79-83). He also published 'Some new species of Cetonidae in the collection of the Rev. F.W.Hope with observations on the genus Osmoderma’, in ANMT., 6, 1841, pp.481-82. A copy of Dejean's Catalogue, 4th edition 1837, signed and dated by Bainbridge is in the RESL library (MD 9/01, 6/18)

BAILEY, James Harold 1870-22 March 1909 Received his education in Manchester, firstly in a school under the well-known conchologist Dr Adams, and later at Owens College where he graduated in 1891. Married in 1895 and after practising as a Doctor of Medicine in Manchester, moved to the Isle of Man in about 1902 because of his wife's ill health. There J.R.le B. Tomlin records that he was a 'trenchant and convincing speaker in the local Debating Society, (EMM., 45, 1909, pp.260-61). He had one son, and died at the early age of thirty nine, in Port Erin. Bailey published his first article on 'Coleoptera in Middlesex' in Ent., 19, 1886, pp.187-88 and followed this with various notes in the EMM., including an obituary of his friend Joseph Chappell. It was through Chappell and Samuel Stevens that he is recorded to have switched his early interest in Lepidoptera to Coleoptera. Bailey's great forte was his knowledge of the fauna of the Isle of Man. In December 1907 he delivered his Vice-Presidential address on this subject to the Lancashire and Cheshire Entomological Society and at the time of his death he had all but finished a book on the Manx Coleoptera.There are obituaries in EMM., 45, 1909, pp.260-61 (by J.R. le B. Tomlin); Dt. ent. Ztschr., 1909, p.112 (by W.Horn) and Ent. Rdsch., 27, 1910, p.10. A collection of mainly Isle of Man material in twenty two drawers was purchased by the Manx Museum in 1910 and is maintained separately. Further information about this collection is given in Hancock, E.G. and Pettit, C.W. 1981. (MD 9/01)
BAILEY, E. Published a note entitled 'Death Watch’ in Scientific Gossip, (2), 1867, pp. 254-55 (MD 9/01)
BAILEY, C.E. Hancock,E.G. and Pettit,C.W. (1981) notice that C.E.Bailey gave Coleoptera and general British insects (some captured near Carnforth) to the Manchester Museum. This may be the Charles Bailey who published two articles in Mem. Manchester Lit. phil. Soc. 'On the decrease of entomologists' (6, 1889, p.90) and 'On so called carnivorous plants' (7, 1897, p.41). (MD 9/01)
BAIKIE, William Balfour 27 August 1825-12 December 1864 Born at Kirkwall, Orkney, the oldest son of Captain John Baikie RN. Educated at the local grammar school and the University of Edinburgh where he obtained his MD. Entered the Royal Navy in 1848 as a surgeon and after serving on various ships in the Mediterranean, became assistant surgeon at the Haslar Hospital, Gosport, from 1851-54. Here he came under the influence of Sir Roderick Murchison who procured for him the post of surgeon and naturalist on the expedition to the River Niger in 1854 which travelled over two hundred and fifty miles further up river than any previous expedition and about which Baikie published a Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the River Niger, 1856. In April of the following year he commanded a further expedition to the Niger which was disbanded after his ship sank. Baikie carried on alone, however, and bought land at Lukoja where he eventually became the head of a considerable native settlement. In this capicity he was responsible for opening up roads and establishing new markets. He died in Sierra Leone while returning home for a well earned period of leave. Baikie’s interest in Coleoptera appears to have commenced while he was at the Haslar hospital. He assisted Arthur Adams with his Manual of Natural History, 1854, and with his 'Systematic List of the Coleoptera found in the vicinity of Alverstoke, South Hants.', Zool, 14-16, 1856-58. He is listed in the Ent.Ann., 1866, p.2 as interested in Coleoptera, Myriapoda and Arachnida, and is known to have returned from the first Niger expedition with extensive collections. To the obituary listed by Gilbert,P. (1977) may be added Illustrated London News, 46, 1865, p.88 (with portrait) and RGS Journal, 35, 1865, p.123. There is also an account of him in the DNB. Baikie also published an account of the mammals and birds of the Orkneys in 1848. (MD 9/01)