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
THOMAS, R.H. Gave various collections of insects from South America including Coleoptera to the HDO between 1900-1940 (Smith (1986) p.154). (MD 12/04)
THOMPSON There are Coleoptera in the general collection at Birmingham Museum bearing this name and numbered 50-29. (MD 12/04)
THOMPSON, F. There are Coleoptera bearing this name from Shepperton dated 1916 in the general collection at Doncaster Museum. (MD 12/04)
THOMPSON, G.H.L. There are specimens bearing this name in the collection of K.C.Lewis. (MD 12/06)
THOMPSON, M.L. There are Coleoptera bearing this name and dated 1922 in the general collection at Manchester Museum. FESL from 1901. (MD 12/04)
THOMPSON, Thomas Published ‘A Note on the Glow Worm’ in Nat.Hist.Trans.Northumb. 3, 1868-70, p.175. (MD 12/04)
THORNBORROW, W. Mentioned in the Janson diary at Cambridge eg. June 1867. FESL 1866-73. (MD 12/04)
THORNCROFT Fowler (1887-91) records that he took the only English specimen of Leptura rufa at Holme Bush in the Summer, 1856. (MD 12/04)
THORNLEY, Alfred 20 November 1855 – 5 January 1947 Born near Preston and educated at Manchester Grammar School and Merton College, Oxford. He was ordained in 1879 and worked in several parishes in Nottingham, including South Leverton, near Retford, until relieved of parochial work to take up a position training teachers of natural history. Not long after he found himself responsible for supervising the teaching of this subject in more than 700 schools throughout Nottingham and Leicestershire. In 1922 he was appointed Chaplain and Professor of Economic Entomology at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, but in 1925 he retired to live in Cornwall. There he worked with his second wife, Marjorie (nee Fulleylove), for fifteen years to collate all former lists of Cornish insects and to add to them. Although Thornley’s main interest was in the Diptera (19,000 specimens out of the 26,000 comprising his collection in the NHM), Walsh (1956) states that knowledge of Nottinghamshire Coleoptera at that time was ‘due mainly’ to him and he is mentioned in E.C.Riggall’s ‘Address’. These stem in particular from the articles ‘Lincolnshire Coleoptera’ he published with W.Wallace in Trans. Lincolnshire Nat.Union 1, 1907 to 3, 1915. He published at least four articles on Coleoptera from the summit of Ben Nevis one of which: ‘On some Coleoptera from the Summit of Ben Nevis, collected by Mr W.S.Bruce’ in Ann.Scot.Nat.Hist., January 1896, pp. 28-37 appears to have been the inspiration for J.W.Tutt’s only publication on Coleoptera. There is a small collection of Coleoptera from various localities world-wide which he made when travelling with Mrs Imray (who also presented specimens in 1903) in the HDO (Smith (1986) p.154) and another collection of beetles made by Thornley at Nottingham Natural History Museum which includes material from William Evans and J.J.Walker. His obituary in EMM. 83, 1947, p.110 states ‘Parts of the comprehensive card index [of Cornish insects which he made with his wife] were sent to the British Museum (Natural History) with Thornley’s collection, journals and notebooks in September, 1946, but some sections remained for completion with his friend Miss Marion Grace Hocken FZS, FRES of Lelant, Cornwall’. Harvey et. al. (1996) p.205, however, state that only some loose leaf Cornish collecting notes are in the NHM. The locality of the thirteen diaries, which his obituary mentions that he kept while living in Cornwall, is not known. There is correspondence with C.J.Wainwright dated 1898-1937 in the RESL (Pedersen (2002) p.130)). FESL from 1892; FLS from 1895 There is a brief biography in Proc.RESL (C) 12, 1948, p.64 and an obituary in The Times, 8 January 1947 (which incorrectly states that his collection comprised 126,000 specimens). (MD 12/04, 12/06, 11/09)
THORNTON, Joseph Norman 13 June 1892 – 8 August 1965 A senior Transmission Engineer in the Electricity Board who was a member of the Chester Natural History Society. Not specifically interested in Coleoptera but collected them with other insects in Yorkshire, North Wales and Hampshire. His collections passed to the Leeds Museum. FRESL from 1846. (MD 12/04)