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.

The filter boxes below can be used to find individual entries or groups of entries in the table. You can filter by surname (enter a single letter to see all names beginning with that letter, or enter the first part of a particular surname), or by any part of the full name, or you can filter the main biographical text. You can use the filters in combination, e.g. to search for both a name and some biography text at the same time. Don't forget to click on the Apply button to make your filter work. To remove your filter, delete the text you typed in and then click "Apply" again.

Type in the first letter/s of the surname
Type in any part of the name
Type in any text
Namesort descending Dates Biography
ELLIS, Herbert/Henry Willoughby see WILLOUGHBY-ELLIS
ELLIS, John William. 1857 - 1916 Lancashire doctor who was a keen botanist and entomologist. He compiled a list of the Coleoptera of the Liverpool area which was first read before the Lancashire and Cheshire Entomological Society in 1880 and published in The Naturalist, subsequently communicated to the Liverpool Biological Society on 13 April 1888, and finally published in book form as The Coleoptera of the Liverpool District (1889). Sharp (1908) said of it: ‘reproduces in succinct form all the local information regarding the order at that time available. Most of its records are due to Dr Ellis's own unfailing energy, but incorporated in the work are the observations of Messers Wilding, Smedley, Willoughby Gardner, and other contemporary students. The rigid circumspection of the area treated of to a fifteen mile radius from Liverpool Town Hall excludes many of the best Lancashire and Cheshire localities and deprives the work of considerable value and interest. The area thus limited was certainly very thoroughly worked ...’ (p.14). Ellis's copy of this list marked up with extra information since publication is in the Liverpool Museum, where there is also a manuscript by Ellis titled List of Coleoptera (Beetles) collected between May 1st 1884 and March 31st 1885 in the district within fifteen miles of the Liverpool Exchange which was compiled from 1502 specimens belonging to 329 species. Ellis's main collection is in the Liverpool Museum, acquired as a gift through the Liverpool Naturalists Field Club, and contains about 12,000 specimens in a 48 drawer cabinet. Unfortunately the specimens are accompanied by little data. Colour codes exist on some but the code book has been lost. 31 drawers are devoted to British specimens and the remainder to foreign beetles (with the exception of two drawers of Lepidoptera). The foreign material is strong on dung beetles in particular and includes material from F.Archer, Rev. J.O'Niel, E. Redman, Lightfoot, C. Melly, J. Chappell, D. Sharp, Buysson, B. Cooke jnr., J. Mertha, Boardman, S. Capper, C. Gregson and L. Mosley. Ellis presented a single beetle (from South Arica) to the NHM in 1891 (1891.9), and gave 183 beetles, mainly from Cheshire but including some specimens from Llangollen, collected in 1888, to the Grosvenor Museum, Chester (1125-1307). Apart from the manuscript material referred to above Liverpool Museum also has two marked up check lists, a manuscript The Journal of a Naturalist, which lists captures from 9 February to 7 May 1875 and 29 September 1886 to 21 July 1903, and a Locality Lists for Coleoptera which covers the period 13 January 1884 to 5 June 1886. There are accounts of Ellis in Lancs.Ches.Nat., February 1912 and August, 1916; Handbook and Guide to the Herbarium Collections in the Public Museums, Liverpool, 1935, 17-18; and Proc.Bot.Soc.Br Isl., 7, 1968, pp.169-172, which I have not seen. Pederson (2002) records material in David Sharp's scarpbook and autograph album in the RESL library. (I am grateful to Ian Wallace for help at Liverpool Museum). (MD 10/02)
ELLISON, L. Gave 4 beetles and other insects from N. Rhodesia to the NHM in 1933 (1933.408). (MD 10/02)