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William kirby, English entomologist

William kirby, English entomologist

C004/1094

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Credit

ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

William Kirby (1759-1850), English entomologist. Kirby was born in Suffolk and was educated at Ipswich School and Caius College, Cambridge. He took holy orders in 1782 and spent his whole life at Barham in Suffolk. Natural history was a pastime for Kirby outside his religious duties. Nonetheless, he made friends with many of the leading naturalists of the day and was one of the original fellows of the Linnean Society. His first work, Monographia Apum Angliae was the first scientific work on English bees. Expanding on his subject, Kirby wrote his famous Introduction to Entomology in four volumes from 1815-1826. In 1833 he founded the Entomological Society of London and in 1847 became the first president of the Ipswich Museum, an institution for which he had campaigned for more than 50 years.

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