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Newman, Edward

Edward Newman was born in Hampstead. His parents were Quakers and keen naturalists, and he was further encouraged to take an interest in the natural world at his boarding school in Painswick. He left school at sixteen to join his father's business in Guildford, moving to Deptford in 1826 to take over a rope-making business. Here he met many of the leading entomologists of the day, including Henry and Edward Doubleday, and was a founder member of the Entomological Club. In 1832 he was elected as editor of the club's journal, The Entomological Magazine, and the following year became a fellow of the Linnean Society and one of the founder members of the Entomological Society of London.

In 1840 Newman published the first edition of A History of British Ferns and Allied Plants. He became a partner in a firm of London printers, Luxford & Co., and became a printer and publisher of books on natural history and science. He later became the natural history editor of The Field, editor of The Zoologist and editor of The Entomologist. His books included Bird-nesting (1861), Illustrated Natural History of British Moths (1869) and Illustrated Natural History of British Butterflies (1871). His attempted division of British Insects into natural orders established many new families and is regarded as an important work of scientific classification.

As an evangelical Quaker, he was deeply worried by the 1859 publication of Charles Darwin’s On the origin of species, claiming that Darwin’s theories were “not compatible with our notions of creation as delivered from the hands of a Creator".

 

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