Mark Catesby


Mark Catesby
Plate from Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1731-1743).

Mark Catesby (24 March 1682 – December 1749) was an English naturalist. Between 1731 and 1743 Catesby published his Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, the first published account of the flora and fauna of North America. It included 220 plates of birds, reptiles and amphibians, fish, insects, and mammals.

Contents

Life and works

Catesby was born on 24 March 1682 and baptized at Castle Hedingham, Essex. His father, John Catesby, was a lawyer and gentleman farmer. His mother was Elizabeth Jekyll Catesby of Hedingham Castle, Essex. The family owned a farm and house, Holgate, in Sudbury, Suffolk. An acquaintance with the naturalist John Ray led to Catesby becoming interested in natural history. He studied natural history in London before going to stay with his sister, Elizabeth Catesby Cocke, in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1712. The death of his father, six years earlier, had left Catesby enough to live on. Elizabeth was the wife of Dr. William Cocke, who had been a member of the Council and Secretary of State for the Colony of Virginia. According to family lore, Elizabeth married Dr. Cocke, against the wishes of her parents, before emigrating to Virginia. After his stay in Williamsburg, Catesby visited the West Indies in 1714, and returned to Virginia, then home to England in 1719.

Title page, volume two, Catesby's The Natural History of Carolina Florida and the Bahama Islands, London, 1754

Catesby had collected seeds and botanical specimens in Virginia, which he had sent to a Hoxton nurseryman Thomas Fairchild. This made his name known to other scientists in England, and in 1722 he was recommended by William Sherard to undertake a plant-collecting expedition to Carolina on behalf of the Royal Society. Catesby settled in Charlestown, and traveled to other parts of eastern North America and the West Indies, collecting plants and birds. Many of these specimens were sent to Hans Sloane in London. Catesby returned to England in 1726.

Quercus Anpotius. Plate from Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1731-1743).

Catesby spent the next seventeen years preparing his Natural History. Publication was financed by an interest-free loan from one of the fellows of the Royal Society, the Quaker Peter Collinson. Catesby was the first to use folio-sized coloured plates in natural history books. He learnt how to etch the plates himself. The first eight plates had no backgrounds, but from then on Catesby included plants with his animals. He completed the first volume in 1731, and in February 1733 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. The second volume was completed in 1743, and in 1746 he produced a supplement from material sent to him by friends in America, particularly John Bartram. Catesby died just before Christmas 1749 and was buried on 23 December.

Carolus Linnaeus included much of the information in the Natural History in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae (1758).

External links

Works

Gallery of Catesby's images

See also

References

  • Jackson, Christine E., (1985) Bird Etchings: the illustrators and their books, 1655-1855. Ithaca: Cornell University Press ISBN 0-8014-9684-5
  • Walters, Michael (2003) A Concise History of Ornithology. London: Christopher Helm ISBN 1-873403-97-6
  • Wiatt, Alex L. (1992) The Descendants of Stephen Field of King and Queen County, Virginia, 1721, Fredericksburg VA: BookCrafters

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  • Mark Catesby — (3 de abril de 1683 diciembre de 1749) fue un naturalista inglés. Entre 1731 y 1743 Catesby publicó su Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, la primera obra impresa sobre la flora y fauna de Norteamérica. Ésta incluía 220… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mark Catesby — Lámina de Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1731 1743). Mark Catesby ( * 3 de abril de 1683 23 de diciembre de 1749) fue un naturalista inglés. Entre 1731 y 1743 Catesby publicó su Natural History of Carolina, Flori …   Wikipedia Español

  • Mark Catesby — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Catesby. Planche extraite de Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1731 1743) de Mark Catesby. Mark Catesby est …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mark Catesby — Tafel aus Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1731 1743). Mark Catesby (* 3. April 1683; † Dezember 1749) war ein englischer Naturhistoriker. Sein offizielles botanisches Autorenkürzel lautet „Catesby“. Er veröffentlichte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Catesby — may refer to:;Placenames *Catesby, Northamptonshire, England **which includes Lower Catesby and Upper Catesby *Catesby, Oklahoma, USA;People *Catesby ap Roger Jones, 1821 1877, US Civil War naval commander*Mark Catesby, 1683 1749, English… …   Wikipedia

  • Catesby — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Mark Catesby (1683–1749), englischer Naturhistoriker Robert Catesby (1573–1605), katholischer Attentäter Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrere …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Catesby — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Catesby Mark Catesby, naturaliste britannique, (1683 1749) ; Robert Catesby, instigateur de la conspiration des poudres. Catégories :… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Catesby — I. biographical name Mark 1679? 1749 English naturalist II. biographical name Robert 1573 1605 English rebel …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • CATESBY, MARK —    an English naturalist and traveller, wrote a natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahamas (1680 1750) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Кейтсби, Марк — В Википедии есть статьи о других людях с такой фамилией, см. Кейтсби. Марк Кейтсби англ. Mark Catesby …   Википедия


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