William Sharp Macleay

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William Sharp Macleay

William Sharp Macleay (født 21. juli 1792, død 26. januar 1865) var en britisk offentlig tjenestemann og entomolog.

Etter utdanningen arbeidet han ved den britiske ambassaden i Paris, samtidig som han dyrket sin interesse for naturhistorie, utga essay om insekter og korresponderte med Charles Darwin.

Macleay flyttet til Havana, Cuba, hvor han arbeidet på forskjellige nivåer som dommer. Da han pensjonerte seg, emigrerte han seg til Australia hvor han fortsatte å samle inn insekter og studerte marin naturhistorie.

Tidlig liv[rediger | rediger kilde]

Macleay ble født i London, eldste sønn av Alexander Macleay som kalte ham opp etter hans daværende forretningspartner, William Sharp som også var vinhandler. Han gikk på Westminster School og Trinity College, Cambridge og ble uteksaminert med laud i 1814.[1] Han ble så utpekt til attaché ved den britiske ambassaden i Paris, og hadde som sin far også interesse for naturhistorie og kom ble en venn av Georges Cuvier, og andre berømte vitenskapsmenn.

Tidlig vitenskaplig virke[rediger | rediger kilde]

Macleays hovedverk var Horae Entomologicae; or, Essays on the Annulose Animals, delene 1-2 (1819–1821). Han utga også Annulosa Javanica or an Attempt to illustrate the Natural Affinities and Analogies of the Insects collected in Java by T. Horsfield, no. 1 (London, 1925).

Klassifikasjon av insekter under Quinarian-systemet av Macleay, skjematisk diagram fra en bok fra 1845 av James Rennie.

Andre mindre publikasjoner om insekter innbefatter Remarks on the devastation occasioned by Hylobius abietis in fir plantations i Zoological Journal og several notes in the Transactions of the Entomological Society of London. Macleay sendte mange insekter til Frederick William Hope, nå i Hope Department of Entomology. He was also a correspondent of Charles Darwin, though he disagreed fervently with the latter's theories of evolution.

Macleay was the originator of the short-lived Quinarian-system of classification, which is used extensively in his Horae Entomologicae.

Havana[rediger | rediger kilde]

I 1825, ble Macleay utnevnt til British commissioner of arbitration to the joint British and Spanish Court of Commission in Havana, Cuba, for the abolition of the slave trade; he became commissary judge in 1830, and then was appointed judge to the Mixed Tribunal of Justice in 1833. He retired in 1836 (at the age of 44) on a pension of £900. Throughout these years he also maintained a correspondence with his sister Frances (Fanny) Leonora Macleay (1793–1836). These letters typically convey a harsh, even severe impression of his character.

Macleay had maintained his scientific work whilst in Havana and was elected to the Linnean Society, of which his father had been Secretary (1798–1825), and the Zoological Society. He was elected president of the natural history section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

Australia[rediger | rediger kilde]

Macleay emigrerte til Australia i 1839, living briefly at the Colonial Secretary's House in Macquarie Place with his parents before moving in September of that year to the family's still unfinished Elizabeth Bay House. He took possession of the estate in 1845 having taken on his father Alexander's considerable debts and the mortgages on the property (he formally inherited it in 1848). In an attempt to raise funds he also sold furniture he had acquired in London on behalf of his father but for which he had never been reimbursed. He did not however complete the house, and it remained without its planned colonnade. The house became a meeting place for a small circle of intellectuals and naturalists, though Macleay was not known for being actively sociable. Thomas Mitchell Jnr satirised the house and owner: 'Bleak House blears blindly o'er Eliza's Bay, chill as its owner's hospitality' (Carlin, p45). Macleay was interested in the natural history of Australia, the marine fauna around Port Jackson in particular. Later he collected a large number of Australian insects; on his death these were bequeathed to his cousin William John Macleay, whose interest in natural history he encouraged and who in 1888 transferred them to the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney, for which act he was knighted. He also encouraged the scientific interests of his brother George Macleay.

Macleay bodde alene på Elizabeth Bay House inntil sin død i 1865.

Referanser[rediger | rediger kilde]

Eksterne lenker[rediger | rediger kilde]

Bibliografi[rediger | rediger kilde]

Additional resources listed by the Australian Dictionary of Biography:

  • P. P. King, Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia, vols 1-2 (Lond, 1827)
  • Linnean Society of New South Wales, Macleay Memorial Volume, ed J. J. Fletcher (Syd, 1893)
  • Calcutta Journal of Natural History, July 1841
  • Annals of Natural History, 8 (1841), 9 (1842)
  • Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, 3 (1849)
  • Macleay papers (University of Sydney Archives)