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Henry Walter Bates
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Birth: Feb. 8, 1825
Death: Feb. 16, 1892

English naturalist and explorer who gave the first scientific account of mimicry in animals. He was most famous for his expedition to the Rainforests of the Amazon with Alfred Russel Wallace in 1848. Wallace returned in 1852, but lost his collection in a shipwreck. When Bates arrived home in 1859 after a full eleven years, he had sent back over 14,712 species (mostly of insects) of which 8,000 were new to science. born in Leicester to a literate middle-class family. However, like Wallace, T.H. Huxley, and Herbert Spencer, he had no formal education in science, and taught himself mainly by reading (i.e., he was largely an auto-didact). He left school at 12, and at 13 he became apprenticed to a hosier. He joined the Mechanics' Institute (which had a library), studied in his spare time, and collected insects in Charnwood Forest. In 1843 he had a short paper on beetles published in the journal Zoologist. Bates became friends with Wallace when the latter took a teaching post in the Leicester Collegiate School. Wallace was also a keen entomologist, and he had read the same kind of books as Bates had, and as Darwin, Huxley and no doubt many others had. Malthus on population, James Hutton and Lyell on geology, Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, and above all, the anonymous Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, which put evolution into everyday discussion amongst literate folk. They also read William H. Edwards on his Amazon expedition, and this started them thinking that a visit to the region would be exciting, and might launch their careers. In 1847 Wallace and Bates discussed the idea of an expedition to the Amazon Rainforest, the plan being to cover expenses by sending specimens back to London. He collected 'wants lists' of the desires of museums and collectors. Letters from the pair survive in the Kew Garden library, asking what plants the Director (then William Jackson Hooker) would like them to find. Bates and Wallace sailed from Liverpool in April 1848, arriving in Pará (now Belém) at the end of May. For the first year they settled in a villa near the city, collecting birds and insects. After that they agreed to collect independently, Bates travelling to Cametá on the Tocantins River. He then moved up the Amazon, to Óbidos, Manaus and finally to the Upper Amazon (Solimőes). From 1864 onwards, he worked as Assistant Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society (effectively, he was the Secretary, since the senior post was occupied by a noble figurehead). He sold his personal Lepidoptera collection to Godman and Salvin and began to work mostly on beetles. A large part of his collections are in the Natural History Museum, London.
Family links: 
  Sarah Ann Mason Bates (1840 - 1897)*
*Calculated relationship
In memory of
Henry Walter Bates, F.R.S.
Author of
The Naturalist on the Amazon
For 27 years Secretary of the
Royal Geographic Society
Born Feby. 8th. 1925
Died Feby. 16th. 1892
Erected by his many friends

In memory of
Sarah Ann
widow of
Henry Walter Bates
Died October 13th. 1897
aged 57 years

F.R.S. = Fellow of the Royal Society.
East Finchley Cemetery and Crematorium
East Finchley
London Borough of Barnet
Greater London, England
Created by: julia&keld
Record added: Dec 31, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 102859694
Henry Walter Bates
Added by: julia&keld
Henry Walter Bates
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
Henry Walter Bates
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
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