Alston, Edward Richard (DNB00)

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ALSTON, EDWARD RICHARD (1845–1881), zoologist, was born at Stockbriggs, near Lesmahagow, 1 Dec. 1845, and, being delicate in youth, was chiefly self-educated at home. He very early contributed to the ‘Zoologist’ and various Scottish magazines, and ultimately became an acknowledged authority on mammalia and birds. His principal papers in the ‘Proceedings of the Zoological Society’ (1874–80) are upon rodents, especially American squirrels (1878 and 1879). The division Mammalia in Salvin and Godman's ‘Biologia Centrali-Americana’ was written by him, though its publication was incomplete at his death. In 1880 he was elected zoological secretary of the Linnean Society, which office he held till his death from acute phthisis on 7 March 1881. In 1874 he largely assisted Prof. T. Bell in the second edition of ‘British Quadrupeds.’ All his papers are valuable, and remarkable for conciseness and lucidity.

[Obituary Notice, Proc. Linn. Soc. 1880–81, p. 16.]

G. T. B.