Parfitt, Edward (DNB00)

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PARFITT, EDWARD (1820–1893), naturalist, born at East Tuddenham, Norfolk, on 17 Oct. 1820, was son of Edward Parfitt (1800–1875) by his wife, Violet Howlet (1800–1836). The father was head gardener to Lord Hastings. Parfitt was educated at East Tuddenham and Honingham, and studied gardening under his father; he then became successively gardener to Anthony Gwyn of Sennow Lodge, Norfolk, and John Hay Hill, Gressinghall House, near East Dereham, and subsequently went on a voyage for scientific purposes. He was wrecked near the Cape of Good Hope, and an enforced stay in the colony intensified his taste for botany and entomology. Returning to England, he became in 1848 gardener to John Milford, Coaver House, Exeter. In 1859 he was appointed curator to the Archæological and Natural History Society of Somerset, a post which on 26 Jan. 1861 he exchanged for that of librarian to the Devon and Exeter Institute and Library at Exeter. He died on 15 Jan. 1893, having married on 23 Dec. 1850, at Exeter, Mary, eldest daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Cooper of Exeter, and widow of James Sanders.

Parfitt left a manuscript work on the fungi of Devonshire, in twelve volumes, illustrated by 1530 plates, drawn and painted by himself. He also contributed numerous papers to the ‘Transactions’ of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, ‘Annals and Magazine of Natural History,’ ‘Entomological Magazine,’ ‘Naturalist,’ and ‘Transactions’ of the Royal Microscopical Society.

[Boase's Collectanea Cornubiensia, col. 651; Natural Science, April 1893.]

A. F. P.