Bevan, Edward (DNB00)
BEVAN, EDWARD, M.D. (1770–1860), physician and an eminent apiarian, was born in London on 8 July 1770. Being left fatherless in early infancy, he was received into the house of his maternal grandfather, Mr. Powle, of Hereford, and at the age of eight was placed at the grammar school, Wootton-under-Edge, where he remained for four years. He was afterwards removed to the college school at Hereford, and it having been determined that he should adopt medicine as a profession, he was apprenticed to a surgeon in that town. He then proceeded to London, was entered as a student at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and during three sessions of attendance on the lectures of his instructors Abernethy, Latham, and Austin, he acquired the honourable appellation of ‘the indefatigable.’ His degree of M.D. was obtained from the university of St. Andrew's in 1818. He commenced practice at Mortlake as assistant to Dr. John Clarke. After five years so spent he settled on his own account first at Stoke-upon-Trent, and then at Congleton. There he married the second daughter of Mr. Cartwright, an apothecary, one of the last of the ‘bishops’ of a sect called the primitive christian church. After twelve years' residence in Cheshire, his health not bearing the fatigue of a country business, Bevan again returned to Mortlake, and practised there for two years, but with a like result. He thereupon retired to a small estate at Bridstow, near Ross, in Herefordshire, where he devoted himself to the development of an apiary which he found already established on his newly acquired property. Previous to this he had, in 1822, assisted his friend Mr. Samuel Parkes in the preparation of the third and revised edition of the latter's ‘Rudiments of Chemistry.’
The first edition of his book on bees was issued in 1827, with the title, ‘The Honey-Bee: its Natural History, Physiology, and Management.’ This treatise at once established the author's reputation as a scientific apiarian, and was read wherever the bee is regarded as an object of interest. The second edition, published in 1888, is dedicated to her Majesty. In it the author has included much new and valuable matter. A third edition, by W. A. Munn, appeared in 1870. Bevan also wrote a paper on the 'Honey-Bee Communities' in the first volume of the 'Magazine of Zoology and Botany,' and published a few copies of ' Hints on the History and Management of the Honey-Bee,' which had formed the substance of two lectures read before the Hereford Literary Institution in the winter of 1850-51. He had from 1849 fixed his residence at Hereford, where he died on 31 Jan. 1860, when within a few months of completing his ninetieth year. As a public man Bevan was shy and retiring but was much beloved in the circle of his private acquaintances. It is recorded as a proof of the esteem in which he was held, that on the occasion of a great flood in the Wye, in February 1852, washing away all the doctor's beehives, a public subscription was raised, and a new apiary presented to him, of which, as a very pleasing substitute for what he had playfully called his 'Virgilian Temple,' the venerable apiarian was justly proud. Bevan was one of tne founders of the Entomological Society in 1883.
[Naturalist, ed. Neville Wood, iv. 142-6; Athenæum, 11 Feb. 1860, t). 206; Hereford Times, 4 Feb. 1860, p. 8; London and Provincial Medical Directory for 1860, p. 478.]