Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Shuckard, William Edward

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SHUCKARD, WILLIAM EDWARD (1802–1868), entomologist, born in 1802, was the eldest son of Johann Leonhardt Schuckardt of Frankfort-on-the-Main, who settled in England in 1787 (married in 1793) and became proprietor of the Old Ship Hotel at Brighton. William was well educated, and was apprenticed to Messrs. Baldwin, Craddock, & Joy, publishers, of Paternoster Row; lodging at first with his maternal uncle, William Bernard Cooke [q. v.], the line-engraver, of Soho Square. But his devotion to reading led to neglect of his duties, and he was dismissed. His father then sent him to a German firm of booksellers, it is believed at Leipzig. Subsequently on returning to Brighton he attempted literary work, and became sub-editor of a local paper. His leisure he devoted to entomology, and soon became expert in the study. On 2 April 1835 he was appointed librarian to the Royal Society, and held the post until 9 Nov. 1843. Through the influence of William Wilson Saunders [q. v.], the entomologist, he obtained in the following year the post of editor of ‘Lloyd's List,’ which office he held till his retirement in 1861. He died at the Oval Road, Kennington, on 10 Nov. 1868. Shuckard married, about 1829, the daughter of Mr. Martin of Horsted Keynes, Sussex.

Shuckard was author of:

  1. ‘Essay on the Indigenous Fossorial Hymenoptera,’ 8vo, London, 1837.
  2. ‘Elements of British Entomology,’ 8vo, London, 1839.
  3. ‘The British Coleoptera,’ with drawings by W. J. Spry, 8vo, London, 1840.
  4. ‘On the History and Natural Arrangement of Insects,’ written in conjunction with W. Swainson, 8vo, London (Lardner's ‘Cabinet Cyclopædia,’ vol. x.), 1840.
  5. ‘Catalogue of the Manuscript Letters in the possession of the Royal Society,’ 8vo, London, 1840.
  6. ‘British Bees,’ 8vo, London, 1866.

He also translated and edited, with notes and plates, ‘A Manual of Entomology,’ from the German of C. H. C. Burmeister, 8vo, London, 1836; Tischendorf's ‘Travels in the East’ in 1847, and Bechstein's ‘Chamber Birds’ in 1848, which went through many editions. Some sixteen papers on entomological subjects by him appeared in various scientific journals between 1836 and 1842.

[Entomologist, iv. 180; information kindly supplied by his son, Mr. G. C. Shuckard, and by Mr. R. Harrison, Assist. Sec. Roy. Soc.; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Roy. Soc. Cat.]

B. B. W.