Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/111

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Cureton
Curtis
99

battle of Aliwal on 28 Jan. 1846, receiving the medal and clasp. In the Punjab campaign he was aide-de-camp to his father until his death at the battle of Ramnagar on 22 Nov. 1848, where he was himself slightly wounded. He took part in the passage of the Chenab on 2 and 3 Dec., in the battle of Gujrat, 21 Feb. 1849, and in the pursuit, under Sir Walter Gilbert, of the Sikh army, the capture of Attak, and the occupation of Peshawar, receiving the medal and clasp.

He served in the north-west frontier campaign of 1849 to 1852, including the expedition to the Usafzai in 1849, and the operations against the Mohmands in 1851 and 1852, receiving the medal and clasp. On 4 May 1852 he was appointed second in command of the 2nd irregular cavalry. He took part in the suppression of the Sonthal rebellion in 1856, and in the Indian mutiny in 1857. He served against the Sealkote mutineers, and took part in the action of Trimu Ghat, also against the Gogaira rebels. He raised and commanded Cureton's Multani cavalry, and continued to command it after it became the 15th Bengal cavalry. He served with it, and had charge of the intelligence department throughout the campaigns in Rohilkhand and Oude in 1858 and 1859, and was present at the actions of Bhagwala, Najina, Bareli, Shahjehanpur, Banai, Shahabad, Bankegaon, Mahodipur, Rasalpur, Mitaoli, and Biswa, was eleven times mentioned in despatches published in general orders, and received the medal and brevets of major and lieutenant-colonel. He distinguished himself as a cavalry leader, and performed many acts of great personal bravery (London Gazette, 17 and 28 July and 10 Aug. 1858, and 31 Jan. and 4 Feb. 1859). He served in the north-west frontier campaign of 1860, and on 2 June 1869 was made a companion of the order of the Bath, military division.

He commanded the Oude division of the Bengal army for five years from 22 Oct. 1879. He was promoted to be knight commander of the order of the Bath, military division, in May 1891. He died at Eastbourne, Sussex, on 11 July 1891. He married a daughter of the Rev. Dr. W. A. Holmes of Templemore, co. Tipperary, by whom he left three sons, two of whom are in the army.

[India Office Records; Despatches; Times, 24 Jan. 1849, 14 July 1891, and 13 Feb. 1894; Gent. Mag. March 1849; United Service Journal, March 1849; Cannon's Historical Records of the 12th Lancers, the 14th Light Dragoons, and the 16th Lancers; Napier's Hist. of the War in the Peninsula; Kaye's Hist. of the War in Afghanistan, 1838-42; Kaye's Hist. of the Sepoy War; Malleson's Hist. of the Indian Mutiny; Thackwell's Second Sikh War; Archer's Punjab Campaign, 1848-9; The Sikhs and the Sikh Wars by Gough and Innes; Army Lists.]

R. H. V.


CURTIS, JOHN (1791–1862), entomologist, born at Norwich on 3 Sept. 1791, was son of Charles Curtis, an engraver on stone and a sign painter, who died when John was four years old. As a child Curtis was drawn to the study of insect life. While studying as a boy with Richard Walker, a local naturalist, the botany and entomology of the ponds and marshes in the neighbourhood of Norwich, he contracted a severe attack of rheumatic fever. When about sixteen years of age Curtis was placed in a lawyer's office as a writing clerk, but, finding the position distasteful, went in 1811 to live at Costessey, a village near Norwich, with Simon Wilkin [q. v.], where he met many scientific naturalists, the Rev. William Kirby [q. v.], the Rev. John Burrell, and others. During this period Curtis was placed for a time with a Mr. Edwards of Bungay to learn engraving, and, becoming acquainted with the works of Latreille, began systematically to dissect, draw, and describe insects, and to engrave them on copper. His first published work was on the plates to Kirby and Spence's ‘Introduction to Entomology,’ 1815-26.

During a visit to Kirby at Barham, near Ipswich, Curtis made the acquaintance of William Spence [q. v.] and Alexander Macleay [q. v.], secretary of the Linnean Society, and assisted Kirby in bringing out descriptions of Australian insects, published in the ‘Transactions of the Linnean Society,’ and in other work. In 1817 Curtis accompanied Kirby to London, and was presented to Sir Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society, who granted him the free use of his library, and introduced him to Dr. William Elford Leach [q. v.], keeper of the zoological collection in the British Museum, with whom Curtis studied shells. At Dr. Leach's house he met James Charles Dale, of Glanville Wotton, Sherborne, called ‘the father of British entomology’ (Newman's Entomologist, vi. 56), and Dale (d. 6 Feb. 1872) became his lifelong friend and patron.

During his early days in London, Curtis executed much botanical drawing and engraving for the Horticultural and Linnean Societies. He became a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1822, and, after meeting Baron Cuvier and Latreille, began his great work ‘British Entomology,’ the first number

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