Stainton, Henry Tibbats (DNB00)

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STAINTON, HENRY TIBBATS (1822–1892), entomologist, eldest son of Henry Stainton of Lewisham, was born in London on 13 Aug. 1822, his parents removing to Lewisham when he was a few weeks old. He was educated almost entirely at home, but finally attended King's College, London. For several years he was engaged in commercial occupations under his father.

About 1840, instigated apparently by the Rev. W. Johnson, a friend of his father, he turned his attention to entomology, more especially to the Micro-Lepidoptera, rising at five in the morning to pursue his studies. In 1856 he established the ‘Entomologists' Weekly Intelligencer,’ which went through ten volumes, and was discontinued in 1861. ‘The Entomologists' Annual’ was started by him in 1855, and continued till 1874, completing twenty volumes; while in 1864 he, with friends, founded the ‘Entomologists' Monthly Magazine,’ his connection with which was kept up till his death. In 1848 he joined the Entomological Society of London, was its secretary in 1850–1, and president in 1881–2. He was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society of London in 1859, and held the post of secretary from 1869 to 1874, and vice-president in 1883–5. He became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1867, and served on its council in 1880–2. He attended the meetings of the British Association, and acted as secretary to the natural history section in 1864, and from 1867 to 1872. He became secretary of the Ray Society in 1861, at a critical moment of its history, and held the post till 1872. He was a member of the Entomological Societies of France, Stettin, and Italy, and honorary member of those of Belgium and Switzerland.

In 1871 Stainton was instrumental in founding the ‘Zoological Record Association,’ of which he was secretary, till the work was taken over by the Zoological Society of London in 1886. He died from cancer in the stomach at his residence in Lewisham on 2 Dec. 1892. In 1846 he married Isabel, the youngest daughter of J. Dunn, esq. of Sheffield.

Stainton was author of:

  1. ‘An Attempt at a Systematic Catalogue of the British Tineidæ and Pterophoridæ,’ 8vo, London, 1849.
  2. ‘A Supplementary Catalogue of the British Tineidæ and Pterophoridæ,’ 8vo, London, 1851.
  3. ‘The Entomologists' Companion,’ 12mo, London, 1852; 2nd edit. 1854.
  4. ‘Bibliotheca Stephensiana’ (a catalogue of the library, preceded by an obituary notice of James Francis Stephens [q. v.]), 4to, London, 1853.
  5. ‘Insecta Britannica. Lepidoptera: Tineina,’ 8vo, London, 1854; 3rd supplement, 1856.
  6. ‘The Natural History of the Tineina,’ 13 vols. 8vo, London, 1855–1873.
  7. ‘June: a book for the Country in Summer Time,’ 8vo, London, 1856.
  8. ‘A Manual of British Butterflies and Moths,’ 2 vols. 12mo, London [1856–] 1857–9.
  9. ‘The Tineina of Syria and Asia Minor,’ 8vo, London, 1867.
  10. ‘British Butterflies and Moths,’ 8vo, London, 1867.
  11. ‘The Tineina of Southern Europe,’ 8vo, London, 1869.

He also contributed from 1848 some hundred papers on entomological subjects to various scientific journals (see Royal Society's Cat. Scientific Papers).

Besides the several entomological journals already named, he edited and supplied notes to J. F. Stephens's ‘Catalogue of British Lepidoptera’ [in the British Museum], 2nd edit. 1856: to ‘The Tineina of North America, by Dr. B. Clemens,’ 1872; and to ‘The Larvæ of the British Butterflies and Moths, by W. Buckler,’ 4 vols. Ray Society, 1886–91.

[Proc. Roy. Soc. lii, obit. p. ix; Times, 12 Dec. 1892; Entomological Monthly Mag. 1893, p. 1, &c., with portrait; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Roy. Soc. Cat.]

B. B. W.