Haworth, Adrian Hardy

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Haworth, Adrian Hardy

(b. Hull, England, 19 April 1768; d. Chelsea, London, England, 24 August 1833)

botany, entomology.

Haworth was born and reared in Hull, where his father, Benjamin Haworth, was a prosperous merchant and landowner. His mother, Anne Boothe Haworth, probably nurtured his interest in gardening. After attending Hull Grammar School and serving in a law office, he started to pursue a full-time career in natural history, financed by the family business interests. Haworth was married three times and had children by each wife. After living for several years in Cottingham, near Hull, he moved to Chelsea. He joined the Linnean Society in 1798. Haworth also was one of the original members of the Aurelian Society, which in 1806 dissolved and regrouped as the Entomological Society of London and subsequently merged with the Zoological Club of the Linnean Society.

Between 1803 and 1828 Haworth published Lepidoptera Britannica, the first comprehensive study of British butterflies and moths and the standard work for fifty years. He was author of sixty publications, primarily concerned with Lepidoptera and with succulent plants. Haworth returned to Cottingham from 1812 to 1818. During these years he helped found and arrange the Hull Botanic Garden and wrote a natural history of the parish in the form of a poem of twenty-four cantos, some of which were published in the local newspaper. In 1818 Haworth returned to Chelsea, where he remained until his death from cholera in 1833. His house in Chelsea became known as a natural history museum. In 1833 the collection contained 40,000 insects, including 1,100 species with 300 varieties of lepidopterous insects; one shell cabinet; twelve glazed cases of fish; a library of 1,600 volumes on natural history; a herbarium of 20,000 species; and over 500 species of plants in the garden.


I. Original Works. Haworth’s major publications include “Rhus toxicodendron,” in John Alderson, An Essay on the Rhus toxicodendron (Hull, 1793); Observations on the Genus Mesembryanthemum (London, 1794); Prodromus Lepidopterorum Britannicorum: A Concise Catalogue... With Times and Places of Appearance... (London, 1802); vol. VI of Henry C. Andrews, Botanist’s Repository (London, 1803); Lepidoptera Britannica, 4 pts. (London, 1803–1828); Synopsis plantarum succulentarum (London, 1812), with supp. (1819); and Saxifragearum enumeratio (London, 1821). In addition Haworth published several articles in the Transactions of the Entomological, Linnean, and Horticultural societies. Between 1823 and 1828 he published twenty-five papers in Philosophical Magazine.

II. Secondary Literature. The best and most recent biographical account of Haworth is William T. Stearn, “Biographical and Bibliographical Introduction,” in Adrian Hardy Haworth, Complete Works on Succulent Plants, I, facs. repr. (London, 1965). Briefer and older accounts and bibliographies are G. S. Boulger in Dictionary of National Biography, repr. ed., IX, 246–247; and in James Britten and G. S. Boulger, A Biographical Index of British and Irish Botanists, rev. by A. B. Rendle, 2nd ed. (London, 1931), p. 143. Thomas Faulkner, An Historical and Topographical Description of Chelsea and Its Environs, II (Chelsea, 1829), 11–13, gives a contemporary view of Haworth’s later years in Chelsea.

Roy A. Rauschenberg