S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Pickard-Cambridge, Reverend Octavius (arachnology)

Born: 3 November 1828, Bloxworth, Dorset, United Kingdom.
Died: 9 March 1917, United Kingdom.
Active in: SA.

Octavius Pickard-Cambridge, English clergyman and natural historian, was the son of Reverend George Pickard. He studied theology at University College, Durham, qualified as Master of Arts (MA), and was ordained in 1858. From 1868 he held the position of Rector (Church of England) of Bloxworth, in Dorset. He devoted his spare time to natural history, particularly arachnology, in which he became a world authority. The results of his observations were written up during 1859-1917 in about 100 papers in which he described many new species and genera of spiders, initially mainly from Britain but later from all over the world. Some of his papers dealt with moths and butterflies, birds and other aspects of natural history. His main work was The spiders of Dorset (1879-1881, 625 pp), published by the Dorset Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club. He also wrote a comprehensive article on "Arachnida" for the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 1, 1875). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1887.

Pickard-Cambridge devoted two papers to the spiders of southern Africa. "On a new genus and species of trapdoor spider from South Africa" appeared in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History in 1875. The second was published in South Africa: "Description of some new species, and characters of three new genera, of Araneidea from South Africa", in the Annals of the South African Museum (1904, Vol. 3(5), pp. 143-165).

Pickard-Cambridge married Rose Wallace in 1866 and they had six sons. His nephew, Frederick Octavius Pickard-Cambridge (1860-1905) was also a noted arachnologist.

List of sources:
Annals of the South African Museum. List of papers published in Volumes I-XXX. Cape Town: South African Museum, 1938.

Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. & JocquƩ, R. African spiders: An identification manual. Pretoria: Plant Protection Institute, Handbook No. 9, 1997.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, combined 9th and 10th edition, 1875-1902.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Octavius Pickard-Cambridge. In Tarantupedia. https://www.tarantupedia.com/bibliography/octavius-pickard-cambridge as on 28 April 2020.

Royal Society of London. Catalogue of scientific papers [1800-1900]. London: Royal Society, 1867-1925.

Who was who, Vol. 2, 4th ed. London: Adam & Black, 1967.

Compiled by: C. Plug

Last updated: 2020-04-28 10:22:21