Frederick Octavius Pickard-Cambridge

F. O. Pickard-Cambridge was born in Warmwell, Dorset, where his father was rector. He became a curate at St Cuthbert's church in Carlisle for a few years after having been educated at Sherborne School and Exeter College, Oxford. He left to become a professional biological illustrator, and in 1894–1895 spent several months in the Amazon as a naturalist on board the SS Faraday.[1] He found much of interest on his voyage and began writing papers in 1896 to describe the spiders he discovered.

He had a promising career ahead of him, but this promise was not to be fulfilled. Bristowe, writing in the book British Spiders, 1951, said of this time in his life: "Whilst he was still in his 30s, however, a marked change came over him which led to misfortune". He gave up the priesthood because of his extreme religious views, and became estranged from friends and family on account of his strong political opinions. This unfortunate new tendency also spilled over into his natural history work, and he had fierce arguments with other scientists, such as Karsch, over questions of nomenclature.


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Species described or mentioned