given us valuable works or monographs on the family; but the subject still remains little understood, partly owing to the great difficulty of preserving such delicate insects; and it appears probable they can only be satisfactorily investigated as moist preparations. The number of described species is less than 200, spread over many genera.
From the earliest times attention has been drawn to the enormous abundance of species of the family in certain localities. Johann Anton Scopoli, writing in the 18th century, speaks of them as so abundant in one place in Carniola that in June twenty cartloads were carried away for manure! Polymitarcys virgo, which, though not found in England, occurs in many parts of Europe (and is common at Paris), emerges from the water soon after sunset, and continues for several hours in such myriads as to resemble snow showers, putting out lights, and causing inconvenience to man, and annoyance to horses by entering their nostrils. In other parts of the world they have been recorded in multitudes that obscured passers-by on the other side of the street. And similar records might be multiplied almost to any extent. In Britain, although they are often very abundant, we have scarcely anything analogous.
Fish, as is well known, devour them greedily, and enjoy a veritable feast during the short period in which any particular species appears. By anglers the common English species of Ephemera (vulgata and danica, but more especially the latter, which is more abundant) is known as the “may-fly,” but the terms “green drake” and “bastard drake” are applied to conditions of the same species. Useful information on this point will be found in Ronalds’s Fly-Fisher’s Entomology, edited by Westwood.
Ephemeridae belong to a very ancient type of insects, and fossil imprints of allied forms occur even in the Devonian and Carboniferous formations.
There is much to be said in favour of the view entertained by some entomologists that the structural and developmental characteristics of may-flies are sufficiently peculiar to warrant the formation for them of a special order of insects, for which the names Agnatha, Plectoptera and Ephemeroptera have been proposed. (See Hexapoda, Neuroptera.)
Bibliography.—Of especial value to students of these insects are A. E. Eaton’s monograph (Trans. Linn. Soc. (2) iii. 1883–1885) and A. Vayssière’s “Recherches sur l’organisation des larves” (Ann. Sci. Nat. Zool. (6) xiii. 1882 (7) ix. 1890). J. A. Palmén’s memoirs Zur Morphologie des Tracheensystems (Leipzig, 1877) and Über paarige Ausführungsgänge der Geschlechtsorgane bei Insekten (Helsingfors, 1884), contain important observations on may-flies. See also L. C. Miall, Nat. Hist. Aquatic Insects (London, 1895); J. G. Needham and others (New York State Museum, Bull. 86, 1905). (R. McL.; G. H. C.)
MAYHEM (for derivation see Maiming), an old Anglo-French term of the law signifying an assault whereby the injured person is deprived of a member proper for his defence in fight, e.g. an arm, a leg, a fore tooth, &c. The loss of an ear, jaw tooth, &c., was not mayhem. The most ancient punishment in English law was retaliative—membrum pro membro, but ultimately at common law fine and imprisonment. Various statutes were passed aimed at the offence of maiming and disfiguring, which is now dealt with by section 18 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861. Mayhem may also be the ground of a civil action, which had this peculiarity that the court on sight of the wound might increase the damages awarded by the jury.
MAYHEW, HENRY (1812–1887), English author and journalist, son of a London solicitor, was born in 1812. He was sent to Westminster school, but ran away to sea. He sailed to India, and on his return studied law for a short time under his father. He began his journalistic career by founding, with Gilbert à Beckett, in 1831, a weekly paper, Figaro in London. This was followed in 1832 by a short-lived paper called The Thief; and he produced one or two successful farces. His brothers Horace (1816–1872) and Augustus Septimus (1826–1875) were also journalists, and with them Henry occasionally collaborated, notably with the younger in The Greatest Plague of Life (1847) and in Acting Charades (1850). In 1841 Henry Mayhew was one of the leading spirits in the foundation of Punch, of which he was for the first two years joint-editor with Mark Lemon. He afterwards wrote on all kinds of subjects, and published a number of volumes of no permanent reputation—humorous stories, travel and practical handbooks. He is credited with being the first to “write up” the poverty side of London life from a philanthropic point of view; with the collaboration of John Binny and others he published London Labour and London Poor (1851; completed 1864) and other works on social and economic questions. He died in London, on the 25th of July 1887. Horace Mayhew was for some years sub-editor of Punch, and was the author of several humorous publications and plays. The books of Horace and Augustus Mayhew owe their survival chiefly to Cruikshank’s illustrations.
MAYHEW, JONATHAN (1720–1766), American clergyman, was born at Martha’s Vineyard on the 8th of October 1720, being fifth in descent from Thomas Mayhew (1592–1682), an early settler and the grantee (1641) of Martha’s Vineyard. Thomas Mayhew (c. 1616–1657), the younger, his son John (d. 1689) and John’s son, Experience (1673–1758), were active missionaries among the Indians of Martha’s Vineyard and the vicinity. Jonathan, the son of Experience, graduated at Harvard in 1744. So liberal were his theological views that when he was to be ordained minister of the West Church in Boston in 1747 only two ministers attended the first council called for the ordination, and it was necessary to summon a second council. Mayhew’s preaching made his church practically the first “Unitarian” Congregational church in New England, though it was never officially Unitarian. In 1763 he published Observations on the Charter and Conduct of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, an attack on the policy of the society in sending missionaries to New England contrary to its original purpose of “Maintaining Ministers of the Gospel” in places “wholly destitute and unprovided with means for the maintenance of ministers and for the public worship of God;” the Observations marked him as a leader among those in New England who feared, as Mayhew said (1762), “that there is a scheme forming for sending a bishop into this part of the country, and that our Governor, a true churchman, is deeply in the plot.” To an American reply to the Observations, entitled A Candid Examination (1763), Mayhew wrote a Defense; and after the publication of an Answer, anonymously published in London in 1764 and written by Thomas Seeker, archbishop of Canterbury, he wrote a Second Defense. He bitterly opposed the Stamp Act, and urged the necessity of colonial union (or “communion”) to secure colonial liberties. He died on the 9th of July 1766. Mayhew was Dudleian lecturer at Harvard in 1765, and in 1749 had received the degree of D.D. from the University of Aberdeen.
See Alden Bradford, Memoir of the Life and Writings of Rev. Jonathan Mayhew (Boston, 1838), and “An Early Pulpit Champion of Colonial Rights,” chapter vi., in vol. i. of M. C. Tyler’s Literary History of the American Revolution (2 vols., New York, 1897).
MAYHEW, THOMAS, English 18th century cabinet-maker. Mayhew was the less distinguished partner of William Ince (q.v.). The chief source of information as to his work is supplied by his own drawings in the volume of designs, The universal system of household furniture, which he published in collaboration with his partner. The name of the firm appears to have been Mayhew and Ince, but on the title page of this book the names are reversed, perhaps as an indication that Ince was the more extensive contributor. In the main Mayhew’s designs are heavy and clumsy, and often downright extravagant, but he had a certain lightness of accomplishment in his applications of the bizarre Chinese style. Of original talent he possessed little, yet it is certain that much of his Chinese work has been attributed to Chippendale. It is indeed often only by reference to books of design that the respective work of the English cabinet-makers of the second half of the 18th century can be correctly attributed.
MAYMYO, a hill sanatorium in India, in the Mandalay district of Upper Burma, 3500 ft. above the sea, with a station on the
- Francis Bernard, whose project for a college at Northampton seemed to Mayhew and others a move to strengthen Anglicanism.