Pascoe, Francis Polkinghorne (DNB00)

PASCOE, FRANCIS POLKINGHORNE (1813–1893), entomologist, only child of William Pascoe of Penzance, Cornwall, and his wife, whose maiden name was Polkinghorne, was born in Penzance on 1 Sept. 1813. He was educated at the grammar school of that town, and afterwards served with one Berryman a surgeon there. He subsequently attended St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, and was admitted M.R.C.S. in 1835. Next year he entered the navy as assistant surgeon, and in June 1836 sailed for Australia in the Buffalo with Captain (afterwards Sir John) Hindmarsh [q. v.] who had been appointed the first governor of South Australia. He subsequently went to the West Indies and the Mediterranean. Coming into some property by the death of a relative in March 1843, he retired from the navy, and on 28 Nov. of that year married Mary, second daughter of William Glasson of Falmouth. He settled near his property at St. Austell, Cornwall, but, after the death of his wife in 1851 at Montpellier, he resided in London. There he devoted himself to science, and gradually formed the great entomological collection which now has passed to the Natural History Museum at South Kensington. He was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society in June 1852, and was also a member of the Ray and Horticultural Societies. He joined the Entomological Society of London in 1854, becoming its president for 1864–5, and was made a member of the Société Entomologique de France in 1862.

In 1891, owing to failing health, he left London for Tunbridge Wells, and thence moving to Brighton died there suddenly on 20 June 1893.

His first paper, published in 1850, related to botany; but the remainder, some seventy in all, appearing in various scientific publications, dealt with his chosen subject of entomology. Although a believer in evolution, he was a persistent opponent of the theory of natural selection.

Pascoe was author of the following separate works: 1. ‘Zoological Classification,’ 8vo, London, 1877; 2nd ed. 1880. 2. ‘Hints for Collecting and Preserving Insects,’ 8vo [London], 1882. 3. ‘The Student's List of British Coleoptera,’ &c., 8vo, London, 1882. 4. ‘Notes on Natural Selection and the Origin of Species,’ 8vo, London, 1884. 5. ‘List of British Vertebrate Animals,’ 8vo, London, 1885. 6. ‘Analytical Lists of the Classes, Orders … of the Animal Kingdom,’ 8vo, London, 1886. 7. ‘The Darwinian Theory of the Origin of Species,’ 8vo, London, 1886.

[Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. ii. 427–9, iii. 1302 (for full bibliography); Entomologist's Monthly Mag. 1893, pp. 194–6; Natural Science, iii. 159; information kindly supplied by Miss Pascoe; Royal Soc. Cat.; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

B. B. W.