Authorised form of nameHorsfield; Thomas (1773 - 1859)
Dates1773 - 1859
Place of birthA farm near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Date of birth12 May 1773
Date of death24 July 1859
Dates and placesBurial:
Moravian cemetery in Chelsea
OccupationPhysician and Naturalist
Schools in Bethlehem and Naszareth, Pennsylvania; University of Pennsylvania, where studied medicine. MD thesis illustrates his interest in botany, a study of the effects of the physiologically active poison ivy 'Rhus toxicodendron L.' and other members of the Anacardiaceae.Travelled to Java for first time in 1800, and captivated by its flora and fauna. Worked for East India Company in Java, including on the toxim from latex producing tree 'Antiaris toxocaria'. In 1803 attempted to analyse lava from eruption of Gunung Gunter. After 1811 when Java seized by the British, came into contact with Sir Stamford Raffles and in 1812 visited and prepared a map of Bankga Island for Raffles. In 1818 visited Sumatra with Sir Stamford and Lady Raffles. In 1820 appointed to East India Comapny's Museum in Leadenhall Street, London on Raffles recommendation. Worked with botanists J.J. Bennett (1801-1876) and Robert Brown (1773-1858) to produce his 'Plantae Javanicae' rariores (1838-1852). Remained at the India Museum until his death.
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election10/01/1828
Published works'Plantae Javanicae rariores (1838-1852) with J J Bennett and Robert Brown; 'Zoological Researches in Java' (1821-1824); with N A Vigors an account of Australian birds, published in 'Transactions of the Linnaean Society of London (1827); with Sir William Jardine, 'Illustrations in Ornithology' (1830)
Bulloch's Roll; DAB
Proc Roy Soc 1859-1860 vol 10 pp xix-xxi
'Saml Carlisle' is Samuel Goodenough, Bishop of Carlisle
New DNB (2004) gives place of birth as 42 West Market Street, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Royal Society codeNA5673
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
IM/004735Horsfield, ThomasOctober 2004
EC/1828/03Horsfield, Thomas: certificate of election to the Royal Society
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