Thomas Reid Davys Bell

Deceased Person

1863 – 1948


Who was Thomas Reid Davys Bell?

Thomas Reid Davys Bell, born in Bandon, Cork, was a lepidopterist and forest officer in India.

Thomas was the youngest in a family of twelve. His early education was in Dresden. He tried to get into the Indian Civil Services but failed. He later wrote entrance exams to Sandhurst and Woolwich, passed but decided not to join the army. He then joined the Indian Woods and Forest Services and joined the services at Dharwad in 1884, as a Deputy Forest Officer. Here he was in touch with Edward Hamilton Aitken who was in the salt and excise department and James Davidson, collector of the district and along with these keen naturalists he began to study lepidoptera. He also made collections of beetles which he passed on to H. E. Andrewes at the British Museum. He was in Sind between 1905 and 1906 but returned to Belgaum. Davidson had moved back to Edinburgh and he moved to live at Karwar, North Kanara District, Bombay, India. A series on the common butterflies of India was started in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society by L. C. H. Young, but discontinued due to his ill-health.

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May 2, 1863
Jun 24, 1948

on July 23, 2013


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