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George Edwards

1694 Stratford
1773 Plaistow

George Edwards; born 1694 in Stratford, West Ham near London; died July 23, 1773, in Plaistow, West Ham. As of 1721, George Edwards, financially independent because of inherited wealth, devoted himself to the observation and representation of indigenous and non-indigenous species of birds, either live specimens or those prepared and imported by ship from Africa, India, China, and Malaysia.
Many of his drawings were done on commission, for such men as Sir Hans Sloane, president of the Royal Society and Royal College of Physicians, whose beadle George Edwards became in 1733. Because of his activities here, such as managing the library, he met many of the leading researchers of his time.
Edwards also learned the technique of engraving from his friend and mentor Mark Catesby, which made it possible for him to engrave his own drawings. The results of this engraving work can be found in his natural historical works "A national history of uncommon birds" (1743-51) and "Gleanings of natural history" (1758-64), to which he added to the hand colored compositions of his illustration engravings according to the models of Mark Catesby and Eleazar Albin with the inclusion of insects, especially butterflies.
George Edwards' first time descriptions of numerous birds was used by Carl von Linné, with whom Edwards was in close written contact, as the basis for his scientific naming of about 300 species of birds. In 1757, George Edwards became a member of the Royal Society, for whose journal "Philosophical Transactions" he wrote many articles.

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