Ref NoMS/237d
TitleCorrespondence of Alexander MacLeay and William Sharp MacLeay: Additional letters and drafts
AdminHistoryAlexander MacLeay FRS FLS, was an entomologist (principally interested in lepidopterology) and a colonial statesman in Australia. He was born on June 24th 1767 in Ross-shire, Scotland and died in Sydney on June 18th 1848. MacLeay became a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1794, and was secretary from 1798-1825. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1809. MacLeay was Colonial Secretary of New South Wales 1825-37, and first Speaker of the Legislative Council 1843-46, and First President of the Australian Museum at Sydney, founded in 1836. Robert Brown named the genus Macleaya, (Bocconia), belonging to the poppy family, after MacLeay. He possessed a fine collection of insects and by 1825 it was said to be the best of any private individual.

William Sharp MacLeay, eldest son of Alexander MacLeay, was a scholar and naturalist, born on 21 July 1792 in London and died in Sydney on 26 January 1865. In 1818 he became secretary to the board for liquidating British claims in France on the peace of 1815; commissary judge in Havana, 1830-1837; went to New South Wales, 1839, where he enlarged his father's entomological collection. His chief work was Horae Entomologicae, propounding the circular or quintary system of classification.
DescriptionAdditional letters and drafts of Alexander MacLeay (A.M.) and William Sharp MacLeay (W.S.M.).

Unless otherwise stated, all drafts are incomplete and do not show their potential recipients.

1. 1817 (?) Draft. Apologizes for delay in replying and confirms he had sent the books.

2. - - Draft. Entomology. [On the reverse is a note from Hunniman dated 25 October 1821. It refers to a box of insects he had received from Siberia and was sending to MacLeay.]

3. 1823 (?) Draft. Aristotle and entomology.

4. 1825 Jun 10. Draft. His stay in London and payment to the landlord.

5. 1825 (?) Draft. To his "dear Friend". About his friend's publication on Lepidoptera.

6. 1830. Draft. Marriage of the King of Spain. Details of what he (MacLeay) was growing in his garden [in Havana?].

7. 1831 Apr 17. (?) to MacLeay. Letter in Spanish.

8. 1844 Dec 12. Draft. About a letter from Sewell, Norman and Sewell stating that £200 had been drawn in his favour.

9. After 1848 (?) Draft. Complains about being inundated with Jesuits and the unprincipled articles that had been published.

10. - - Draft. Complains that part of a fence around his land had been taken down and his paddock ploughed up. Asks for immediate redress.

11. - - Draft. Strongly recommends Mr Huxley who had been studying Pelagic Animals in the Australian seas.

12. - - Draft [to William Kirby?]. Comments on their correspondence about insects.

13. - - Draft [to William Kirby?]. Long discussion about insects.

14. - - Draft. Defends his decision to write on the Activities of Nature in the next volume of the Encyclopedia.

15. - - Draft. Seeks clarification of the plan about species in Latin and English.

16. - - Draft (signed by MacLeay in Havana). Four pages of six-page draft. Many subjects including the purpose of the Linnean Society.

17. - - Draft. General discussion on the ability to give opinions without collections to back them up.

18. - - Draft. Outline of the general points on which he had been misunderstood.

19. - - Copy of letter in French by A. Matthey. Comment by MacLeay in middle of letter about Matthey's objective after Rudolphi had provided 43 species of the genus Filaria.

20. - - Note that M. Jullieu pere will call to see MacLeay in Paris.

21. - - Draft [to Stevens?]. Suggestions about insects in Stevens's forthcoming book.

22. - - Draft. Comments and suggestions about the forthcoming Geographical Distribution of Insects.

23. - - Draft. Takes no offence at the attacks on him [MacLeay} in the Introduction.

24. - - Draft. About the classification of insects.

25. - - Draft. About insects. [May be part of No. 24.]

26. - - Draft. About insects. [May be part of No. 24.]

27. - - Draft. Agrees that his argument leads to a Quinary System but stresses this was not an absolute law from which there was no appeal.

28. - - Draft. Answers letter in which most of his own observations had been confirmed.

29. - - Draft. Welcomes criticisms of his Flora Entomologia, comments on what had been said.

30. - - Part of letter to MacLeay in Paris enclosing a book.

31. - - From (?) to (?) in German.

32. - - Draft. His father, followed by comments about insects in New Holland.
Extent3 (of 3) boxes
AcquisitionManuscripts and correspondence of Alexander MacLeay were donated to the Linnean Society by his son, Sir George MacLeay, in 1886. Papers of Dr William Sharp MacLeay (the eldest son of Alexander MacLeay) were donated to the Linnean Society by the executors of the late Sir George MacLeay (William's younger brother) in 1891.
Creator NameMacLeay, Alexander & William Sharp [also spelt McLeay or M'Leay]
    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2024