Lives of the fellows

George Blundell Longstaff

b.2 February 1849 d.7 May 1921
BA Oxon(1871) BM(1876) DPH(1877) MA DM MRCS FRCP(1888) JP

G. B. Longstaff, second son of George Dixon Longstaff, M.D, of Wandsworth, and his wife Maria, daughter of Henry Blundell of Hull, was sent to Rugby and New College, Oxford, for his education. Having taken a first-class degree in natural science in 1871, he enrolled as a medical student at St. Thomas’s Hospital, where he won the Mead medal. He graduated as B.M. in 1876 and took the D.P.H. in the following year. But Longstaff never practised, although he found his medical knowledge of value when he was in Jamaica at the time of the earthquake. His life was devoted to municipal affairs and to entomology. For fourteen years he represented Wandsworth on the L.C.C, serving on many public committees and boards. A tour of India and Ceylon in 1903-04 re-awakened his enthusiasm for entomology, which had lain dormant since an accident at Oxford had cost him the use of an eye, and subsequent visits to all parts of the globe in company with his second wife, who was a well-known geologist, enabled him to add some 14,000 specimens to the Hope Collection at his old University. His Butterfly Hunting in Many Lands appeared in 1912. One of his subsidiary interests was the scientific aspect of statistics. In 1914 he enlisted as a special constable, retiring through ill health after three years’ service. Longstaff married, firstly, in 1875 Sara Leam, daughter of E. Dixon of Southampton, by whom he had two sons and two daughters, and, secondly, in 1906, Mary Jane Donald. He died at Putney Heath.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1921; B.M.J., 1921; Nature, 26 May 1921; Al.Oxon., iii, 871]

(Volume IV, page 330)

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