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CAPTAIN CHAWNER AND PHOBERIA LUMARIS

CAPTAIN B Y M I S S ETHEL

CHAWNER AND LUNARIS.

113

PHOBERIA

FRANCIS C H A W N E R , F.Z.S., F.E.S.,

F.R.H.S.

My grandfather was a well known gold and silver smith, whose name is still mentioned in sales ; he retired in his old age to the manor House of Newton Valence near Alton in Hampshire. In those days it was customary for eldest sons to eriter the army and the younger to become parsons. It happened so in the present case : Captain Edward Chawner was my uncle, and my father became Rector of Blechingley in Surrey, which living his father had acquired with that object. I cannot say positively that the ' Captain Chawner' of Lowestoft lighthouse fame was my uncle, though I consider it very probable. Here are the facts, as far as I know them : my uncle served in the Crimean War, where he was badly wounded, and settled into the Newton Valence house upon his return to England. Certainly he collected Butterflies enthusiastically, corresponded with other entomologists, and the same name ' Captain Chawner' is mentioned in one [British Entom., no. 626] of Mr. Curtis' plates of Butterflies. He obtained a Camberwell Beauty in the garden of his Manor House, where he eventually died ; though whether he ever went as far afield as the north lighthouse at Lowestoft, I do not know, but 1832 would be well within his younger dates. I do not remember the date of his death ; and suggest that you write to the present Rector of Newton Valence to ask if he can find the date in that Church's burial register. As my uncle died there, the date should be recorded, and possibly there is also a tombstone. I believe his collection of Lepidoptera came, when he died, to his son who was also an Edward ; though what became of it later I have no idea. Probably it was sold, when the house and belongings were dispersed after the younger, my cousin, Edward's death. [Our polite letter to the parochial padre was ignored ! But the identity of Captain Chawner of Lowestoft fame with the above eider Edward is clinched by a note on " Ophiodes lunaris at the Lowestoft Light.—Amongst my cabinet specimens there is one example of Ophiodes lunaris, captured at the Lowestoft Light in 1832. I conclude this is a rarity, having seen many cabinets without it.—E. Chawner, Newton Valence, Alton, Hants. ; July 9, 1872 " (Entom. vi, 147), whereupon the Editor concurs that " it is a great rarity : nearly all cabinets are without it.' He would probably (cave Stephens' three, or four, spp. of Ophiusa, Och., at Cat. 1829, ii, 111) have been correct in terming it the unique British example. Certainly it was unknown here to Donovan in 1823 ; and Stainton's sole record in 1856 is " one taken in Hampshire [sie] by Captain Chawner " (Manual i, 317 ; copied by E. Newman, 1871). This, quite obviously mislocalises Captain


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CAPTAIN CHAWNER AND PHOBERIA LUMARIS

Edward's 1832 capture at Lowestoft (Mein. SNS. 1937, 50, where insert befoie ' our sole specimen ' thus : " the record in Curtis' MS. Diary o f " , as given at E M M . 1904, 193). As far as is traceable, the second was taken at sugar in West Wickham Wood near Woolwich in Kent, May 1860 (E. Wk. Int. viii, 91) ; two at Killarney in 1864 by Bouchard (Ent. Ann. 1865, 112) ; and the last came to light at Stratton Strawless in Norfolk during 1878 (Norf. Nat. Soc. iii, 686). Hence Meyrick in 1928 terms it "a scarce immigrant only; Hants [«'c, must be omitted] to Norfolk, and South I r J a n d . " Not tili quite recently did it occur to our mind to associate the very rare name of the above Captain* with that of Miss Chawner, whom we have had the always sincxre pleasure of knowing since we called (with the Revd. F. D. Moi lce) upon her in Lyndhurst on 28 August, 1901. At first blush the relationship looks improbable ; but it works out smoothly : allow Captain Edward to be 17 when at Lowestoft in 1832, he was thus born 1815. His parson brother was younger, say born 1825, and had a daughter when he was 41 in 1866, the year Miss Chawner has told us she was born.—Ed'.tor.l

NEWS FOR NATURALISTS. " W e grow grey, and know t h e worlc) for wt>3t it is." Haggard's Brethren

TUE socialist government's heinous attempt to excludf '.he public from the Lanthorn Marshes and Stone Beach evokes a Member to regard it as " most difficult to explain or reason with unsympathetic powers why a certain area of Natural Beauty should be preserved. Every true Naturalist is sick and tired of the outrageous use and utter defilement of Lovely Areas : yet we know it is our duty to maintain by every means, and not destroy, so fastdwindling an heritage. In the majority of cases, the very spots that were lonely and wild, each with its specific charm, are just those. selected for terrible sophistication. Alternative sites do exist in this County and could have been preferred : Naturalists, who must know best, would be always willing to advise upon a selection where less damage might be wrought, but little or no weight is accorded them in these matters ; and protests become futile when once an area has been requisitioned. Those of us who —in times bygone (heu !)—were fortunate enough to visit the great Shingle Beach and Marshes of Orfordness in summer, perhaps tramping south from erosed Slaughden, were ever amazed at the vast beauty and varietv of their wild flowers. We were enamoured * C h a w n e r , one w h o has chawn, i.e. chewed : f r o m A S a x o n ceowan, pp. cowen, t o c h e w ; jaw was f o r m e r l y spelled chaw, akin to c h e w . — C . M .

Captain Chawner and Phoberia lunaris  
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