Mary Anne Theresa Whitby

1784–1850

Landowner, antiquary, and artist. Of Newlands, Hampshire. Silk producer and author of A manual for rearing silkworms in England (1848).

Sources: Colp 1972. (See the bibliography for full references to sources)

Further Information:

Mary Ann Theresa Whitby (1784-1850) was a specimen collector, experimenter, and observer. In 1846 Whitby read a paper on silkworm cultivation at the Southampton meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, at which Charles Darwin was present. In 1848 Whitby published A manual for rearing silkworms in England. Whitby was an active participant in the British Association; her articles on silkworms and silk cultivation appeared in the Association’s 1844, 1846, and 1849 reports. In addition to her personal experiments, which she undertook at her home near Lymington in Hants, Whitby undertook experiments on Darwin’s behalf and sent him specimens. Whitby’s work on silkworms was referenced by Darwin in The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (1868).

 

Relevant Gender Resources:

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/women-and-science

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/womens-scientific-participation

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/women-as-a-scientific-audience

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwin-and-gender-introduction

 

Primary Sources:

Darwin Correspondence Database,
https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-1113 

Darwin Correspondence Database,
https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-1128

Whitby, Mrs. “On the Cultivation of the Silk Worm: Extract of a Letter to the Assistant General Secretary” in Report of the Fourteenth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; held at York in September 1844. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1845. pp. 73. ⟨ http://books.google.com/books?id=pQhLAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA73&dq=silkworm+whitby+british+association+for+advancement+of+science&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VCYwUYvrJ4bn0gGWuoA4&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=whitby&f=false⟩ (accessed 28 Feb 2013).

Whitby, Mrs. “On the Cultivation of Silk in England” in Report of the Sixteenth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; held at Southampton in September 1846. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1847. pp. 87-8. ⟨ http://books.google.com/books?id=Gdo4AAAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA88&dq=silkworm+whitby+british+association+for+advancement+of+science&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VCYwUYvrJ4bn0gGWuoA4&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false⟩ (accessed 28 Feb 2013).

Whitby, Mrs. “On the Growth of Silk in England” in Report of the Nineteenth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; held at Birmingham in September 1849. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1850. pp. 81-82. ⟨ http://books.google.com/books?id=URtLAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA151&dq=british+association+mary+ann+whitby&hl=en&sa=X&ei=iyAwUa3XK-f90gGE4oDQDg&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false⟩ (accessed 28 Feb 2013).