Francis Willughby

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Willughby, Francis


Born 1635 in Middleton; died there July 3,1672. English naturalist and traveler.

In his research and writings, Willughby collaborated closely with J. Ray. Between 1663 and 1666 he traveled extensively in Europe, collecting specimens of animals that he later began classifying according to morphological features and habitat. He was able, however, to work out a classification system only for birds and fish before his untimely death. The material he left behind was completed and published by Ray.

Willughby and Ray’s system for classifying animals was later developed further by C. Linnaeus.


The Ornithology of Francis Willughby, in Three Books. London, 1678.
De historiapiscium. Oxford, 1686.


Plavil’shchikov, N. N. Ocherki poistorii zoologii. Moscow, 1941.
References in periodicals archive ?
Virtuoso by Nature: The Scientific Worlds of Francis Willughby FRS (1635-1672)
Visitors can also learn about the famous 17th century naturalists, John Ray and Sir Francis Willughby, who lived and worked at the hall.
Francis Willughby - who owned Middleton Hall at the time - and John Ray travelled Britain and Europe to gather plants, draw them and then classify them.
The emblematic and philological approach of Renaissance compilers was succeeded by a new focus on careful observation and dissection, seen in the works of John Ray and Francis Willughby, Edward Tyson, and the Academie des Sciences.
15) In the case of English travel literature, we can be very precise as to when this new trend first appeared, 1664, the year Francis Willughby travelled in Spain.
Spanish universities were derided as being mired in outdated scholasticism, as Isaac Barrow and Francis Willughby noted in their trips there in the mid- 1650s and mid- 1660s, while Thomas Browne told his son, "beleeve it, no excursion into Pol.
After making a catalogue of the local flora and fauna around Cambridge, Ray toured the North of England with Francis Willughby in the summer of 1660, and travelled widely with Phillip Skippon in the summer of the following year.
to which is added, An Account of the Travels of Francis Willughby, esq.
This is a copper engraving from the first English edition of the Ornithology of Francis Willughby, published in 1678.