Mr Fortune of the Chinese language Warty Newt, Backyard Crops and Tea

Robert Fortune

In my final article I defined how John Edward Grey FRS (1800-1875) of the British Museum (Pure Historical past) in London obtained the 2 specimens he described in 1859 as a then new species, Cynops (now Paramesotriton) chinensis, the Chinese language Warty Newt. They had been in a bottle, together with a leech and two fancy goldfish, acquired from a Mr Fortune who collected them ‘inland from Ningpo’ (Ningbo).

The collector was not a reputation often related to zoological adventures, for the Mr Fortune was Robert Fortune (1812-1880), the well-known plant hunter and horticulturalist who was an exponent of commercial espionage earlier than the exercise had a reputation. He travelled extensively in China, generally incognito, in the hunt for vegetation and knowledge on easy methods to convert the leaves of the tea plant into the tea offered as a drink. Books and a movie have described how he labored for the East India Firm and of how the data he gained was put to make use of in tea manufacturing in Assam and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and thereby be sure that British India equipped the insatiable British marketplace for tea. The article on Wikipedia states that he labored in China from 1843 to 1861. His first expedition was for the Horticultural Society in London.

I need to now put the kettle on.

The Blue Plaque for Robert Fortune
9 Gliston Street, Kensingron, London
(Simon Harriyott {photograph})

Chinese language Warty Newt
Exhibiting the explanation for its frequent identify
{Photograph} by Firedreams on Wikipedia

Distribution of Paramesotriton chinensis
from the IUCN Crimson Checklist
Labeled as ‘Least Concern’

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