Robert Templeton (1802 - 1892):
Surgeon, entymologist and botanist
Robert Templeton was born in Cranmore House, Belfast and was educated at the Belfast Academical Institution, later the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, which his father, John Templeton, had helped to found; one of his schoolfriends was Alexander Hamilton Haliday, who himself would become a distinguished entomologist. From 1821 to 1831 he studied medicine at Edinburgh University and was an active entymologist, accumulating his own collection of insects and contributing significantly to entymological, meteorological and botanical research being carried out by the Belfast Natural History Society. His 'Figures and Descriptions of Irish Archnida and Acari' was incorporated into Blackwall's History of the Spiders of Great Britain and Ireland and the Transactions of the Entomological Society of London (1836) included his paper on Thysanurae hibernicae. As a tribute to his fascination with the latter species, a thysanuran genus was named Templetonia. From 1829 he began meticulously to prepare his father's manuscripts for publication. In 1833 he was appointed assistant surgeon in the Ordnance Medical Department of the Royal Artillery, which took him to Mauritius and Ceylon, where he again conducted original and comprehensive research into the flora and fauna. He was recalled to Europe in 1852 and served in the Crimean War, where he was promoted to Surgeon Major in 1855. His collection from Ceylon was received by the Belfast Museum, though the main collection of his work is in the British Museum, London. He retired with the honorary rank of Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals in 1860. He died in Edinburgh.