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BUXTON, Patrick Alfred (1892-1955)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0809 Buxton
Held at: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
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Full title: BUXTON, Patrick Alfred (1892-1955)
Date(s): 1908-1957
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 5 boxes
Name of creator(s): Buxton | Patrick Alfred | 1892-1955 | entomologist
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Patrick Alfred Buxton, born London, 1892, educated at home until the age of ten and was influenced by his father's family tradition (an old Quaker custom) of spare time nature study, less so by his mother's family's insistence on classical languages - she was a Jex-Blake, sister of the Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge, and of the Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

At Trinity College, Cambridge, Walter Fletcher encouraged Buxton's studies in the Natural Sciences Tripos. During the Great War he qualified in medicine at St George's, and then spent his time in the Royal Army Medical Corps collecting insects in Mesopotamia and Persia. During the 1920s he gradually equipped himself for his future role as an eminent medical entomologist, working in Cambridge, London and abroad. From 1923-1925 he led an expedition to Samoa, New Hebrides and the Western Pacific Islands.

In 1925 Buxton succeeded Col A Alcock as Director of the Department of Entomology in the new London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and became the Professor of Entomology in London University in 1933. With V B Wigglesworth he built up the study and teaching of insect physiology and medical entomology in the School. His studies of lice (The louse, 1939,1947) involved students, friends and family members as incubators and have become legendary. According to Wigglesworth his crowning achievement was The natural history of tsetse-flies, 1954.

Buxton did invaluable work on insecticides leading to the control of typhus in the war in Italy and elsewhere. Buxton wrote papers on many other zoological subjects and has several species of birds to his credit. He was elected a member of the Medical Research Council, President of the Royal Entomological Society and of the Linnean Society. In addition, he was a member of many other learned bodies. At the time of his death in 1955, he had had the longest service of any member of the active staff of the School.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Patrick Alfred Buxton, 1908-1957, relate to his employment as Head of Entomology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 1927-1955, and notably include research notes, correspondence, maps, diaries and publications.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged into seven series.

Conditions governing access:

This collection is open for consultation. Please contact the Archivist to arrange an appointment. All researchers must complete and sign a user registration form which signifies their agreement to abide by the archive rules. All researchers are required to provide proof of identity bearing your signature (for example, a passport or debit card) when registering. Please see website for further information at

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Papers relating to Patrick Alfred Buxton are also held at the Natural History Museum; 1940-1945: correspondence with GE Blackman at Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts; 1943: correspondence with Edward Hindle at Glasgow University Archive Services; 1930-1936: letters to CJ Wainwright at the Royal Entomological Society.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Victoria Killick, LSHTM Archivist and edited by Samantha Velumyl, AIM25 cataloguer.
Sources: Prevention and Cure The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, A 20th Century Quest for Global Public Health, Lise Wilkinson and Anne Hardy, (Kegan Paul Limited, 2001). History of the School of Tropical Medicine in London (1899-1949) Sir Philip Manson-Bahr, (London, H K Lewis & Co Ltd, 1956).

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
February 2008

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