BRITISH SPIDERS AND THEIR DISTRIBUTION
THE COMITY OF SPIDERS
I. BRITISH SPIDERS AND THEIR
The first book on British spiders appeared in 1678. In this slim
volume Martin Lister distinguished between 34 kinds. Eleazar Albin
followed in 1736, and then the great John Blackwall, whose two
magnificent volumes were published by the Ray Society in 1861 and
1864. His work completed, and the list of British species increased to
304, Blackwall retired, but for the next fifty years our knowledge was
enriched by the extensive researches of the Rev. O. Pickard
Cambridge. Cambridge's book (1879 81) contained descriptions of
518 species, and the list of British species which he published in 1900
comprised 532 species. His is the last book to deal with all British
spiders, and his the last list of British spiders to be published.
Towards the latter part of Cambridge's long reign a new generation
of systematists arose, all of whom owed much to his inspiration and
willing assistance. Outstanding amongst these were his nephew, F. O.
Pickard Cambridge, Professor G. H. Carpenter, W. Falconer, F. P.
Smith, the Rev. J. E. Hull, and Dr. A. R. Jackson, on the last of whom
his mantle now rests. Each of these has added to the list of species
now known to inhabit our islands, which now totals 556 species.
Towards the close of the last century the preparation 4 county lists
began, and this still continues in spite of the recent tendency for these
to be displaced by lists of