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 

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