Mr Fortune of the Chinese language Warty Newt, Backyard Vegetation 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, obtained from a Mr Fortune who collected them ‘inland from Ningpo’ (Ningbo).

The collector was not a reputation normally 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 business espionage earlier than the exercise had a reputation. He travelled extensively in China, generally incognito, in quest of vegetation and knowledge on learn how 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 information he gained was put to make use of in tea manufacturing in Assam and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and thereby be certain that British India provided 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 have to now put the kettle on.

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

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

Distribution of Paramesotriton chinensis
from the IUCN Purple Checklist
Categorised as ‘Least Concern’


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