Dru Drury was born in Wood Lane, London, to Dru Drury (b.1688), a silversmith, and his wife Mary, nee Hesketh.
Drury acquired his father's business but retired from silversmithing in order to devote more time to entomology and to his other interests of gardening, angling and wine making.
One of the best known British entomologists of his day, he corresponded with many others including Pallas, Haworth, Linnaeus, Kirby and Fabricius, and the last three held him in high enough esteem to name insects after him.
Drury was tireless in seeking to enlarge his collection, which contained over 11,000 well kept insects, and also tried hard to persuade his correspondents to study insects and their life histories and to record their findings.
Drury is reported to have named fifty-six species from specimens in his own collection, and at least another forty-four were named by Fabricius.
Drury is credited with naming Catocala epione in 1773. Fabricius also described the same species, possibly even from the same specimen, and called it marginata in 1775. Since Drury's name and description were published first, Drury's nomenclature takes precedence, and that is standard procedure regarding recognition of namer and acceptance of name.
From 1780-82 Drury served as President of the Society of Entomologists of London.
Two main works on Drury are C.H. Smith, 'Memoir of Dru Drury, with a portrait' in The Naturalist's Library; DNB; and H.B. Weiss, 'Dru Drury, Silversmith and Entomlogist of the Eighteenth Century' in Ent.News, 38, 1927, pp. 208-214. (MD 9/02)
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