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Arthur Sowerby was the son of a Christian missionary in China, the Reverend Arthur Sowerby, and Louisa Clayton. He was also the great grandson of James Sowerby the botanist and founder of the Geological Society. From 1881, Arthur’s parents were based at the Baptist Missionary Society mission station in Shanxi.The Sowerby family was on furlough in England at the time of the 1900 Boxer Rebellion during which many of their friends and colleagues at their Shanxi mission station were massacred. Sowerby attended Bristol University studying for a BSc in Science but dropped out and returned to China where he was appointed lecturer and curator of the Anglo-Chinese College in Tientsin.  Sowerby joined the Duke of Bedford’s 1906 Mission to collect zoological specimens in Shensi for the British Museum during which time he discovered a new species of Jerboa which was subsequently named after him Dipus sagitta sowerby. Sowerby was taken on as a naturalist for Robert Sterling Clark‘s Expedition of 1909 which sought specimens from the Yellow River into Shensi and then to Kansu province and made the first map of a little-known area of China. Clarke and Sowerby later published a book about the expedition entitled Through Shên-kan: the account of the Clark expedition in north China, 1908-9. Sowerby married Mary Ann Mesny in 1909, but she was to die just 5 years later.He made four separate expeditions into Manchuria and parts of Mongolia during the next few years, the last being in 1915 and then wrote his book Fur and Feather in North China. In. the autumn of 1915 he went over to meet his brother and sister, both missionaries in Sian, and took the opportunity to seek more specimens in the Ch’ingling range to the south of the city.”  (Source: Wikipedia).

Book link : http://www.archive.org/stream/sportsmansmiscel00sowe#page/n5/mode/2up

Smithsonian has a nice collection of Sowerby’s papers. http://www.flickr.com/photos/smithsonian/sets/72157630332817676/

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