Sheffield Airey Neave

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Sheffield Airey Neave
Born(1879-04-20)20 April 1879
Kensworth, Hertfordshire
Died31 December 1961(1961-12-31) (aged 82)
Chelmsford, Essex
NationalityUnited Kingdom
OccupationNaturalist and entomologist
Spouse(s)Dorothy Neave (née Middleton)
Mary Neave (née Hodges)

Sheffield Airey Neave CMG OBE (20 April 1879 - 31 December 1961) was a British naturalist and entomologist. Neave was the grandson of Sheffield Neave, a governor of the Bank of England and he was the father of Airey Neave.

Early life[edit]

Born in Kensworth in Hertfordshire on 20 April 1879, he was the son of Sheffield Henry M. Neave and his wife Gertrude Charlotte Margaret (née Airey). He was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford.[1]


Neave's first work was research into the problems related to the tsetse fly and the study of African animal life. He was part of the Geodetic Survey of Northern Rhodesia between 1904 and 1905. Between 1906 and 1908 he was part of the Katanga Sleeping Sickness Commission and then from 1909 to 1913 the Entomological Research Committee of Tropical Africa.[1] While he collected in Eastern Africa, fellow collector James Jenkins Simpson collected from West Africa.[2]


Neave returned to the United Kingdom in 1913 and was appointed assistant director of the Imperial Institute of Entomology, becoming director from 1942 to 1946. He was awarded for his contribution to entomology with an appointment as an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1933 and a companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1941.[1] From 1918 until 1933 he was honorary secretary of the Royal Entomological Society and was its president in 1934-35.


Neave retired in 1946 to garden and farm in Essex but he carried on as honorary secretary of the Zoological Society of London until 1952, it was a position he had held since 1942.[1]

Family life[edit]

Neave married twice, firstly to Dorothy Middleton and they had two sons and three daughters, the eldest is Airey Neave later a Member of Parliament. Dorothy died in 1942 and Neave married secondly to Mary Hodges in 1946 in London.[1]

Preceded by
Julian Huxley
Secretary of the Zoological Society of London
Succeeded by
Viscount Chaplin


  1. ^ a b c d e "Dr. Sheffield Neave - Important Services To Entomology". Obituaries. The Times (55277). London. 1 January 1962. col C, p. 14.
  2. ^ Baker, R.A.; Bayliss, R.A. (2009). "Two naturalists in Africa: Sheffield Airey Neave (1879-1961) and James Jenkins Simpson (1881-1937) with particular reference to their work on insects and ticks from 1910 to 1915" (PDF). The Linnean. 25 (1): 20–27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-05.
  • ‘NEAVE, Sheffield Airey’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 21 May 2011
  • Gilbert, P. (2010). "Sheffield Airey NEAVE: Administrator, editor, systematist". Archives of Natural History. 37: 171–172. doi:10.3366/E0260954109001752.