2nd October 1948

Jersey mosquito trap inventor dies

Although born in Northumberland in 1862, botanist and landscape gardener Robert Proudlock spent several years working in Jersey. His career began at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh and continued at Kew where he spent three years working with tropical plants in the garden’s famed glasshouses.

Upon leaving Kew, he spent 30 years working in Myanmar and India, where he made his mark with the redesign of the Botanical Gardens at Ramna, near Dacca in Bengal, and the Ootacamund in Southern India.

Expedition to Jersey

When he returned to Europe, his interests took a perhaps unusual turn and he conducted expeditions to Iceland, then Jersey, where he lived from his retirement in 1930 until his death 18 years later. Despite having left Northumberland many decades earlier, his body returned to the county following his death and he was buried in Hartburn, six miles from Morpeth, his place of birth.

Proudlock is also remembered for developing a mosquito trap. As reported by the Englishman’s Overland Mail on 4 May 1917, “As regards the prevalence of different species of mosquitoes I think valuable information may be obtained in making use of a number of traps of the kind devised by Mr Proudlock of Ramna (Dacca). If traps could be fixed in different parts of the city the daily catch of mosquitoes could be sent to the municipal laboratory for identification. Moreover it would be possible by their use eventually to test the value of the anti-mosquito measures adopted.”


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