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George Porritt (1848-1927) was Yorkshire's first YNU County Lepidoptera Recorder and the first-ever person to collect the county's butterfly and moth records together systematically. Through a journal called Entomological Transactions of the YNU he published his first Lists in parts between 1883 and 1886. Then in 1904 he produced a Supplement followed by a slightly updated summary in the Victoria County History in 1907. Finally Butterfly Conservation Yorkshire have recently discovered a little known Hull Area List published in 1922. His Lists cover records from the late 1700s to the early1900s.
Not only are copies of his Lists rare today, but they are also very difficult to understand. Nomenclature of genera and species uses the scientific names only, and often names we are no longer familiar with. The order of names is quite different to the one we use today. Family groupings are different and some species treated as one may be two or more today and sometimes vice versa!
To make sense of Porritt's work Butterfly Conservation Yorkshire has reproduced his Lists in modern systematic order, with the contents of the 4 Lists one under the other for each species, which in itself makes interesting reading! Each species is headed by the British Checklist number and the current English and Scientific names. The editor has also added in comments where relevant. Porritt's words will be in black with annotations in colour.