Edward Jesse

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Edward Jesse (January 14, 1780 – March 28, 1868), English writer on natural history, was born at Hutton Cranswick, Yorkshire, where his father was vicar of the parish.

He became clerk in a government office in 1798, and for a time was secretary to Lord Dartmouth, when president of the Board of Control. In 1812 he was appointed commissioner of hackney coaches, and later he became deputy surveyor-general of the royal parks and palaces. On the abolition of this office he retired on a pension, and he died at Brighton.

The result of his interest in the habits and characteristics of animals was a series of pleasant and popular books on natural history, the principal of which are as follows:

  • Gleanings in Natural History (1832–1835)
  • An Angler's Rambles (1836)
  • Anecdotes of Dogs (1846)
  • Lectures on Natural History (1863)

He also edited Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler, Gilbert White's Selborne, and Leitch Ritchie's Windsor Castle, and wrote a number of handbooks to places of interest, including Windsor and Hampton Court.[1]

He married Matilda, daughter of Sir John Morris, 1st Baronet. Their son, John Heneage Jesse, was a noted historian; one of their two daughters was the author and activist Matilda Charlotte Houstoun.[2]


  1. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1892). "Jesse, Edward" . Dictionary of National Biography. 29. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 366–7.
  2. ^ "Houstoun [née Jesse; other married name Fraser], Matilda Charlotte (1815–1892), novelist and travel writer". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/61562. Retrieved 6 December 2020.

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