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Anna Thynne, Lady John Thynne
Anna Constantia (née Beresford), Lady Thynne; Selina Thynne; Emily Thynne by Richard James Lane.jpg
Anna Thynne with her daughters Selina and Emily
Anna Constantia Beresford

Walford, Waterford, Ireland
Died 22 April 1866
Nationality British
Citizenship British
Known for marine zoology
Spouse(s) Lord John Thynne (1798–1881)
Scientific career
Fields zoology

Anna Constantia Thynne, Lady John Thynne (née Beresford; 1806–1866) was a British marine zoologist. In 1846, she built the first stable and sustained marine aquarium and maintained corals and sponges in it for over three years.

Lady John Thynne’s first love was geology, but in 1846 she encountered her first Madrepore and became enraptured with something that appeared to be a rock, but was a living being. Wanting to take specimens back to London from Torquay, she fixed the Madrepores to a sponge with a needle and thread, within a stone jar. She then transferred them to a glass bowl, changing the water every other day. Not having enough of a supply to continue to replace the seawater, she then switched to aerating it by transferring the water between vessels in front of an open window, a task usually undertaken by her servant.

In 1847 she added marine plants to the bowls, and in two years had created the first balanced marine aquarium.

Thynne’s work inspired Philip Henry Gosse, who developed the Fish House at London Zoo in 1853.

She was married to Lord John Thynne (1798–1881), a Canon and Sub-Dean of Westminster Abbey, and the third son of Thomas Thynne, 2nd Marquess of Bath. Her correct style was thus "Lady John Thynne".


See also

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