Henry Walter Bates (1825-1892), an English naturalist and explorer, was born in Leicester on 8th February 1825. At the age of thirteen he became apprentice to a hosier. He studied in his spare time, and collected insects in Charnwood Forest. In 1843 he published a short paper on beetles in The Zoologist magazine. He became friends with Alfred Russel Wallace, who was also a keen entomologist, and after reading William H. Edwards' book on his Amazon expedition they decided to visit the region themselves.