Thomas Shaw (1694-1751) was educated at Oxford and then went as chaplain to the English factory at Algiers. During his thirteen years there, he travelled through Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Cyprus, Jerusalem, and Jordan.
His travel writing is well illustrated with maps and plates demonstrating his interest in natural history and antiquarianism. Some 640 species of plants are described as well as mammals, fish and insects, most notably the locust. Shaw was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1734 for his article in the Philosophical Transactions giving a geographical description of Tunisia. He also became Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford and Principal of St Edmund Hall.