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Biographical entry Arnold, Joseph (1782 - 1818)

28 December 1782
Beccles, Suffolk, England
26 July 1818
Padang, Sumatra
Naturalist and Naval surgeon


Joseph Arnold was a naval surgeon for most of his career. Towards the end of his life he worked for Sir Stamford Raffles in Sumatra as a naturalist. His collection of fossils and shells was deposited in the museum of the Linnean Society, of which he was a fellow.


From 1815 onwards Joseph Arnold tried unsuccessfully to practise in Sydney. He then sailed for England in the "Indefatigable", which burnt to the water's edge in Batavia.


Education - Apprenticed to a surgeon and apothecary
Education - Diploma in Surgery completed in Edinburgh, Scotland
1808 - 1815
Career position - Assistant Surgeon with the Royal Navy in England
Career position - Surgeon on the H.M.S. Hindostan voyage to Sydney
Career position - Surgeon-Superintendent on the Northampton voyage to Sydney
Career position - Naturalist for Sir Stanford Raffles in Sumatra

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Joseph Arnold - Records, 1808 - 1818, NX 354; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

National Library of Australia Pictures Collection

Published resources


  • Turner, Dawson, Memoir of J. Arnold MD, London, 1849. Details

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Whitley, Gilbert P., 'Some Early Naturalists and Collectors in Australia', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. xix, 1933, pp. 291-304. Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J & Annette Alafaci