Browse Entries

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Biographical entry

  • Trove

Exhibitions

  • The Study of Australian Eucalypts

Biographical entry Backhouse, James (1794 - 1869)

Born
8 July 1794
Durham, England
Died
20 January 1869
York, England
Occupation
Botanical collector and Quaker missionary

Summary

James Backhouse was a Quaker missionary who visited Australia in 1832-1838, making observations of Australian flora and fauna as well as writing about Australian society. As a botanical collector in Australia and Norfolk Island, he contributed to the classification and taxonomy of eucalypts. Notably, Joseph Hooker, George Bentham and Ferdinand von Mueller named eucalypt specimen collected by James Backhouse.

Details

Backhouse was apprenticed to a chemist in Darlington and trained for two years in a Norwich nursery. On return to England, he gave two manuscript volumes of botanical recollections in Australia to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Commemorated by Backhousia, a genus of a myrtaceous shrub.

Events

1816 - 1831
Career position - Nursery owner in York, UK
1832
Life event - Arrived in Australia (Hobart)
1832 - 1834
Career position - Reported on penal settlements and Aboriginal establishments in Tasmania
1835 - 1837
Career position - Collected herbarium for Kew Gardens (England?)
1835 - 1837
Career position - Reported on penal settlements and Aboriginal establishments in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Moreton Bay
1837 - 1838
Career position - Visited Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth promoting temperance and Aboriginal protection committees
1838 - 1841
Career position - Missionary work in Africa
1841 -
Nursery Manager in York, UK
1843
Career position - A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies published in London
1844
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus maculata Hook. Backhouse collected a syntype
1866
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus siderophloia Benth. var. rostrata Benth. (= Eucalyptus fibrosa F. Muell. (1859)). Backhouse collected the syntype

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

  • James Backhouse - Records, 1831 - 1841, B730-732; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • James Backhouse - Records, Ab 124; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • James Backhouse - Records, 1835, C393; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • James Backhouse - Records, 1831 - 1868, FM 4/3134-3148; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Linnean Society of London - Records, 1792 - 1870, FM 4/2699; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Linnean Society of London - Records, 1790 - 1870, M596-597; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Books

  • Backhouse, James, Extracts from the letters of James Backhouse : whilst engaged in a religious visit to van Diemen's Land, New South Wales, and South Africa accompanied by George Washington Walker, Harvey and Darton, London, 1842. Details
  • Backhouse, James, A narrative of a visit to the Australian colonies, Hamilton Adams, London, 1843, 560 pp. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., Records of Victorian Botanists, Victorian Naturalist, vol. 25, Melbourne, 1908, 101-117 pp. Details
  • Willis, J.H., Botanical Pioneers in Victoria, Victorian Naturalist, vol. 66, [Brown Pier Anderson], [Melbourne], 1949, 19 pp. Details

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Gilbert, Lionel, 'Visit of an Early Naturalist to Victoria', Victorian Naturalist, no. 68, 1952, pp. 175-178. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'A Century of Botanical Endeavor in South Australia', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, vol. xi, 1907, pp. 158-199. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Australian Botanists - (a) General, (b) New South Wales', Journal and Proceedings of The Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. xlii, 1908, pp. 60-132. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Queensland Botanists', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, vol. xii, 1909, pp. 373-383. Details

Online Resources

See also

  • Hall, Norman, Botanists of the Eucalypts: short biographies of people who have named eucalypts, whose names have been given to species or who have collected type material, CSIRO, Melbourne, 1978, 101 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J. & Walsh, N.