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Biographical entry Legge, William Vincent (1841 - 1918)

Born
2 September 1841
Cullenswood, Tasmania, Australia
Died
25 March 1918
Cullenswood, Tasmania, Australia
Occupation
Ornithologist and Soldier

Summary

William Vincent Legge was founder of the Australasian Ornithologists Union and its first president (1901-1903). He was also a Colonial Member of the British Ornithologists' Union and Honorary Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union. Legge was a keen collector of bird skins which he presented to the Hobart Museum in 1902 and wrote History of the Birds of Ceylon (1880) and Systematic List of Tasmanian Birds (1887). He also assisted in the compilation of the List of Vernacular Names for Australian Birds which was presented at the Sydney session of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science.

Details

Educated in Bath, England, France and Germany, William Vincent Legge was later commissioned in the Royal Artillery 1862. He was initially stationed at Dover from 1862-67 and then served with the imperial troops in Melbourne (1867-68) and Ceylon (1869-77). While in Ceylon, as Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society, he reorganised the run-down museum at Colombo and made a large collection of birds. Legge returned to the UK and was instructor in gunnery in Portsmouth from 1877-83. Legge became Lieutenant-Colonel and Commandant of the Tasmanian military forces from 1883-90 and 1898-1904. He later retired to "Cullenswood" in Scotland.

His son, Robert William Legge, was born in Trincomalee, Ceylon on 16 December 1874 and died at "Cullenswood", December 1944. Robert was educated the Hutchins School in Hobart and ran pastoral properties in the Riverina. He took over as manager of "Cullenswood" in 1918 after the death of his father (to1944). Like his father, Robert was extremely interested in birds, trees and aboriginal stone implements. He contributed several times to the 'Stray Feathers' column of The Emu and with his wife's help, he acquired a remarkable collection of stone artefacts, which were presented to the Victorian Museum at Launceston.

Events

1862 - 1867
Career position - Commissioned in the Royal Artillery and stationed in Dover
1867 - 1877
Career position - Served with the imperial troops in Melbourne (-1868) and Ceylon
1877 - 1883
Career position - Instructor in gunnery at Portsmouth
1880
Career position - History of the Birds of Ceylon published
1883 - 1890
Career position - Lieutenant-Colonel and Commandant of the Tasmanian military forces
1887
Career position - Systematic List of Tasmanian Birds published
1898 - 1904
Career position - Lieutenant-Colonel and Commandant of the Tasmanian military forces
1901
Career position - Founder of the (Royal) Australasian Ornithologists Union
1901 - 1903
Career position - Inaugural President of the Australasian Ornithologists Union
1904
Career position - President of the Biological Section of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science Congress in Dunedin
1907
Career position - Commemorated by Legge Tor, Ben Lomond Range

Published resources

Book Sections

Online Resources

See also

  • Robin, Libby, The Flight of the Emu: a Hundred Years of Australian Ornithology 1901-2001, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2001, 492 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J. & Rosanne Walker