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Biographical entry Lucas, Arthur Henry Shakespeare (1853 - 1936)


7 May 1853
Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, England
10 June 1936
Albury, New South Wales, Australia
Explorer, Naturalist, Schoolmaster and Ornithologist


Arthur Lucas, who was born and educated in England, came, as mathematics and science master, to Wesley College, Melbourne in 1883. He was later headmaster of Newington College, Sydney 1892-1898 and then taught at Sydney Grammar School 1899-1923.


Born Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, England, 7 May 1853. Died Albury, New South Wales, 1936. Educated Universities of Oxford (BA 1874, MA 1877) and London (BSc 1879). Teacher, Lays School, Cambridge 1878-82; mathematics and science master, Wesley College, Melbourne 1883-91; tutor, Ormond and Trinity colleges and a founder and fellow of Queen's College, University of Melbourne; headmaster, Newington College, Sydney 1892-98; senior mathematical and science master, Sydney Grammar School 1899-1916, acting headmaster 1916-19, headmaster 1920-23; acting professor of mathematics, University of Tasmania 1924-25. President, Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria (founded by his brother, Thomas Pennington Lucas 1882) 1887-89, urging the government to reserve Wilson's Promontory for a national park (which came about in 1898) and editor, Victorian Naturalist 1884-92; council, Linnean Society of New South Wales 1894-1936, president 1907-09. Honorary Curator of Algae, National Herbarium of New South Wales. Wrote Introduction to the Study of Botany (1892, with A. Dendy, q.v.), The Animals of Australia (1909, with W.H.D. Le Souëf, q.v.), The Birds of Australia (1911, with W.H.D. Le Souëf) and A.H.S. Lucas, scientist, his own story (1937). Portrait by H.A. Hanke (1935) held by Sydney Grammar School.


1883 - 1890?
Career position - Mathematics and Science Master at Wesley College, Melbourne
1892 - 1898
Career position - Headmaster, Newington College, Sydney
1899 - 1923
Career position - Mathematics and Science Master at the Sydney Grammar School
Career position - Chair of Mathematics at the University of Tasmania as acting Professor
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus lucasii Blakely was named in his honour

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

  • Angus & Robertson - Records, 1824 - 1933, ML MSS 314; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Baldwin Spencer - Records, 1880 - 1929, ML MSS 29; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

The University of Melbourne Archives

  • Arthur Henry Shakespeare Lucas - Records, 1853 - 1936; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Lucas, A. H., Scientist: His Own Story, 1937 edn, 1 vols, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1937. Details
  • Lucas, A.H.S. and Perrin, F., The seaweeds of South Australia, Government Printer, Adelaide, 1936-1947, 458 pp. Details
  • Willis, J.H., Botanical Pioneers in Victoria, Victorian Naturalist, vol. 66, [Brown Pier Anderson], [Melbourne], 1949, 19 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Ducker, Sophic C., 'Lucas, Arthur Henry Shakespeare (1853-1936), School Master and Biologist', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 10, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1986, pp. 163-164. Also available at Details

Journal Articles

  • 'Aruthur Henry Shakespeare Lucas, 1853-1936', Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, vol. 62, 1937, pp. 243-252. Details
  • Ducker, Sophie C., 'An early overland expedition to Wilsons Promontory', Victorian Naturalist, vol. 115, 1998, pp. 292-5. Details
  • Home, R. W., Maroske, Sara; Lucas, A. M. and Lucas, P. J., 'Why Explore Antarctica?: Australian Discussions in the 1880s', Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 38, 1992, pp. 386-413. Details
  • Lucas, A. H. S., 'Charles Darwin on Australia', Victorian Naturalist, vol. 2, 1885, pp. 20-24. Details

Online Resources

See also

  • Science and the making of Victoria, with Royal Society of Victoria, 2001, Details
  • 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
  • Robin, Libby, The Flight of the Emu: a Hundred Years of Australian Ornithology 1901-2001, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2001, 492 pp. Details
  • Sprent, J. F. A., 'Ronald Harry Wharton 1923-83', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 6, no. 2, 1985, pp. 293-301. Also available at Details

McCarthy, G.J. & Rosanne Walker