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Biographical entry Wadham, Samuel MacMahon (1891 - 1972)

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    Wadham, Samuel MacMahon Portrait

31 October 1891
Ealing, England
18 September 1972
Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Agricultural scientist


Samuel Wadham was Professor of Agriculture, University of Melbourne, 1926-1957. President of the Royal Society of Victoria 1937-1938. He wrote and broadcast on aspects of farming and was a well-known and popular figure in farming communities.


Born London, 1891. Studied botany at Cambridge before volunteering to serve during World War I. Research student, British Ministry of Agriculture. Senior demonstrator, Botany Department, Cambridge. In 1926 he and his wife Dorothy came to Melbourne, where he had been appointed Professor of Agriculture. Member, Federal Dairy Investigation Committee, 1929; the Royal Commission on the Wheat Industry, 1934; Commonwealth Nutrition Committee, 1937; Rural Reconstruction Committee. 1943-1946; Commonwealth Migration Planning Council, 1949-1960 and the Commonwealth Committee for Tertiary Education, 1963-65). He was also a member of the Council of CSIRO. President, Royal Society of Victoria 1937-38. President, ANZAAS 1961. Retired in 1956, remaining active in various organisations. Died in 1972.

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Archival resources

The University of Melbourne Archives

  • Samuel MacMahon Wadham - Records, 1925 - 1972; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details

Published resources


  • Humphreys, L.R., Wadham: Scientist for Land and People (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2000), 240 pp. Details
  • Wadham, S. M., Australian Farming 1788-1965 (Melbourne: F. W. Cheshire, 1967), 156 pp. Details
  • Wadham, Sir Samual, Selected addresses / with a biographical study by G. Blainey (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1956), 91 pp. Details
  • Wadham, Sir Samuel MacMahon, Science (Melbourne; Ithaca: Oxford University Press; Cornell University Press, 1963). Details

Book Sections

  • Humphreys, L. R., 'Wadham, Sir Samuel McMahon (1891-1972), Professor of Agriculture' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ritchie and Diane Langmore, eds, vol. 16 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2002), pp. 456-459. Details

Edited Books

  • Leeper, G. W. ed., Sir Samuel Wadham (Melbourne: 1956). Details

Journal Articles

  • Flesch, Juliet and McPhee, Peter, '150 Years, 150 Stories: Samuel McMahon Wadham', Uni News, 12 (14) (2003), 4. Details
  • Wadham, Sir Samuel, 'The Extension to the Agricultural School. [Historical Review of the University of Melbourne School.]', Melbourne University Gazette, 11 (1955), 82-83. Details


Resource Sections

See also

Digital resources

Wadham, Samuel MacMahon Portrait


McCarthy, G.J.