Browse Entries

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

  • Trove

Biographical entry Ashby, Edwin (1861 - 1941)

2 November 1861
Surrey, England
8 January 1941
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Naturalist and Ornithologist


Edwin Ashby, an Adelaide estate agent, built up a large natural history collection, much of which he donated to the South Australian Museum. He became a world authority on chitons, a class of molluscs and also wrote widely on ornithology and the cultivation of Australian plants.


Born Surrey, England, 2 November 1861. Died Adelaide, 8 January 1941. Worked for his tea merchant father; visited Australia for his health 1884-87; migrated to Adelaide 1888; wattle-bark-growing 1888-89; joined a cousin's firm of land and estate agents and financiers ca 1890, later, as Saunders & Ashby, they owned and largely developed much of Eden Hills; established the property, Wittunga, in the Adelaide Hills; retired 1914; continued an independent business from his home, where he established a bird sanctuary and a nursery shrubs. Named or discovered several new birds, and a world authority on chitons, recent and fossil, discovering over twenty new taxa. Foundation member, South Australian Ornithological Association 1899; original member, Australasian Ornithologists' Union 1901; life member, British Ornithologists' Union 1915; Corresponding Fellow, American Ornithologists' Union ca 1918; president, Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union 1926; sometime president, Royal Society of South Australia. The genus Ashbyia was named after him by A.J. North (q.v.), as well as thirteen forms.

Related Corporate Bodies

Related People

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

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

Private hands (Robertson, E.L.)

  • Edwin Ashby - Records, 1861 - 1941; Private hands (Robertson, E.L.). Details

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • Edwin Ashby - Records, 1934 - 1936, D 5080(L); State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

Published resources

Book Sections


See also

  • Aroney, M. J.; Buckingham, A. D., 'Raymond James Wood Le Fèvre 1905-1986', Historical Records of Australian Science, 7 (3) (1988), 273-297. Details
  • Robin, Libby, The Flight of the Emu: a Hundred Years of Australian Ornithology 1901-2001 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2001), 492 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J. & Rosanne Walker