Home Bright Sparcs
Biographical entry

Home | Browse | Search | Previous | Next
Be a Bright Sparcs Supporter

Drummond, James (c. 1786 - 1863)

Related EntriesArchival/Heritage SourcesPublished Sources
Botanist and Naturalist
Born: c. 1786  Inverarity, Scotland.  Died: 27 March 1863  Toodyay, Western Australia, Australia.
James Drummond was born in late 1786 or early 1787 and was an avid botanist and plant collector. He was curator at Ireland’s Cork Botanical Gardens from 1808, before migrating to Australia in 1829. Drummond worked as the Western Australian Government’s naturalist. He was also appointed superintendent of the government gardens. He went on numerous expeditions across Western Australia where he collected thousands of seed and plant for export to England. Today his plant specimens are found in herbaria across the world. He named several of Western Australia’s native species and 119 specimens have been names after him. His father Thomas Drummond, was a gardener on the
Fotheringham estate at Inverarity.

Career Highlights
Prior to arriving in Australia, James Drummond was curator of the Cork Botanical Gardens, an associate of the Linnean Society and had published several papers on Irish plants. In 1829 he, together with his wife and six children, accompanied Captain Stirling to Western Australia on the ship Parmelia. Drummond was appointed Government Naturalist, but worked more in the role of botanist. The position was without pay. He was also appointed superintendent of the government gardens, and received a salary of £100. From 1835, Drummond began collection plant specimens and seeds to export to England. Hundreds of new species were named from his collections. These expeditions lead him to travel much of Western Australia’s southern lands. Together with his sons, especially Johnston, and other botanists (including Jogn Gilbert) he collected over 3500 specimens. Drummond also discovered that some local plants were in fact poisonous to livestock resulting in large stock losses.

In July 1845 Drummond’s son Johnston was killed during an expedition at Moore River. This caused James Drummond to give up collecting. However 15 months later he was awarded an honorarium from the Queen’s Bounty for his services to botany. This inspired Drummond to begin collecting again until 1855 when he was too old to continue.

post-ADB contributions made by Mr Charles Nelson

1787Baptised on 8 January 1787
1808 - Curator of the Cork Botanical Gardens, Ireland
1810Associate of the Linnean Society
1829Arrived in Australia (Western Australia) on the Parmelia
1839Expedition for 1st collection at Rottnest Island
1840Expedition for 2nd collection at Albany and Cape Riche
1841 - 1844Pioneered the Victorian Plains
1843Expedition for 3rd collection at Sterling Ranges and Albany
1846Queen's Bounty Honorarium awarded for services rendered to botanical science
1846 - 1847Expedition for 4th collection at Sterling Ranges, Cape Riche, Salt River and West Mount Barren
1847 - 1848Expedition for 5th collection at Mount Caroline and Albany
1850 - 1851Expedition for 6th collection at Champion Bay

Related Entries for Drummond, James
Top of Page

Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Annette Alafaci
Created: 20 October 1993
Modified: 29 January 2007

Published by The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre on ASAPWeb, 1994 - 2007
Originally published 1994-1999 by Australian Science Archives Project, 1999-2006 by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
Disclaimer, Copyright and Privacy Policy
Submit any comments, questions, corrections and additions
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 26 February 2007

[ Foundation Supporter - Committee to Review Australian Studies in Tertiary Education ]
[ Top of page | Bright Sparcs Home | Browse | Search ]