I would very much like to thank the Leverhulme Trust for supporting me over the last two years (2012-2014) with a Research Fellowship. Alex Blakeborough and Tony Parker took on many aspects of my usual job as Senior Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at World Museum, National Museums Liverpool during this period. Kathy Lovatt oversaw the construction and development of the database and spent much time helping me clean it; the mistakes and inconsistencies still in it are all due to myself. Danny Boardman plotted the campsite co-ordinates for the First Leichhardt (Port Essington) Expedition onto Google Maps and he, Chris Thompson and Lynn Hagan adapted all the John Gilbert project results for the website. Mary Kenny (Human Resources) and Geraldine Reid (Botany) mentored me throughout the fellowship period.
I also have to thank the members of The Route Group, an email-based group of people who live along the route of the Leichhardt Expedition or are in some way connected with it. The group includes our Patron, Gilbert’s sister’s descendant Pam Pearse, who lives in Sydney, Ian & Sue Flinders (Route Group leaders), Joe Bridgeman (Capella), Marlene Benn (Clermont), Adam Clarke (Taroom), Jim Callcott (Charters Towers), Lyn Bahnisch (Taroom Shire), John Heelan (Pasha Station), Henry and Sue Atkinson (Lucky Downs Station), Rod Fensham, Bruce Lawrie, Bernd Marx, Glen McLaren and Professor Henry Nix.
The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland took me on their expedition to retrace the Leichhardt Expedition in 1990; Taroom Town Council, Queensland, arranged for me to take part in their Leichhardt Expedition Exposition of 2004 and Charters Towers Town Council for their Leichhardt Expedition Rally in 2006. Glen McLaren most generously provided me with a copy of all three volumes of his thesis, based on his re-tracing the entire route of the Leichhardt Expedition in the early 1990s. Ian and Sue Flinders of Samsonvale, Queensland have for the last few years helped organise and facilitate all my Leichhardt Expedition trips. My thanks go to all of them.
I have extensively referred to the work of Bruce Lawrie, recently retired from The Environmental Protection Agency, Queensland, who in the 1970s revisited five major sites of bird observations made by John Gilbert while on the Leichhardt Expedition of 1844-1845. I have also benefited greatly from Ian McAllan’s advice. Along with other research of Ian’s, I have copiously used his work on Gilbert’s travels between Sydney and the Darling Downs in 1844. In many cases I have used Bruce and Ian’s unpublished material; they have both been extremely generous with information. Ian’s fortitude in managing to read so much of Gilbert’s faded pencil script in his diary for the period before he joined the Leichhardt Expedition is truly remarkable. I have also benefitted greatly from Dan Sprod’s “Leichhardt’s Expeditioners” (Blubber House Press, 2006), in which he published the expedition diaries of John Murphy and William Phillips.
Richard Schodde and Leo Joseph (CSIRO, Canberra) have advised on many nomenclatural and faunistic matters, and both have been of enormous support over the years. Alan Danks (formerly of Conservation & Land Management, Western Australia) has helped me greatly with Gilbert’s travels and collections in Western Australia; Alan also made it possible for me to actually hold a Gilbert’s Potoroo while it was having a blood sample taken, and at least hear a Noisy Scrub-bird. Harold Cogger and Andrew Burbidge identified Gilbert’s bird-eating lizard of the Houtman Abrolhos islands and both have helped me greatly with other matters. Malcolm Largen, formerly Curator of Lower Vertebrates at National Museums Liverpool, continues to be of great support despite his retirement.
The following museum curatorial and library staff made their collections available to me and in many cases have since helped with data and photographs:
Robert Prys-Jones, Mark Adams, Douglas Russell, Jo Cooper, Judy White and Hein van Grouw (Natural History Museum’s Bird Group); Jörn Scharlemann (formerly of the NHM’s Bird Group); James Maclaine, Oliver Crimmen and the late Alwyne Wheeler (Fish section, NHM); Colin McCarthy, Patrick Campbell and Barry Clarke (Herptile section, NHM); Roberto Portela Miguez and Paula Jenkins (Mammal section, NHM); Kathie Way (Invertebrates 1, NHM); Michael Akam, Adrian Friday, Mathew Lowe and the late Ray Symonds (University of Cambridge Museum of Zoology); Malgosia Nowak-Kemp (University of Oxford Museum of Natural History); Andrew Kitchener and Bob McGowan (National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh); Maggie Reilly (Hunterian Museum, Glasgow); Holly Morgenroth (John Murphy’s collection of birds in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter); Bonnie Griffin and Rhian Rowson (Bristol Museum and Art Gallery); Garston Phillips (Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum).
Julia Sigwart, James O’Connor and Mark Holmes (National Museum of Natural History, Dublin, Eire); René Dekker, Steven van der Mije, Christiane Quaisser, Eulàlia Gassó i Miracle, Rinus Hoogmoed and Chris Smeenk (Naturalis Leiden, The Netherlands); Claire Voisin, Eric Pasquet, Michel Tranier, Guy Lecorvec and Jacques Cuisin (Muséum National d’histoire naturelle, Paris).
Nate Rice and Robert McCracken Peck (Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia); Andrew Ingersoll and Louis Bevier (formerly of ANSP); René Corado and Linnea Hall (Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, Camarillo, California); Jeremiah Trimble, Alison Pirie and Katherine Eldridge (Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA); Paul Whitehead (Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, New Haven, USA); Mary Le Croy, Paul Sweet, Thomas Trombone, Lydia Garetano and Gabriella Rosen (Ornithology Department, American Museum of Natural History, New York).
Walter Boles (recently retired from the Australian Museum, Sydney); Wayne Longmore (formerly of Queensland Museum, the Australian Museum and of Museum Victoria, Melbourne); Steve van Dyck (Queensland Museum); Ron Johnstone and Ric Howe (Western Australian Museum, Perth); Richard Willan, Barry Russell, Dirk Megirian, Helen Larson, Paul Horner and Chris Glasby (Museums & Art Galleries of the Northern Territory); Philippa Horton (South Australian Museum, Adelaide); Glenn Shea (Department of Veterinary Anatomy, University of Sydney).
Libraries and Archives
Professor Hugh Torrens generously gave me all his notes and archive material on John Gilbert’s time in Shrewsbury. Many librarians have helped with access to manuscript material concerning John Gilbert: in particular Alison Harding and Effie Warr of the Rothschild Library at the Natural History Museum’s Ornithological Outstation at Tring, in Hertfordshire; the General Library of the Natural History Museum, UK; Ann Datta (formerly of the General Library at the NHM); the staff of Cambridge University Library, UK; of Liverpool City Library, UK; of the Mitchell Library in Sydney (in particular Richard Neville, Warwick Hurst and the late Arthur Easton); the staff of the Lionel Lindsay Gallery & Library, Toowoomba, Queensland; Kathy Buckley at Queensland Museum Library, Brisbane; the staff of the Ewart-Sale Library at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and of the Spencer Library at the University of Kansas.
I am also indebted to Edward and Caroline Derby, 19th Earl and Countess of Derby of Knowsley Hall, and their librarians, curators and household staff: Danny Mangan, Iris Young, Brenda Burgess, Amanda Askari, Brendan Cole, Emma McCarthy and Stephen Lloyd. They have allowed me access to Knowsley Hall Library on many occasions, helped me greatly with my research, and their continued support is invaluable.
Over the years I have been awarded several grants from the Research Fund (now Collections Support Fund) of World Museum (formerly Liverpool Museum), National Museums Liverpool, and from the Peale Foundation in Philadelphia, to research the life and collections of John Gilbert, John Gould and other Australian collectors of the period 1838-1850, for which I am most grateful. NML have also allowed me several periods of research time to visit other museums in order to research their Australian material. From December 1993 - April 1994 I was awarded the Macleay-Miklouho-Maclay Fellowship by the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney, which helped me greatly with my work on John Gilbert and on the British bird collectors Edgar and Leopold Layard. I have also received funding from the British Ornithologists Union.
I thank Anstice Fisher and her son Milan Terlunen for their many years of support and their valuable help with my Leverhulme Trust application, as well as Maureen Lambourne (John Gould’s descendant), Ann Bridson, Philip Witter, Christine Jackson, Amberley Moore, Mary Muller and Gwen Bishop for their careful research on Gilbert and related subjects, professional advice and personal support.
I would like to dedicate my work on John Gilbert to the memory of two gentlemen who helped me greatly over many years, who were both enormously entertaining, and who I very much miss: the Australian mammalogist and historian Dr. John Calaby, and the world expert on John Gould, the American Dr. Gordon Sauer. John Calaby’s death in 1998 robbed me of my greatest support and inspiration. As an Englishwoman presumptuously working on historical aspects of Australian natural history, I was extremely nervous about approaching John for help in 1989. I received nothing but the most generous and good-hearted advice in the years I was lucky enough to know him. I would also very much like to thank John’s wife, Jo, for all her hospitality and kindness during the several periods John and I worked together in the Calaby’s house in Schlich Street, Canberra. Jo has very much stayed in touch with me since John’s death, and given me much support and encouragement to continue my work on John Gilbert.