To: "Tony Russell" <>, "Birds" <>
Subject: Leach
From: "Reid" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 11:54:18 +1100

Hello Tony (and all),
The Leach's Storm-petrel was named after William Elford Leach (1790-1836) in 1818 by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot. Leach was an English zoologist and marine biologist and was employed by the British Museum 1813-1821, initially as a librarian but eventually becoming assistant keeper (we librarians are very versatile). He was responsible for classifying many of the collections, particularly molluscs, crustaceans, insects, mammals and birds. He suffered a breakdown from overwork in 1821 and resigned from the museum in 1822. He then travelled extensively through Europe with his sister, and died of cholera in Italy in 1836.

Dr John Albert Leach (1870-1929) was an Australian zoologist and taught (?Nature Studies) at the Melbourne Teachers College in the early 1900s. He authored/co-authored a number of books, including ‘Australian nature studies : a book of reference for those interested in nature-study’ (1922, 1929); ‘On the occurrence of the mosquito Anopheles in Victoria’ (1904); ‘Australian bird book : a complete guide to the identification of Australian birds’ (various editions –1911, re-printed 1926, 1958. etc). Some of these were in association with/co-authored by Frank Tait. I knew that his ‘Australian bird book’ was re-printed in 1958, but didn’t know there was a 1950 edition.

At one stage I considered doing a book  with a cover showing a man entering a room with a bird on a leash and titled 'I am Doctor Latham, and this is my snipe'.  It would have given short biographies of persons after whom birds have been named, such as Bourke’s Parrot; Buller's Albatross; Campbell’s Albatross; Cox’s Sandpiper; Franklin’s Gull; Gibson’s Albatross; Albert’s Lyrebird; Baillon’s Crake, etc.


Ralph Reid

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