Collecting localities



Biographical data

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MacGillivray, John


(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 1: Cyclopaedia of collectors)

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 8: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement II)


Born: 1822, Aberdeen, Scotland. Died: June 6, 1867, Sydney, Australia.



Eldest son of Professor William MacGillivray (Aberdeen). He spent his early days at Edinburgh, and from boyhood had a lively interest in natural history. He was intended for the medical profession, and had all but completed his studies, when he was offered the appointment of naturalist on board H.M.S. ‘Fly’. He accompanied several other expeditions to the Malaysian and Pacific region and made important, especially zoological, collections. After the expedition of the ‘Herald’ he was dismissed, returned to New South Wales and accepted engagements for exploring the flora and fauna of several Polynesian islands.

Alsophila macgillivrayi Baker and Grevillia gil(l)ivrayi Hook. were named after him.


Collecting localities:

Voyage of H.M.S. ‘Fly’ and ‘Bramble’, 1842-46.1 cf. also sub J.B. Jukes. Sailing from Falmouth (Apr. 11, 1842); via Madeira, Teneriffe, Cape of Good Hope, St Paul, Australia; Timor: Kupang (Sept. 2, 1843; short stay); Australia; from Port Essington (Oct. 3, 1844) passing the Lesser Sunda Islands to E. Java: Surabaya (Oct. 19), trip to Grissek (= Grissee) on the coast (23); Pasuruan (Nov. 9), Probolinggo, Klakka, Lumadjang (Lamajang), Tampa, Kedimangan, Kandangan, Lodo Ombo (Nov. 17), Ider-Ider, Zandzee, Bromo (G. Tengger), Wonosari (meeting Zollinger), Tosari, Pakis, Malang (21), Batu and ruines of Majopahit (= Modjopait) and back to Surabaya (27); Grissee; Madura (Dec. 10); sailing from Surabaya (Jan. 12, 1845); Torres Strait, S. New Guinea ( -June 2) and Australia; Lombok (June); Malay Peninsula: Singapore (July 5); proceeding to Malacca (remaining a week); return to Singapore (staying a fortnight), making an excursion to Bt Timah, and landing for about half an hour on the mainland of Johore (off the SE. point of Singapore); leaving Singapore (Aug. 3); W. Java: Anjer (Aug. 19-20); Cape of Good Hope; St Helena; Spithead (June 19, 1846).- Voyage in H.M.S. ‘Rattlesnake’, 1846-50.2 Sailing from Plymouth (Dec. 11, 1846); via Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, Simon Bay, Mauritius, Australia; the Louisiade Archipelago (June 1849); Duchateau Islands, Duperré Islands, Brumer Islands, Dufaure Island; along the SE. coast of New Guinea (end of Aug. 1849): Orangerie Bay (Sept. 4-10); the largest of the Pariwari (= Wari-Wari) Islands (Sept. 21); Yule Island (26-27); Cape York; completing survey of the Torres Strait; sailing from Cape York (Dec. 3); islands of the Torres Strait; Treacherous Bay (11); between Direction Cape and Redscar Bay (Dec. 21- ), Pariwari Isl.; sailing from Redscar Bay (31) via the Louisiade Arch. to Sydney (death of commander Capt. Stanley); leaving Sydney (May 2, 1850); home voyage via New Zealand, Cape Horn, Falkland Islands, Azores; back in England (Oct. 5).-In H.M.S. ‘Herald’, 1852-61, under command of Capt. Denham.3 Surveying the Pacific Islands, Torres Strait (1859), S of New Guinea (cf. also sub Milne), etc.



Herb. Brit. Mus. [BM]: 795 plants from islands of the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (purch. 1855-63); Herb. Kew [K]: Australia, 1850 ? nos 1-256. In both herbaria also plants from other parts of the world.

Herb. Berl. [B]: New Caledonia plants (a. 1858) and vascular cryptogams, Voyage of the ‘Herald’ (a. 1845-51; this statement cannot be true, as the years do not correspond with those of that expedition); Herb. Decand. (Geneva [G]): New Caledonia plants.

A MS. catalogue of botanical specimens collected in 1846-49 (Voyage Rattlesnake) is preserved at Kew. It contains the nos 444-454 call. in Pèg Isl. (Louisiade Arch.) on June 16, nos 455-471 on Sud-Est Island of Louisiade Arch. (call. June 26, 27, 30), and nos 472-478 from Islands off Redscar Point, New Guinea (coll. Sept. 21), all in 1849.



(1) J.B. Jukes: ‘Narrative of the surveying voyage of H.M.S. Fly, etc., in Torres Strait, New Guinea, and the islands of the Eastern Archipelago, during the years 1842-46; together with an excursion into the interior of the eastern part of Java’ (London 1847, 2 vols); Dutch transl. by W.R. Hoevell: ‘Togten van een Engelschman door den Indischen Archipel’ (Zaltbommel 1853).

(2) ‘Note on Capt. Owen Stanley’s explorations in the Pacific Ocean Archipels Louisiade and New Guinea’ (Journ. Roy. Geogr. Soc. Lond. 21, 1851, p. 13).

J. MacGillivray: ‘Sketch of the natural history of such portions of the Louisiade Archipelago and New Guinea, as were visited by H.M.S. Rattlesnake, June to September, 1849’ (in l.c. p. 15-18).

J. MacGillivray: ‘Narrative of the voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, commanded by the late Capt. Owen Stanley, during the years 1846-50. Including discoveries and surveys in New Guinea, the Louisiade Archipelago, etc.’ (London 1852, 2 vols with several appendices, not relating to botany).

‘T. H. Huxley’s diary of the voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake’ (London 1935; edit. by Julian Huxley).

M. Bassett: ‘Behind the Picture. H.M.S. Rattlesnake’s Australia and New Guinea Cruise’ (Oxford Univ. Press Melbourne 1966, with 2 maps).

(3) Capt. H.M. Denham: ‘The Herald’s voyage 1852-61’ (Proc. Roy. Geogr. Soc. Lond. 6, 1861/62, p. 221-222).

Letters from J. MacGillivray in Hook. Journ. Bot. & Kew Gard. Misc. 5, 1853, p. 279-282; l.c. 6, 1854, p. 353-363; l.c. 7, 1854, p. 303-306.


biographical data:

Seemann Journ. Bot. 5, 1867, p. 316; Maiden in Journ. Austr. Ass. Adv. Sci. Brisbane meeting 1909, p. 379-380, w. portr.; Portr. in H.M. Whittell, ‘The Literature of Austral. Birds’ 1954, pl. 26, opposite p. 116, and see pt 2, l.c., p. 465-466.


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