Biographical data


Diard, Pierre


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


Born: 1795, Chateau la Brosse, France. Died: Febr. 16, 1863, Batavia, Java.



Zoologist, pupil of Cuvier, who accompanied Raffles to Sumatra in 1818, together with Jack, another Frenchman, and a missionary clergyman. Jack (see there) let on about these French gentlemen anything but favourable in his letters to Wallich; it was settled that their collections and notes were to be the property of the British E.I.C.; they tried, however, to abscond, which plan miscarried. Diard evidently had the intention (in March 1820) to sail to Calcutta by way of Batavia. For some time he was employed as a collector of the Natural History Museum at Paris; in 1825 he was appointed Inspector of Agriculture by the D.E.I. Government, in which function he made tours to Banka (1825),1 Borneo (1826), Bawean (1841), and in 1858 to Mauritius, Bourbon and Ceylon. After the death of Boie in 1827, he was appointed member of the ‘Natuurkundige Commissie’ (Commission for the Natural Sciences) and as such resided at Buitenzorg; in the Government Almanac of the year 1835, he is mentioned as Director of the Botanic Gardens; in reality he was in charge till 1841 as directing member of the said ‘Commissie’. He propagated the systematic arrangement of plants in this garden, which was executed later by Hasskarl. He has been curator of the Natural History Museum of the ‘Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen’, which was discontinued in 1844. In Sept. 1841 he went to Europe; in 1842 appointed Honorary Inspector of Agriculture; from 1846-47 on European leave once more, and subsequently returned, but at least partly on half-pay. In about 1853 he made a great fuss about an invention for the manufacture of tiles. In 1862 he was charged with natural history investigations and the making of collections on behalf of the State Museum at Leiden, and died shortly afterwards.



Besides for the British E.I.C., he collected on behalf of Paris and Leiden, especially birds and other animals.2 According to Lasčgue3 he made extensive botanical and zoological collections; of the former I could not get any further data and doubt the reliability of L.’s statement.



(1) cf. Tijdschr. Neęrl. Ind. 84, 1846, p. 125.

(2) cf. extensive data in H.J. Veth: ‘Overzicht van hetgeen in het bijzonder door Nederland, gedaan is voor de kennis der fauna van Ned. Indië’ (Thesis, Leiden 1879) and in A. Gijzen: ‘‘s Rijks Museum v. Nat. Hist. 1820-1915’ (Thesis, Rotterdam 1938) p. 123.

(3) in Mus. Bot. Deless. 1845, p. 433.


biographical data:

Alg. Konst- en Letterbode 18391, p. 148; Tijdschr. Ned. Ind. 18631, p. 389; Sirks, Ind. Nat. Onderzoek, 1915, p. 115-117, 119, 125-130, 196; Encyclop. N.I. 1, 1917.