George Dawson Rowley

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George Dawson Rowley (born May 3, 1822 , † November 21, 1878 in Brighton , Sussex ) was a British amateur ornithologist and archaeologist. He was a collector of bird skins and eggs as well as archaeological artifacts .


Rowley was the eldest son of George William and Jane Catherine Rowley, née Maine. His father was Deputy Lieutenant for traditional Rutland , Justice of the Peace for Huntingdonshire , Lincolnshire and Rutland and, in 1870, High Sheriff for Rutland. George Dawson Rowley studied at Eton College and Trinity College , Cambridge , where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1846 and a Master of Arts in 1849. During his student days he was friends with the ornithologist John Wolley (1824-1859). In 1849 he married Caroline Frances Lindsay, daughter of Archdeacon Charles Lindsay von Kildare and granddaughter of Rowley's grandfather Owsley Rowley (1754-1824). The couple had a son.

From 1875 Rowley published the ornithological journal Ornithological Miscellany at his own expense , which was published quarterly until 1878. For this work he was able to use the artist John Gerrard Keulemans as an illustrator and the ornithologists Adolf Bernhard Meyer , Otto Finsch , Henry Eeles Dresser , Osbert Salvin , Henry Seebohm , Arthur Hay, 9th Marquess of Tweeddale , John Henry Gurney , Alfred Newton , Philip Lutley Sclater and Richard Bowdler Win Sharpe as contributors. Occasionally Rowley also contributed to other journals, including The Zoologist , Field , Ibis, and Proceedings of the Zoological Society .

In the years 1877 and 1878 he translated Prschewalski's work Монголия и страна Тангутов: трехлетнее путешествие в восточной нагорной Азии [Tango iran; trechletnee putešestvie v vostočnoj nagornoj Azii] (1876) on the bird world of Turkestan into English.

Rowley had an ornithological museum in his residence, the Chichester House, in Brighton, which housed an egg of the elephant bird and the moa, and at times the only known egg of the kangaroo island emus . Rowley was particularly interested in the extinct giant alk , of which he had two hides and six eggs in his collection. Among the manuscripts in his estate are the texts Bits and Fragments round a Saxon Saint , Chronicles of the Rowleys, and notes for A History of Huntingdonshire , along with a few other unpublished articles of historical and antiquarian character . He owned family property in both that county and Rutlandshire.

Rowley was a member of the Zoological Society of London (elected in 1866), the Linnean Society of London and the British Ornithologists' Union .

In 1877 Rowley suffered profuse bleeding from his lungs, which was followed by other bleeding of a similar nature and which made his health considerably worse. He died on November 21, 1878 at the age of 57. His father, who was disabled for a long time, died the same day.

Dedication names

The silver birdcatcher ( Eutrichomyias rowleyi ) was described by Adolf Bernhard Meyer in Rowley's bird journal Ornithological Miscellany in 1878 and named after Rowley.

In 1878 Adolf Bernhard Meyer named the silver flycatcher ( Eutrichomyias rowleyi ) in honor of George Dawson Rowley. In 1874 Walter Buller described the taxon Platycercus rowleyi , which is now considered a synonym for Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae .


  • The Late Mr. G. Dawson Rowley . Nature. 19, 1878: p. 84. doi: 10.1038 / 019084a0
  • Occasional Notes: Death of Mr. George Dawson Rowley. In: The Zoologist Vol 3, No. January 25, 1879, p. 33.
  • Mullens, William Herbert & Swann, Harry Kirke (1917 / Reprint 1986): A Bibliography of British Ornithology , ISBN 0-85486-098-3 , p. 498
  • Peter Rowley: The Rigid Squire and the Eclectic Ornithologist In: Chronicles of the Rowleys: English Life in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Huntingdonshire Local History Society, 1995. ISBN 978-0-9519577-1-4 , pp. 115-142

Individual evidence

  1. N. Przhevalskiy: The Birds of Mongolia, the Tangut Country and Solitudes of Northern Tibet. In: GD Rowley (ed.). Ornithological Miscellany. Vol. 2 (1877) and Vol. 3 (1878).
  2. ^ Julian Pender Hume, Michael P. Walters: Extinct Birds. A & C Black, 2012, ISBN 1-4081-5725-X , p. 21.