ArticlePDF Available

Natural History, Conservation and Health: Scottish-Trained Doctors in New Zealand, 1790–1920s


Abstract and Figures

This article considers the nexus between environment, health and colonial development through the migration, and visits, of Scottish-educated doctors to New Zealand. In arguing for the importance of local social, environmental and economic factors to explain their changing prominence within, in particular, the field of natural history, this article enriches and in some cases modifies the work of Richard Grove and John M. MacKenzie.
Content may be subject to copyright.
This article was downloaded by: [James Beattie]
On: 19 August 2011, At: 14:37
Publisher: Routledge
Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered
office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK
Immigrants & Minorities
Publication details, including instructions for authors and
subscription information:
Natural History, Conservation and
Health: Scottish-Trained Doctors in New
Zealand, 1790–1920s
James Beattie a
a History Programme, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New
Available online: 19 Aug 2011
To cite this article: James Beattie (2011): Natural History, Conservation and Health:
Scottish-Trained Doctors in New Zealand, 1790–1920s, Immigrants & Minorities,
To link to this article:
Full terms and conditions of use:
This article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any
substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan, sub-licensing,
systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.
The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation
that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any
instructions, formulae and drug doses should be independently verified with primary
sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings,
demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or
indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.
Natural History, Conservation and
Health: Scottish-Trained Doctors
in New Zealand, 17901920s
James Beattie*
History Programme, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
This article considers the nexus between environment, health and colonial
development through the migration, and visits, of Scottish-educated doctors to
New Zealand. In arguing for the importance of local social, environmental
and economic factors to explain their changing prominence within, in
particular, the field of natural history, this article enriches and in some cases
modifies the work of Richard Grove and John M. MacKenzie.
Keywords: natural history; science and imperialism; medical education
This article explores the changing contribution of Scottish-educated
doctors to conservation and natural history in New Zealand from the late
eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. It engages with the work
of environmental historians of empire such as John M. MacKenzie and
Richard Grove, who have both highlighted the significant role of Scottish-
educated doctors in imperial science and conservation. Using prosopo-
graphy supported by statistical analysis, it offers a fine-grained analysis of
the global and local factors influencing Scotland’s medical graduates and
their role in colonial science in New Zealand, an area outside the purview
of those authors’ work.
In a series of influential monographs and articles, John M. MacKenzie
has highlighted the significant contribution of Scottish people and ideas to
the British Empire, in particular their role in fostering imperial science and
Richard Grove has also pointed out the prominence of Scots
in imperial science, arguing that in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth
centuries doctors educated at Scottish universities put forward a
ISSN 0261-9288 (print)/ISSN 1744-0521 (online) q2011 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/02619288.2011.577629
Immigrants & Minorities
iFirst Article, 2011, pp. 1–27
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
sophisticated critique of colonialism through instigating forest conserva-
tion and initiating investigations into natural history, particularly in India
and Africa.
Grove contends that Scottish-trained doctors ‘were especially
receptive to a mode of thinking which related the multiple factors of
deforestation, water supply, famine, climate and disease in a clear and
connected fashion’.
He also asserts that these doctors urged the East India
Company (EIC) to stop deforestation and mitigate the effects of famines,
actions which later contributed to the emergence of the India Forest
Service (IFS) in the 1860s.
Several others, such as Jan Oosthoek and
Pallavi Das, have similarly highlighted the importance of Scots in Indian
forest conservation.
In examining Grove’s ideas, this article upholds aspects of his thesis, but
also modifies it in significant ways. Detailed research on New Zealand
reveals the significance of Scottish-educated doctors in lobbying for forest
conservation and making strong connections between medicine and
environment in that colony as Grove’s model suggests. However, the
present work modifies Grove’s argument in several important ways. First, it
argues in contrast to Grove, that the lobbying of Scottish-educated doctors
did not represent a radical critique of colonialism. Rather, I stress
conservation must be understood within the wider programme pushed by
this scientifically educated group for the rational and systematic
exploitation of colonial resources; it must be understood, in other
words, as part of the same impulse towards the establishment of geological
surveys, museums of natural science or colonial scientific bureaucracies.
Second, this essay points to the importance of locality and of detailed
examinations of the particular economic, political and environmental
circumstances of a colony – in accounting for the changing role of such a
group. Such rich local detail adds considerable depth, teasing out the
fascinating general hypothesis put forward by Grove. In the case of New
Zealand, it reveals that, for a variety of reasons, Scottish-educated doctors’
prominence in natural history declined significantly after the 1880s and
that they never assumed such bureaucratic dominance as they had in India,
thanks largely to the dominance of a laissez-faire settler ideology that
favoured less interventionist government and smaller bureaucracies.
Third, this article points out the importance of considering New Zealand
in its wider imperial context,
demonstrating the interconnections between
local and imperial developments in science and scientific specialisation,
and the significance until the 1870s of provincial government rather than
national government in leading state science. Investigating medical
practitioners’ role in forest conservation and natural history thus brings
together what have often been two distinctly separate fields: medical and
2J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
environmental history. As Gregg Mitman notes, ‘conceptions of health
have been integral to [human] environmental experience and under-
standing’, yet have received surprisingly little attention by environmental
historians and historians of medicine alike.
Medical Training and Environment
For medical practitioners, plants provided crucial materia medica, while
knowledge of environments furnished vital information about patterns of
disease and healthiness. These areas of knowledge reflected the
pervasiveness of environment as an explanation for, and a solution to, ill
health in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Miasma expressed the
confused origins of illness, the bewildering role of environment (and other
factors) in the generation of disease. Miasma, a hotly contested notion,
retained its popularity in non-medical circles well into the twentieth
Extremes of heat, soaking moisture and strong winds upset
constitutions, it was thought, generating fevers like typhoid and malaria,
or diphtheria and dysentery. Diseases raged seasonally, striking
indiscriminately, but seemingly in response to environmental events.
Given the importance of environment in causing disease, its measurement,
observation and study assumed great significance.
Scottish universities as befitting their position as medical educational
leaders offered a strong practical and theoretical training in the natural
After 1833, for instance, all medical students enrolled in
training as an MD (physician) at the University of Edinburgh had to take
the subject of Natural History.
They also had to spend three months
studying Botany.
Much of this education took place at the Edinburgh
Botanic Garden (initially called the Physical Garden), established in 1670.
As John Hutton Balfour (180884), Professor of Medicine and Botany at
Edinburgh and Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanical Garden, proudly
In all stages of its existence, whether as the Physic Garden in the centre of
the city, or in its position at Leith Walk, or in its present site, it has been
associated with the Chair of Botany, and the University course of lectures
has been conducted more or less completely within its precincts.
In the nineteenth century daily lectures were ‘illustrated by fresh
specimens, by Herbarium and Museum specimens and by drawings’.
Demonstrations took place in the 300-seat lecture room located at the
Botanic Gardens. Almost every Saturday students were taken out on
botanical excursions. These were supplemented by longer trips of two to
three days’ duration and, at the conclusion of the teaching session, by an
Immigrants & Minorities 3
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
eight to ten day excursion. Students received instruction in the skills of
drying and processing plants, as well as ‘making observations on the
geographical distribution of plants and the soils and localities [in which]
they grow’.
The intellectual proximity of the botanical and medical
sciences took on spatial dimensions, with anatomical and physiological
researchers accommodated in a room specially ‘fitted up for the purpose in
the Botanic Garden’.
The strengths in natural history and, more broadly, scientific education,
were reflected in the prominence of many graduates from the University of
Edinburgh and its sister institutions in those areas. Balfour himself
graduated MD in 1832, while, as Grove notes, Professors such as John
Hope (1725 86; Regius Chair of Botany, Edinburgh University) and
William Hooker (1785– 1865; Professor of Botany, Glasgow University,
and Director at Kew Gardens) both stressed the importance of ‘rigorous
field observation, holistic approaches to nature and tree-planting
programmes’ to their medical students.
Hope, continues Grove,
‘popularized the Linnaean school of botany among his students’,
popularity reflecting the borrowing of medical classifications of disease
from those developed by the botanist Carl Linnaeus (170778) for plant
Later, leading figures in botany who became interested in New
Zealand’s natural history and who had also visited the colony, such as
Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817 1911; Glasgow, MD, 1839) and Charles
Darwin (1809 82, who studied at Edinburgh University from 1825 to
1827 without taking the degree), also directed and encouraged the research
of a new generation of Scottish medical students, some of whom settled in
or visited New Zealand.
Surveying his students’ contribution to the field,
Balfour proudly noted his satisfaction
that from the Edinburgh University there have been sent forth men who
have occupied most distinguished positions in the botanical world in
this and in other countries; and that, at the present moment,
applications are often made to us for medical men to fill the situation of
botanists and naturalists in scientific expeditions.
Until the later decades of the nineteenth century most English
universities provided a general, rather than a strictly scientific education,
one emphasising language and classical learning. At the start of the
nineteenth century, as Mark Weatherall has noted of Cambridge
University’s medical faculty, its purpose ‘was to educate doctors to serve
the upper classes of English society’. Students decided their own
curriculum, a situation improved only after widespread criticism (often
by Scottish physicians) of the deficiencies of this system and of scientific
4J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
education more generally. Only in the 1860s did the medical school finally
begin to attract medical students in any number.
This is not to suggest
that English graduates were not scientifically trained, or exhibited little
interest in natural history. Many missionary botanists, for instance, were
Cambridge educated.
But when it came to providing the specific skills in
scientific disciplines such as geology, geography, forestry and mineralogy –
skills in great demand in the far-flung British Empire in the mid to late
nineteenth century for a variety of reasons, administrators often turned
to Scottish-educated doctors, or to those from German-speaking lands and
northern Europe.
As well as the demand for specific skills, broader social and political
factors played their part in influencing migration. Enclosure, urbanisation
and industrialisation in Scotland set in motion waves of internal and
external migration. A surfeit of work in Scotland caused many skilled
migrants to move overseas, among them many doctors.
With the need to
survey land and develop resources, colonies demanded people with the
very skills many Scottish graduates had in abundance. Any explanation of
the significance of Scottish medical graduates overseas also needs to take
into account the staggering number of Scottish graduates matriculating
each year, a factor overlooked by Grove in his study of the Scots in India
and Africa. Between 1846 and 1855, the universities of Oxford and
Cambridge respectively trained 17 and 61 graduates in medicine; the
University of London 241. By contrast, in that ten-year period alone, 594
(all MDs) graduated from Edinburgh University.
As not all of these were
Scottish-born, it is important to describe them as Scottish-trained rather
than Scottish-born.
English universities began to train increasing
numbers of graduates in the later decades of the nineteenth century, but
even then, the Scots dominated the upper echelons of colonial medical
bureaucracies, as Mark Harrison notes of India.
Empire and Natural History
Demand for graduates trained in medical sciences reached new heights in
the nineteenth century as the utility of applying scientific methods to the
exploitation of colonial environments became more widely recognised. In
the context of economic development and imperial expansion: ‘[b]otany
provided a set of techniques for policing foodstuffs and medicaments,
promised the medical practitioner a means of getting rich, and presented
the natural world in tandem with the human moral and political world in
discussions about resource management’.
As Richard Drayton explains in
his monograph of the same name, achieving Nature’s Government over
Immigrants & Minorities 5
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
colonies and their resources impelled both imperialism and the
development of imperial sciences, in addition to shaping research in
metropolitan and peripheral areas.
In the nineteenth century these
interests intersected strongly in imperial institutions like the Royal
Botanical Gardens, Kew, which marshalled information through
coordination of colonial and other metropolitan museums and libraries,
provided employment to colonial botanists and plant hunters, and
directed agricultural research.
Kew was a central hub in an imperial
network of botanical gardens that reached its peak under its directors Sir
William Hooker (director, 184165) and his son Joseph (director, 1865–
By the end of the nineteenth century Kew ‘held more than a million
living plant species and corresponded with fifty-four other gardens, thirty-
three of them in the British Empire’.
Yet, as the Scottish-educated doctor William Lauder Lindsay (1829– 81)
observed, natural history offered benefits beyond merely those of empire
For invalids, explained Lindsay, its ‘gently-exciting studies’
provided ‘moral medicines of the most soothing, and intellectual food of
the most nourishing... kind’.
In 1854, Lindsay established at the Murray
Royal Asylum, Perth, Scotland, a museum, its object being ‘Amusement of
an instructive kind but primarily amusement’.
Exhibits ranged from a
‘pair of slippers worked for the Sultana at Constantinople’ to Caithness red
sandstone and Indian cotton, a ‘Reticule made of New Zealand Flax by a
Maori Princess’ (with a note that ‘a chief’s daughter’ had probably woven
this) and ‘Semi-fossilised Soap found in Pompeii’.
‘[R]are and beautiful
Hothouse exotics’ also flourished in the Murray Royal’s conservatory,
including several Lindsay grew from seed obtained in New Zealand.
Erected in 1863 on Lindsay’s orders, the conservatory provided evidence of
acclimatisation’s ‘scientific and practical operations’.
If the provision of natural history at a mental asylum reflected the strong
emphasis placed upon ‘moral treatment’ in mental health care at this time,
a genuine belief in the efficacy of environment and hard work in the cure of
the mentally ill,
it also demonstrated the absolute centrality of natural
history to Britain and its colonies’ economic, political, medical and
cultural lives. Natural history objects, crossing space and time, bound
together Britain with its empire, serving important economic and
geopolitical functions in addition to those of entertainment (through
collecting) and visual spectacle through the development of colonial and
metropolitan museums.
‘[T]he eruption of the Middle Classes’,
and its
associated leisure time and increasing wealth, marked the nineteenth
century as a century of natural history. ‘Natural History’, alongside other
activities like antiquarianism and geology, became a ‘gentlemanly’ pursuit
6J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
that had the added benefit of contributing to the improving ethos of the
day through providing new scientific discoveries.
Although opportu-
nities lessened as the nineteenth century lengthened, natural history also
offered one of the few socially sanctioned pastimes that allowed women to
contribute to science, usually through botanical drawing and collecting, or
by writing botanical works for a popular or juvenile audience.
history, moreover, played an important part in the self-education and
improvement of the working classes. A bewildering number of
publications championed its benefits, not only as an intrinsic good but
also as a means of ensuring moral quietude.
The same investigative zeal evident from England’s Downlands to
Scotland’s Highlands accompanied settlers to the colonies. There
perhaps even more so than in Europe given the desire of many migrants to
escape the ‘Old World’ serpents of state religion and social stratification
the appeal of natural history lay in its democracy: all could botanise, from
the humblest cobbler to the highest court judge. In this regard, European
migrants to the ‘New World’ held an additional advantage over their
friends and family back home: they were encountering a ‘new’ nature: trees
that shed their bark, not their leaves, birds that gambolled but did not fly.
In the topsy-turvy new world of the Antipodes, collecting and classifying
what most regarded as God’s Works offered a way of making familiar
unfamiliar natures.
Lindsay and the Power of Natural History
As noted, Edinburgh-educated doctor William Lauder Lindsay was well
aware that scientific knowledge, with botany to the fore, was dramatically
shaping the course of world history. At the time of his writing, Britain was
standing at the apex of a remarkable period of industrialisation, economic
growth and imperial expansion, a period at once exciting and appalling.
Excitement surrounded the wonders of science and industrialisation, and
the revolutionary material and geopolitical advancements therefrom, but
with it came the shadows of environmental degradation, slums, disease and
class oppression.
Fired by these concerns, Lindsay believed the lamp of
science could illuminate the path of Britain’s colonies out of the darkness
of environmental degradation and disease, towards the light of material
In 1861, Lindsay had an opportunity to witness at first hand the
development of the raw young colony of Otago, which at the time of his
visit lay in the grip of a gold rush that was rapidly changing the province
environmentally, demographically and socially. Immediately discerning
Immigrants & Minorities 7
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
the utility of science to such a situation, in 1862 Lindsay published an
address he had intended to deliver in late 1861 in person, but which ill
health prevented. The ‘natural sciences’, Lindsay thundered, were ‘a distinct
power’ and occupied ‘a distinct place in colonization’.
In ‘The Place and
Power of Natural History in Colonization; with special reference to Otago’,
he argued that ‘the systematic, economical, and complete development of
her [Otago’s] resources can be effectually accomplished only by the aid of
scientific observations and deductions’.
A museum of useful collections
of plants and animals and a university with strengths in natural history
were absolutely necessary, he argued, with the latter enabling the
investigation of plant and animal acclimatisation as well as ‘agriculture and
arboriculture in their scientific aspects’.
Born in 1829, Lindsay grew up in Edinburgh and, in 1852, graduated
MD from that city’s university. His thesis on lichens earned him the
prestigious Gold Medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
offers of at least one overseas botanical position, Lindsay took up a post at
the Murray Royal Asylum, Perth, soon becoming the Superintendent of
Mental Health, a position he retained for the rest of his working life.
Befitting a description of him by his former teacher, Balfour, as a student
‘most successful’ in botany and ‘fond’ of natural history,
employed all of his available leisure time at the Murray Royal, as well as
what must assuredly have been considerable periods of work time,
pursuing his primary love of natural history, particularly the study of
lichens. This he accomplished in addition to myriad interests in scientific
education, geology, women’s education, and mental health reform.
Lindsay’s decision to use medical pursuits as a way of financing his
botanical and geological interests was by no means unusual at that time,
and it well illustrates the close intellectual proximity of medical and natural
In all, Lindsay spent three-and-a-half months in Otago, New Zealand,
before returning to his Murray Royal post.
Although brief, the time
Lindsay spent in Otago laid the foundation for many subsequent
publications, some 55 in all on New Zealand subjects out of a total œuvre
of around 277 works.
His prolix nature, both in his writing style and in
the number of publications he produced, also reflected the enthusiasm
with which he threw himself into investigation of the botany and geology
of the Dunedin area.
In the bustling Presbyterian settlement of Dunedin,
a great deal of excitement surrounded his projected lecture. That ‘the
services of so eminent a savant as Dr. Lindsay’ was expected to attract a
large crowd at Knox Church, as a local newspaper gushed, underlined the
importance both of his message and the role of science and the scientific
8J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
lecture as a form of entertainment.
As noted, bad health prevented
Lindsay from delivering the lecture, but his paper was published in the
local press and as a pamphlet.
In conjunction with many other Scottish-educated doctors elsewhere in
the British Empire,
Lindsay stressed the utility of natural science to the
project of colonisation. Reflecting the relative scarcity of timber supplies in
Otago, and mindful of the great demand mining would place on them (see
Figure 1), Lindsay advocated the establishment of a ‘Conservator of Forests
and ‘Board of Woods and Forests’.
In 1868, he published probably the first
article on state forestry in New Zealand.
Geological surveys of Otago’s
mineral resources accompanied his research into forest conservation and
demonstrate the overriding impulse towards the application of science for
the efficient – and sustainable development of a colony’s resources.
Based on New Zealand evidence, forest conservation must thus be
understood as part of colonial development, not apart from it as Grove has
Other Scottish-Educated Doctors: 1840s to 1870s
Indeed, the nexus between science and development is borne out in the
activities of a number of other Scottish-educated doctors who settled in, or
visited, New Zealand. One of the earliest Scottish-trained doctors to visit
New Zealand was the Edinburgh-educated surgeon-botanist, Archibald
Menzies (1754 1842), who travelled with Captain George Vancouver on
the Discovery in 1791. As a result of his botanising, Menzies brought back
to Britain many New Zealand botanical specimens, using them to
determine their taxonomic properties, in particular those of lichens.
Although New Zealand at that stage was not a colony indeed it was
relatively little known outside European scientific circles great
excitement among naturalists surrounded the discovery of its plant and
animal resources. As historian John Gascoigne has shown, the potential
economic applications of as yet unknown species, particularly through the
promotion of gentleman-naturalist Joseph Banks (17431820) who sailed
on Cook’s first voyage, helped to knit together the threads of informal
empire that became more permanent after the Botany Bay settlement of
1788 in Australia. New Zealand was drawn into the wider ambit of British
ambitions in the southern Pacific.
From the 1790s Sydney-based
entrepreneurs sent whalers, flax collectors and sealing gangs to New
Zealand, while from the 1820s the Royal Navy also took a keen interest in
New Zealand’s timber, seeking additional supplies of spars for its ships.
Immigrants & Minorities 9
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
Figure 1 New Zealand vegetation and land use, 1840. Map drawn by Simon
Dench, based on Kenneth B. Cumberland, ‘A Century’s Change: Natural to
Cultural Vegetation in New Zealand’, Geographical Review, 31, no. 4 (October
1941): no page no.
10 J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
Despite sporadic scientific investigations of New Zealand by the small
number of Europeans resident in New Zealand, and by several continental
European scientific expeditions, by the time of its formal annexation as a
British colony in 1840 many of its plants and animals still remained
relatively unknown to European science. As a consequence of its new
status, and with organised migration already underway, exploration of
New Zealand’s resources took off, with Scottish-educated doctors taking a
leading role in such investigations, alongside other groups. Land
settlement fuelled demand for surveyors and other professionals, such as
geologists and botanists. This created a significant group of scientifically
interested officials who worked in various capacities for private settlement
concerns (such as the New Zealand Company), provincial government
(from 1852 until its abolition in 1876), and later central government. Some
of these naturalists had received formal training, while others developed
the necessary skills ‘on the job’.
Edinburgh-educated doctor David Monro (later Sir David, 1813– 77)
exemplified many of the extra-medical interests pursued by his fellow
doctors. Hailing from a well-known Scottish medical family, Monro
proved an enthusiastic investigator of New Zealand’s botany. At Edinburgh
University in the 1830s (he graduated as an MD in 1835), Monro’s interest
in botany had been sparked by Professor Robert Graham, while his
fascination with materia medica owed much to the influence of another
staff member at Edinburgh, Sir Robert Christison, Lecturer in Materia
Medica, Dietetics, and Pharmacy. Arriving in the South Island town of
Nelson in 1842, Monro almost immediately set about exploring its botany,
spending much time ‘in the field’, and keeping up his interests in gardening
and tree planting.
These interests extended to their intellectual and
political promotion, as demonstrated by his active participation as a
member of the Nelson Philosophical Society, Chair of the Association for
the Promotion of Science and Industry and his parliamentary support for
tree-planting legislation.
Monro, for instance, submitted to the first issue
of New Zealand’s national scientific publication, The Transactions and
Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute, an overview of the botany of the
Nelson and Marlborough provinces. Significantly, Monro acknowledged
the importance of Joseph Hooker’s work on New Zealand flora, quoting
extensively from it. But he was also not afraid to offer criticisms, notably by
pointing out that Hooker’s descriptive work applied more fully to the
better-known ‘northern portions’ rather than to the South Island, a lacuna
he attempted to address in his paper. In noting the distribution of
particular species, Monro further described the vulnerability of New
Zealand’s endemic flora to the depredations of fire, speculating (correctly)
Immigrants & Minorities 11
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
that much of the more limited extent of forests resulted from the use of fire
by Maori in pre-European times. He also pointed out the necessity of the
acclimatisation of overseas species to fill that gap.
Monro’s deep interest
in tree planting, not only as a parliamentarian supporting legislation
promoting that activity but also evidenced by his introducing many species
himself, reflected the relative paucity of species in the northern South
Island (see Figure 1). As a colonial botanist, Monro corresponded with
Kew Gardens, sending plants to Sir William Hooker and, in turn, having
plants named in his honour by Hooker’s son, Joseph.
In the early years of Crown Colony government (before 1852), New
Zealand’s colonial administration often looked to the services of doctors
because of their high level of education.
Andrew Sinclair (17941861)
served the colonial government as an able administrator, but in his spare
time he made a significant contribution to the botanical study of the
colony. Sinclair had studied medicine and surgery at the University of
Glasgow, as well as in Paris and at Edinburgh University, qualifying as a
licentiate in 1818. Joining the Royal Navy in 1822 as an assistant surgeon,
Sinclair travelled widely, using his time ashore to collect zoological and
botanical specimens for the British Museum and the Royal Botanic
Gardens, Kew. Having botanised in the Bay of Islands in 1841 with Joseph
Hooker and William Colenso (the missionary printer and botanist),
Sinclair returned to New Zealand in December 1843 at the insistence of
Governor Robert FitzRoy (180565), whom he had met in Sydney, serving
as New Zealand’s Colonial Secretary between 1844 and 1856. In this time,
Sinclair collected botanical specimens for Kew Gardens, maintaining his
interest in the topic through correspondence with Richard Owen (1804
92), Charles Darwin (1809 82) and Thomas Huxley (1825 95).
In 1841, the imperial polymath, Joseph Hooker (a Glasgow MD), spent
some three months in northern New Zealand (16 August 17 November
1841) while on the expedition of HMS Erebus (1839 43) to the southern
ocean. There, he botanised with Sinclair and Colenso, amassing a sizeable
natural history collection and establishing strong scientific ties with New
Zealand, ties which he maintained throughout his life. As earlier noted,
Hooker was instrumental in encouraging natural history throughout the
British Empire, particularly after he succeeded his father as Director of Kew
Gardens. In New Zealand his expertise was widely acknowledged, as
demonstrated through the New Zealand Government’s commissioning of
him to produce a flora of the colony.
In many ways, the experiences of Hooker and Sinclair represent opposite
ends of the spectrum of imperial science and botanical networks: the
former enjoying a stellar career at the hub of imperial science; the latter
12 J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
collecting on the margins of empire. Yet the development of resources and
botanical knowledge could not have been effected without either’s efforts.
Sinclair typified the experience of other doctors in that period of New
Zealand’s history, whose extra-medical interests in the 1840s and 1850s
partly reflected the paucity of available opportunities to practise medicine
(although some, with money, chose not to pursue medical employment).
Economic problems in the 1840s and 1850s, combined with low public
confidence in the skills of medical practitioners, medical historian Michael
Belgrave argues, ensured relatively few opportunities for medical men to
This, as much as demand for their high educational
qualifications, led some practitioners into non-medical areas. Even so,
whether employed as medical practitioners or not, many had sufficient
interest and education to follow botanical or geological interests
One such Otago-based doctor was Henry Nelson (182867).
born, Nelson attended the University of Edinburgh in the 1840s, enjoying
considerable academic success, gaining two gold medals among other
prizes. His research focused on reproduction in the lower animals and was
of such quality that he rapidly established his reputation in that field,
having several articles published in the Philosophical Transactions. After
studying in Paris and Heidelberg, Nelson migrated to Otago in 1857,
setting up there in medical practice. Aside from his medical interests, he
was soon known as ‘a man of wide scientific reading and knowledge’ in the
colony and as such contributed many reports on the geological condition
of the province. For the 1865 New Zealand Exhibition, held in Dunedin, he
contributed several geological specimens.
Unlike Nelson, Sir James Hector (1834 1907) did not pursue a career in
medicine. Nor, unlike other New Zealand non-practising individuals of
similar background, such as Edinburgh doctors Isaac Featherston (1813
76) and John Logan Campbell (1817 1912), did he rely upon politics,
landowning or business for a living.
Hector’s ability to pursue
successfully a career solely in science reflected the changing economic
and political circumstances in evidence in the colony in the decades
following the migration of Monro, Nelson and Featherston. By the 1860s,
the appearance of grand Gothic Revival and neoclassical buildings,
particularly in the South Island, attested to the permanence of European
settlement, pointing at the same time to new-found confidence and wealth
drawn from the gold rushes and the concurrent pastoral boom. Members
of the Otago Provincial Government soon realised the potential benefits of
the systematic exploitation of natural resources through the employment
Immigrants & Minorities 13
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
of scientifically trained men, establishing the Geological Survey of Otago in
The Survey’s first director was James Hector. Like Lindsay, Hector had
studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and attended lectures in
botany, yet it would be Hector who would later fill many of the positions
his near contemporary Lindsay had envisaged. Hector’s leadership of the
Geological Survey helped to accelerate the development of the province’s
resources, but within a few years he had taken up a new appointment as
Director of the Colonial Museum, a reflection of the attempt to centralise
aspects of New Zealand science.
In Wellington, Hector wore many different hats, an indication of the
relative low levels of colonial government investment in science. As
Director of the Botanical Gardens (Wellington), Hector established
teaching and acclimatisation sections.
He corresponded and exchanged
seeds with leading scientific men around the world, including Joseph
Hooker, with whom he maintained a lively personal correspondence.
Hector also helped to facilitate the exchange of scientific ideas in New
Zealand, establishing the New Zealand Institute and editing its annually
produced journal, the Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand
Institute, effectively New Zealand’s scientific mouthpiece.
In addition to
his interests in geology, botany and science, Hector investigated forest
resources and articulated climatic theories, interests clearly demonstrating
the perceived nexus between medicine, environment and conservation. At
the 1870 Committee on Colonial Industries, for instance, Hector criticised
authorities for permitting the wasteful destruction of forests, advocating
instead that forests be selectively thinned, thus expressing similar concerns
to those earlier articulated by Lindsay, as well as by Scottish-educated
doctors in India.
Hector, like Lindsay, consistently expressed anxiety about the impact of
settlers on New Zealand’s forested landscape and the ongoing effects of this
on flooding, soil erosion and possibly even climate change. As with
Lindsay, Hector promoted the application of scientific ideas as a means of
utilising New Zealand’s resources in the areas of forestry, botany and
Medical and Scientific Changes: 1880s
By the late nineteenth century, more and more doctors, including many
Scottish-trained, were finding employment in medical jobs in the colony.
The New Zealand public especially its burgeoning middle classes were
expressing increasing confidence in the medical profession, the spread of
14 J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
literacy and universal education perhaps fostering a growing belief in the
power of technology and science. At the same time, doctors themselves
presented a more unified and professional front, aided by technological
breakthroughs and greater licensing.
Crucially, from the 1870s doctors
enjoyed far more opportunities to pursue medical careers in provincial and
government service. Public hospitals and asylums provided employment,
openings which only increased in the twentieth century through the
establishment of more state medical institutions, including the Depart-
ment of Public Health, health camps, sanatoriums and hospitals.
Increasing opportunities to practise in medicine, both in private and
public capacities, reflected the broader processes of professionalisation and
bureaucratisation, state intervention and unionisation, taking place in
New Zealand in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, all
symptomatic of a modernising and industrialising society.
True, Hector’s
dominance in the 1880s continued, but increasingly such generally-trained
scientists became less common, a new generation of doctors being able to
concentrate on increasingly more medically specialised positions.
The impact of these societal and medical shifts is exemplified by the
careers in public health of a later generation of Scottish-trained medical
practitioners in New Zealand, including R.H. Makgill (18701946) and
James Mason (18641924). Makgill grew up in Scotland and New Zealand,
returning to his homeland to study at the University of Edinburgh and
graduating from there with an MB (Bachelor of Medicine) and CM
(Master of Surgery) (with first class honours) in 1893. After a stint back in
New Zealand, he returned to Edinburgh, graduating as an MD in 1899,
then attending Cambridge University, from which in 1901 he was awarded
a diploma in public health. Once more back in New Zealand, Makgill’s
career demonstrated both the increasing opportunities open to medically
trained individuals in government employment and the increasing
specialisation of medical knowledge. Makgill was Auckland’s first district
health officer (1901 04), then government bacteriologist (1904 08),
before becoming government pathologist (1908– 14), and district health
officer in Auckland (from 1909). After serving in the First World War,
Makgill was heavily involved in public health, compiling detailed reports
on the influenza outbreak of 1918– 19 and helping to mastermind the
influential 1920 Health Act, which cemented government involvement in
public health care.
Mason followed a similar career path to Makgill. Growing up in
Arbroath and first working as a librarian, he then studied medicine at
Anderson’s College Medical School, in 1887 obtaining the qualifications of
LRCP (Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians) and LRCS (Licentiate
Immigrants & Minorities 15
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
of the Royal College of Surgeons) from Edinburgh, and LFPS (Licentiate
Fellow of the College of Physicians and Surgeons) from Glasgow. Eight
years later Mason migrated to New Zealand for health reasons, opening a
cottage hospital in Otaki. Soon he was instrumental in persuading the state
to establish a ‘laboratory for bacteriological testing’. In 1900, amid fears of
an outbreak of bubonic plague, Mason and John Gilruth (1871 1937), a
Glasgow-educated veterinarian, found themselves appointed general
commissioners tasked with investigating the sanitary condition of the
colony. Their recommendations, embodied in the Public Health Act
(1900), established, among other things, the Department of Public Health.
Mason became its Chief Health Officer (1900 09), focusing his energies
on preventive health, the improvement of Maori health and combating
Both Makgill and Mason’s interest in bacteriology and public health
were symptomatic of wider changes in science and medical concerns. In
the late nineteenth century, medical doctors and scientists overseas and in
New Zealand had begun delineating boundaries between disciplines,
excluding those of their number deemed non-professionals. Through
state-supported legislation, they supported the licensing of medical
professionals and the prosecution of non-scientifically trained individuals
providing healthcare.
Scientific specialisation in New Zealand strength-
ened from the 1890s, culminating in the creation in 1926 of the
Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.
By the early twentieth
century, the sheer explosion of knowledge made it increasingly difficult for
medical doctors to maintain the catholic interests in natural history
previous generations of their profession had enjoyed. Moreover, the areas
such as forest conservation, natural history and geology, previously the
preserve of an earlier generation of doctors, were increasingly being taken
over by professionals trained in specific sciences and supported by the
Furthermore, the Otago Medical School was training more and
more medical graduates, thus diluting the influence of Scottish-educated
doctors. Indeed, by 1922 New Zealand-trained medical graduates
dominated the medical scene, accounting for 46% of all licensed doctors
in the dominion, while graduates from both Scotland (27%) and England
(20%) were falling behind.
By the 1920s, then, New Zealand medical
graduates were increasingly locally trained and tended to pursue careers
within the medical profession rather than outside of it.
In the twentieth century medical interest in the environment continued,
but with a different emphasis. The leading role they had formerly taken as
natural historians or forest conservators lessened. New understandings
about the spread of disease, most notably growing acceptance of germ
16 J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
theory, led to a decline in belief in the power of the environment to cause a
plethora of diseases. In its place came a growing concern with humans as
agents of disease.
Doctors still acknowledged the role of environmental
therapeutics in preventing ill health, such as through programmes to
improve housing quality and personal hygiene. Indeed, eugenics in many
senses continued in different ways the connections between medical science
and natural history practised in the previous two centuries, for as Makgill
observed, ‘Nature has framed certain sanitary laws more reaching than any
by-laws’. In his view, these sanitary laws included elimination of the unfit,
the removal of sanitary waste onto fields, knowledge about the microbe and
the sanitary powers of sunlight and fresh air.
But medical personnel now
focused more on medical problems to do with the body, rather than with
those to do with the environment. They might still pursue the study of
natural history, but no longer as leaders in the field; they had now moved to
the margins of the new disciplines they had been instrumental in promoting.
This interpretation is reinforced by the work of Edinburgh-educated
MD, Frederick Truby King (1858– 1938), now largely remembered for his
and his wife’s establishment of the Plunket Society and for their work in
mental health. In the late nineteenth and early decades of the twentieth
centuries, King took a keen interest in farming, conservation and plant
science, but essentially as an amateur, operating on the margins of those
In The Feeding of Plants and Animals, King recognised the
similarities between plants and humans, but he was writing as a medical
expert, not as a natural historian or ecologist. As he noted,
the highest wisdom lies in sparing no pains to maintain the young
organism throughout in the best possible condition. In plants, just as in
the case of animals, the inroads of disease are best prevented by keeping
the organism well nourished, vigorous, and healthy.
King thus maintained an interest in natural history, but he derived his
authority primarily as a medical doctor and health expert, not, as would
have been the case earlier, as a natural historian.
Many factors – both medical and extra-medical – explain the visits and
migration of Scottish-educated doctors to New Zealand in the nineteenth
century: scientific curiosity, a lack of jobs at home and colonial demand for
medical graduates’ broad-based training in the natural sciences. Prior to the
1880s, the scarcity of medical positions also forced many into employment
in scientific areas beyond medicine. Towards the end of the nineteenth
century, expanding opportunities in state and private service meant that
Immigrants & Minorities 17
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
many more graduates could now consider earning a living practising
medicine. Yet, while medical specialisation and professionalisation gave
medical graduates more opportunities, it simultaneously limited their
ability to move into fields they had helped form and which themselves were
becoming increasingly professionalised. Although the role of nature in
therapeutics continued, in medical circles germ theory came to replace the
emphasis on miasma as a cause of illness, accentuating the role of humans
rather than environments in spreading disease. Doctors remained interested
in conservation and the natural sciences, but increasingly they pursued their
interests on the margins of these scientific disciplines.
These changing patterns emphasise the global move towards scientific
specialisation but also point to the particularly local way in which it took
place in New Zealand. In the colonial years, there had been strong reliance
on Scottish-trained medics, who, in contrast to Grove, presented forest
conservation within the broader ambit of the scientific development of
natural resources. They played a prominent role in proselytising the gospel
of science through publications, public talks, botanical and geological
surveys, and lobbying government, as well as through the exchange of
plants, the establishment of scientific journals and their general insistence
on the singular importance of establishing centres of learning, scientific
experimentation and research. Investigation of their role also recovers the
important interactions between health and environment and between
the disciplines of medical and environmental history often absent in
scholarship on New Zealand natural history.
I would like to thank Dr Warwick Brunton, Dr Neil Clayton, Dr David Galloway, Dr Paul
Star, Ondine Godtschalk, Dr Brad Patterson, Professor John MacKenzie and members of
the following departments to whom I presented these ideas: Stirling University and;
¨r Geschichtswissenschaft, Philosophie und Theologie’, Bielefeld University.
For research funding, I would like to thank the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Contestable Research Fund, The University of Waikato; The ‘Asia New Zealand Research
Cluster’, University of Otago; and my research assistant, Petra Jane Edmunds, for
converting the references. Finally special thanks are due to Wendy Harrex, editor of the
University of Otago Press, and Ruth Ireland, Palgrave Macmillan, for allowing me to
revise and comprehensively update earlier chapters: Beattie, ‘W.L. Lindsay, Scottish
Environmentalism’ and Empire and Environmental Anxiety.
[1] MacKenzie, Empires of Nature.
[2] Grove, Ecology, Climate and Empire;Grove,Green Imperialism, 380473; Grove,
‘Scottish Missionaries’.
18 J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
[3] Grove, Green Imperialism, 11.
[4] Ibid., 380 473.
[5] Oosthoek, ‘Worlds Apart?’, 69 82; and Das, ‘Hugh Cleghorn’, 55– 80.
[6] Beattie, Empire and Environmental Anxiety.
[7] For exceptions, see, for instance, Dunlap, Nature and the English Diaspora; and
Beattie, ‘Environmental Anxiety in New Zealand’, 379– 92.
[8] Mitman, ‘In Search of Health’, 185. On New Zealand, see Beattie, ‘Colonial
Geographies of Settlement’, 583– 610.
[9] Glacken, Traces on the Rhodian Shore; and Hannaway, ‘Environment and
Miasmata’, 292 308.
[10] Nash, ‘Finishing Nature’, 36; Harrison, Climates and Constitutions; Beattie,
‘Tropical Asia and Temperate New Zealand’; and Salesa, ‘“The Power of the
Physician”’, 13 40.
[11] Newman, The Evolution of Medical Education,123.
[12] Ibid., 109; and Dow, ‘The Medical Curriculum at Glasgow’.
[13] See ‘Medical Licences: Return to an Address of the Honourable The House of
Commons dated 14 April 1856’, printed 17 July 1856 in ‘Papers of John Hutton
Balfour, Dean of Faculty of Medicine’, Da 43, Volume 1, Special Collections,
University of Edinburgh Library.
[14] Balfour, Guide to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh,1.
[15] Balfour, ‘Remarks on the Teaching of Science in Universities’, letter copy, Royal
Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, 30 March 1869 in ‘Papers of John Hutton Balfour,
Dean of Faculty of Medicine’, no page.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Ibid.
[18] Grove, Green Imperialism, 11; Grove, Ecology, Climate and Empire, 67; and Das,
‘Hugh Cleghorn’, 57.
[19] Sangwan, ‘From Gentlemen Amateurs to Professionals’, 217.
[20] Newman, The Evolution of Medical Education, 97; and Sangwan, ‘From
Gentlemen Amateurs to Professionals’, 217. On botanical education in medicine,
see Chitnis, The Scottish Enlightenment, 178 9; Pyenson and Sheets-Pyenson,
Servants of Nature, 152 4. On the use of museums and botanical gardens in
Edinburgh, see Chitnis, The Scottish Enlightenment and Early Victorian English
Society, 11.
[21] Galloway, ‘Joseph Hooker’.
[22] Professor Balfour, ‘Notice of the Palm-House in the Royal Botanic Garden at
Edinburgh’, Transactions of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, Volume 6, Session
1857-8 in H. Cleghorn, Attics 65.5.1, no. 11, Special Collections, University of
Edinburgh Library, 1.
[23] Weatherall, Gentlemen, Scientists and Doctors, 33– 6, 110 –41 (quote, 33).
[24] Allen, The Naturalist in Britain; and Beattie and Stenhouse, ‘Empire,
Environment and Religion’.
[25] On the Germans, see Kirchberger, ‘Deutsche Naturwissenschaftler’, 621 60; and
Kirchberger, ‘German Scientists’.
[26] On the influence of Scottish medicine on health and medical practices in general,
see Dow, The Influence of Scottish Medicine. For the wider influence of Scottish-
trained doctors, see Raj, ‘Colonial Encounters’; and Hargreaves, Academe and
Empire, 532, 54 5, 61 7.
Immigrants & Minorities 19
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
[27] See ‘Medical Licences: Return to an Address of the Honourable The House of
[28] In 1850/1, for instance, some 23% (71 in number) non-Scottish-born students
matriculated from Sir Goodsir’s class of a total of 314 graduates. In the Summer
Session of 1854 of Sir Goodsir’s anatomy course, 27% of students (24 in number)
born outside Scotland attended his class. Calculated from ‘1850/1 from evidence in
Matriculation Index, From the Goodsir Papers’, Da 35, ANAT 9; and ‘Summer
Session 1854, Da 35, ANAT 17, ‘From the Goodsir Papers’, University of Edinburgh
[29] Although in the period from 1860 to 1880 the intake of IMS (Indian Medical
Service) medical recruits trained in Scotland dropped to less than a third,
Edinburgh graduates still monopolised the senior positions in the IMS. Between
1897 and 1914, 27 per cent came from Scottish institutions, but by this time their
prominence had been overtaken by doctors educated in England, who in this later
period constituted 53.6 per cent of all IMS doctors. Harrison, Public Health in
British India, 26.
[30] Spary, ‘“Peaches Which the Patriarchs Lacked”’, 32.
[31] Drayton, Nature’s Government; and Gascoigne, Science in the Service of Empire.
[32] McCracken, Gardens of Empire, 132– 81.
[33] Drayton, Nature’s Government, 170– 220; and Brockway, Science and Colonial
Expansion, 77102.
[34] Headrick, ‘Botany, Chemistry, and Tropical Development’, 3.
[35] Beattie, ‘Colonial Geographies of Settlement’.
[36] Lindsay, A Popular History of British Lichens, 10.
[37] Lindsay, ed., Excelsior 38 (1878): 3– 4; emphasis in original; and Lindsay, Guide to
the Museum of the Murray Royal.
[38] Lindsay, ed., Excelsior 37 (1877): 23.
[39] Ibid., 38 (1878): 3.
[40] Livingstone, Putting Science in its Place, 68 72.
[41] MacKenzie, Victorian Vision; Henare, Museums, Anthropology and Imperial
Exchange; and MacKenzie, Museums and Empire.
[42] This phrase comes from Sitwell, Escape With Me!, 274.
[43] Beattie and Stenhouse, ‘Empire, Environment and Religion’; Dunlap, Nature and
the English Diaspora; and Griffiths, Hunters and Collectors.
[44] Shteir, Cultivating Women; and Moyal, ‘Collectors and Illustrators’.
[45] Broks, ‘Science, the Press and Empire’.
[46] Beattie and Stenhouse, ‘Empire, Environment and Religion’.
[47] Headrick, ‘Botany, Chemistry, and Tropical Development’.
[48] Lindsay, The Place and Power of Natural, 5, 7; emphasis in original.
[49] Otago Colonist (henceforth OC), January 24, 1862, 4.
[50] Ibid., 18 23, 25 27 (quote, 26).
[51] See Brunton, ‘Our Endeavours’.
[52] Boase, Modern English Biography, 438.
[53] Testimonials in Favour of William Lauder Lindsay, 10.
[54] Lindsay stated that he arrived in Dunedin on 7 October 1861. See Lindsay,
Contributions to New Zealand Botany, 10– 11. However, the Otago Witness
(henceforth OW) records ‘W.L. Lindsay’ as being a steerage passenger aboard the
Robert Henderson. See OW, October 12, 1861, 3.
20 J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
[55] Brunton, ‘Our Endeavours’.
[56] Lindsay, Contributions to New Zealand Botany, 10 11.
[57] Otago Daily Times (henceforth ODT), January 15, 1862, 2.
[58] OC, January 24, 1862, 4 – 8; Supplement to the ODT, January 31, 1862, 1. Lindsay,
Place and Power appeared in a slightly modified form in 1863 as The Place and
Power of Natural History in Colonisation with Special Reference to Otago (New
Zealand), Edinburgh: Neill & Company, 1863. I shall refer exclusively to his address
in Dunedin.
[59] Grove, Green Imperialism; and Das, ‘Hugh Cleghorn’.
[60] Lindsay, Place and Power, 26, 28; emphasis in original.
[61] Lindsay, ‘On the Conservation of Forests in New Zealand’, 39 42, 45.
[62] Galloway, ‘The Extra-European Lichen Collections of Archibald Menzies’.
[63] McAloon, ‘Resource Frontiers’, 52 66; Roche, A History of Forestry, 14– 44; and
Gascoigne, Science in the Service of Empire.
[64] Holzer, ‘Ferdinand von Hochstetter’; and Beattie, Empire and Environmental
[65] Wright-St Clair, Thoroughly a Man of the World, 27– 8, 48, 71– 7, 260 1.
[66] Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, March 30, 1870, 5, note; Wellington
Independent, September 18, 1871, 2; and Price, ‘Hedges and Shelter Belts’.
[67] Monro, ‘On the Leading Features’, 8.
[68] Wright-St Clair, Thoroughly a Man of the World, 13, 156.
[69] Belgrave, ‘“Medical Men” and “Lady Doctors”’, 143 4.
[70] Molloy, ‘Sinclair, Andrew’.
[71] Hooker, Handbook of the New Zealand Flora; Simpson, ‘Hooker, Joseph Dalton’;
and Endersby, ‘“From Having No Herbarium”’.
[72] Belgrave, ‘“Medical Men” and “Lady Doctors”’, 145 6.
[73] On which connection, see Beattie, ‘Tropical Asia and Temperate New Zealand’.
[74] Quote from Fulton, Medical Practice in Otago and Southland, 53 8 (quote, 56);
Otago Witness, June 15, 1858.
[75] Admittedly, Featherston practised medicine in the 1840s in Wellington, while
Campbell briefly served as a surgeon aboard an immigrant ship. See Hamer,
‘Featherston, Isaac Earl 18131876’; and Stone, ‘Campbell, John Logan 1817
[76] Hoare, Reform in New Zealand Science.
[77] Shepherd and Cook, The Botanic Garden Wellington, especially 33 43.
[78] See My Dear Hector. Hooker, clearly, did not like Lindsay. See Hooker to Hector,
13 January 1866, Kew, My Dear Hector, 66.
[79] See Reid, ‘The Province of Science’.
[80] For background, see Beattie and Star, ‘Global Influences and Local Environments’.
[81] Belgrave, ‘“Medical Men” and “Lady Doctors”’, 144 –151; and Belgrave, ‘Medicine
and the Rise of Health Professionals.
[82] See Belgrave, ‘“Medical Men” and “Lady Doctors”’; Dow, Safeguarding the Public
Health; and Tennant, Children’s Health.
[83] These societal and cultural changes are expertly summarised in Olssen, ‘Towards a
New Society’; and Polaschek, Government Administration, 3– 55, 93– 111.
[84] Rice, ‘Makgill, Robert Haldene’.
[85] Dow, ‘Mason, James Malcolm.
Immigrants & Minorities 21
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
[86] A voluminous literature exists on this topic. For an excellent summary, see
Gieryn, Cultural Boundaries; and Brunton, ‘The Emergence of a Modern
Profession?’. In New Zealand, see Belgrave, ‘“Medical Men” and “Lady Doctors”’.
[87] Galbreath, DSIR; and Stenhouse, ‘The “Battle” Between Science and Religion over
[88] Roche, A History of Forestry, 175 265.
[89] Belgrave, ‘“Medical Men” and “Lady Doctors”’, table 3.2, 100.
[90] Warboys, ‘Germs, Malaria and the Invention of Mansonial Tropical Medicine’;
and Anderson, The Cultivation of Whiteness, 71177.
[91] Makgill, ‘Nature’s Efforts at Sanitation, 139.
[92] Beattie, Heinzen, and Adam, ‘Japanese Gardens’; and Caldwell, ‘Truby King and
Seacliff, 42– 3.
[93] King, The Feeding of Plants and Animals, no page.
Allen, David Elliston. The Naturalist in Britain: A Social History. Reprint. Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1994.
Anderson, Warwick. The Cultivation of Whiteness: Science, Health and Racial Destiny in
Australia. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2005.
Balfour, John Hutton. Guide to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. Edinburgh:
Edmonston & Douglas, no date.
Beattie, James. ‘Environmental Anxiety in New Zealand, 1840– 1941: Climate Change,
Soil Erosion, Sand Drift, Flooding and Forest Conservation.Environment and
History 9, no. 4 (2003): 379 92.
Beattie, James. ‘W.L. Lindsay, Scottish Environmentalism, and the “Improvement” of
Nineteenth-century New Zealand.’ In Landscape/Community: Perspectives from
New Zealand History, ed. Tony Ballantyne and Judith A. Bennett, 43 56.
Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 2005.
Beattie, James. ‘Tropical Asia and Temperate New Zealand: Health and Conservation
Connections, 1840 1920.’ In Asia in the Making of New Zealand, ed. Brian
Moloughney and Henry Johnson, 36 57. Auckland: Auckland University Press,
Beattie, James. ‘Colonial Geographies of Settlement: Urbanisation, Plants and Health in
Aotearoa/New Zealand, 1830s– 1930s.Environment and History 14, no. 4 (2008):
Beattie, James. Empire and Environmental Anxiety: Health, Science, Art and
Conservation in South Asia and Australia, 1800 1920. Basingstoke: Palgrave
Macmillan, 2011.
Beattie, James and John Stenhouse. ‘Empire, Environment and Religion: God and
Nature in Nineteenth-Century New Zealand.Environment and History 13, no. 4
(2007): 41346.
Beattie, James and Paul Star. ‘Global Influences and Local Environments: Forestry and
Forest Conservation in New Zealand, 1850s– 1920s.British Scholar 3, no. 1 and 2
(September 2010): 191218.
Beattie, James, J. Heinzen, and J. P. Adam ‘Japanese Gardens in New Zealand, 1850
1950: Transculturation and Transmission.Studies in the History of Gardens and
Designed Landscapes 28, no. 2 (April-June 2008): 219– 36.
22 J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
Belgrave, Michael Peter. ‘“Medical Men” and “Lady Doctors”: The Making of a New
Zealand Profession, 18671941.’ PhD diss., Victoria University of Wellington,
Belgrave, Michael Peter. ‘Medicine and the Rise of Health Professionals in New
Zealand, 18601939.’ In A Healthy Country: Essays on the Social History of
Medicine in New Zealand, ed. Linda Bryder, 7– 24. Wellington: Bridget Williams
Books, 1991.
Boase, Frederic. Modern English Biography Containing Many Thousand Concise Memoirs
of Persons who have Died Since the Year 1850, with an Index of the Most Interesting
Matter. Vol. II, I-Q. Truro: Netherton and Worth, 1897.
Brockway, Lucile H. Science and Colonial Expansion: The Role of the British Royal
Botanic Gardens. London: Academic Press, 1979.
Broks, Peter. ‘Science, the Press and Empire: Pearson’s Publications, 1890 1914.’ In
Imperialism and the Natural World, ed. John M. MacKenzie, 141 63.
Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990.
Brunton, Deborah. ‘The Emergence of a Modern Profession?’ In Medicine Transformed:
Health, Disease, and Society in Europe, 1800 1930, ed. Deborah Brunton,
11949. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004.
Brunton, Warwick. ‘Our Endeavours Have Ever Come Too Short of Our Desires.
Unpublished manuscript.
Caldwell, Cheryl. ‘Truby King and Seacliff, 1889– 1907.’ In ‘Unfortunate Folk’: Essays on
Mental Health Treatment, 1863– 1992, ed. Barbara Brookes and Jane Thomson,
3548. Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2001.
Chitnis, Anand C. The Scottish Enlightenment: A Social History. London: Croom Helm,
Chitnis, Anand C. The Scottish Enlightenment and Early Victorian English Society.
Beckenham, UK: Croom Helm, 1986.
Das, Pallavi. ‘Hugh Cleghorn and Forest Conservancy in India.’ Environment and
History 11, no. 1 (2005): 5580.
Dow, Derek. ‘The Medical Curriculum at Glasgow in the Early Nineteenth Century.
History of Universities 7 (1988): 227 57.
Dow, Derek, ed. The Influence of Scottish Medicine: An Historical Assessment of its
International Impact. Carnforth, UK: Parthenon Publishing Group, 1988.
Dow, Derek. Safeguarding the Public Health: A History of the New Zealand Department
of Health. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1995.
Dow, Derek. ‘Mason, James Malcolm.’ In Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (DNZB)
(updated 16 December 2003), (accessed November 1,
Drayton, Richard Harry. Nature’s Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the
‘Improvement’ of the World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.
Dunlap, Thomas R. Nature and the English Diaspora: Environment and History in the
United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1999.
Endersby, Jim. ‘“From Having No Herbarium”: Local Knowledge versus Metropolitan
Expertise: Joseph Hooker’s Australasian Correspondence with William Colenso
and Ronald Gunn.Pacific Science 55, no. 4 (2001): 343– 58.
Fulton, Robert Valpy. Medical Practice in Otago and Southland in the Early Days: A
Description of the Manner of Life, Trials, and Difficulties of Some of the Pioneer
Immigrants & Minorities 23
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
Doctors, of the Places in Which, and of the People Among Whom, They Laboured.
Dunedin: Otago Daily Times and Witness Newspapers Co, 1922.
Galbreath, Ross. DSIR: Making Science Work for New Zealand: Themes from the History
of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, 19261992. Wellington:
Victoria University Press, 1998.
Galloway, D. J. ‘The Extra-European Lichen Collections of Archibald Menzies MD, FLS
(17541842).’ Edinburgh Journal of Botany 52 (1995): 95 139.
Galloway, D. J. ‘Joseph Hooker, Charles Knight, and the Commissioning of New
Zealand’s first Popular Flora: Hooker’s Handbook of the New Zealand Flora
(18641867).’ Tuhinga 10 (1998): 31 –62.
Gascoigne, John. Science in the Service of Empire: Joseph Banks, the British State and the
Uses of Science in the Age of Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
Gieryn, Thomas F. Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility on the Line. Chicago:
Chicago University Press, 1999.
Griffiths, Tom. Hunters and Collectors: The Antiquarian Imagination in Australia.
Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Glacken, Clarence J. Traces on the Rhodian Shore: Nature and Culture in Western
Thought from Ancient times to the end of the Eighteenth Century. Reprint.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.
Grove, Richard H. Ecology, Climate and Empire: Colonialism and Global Environmental
History, 1400– 1940. Cambridge: White Horse Press, 1997.
Grove, Richard H. Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the
Origins of Environmentalism, 1600 1860. Reprint. New York: Cambridge
University Press, 1997.
Grove, Richard H. ‘Scottish Missionaries, Evangelical Discourses and the Origins of
Conservation Thinking in Southern Africa 1820 1900.’ Journal of Southern
African Studies 15, no. 2 (1989): 16387.
Hamer, David. ‘Featherston, Isaac Earl 1813– 1876.’ In DNZB (updated 16 December
2003), (accessed November 1, 2007).
Hannaway, Caroline. ‘Environment and Miasmata.’ In Companion Encyclopedia of the
History of Medicine, ed. W. F. Bynum and Roy Porter. Vol. 1: 292308. London
and New York: Routledge, 1993.
Hargreaves, John D. Academe and Empire: Some Overseas Connections of Aberdeen
University, 1860– 1970. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1994.
Harrison, Mark. Public Health in British India: Anglo-Indian Preventive Medicine,
18591914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Harrison, Mark. Climates and Constitutions: Health, Race, Environment and British
Imperialism in India, 1600 1850. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Headrick, Daniel R. ‘Botany, Chemistry, and Tropical Development.Journal of World
History 7, no. 1 (1996): 1 20.
Henare, Amiria. Museums, Anthropology and Imperial Exchange. New York: Cambridge
University Press, 2005.
Hoare, Michael E. Reform in New Zealand Science, 18801926. Melbourne: Hawthorn
Press, 1976.
Holzer, Gerhard. ‘Ferdinand von Hochstetter, Inbesonders als Neuseelandforscher.
Diplomarbeit in Geschichte, University of Vienna, 1984.
24 J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
Hooker, Joseph Dalton. Handbook of the New Zealand Flora: A Systematic Description of
the Native Plants of New Zealand and the Chatham, Kermadec’s, Lord Auckland’s,
Campbell’s, and Macquarrie’s Islands. 2 vols. London: Reeve, 1864 67.
King, Frederick Truby. The Feeding of Plants and Animals. Wellington: Whitcombe and
Tombs, 1905.
Kirchberger, Ulrike. ‘Deutsche Naturwissenschaftler im Britischen Empire: Die
Erforschung der AubEreuropa
¨ischen Welt im Spannungsfeld Zwischen
Deutschem und Britischem Imperialismus.Historische Zeitschrift 271 (2002):
Kirchberger, Ulrike. ‘German Scientists in the Indian Forest Service: A German
Contribution to the Raj?’ Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 29, no.
2 (2001): 126.
Lindsay, William Lauder. A Popular History of British Lichens, Comprising an Account of
their Structure, Reproduction, Uses, Distribution, and Classification. London:
Lovell Reeve, 1856.
Lindsay, William Lauder. The Place and Power of Natural History in Colonization; with
Special Reference to Otago; Being Portions of a Lecture Prepared for, and at the
Request of the ‘Young Men’s Christian Association’ of Dunedin. Dunedin: John
Dick, 1862.
Lindsay, William Lauder, ed. Excelsior: The Literary Gazette of the Murray Royal Institute
(For the Insane).
Lindsay, William Lauder. Guide to the Museum of the Murray Royal Institution, Perth.
Edinburgh: 1868.
Lindsay, William Lauder. Contributions to New Zealand Botany. London: Williams &
Norgate, 1868.
Lindsay, William Lauder. ‘On the Conservation of Forests in New Zealand.Journal of
Botany British and Foreign 6 (1868): 3945.
Livingstone, David. Putting Science in its Place: Geographies of Scientific Knowledge.
Chicago: University of Chicago, 2003.
Makgill, R. H. ‘Nature’s Efforts at Sanitation.TPNZI 35 (1902): 139 52.
McAloon, Jim. ‘Resource Frontiers, Environment, and Settler Capitalism: 1769– 1860.’
In Environmental Histories of New Zealand, ed. Eric Pawson and Tom Brooking,
5266. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2002.
McCracken, Donal P. Gardens of Empire: Botanical Institutions of the Victorian British
Empire. London: Leicester University Press, 1997.
MacKenzie, John M. Empires of Nature and the Nature of Empires: Imperialism, Scotland
and the Environment: The Callander Lectures, Delivered in the University of
Aberdeen, 2– 7 November 1995. East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 1997.
MacKenzie, John M., ed. Victorian Vision: Inventing New Britain. London: V&A
Publications, 2001.
MacKenzie, John M. Museums and Empire: Natural History, Human Cultures and
Colonial Identities. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press,
Mitman, Gregg. ‘In Search of Health: Landscape and Disease in American
Environmental History.Environmental History 10 (2005): 184210.
Molloy, Brian P. J. ‘Sinclair, Andrew.’ In DNZB (updated 16 December 2003), http:// (accessed November 1, 2007).
Immigrants & Minorities 25
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
Monro, David. ‘On the Leading Features of the Geographical Botany of the Provinces of
Nelson and Marlborough, New Zealand.Transactions and Proceedings of the New
Zealand Institute (TPNZI) 1 (1868): 6 17.
Moyal, Ann. ‘Collectors and Illustrators: Women Botanists of the Nineteenth Century.
In People and Plants in Australia, ed. D. J. and S. G. M. Carr, 333– 56. Sydney:
Academic Press, 1981.
Yaldwyn, John and Juliet Hobbs, eds. My Dear Hector: Letters from Joseph Dalton Hooker
to James Hector, 1862– 1893. transcribed by Juliet Hobbs. Wellington: Te Papa
Tongarewa, 1998.
Nash, Linda. ‘Finishing Nature: Harmonizing Bodies and Environments in Late-
Nineteenth Century California.Environmental History 8, no. 1 (January 2003):
Newman, Charles. The Evolution of Medical Education in the Nineteenth Century.
London: Oxford University Press, 1957.
Olssen, Erik. ‘Towards a New Society.’ In Oxford History of New Zealand., 2nd ed. ed.
Geoffrey Rice, 254– 84. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Oosthoek, Jan. ‘Worlds Apart? The Scottish Forestry Tradition and the Development of
Forestry in India.Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies 3, no. 1 (2010): 69 82.
Polaschek, R. J. Government Administration in New Zealand. Wellington: New
Zealand Institute of Public Administration; and London: Oxford University
Press, 1958.
Price, Larry M. ‘Hedges and Shelterbelts on the Canterbury Plains, New Zealand:
Transformation of an Antipodean Landscape.’ Annals of the Association of
American Geographers 83, no. 1 (1991): 119– 40.
Pyenson, Lewis and Susan Sheets-Pyenson. Servants of Nature: A History of Scientific
Institutions, Enterprises, and Sensibilities. New York: W.W. Norton & Company,
Raj, Kapil. ‘Colonial Encounters and the Forging of New Knowledge and National
Identities: Great Britain and India, 17601850.’ Osiris 2nd series 15 (2000):
Reid, Francis. ‘The Province of Science: James Hector and the New Zealand Institute,
18671903.’ PhD diss., University of Cambridge, 2006.
Rice, Geoffrey W. ‘Makgill, Robert Haldene.’ In DNZB (updated 16 December 2003), (accessed November 1, 2007).
Roche, Michael. A History of Forestry. Wellington: G.P. Print, 1990.
Salesa, Damon. ‘“The Power of the Physician”: Doctors and the Dying Maori in Early
Colonial New Zealand.Health and History 3, no. 1 (2001): 1340.
Shteir, Ann B. Cultivating Women, Cultivating Science: Flora’s Daughters and Botany in
England, 1760 to 1860. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.
Sitwell, Osbert. Escape With Me! An Oriental Sketch-book. Reprint. Oxford and New
York: Oxford University Press, 1984.
Spary, E. C. ‘“Peaches Which the Patriarchs Lacked”: Natural History, Natural
Resources, and the Natural Economy in France.History of Political Economy
Annual Supplement 35 (2003): 14– 41.
Sangwan, Satpal. ‘From Gentlemen Amateurs to Professionals: Reassessing the Natural
Science Tradition in Colonial India, 1780 1840.’ In Nature and the Orient: The
Environmental History of South and South East Asia, ed. Richard H. Grove, Vinita
26 J. Beattie
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
Damodaran, and Satpal Sangwan, 187 237. Delhi: Oxford University Press,
Shepherd, Winsome and Walter Cook. The Botanic Garden Wellington: A New Zealand
History, 1840– 1987. Wellington: Millwood Press, 1988.
Simpson, K. A. ‘Hooker, Joseph Dalton.’ In DNZB (updated 22 June 2007), http://www. (accessed November 1, 2007).
Stenhouse, John. ‘The “Battle” Between Science and Religion over Evolution in
Nineteenth Century New Zealand.’ PhD diss., Massey University, Palmerston
North, 1985.
Stone, R. C. J. ‘Campbell, John Logan 1817 – 1912.’ In DNZB (updated 16 December
2003), (accessed November 1, 2007).
Tennant, Margaret. Children’s Health, the Nation’s Wealth: A History of Children’s Health
Camps. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 1994.
Testimonials in Favour of William Lauder Lindsay, MD As a Candidate for the Office of
Conservator of the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. Edinburgh: Murray &
Gibb, 1853.
Warboys, Michael. ‘Germs, Malaria and the Invention of Mansonial Tropical Medicine.
In Warm Climates and Western Medicine: The Emergence of Tropical Medicine,
15001900, ed. David Arnold, 181 207. Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi,
Weatherall, Mark W. Gentlemen, Scientists and Doctors at Cambridge, 18001940.
Cambridge: Boydell Press, 2000.
Wright-St Clair, Rex E. Thoroughly a Man of the World: A Biography of Sir David Monro.
Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1971.
Immigrants & Minorities 27
Downloaded by [James Beattie] at 14:37 19 August 2011
... In addition, medical training enshrined a strong environmentalist tradition in assessing illness, by strengthening belief in the environmental basis of illness. 71 Mantell had studied medicine at London University (now UCL), but withdrew before completing his degree, instead, sailing for New Zealand. Mantell's fatherthe renowned palaeontologist and geologist Gideon Mantell (1790-1852)-was a medical doctor who had encouraged Walter to follow in his footsteps. ...
Bringing together a vivid array of analog and non-traditional sources, including colonial archives, newspaper reports, literature, oral histories, and interviews, Buried in the Red Dirt tells a story of life, death, reproduction and missing bodies and experiences during and since the British colonial period in Palestine. Using transnational feminist reading practices of existing and new archives, the book moves beyond authorized frames of collective pain and heroism. Looking at their day-to-day lives, where Palestinians suffered most from poverty, illness, and high rates of infant and child mortality, Frances Hasso's book shows how ideologically and practically, racism and eugenics shaped British colonialism and Zionist settler-colonialism in Palestine in different ways, especially informing health policies. She examines Palestinian anti-reproductive desires and practices, before and after 1948, critically engaging with demographic scholarship that has seen Zionist commitments to Jewish reproduction projected onto Palestinians. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
Bringing together a vivid array of analog and non-traditional sources, including colonial archives, newspaper reports, literature, oral histories, and interviews, Buried in the Red Dirt tells a story of life, death, reproduction and missing bodies and experiences during and since the British colonial period in Palestine. Using transnational feminist reading practices of existing and new archives, the book moves beyond authorized frames of collective pain and heroism. Looking at their day-to-day lives, where Palestinians suffered most from poverty, illness, and high rates of infant and child mortality, Frances Hasso's book shows how ideologically and practically, racism and eugenics shaped British colonialism and Zionist settler-colonialism in Palestine in different ways, especially informing health policies. She examines Palestinian anti-reproductive desires and practices, before and after 1948, critically engaging with demographic scholarship that has seen Zionist commitments to Jewish reproduction projected onto Palestinians. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
This overview article presents some of the main approaches to histories of colonial science in Australasia as well as suggesting future areas of research. Given the plurality of knowledge systems in the colonial period, we argue that a framework defined by history of knowledge, rather than history of science, better reflects the realities of colonial Australasia and opens up opportunities for fresh and innovative scholarship. A ‘history of knowledge systems’ approach, we contend, has the potential to free the study of non‐Western knowledge systems from normative approaches that define other systems only in relation to Western science. A history of knowledge approach, we believe, enables scholars to explore the complex ways in which knowledge‐making in colonial Australasia arose from both Indigenous and non‐Indigenous traditions, perspectives and practices.
Sir Frederic Truby King's work at Seacliff Asylum in New Zealand, between 1889 and 1922, illustrates a prominent role of agriculture in relationship to human health and the environment. King utilized farming practices, a rural setting, occupational therapy, dietary changes and moves towards self-sufficiency as examples of asylum management practices, but these also ensured patient health and well-being. In this article, we analyze King's practices at Seacliff as a genealogical precursor to today's green care and care farming movements.