Anthelme Thozet

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Anthelme Thozet (25 May 1826 – 31 May 1878) was a French-Australian botanist and ethnographer.[1]

He was born 25 May 1826 in Chegnieu-la-Balme (Register of Contrevoz), and fled Calais for London (giving his profession as Engineer) in September 1854 as a political refugee following the 1848-51 revolt in France. He migrated to New South Wales Australia in late 1854/early 1855 as part of a French gold digging expedition to Bathurst. He then moved to Sydney in early 1856 where he worked as a clerk at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney before being drawn to Rockhampton by the Canoona gold rush.[1] While living in Sydney he met Maria Isabella Berthold, a German immigrant, and they had a son, Auguste.

Thozet established the second hotel in Rockhampton, the Alliance, but driven by a never failing professional interest in botany he commenced researching native Australian plants used by indigenous people of Northern Queensland, Australia including the Darumbal clans around Rockhampton. Thozet established his own plant nursery in North Rockhampton on 70 acres (280,000 m2) which are today bounded by Thozet Creek, Thozet Road, Rockonia Road and the Fitzroy River.

Thozet was instrumental in developing the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens founded in 1861, the first Rockhampton (south) cemetery, and the tree plantings along the Fitzroy River CBD area. He was known to supply plant and seed specimens to other botanists and Botanical Gardens, including Ferdinand von Mueller[1] of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.

In 1866 he published Notes on Some of the Roots, Tubers, Bulbs and Fruits Used as Vegetable Food by the Aboriginals of Northern Queensland, Australia, W H Buzacott, Rockhampton. This pamphlet includes a description of midamo, a mixture of mangrove roots and berries made by baking the root of the common mangrove (Avicennia Tomentosa) called Egaie by the tribes of Cleveland Bay, and Tagon–Tagon by those of Rockhampton.[citation needed]

Thozet was active in promoting the interests of Rockhampton overseas, and in the Separation League, attempting to have the northern portion of Queensland recognised as a separate State. The family travelled overseas 1869-1872; while in London 1872 Anthelme and Maria were married.

Anthelme Thozet died in 1878 from bilious fever contracted on an expedition to Blackwater and was buried in the garden of his property Muellerville. His son Auguste and daughter-in-law Lucy Anne (née Nobbs) were buried beside him in 1902 and this small family cemetery is located on Codd Street, North Rockhampton. His widow was buried in the North Rockhampton cemetery when she died in 1923.

A building at the Primary Industries Research Centre (Plant Sciences Group) at Central Queensland University at Rockhampton is named in his honour. A creek and a road in Rockhampton also bear his name.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Australian National Botanic Gardens Biography". Archived from the original on 13 September 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2007. 
  2. ^ "ABC News: University building named after botanist". Retrieved 9 September 2007. 
  • Queenslander 8 June 1878 p302d, obituary