Gerard Krefft

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Gerard Krefft
Krefft Gerard 1830-1881.png
Gerard Krefft (c.1857)
Born(1830-02-17)17 February 1830
Died19 February 1881(1881-02-19) (aged 51)
Resting placeSt Jude's Church, Randwick
EducationSt Martin's College, Braunschweig
Known forDiscovery, identification, and naming of the
Queensland lungfish
SpouseAnnie McPhail (?-1926) (m.1869)
  • William Krefft (father)
  • Johanna Buschoff (mother)
Relativesichthyologist and herpetologist
Gerhard Krefft (1912–1993) (great-nephew)[1]
Order of the Crown of Italy,
Linnean Society
Corresponding Member, Zoological Society of London
Scientific career
Fieldsnatural history, zoology, palaeontology, ichthyology
InstitutionsNational Museum of Victoria
Australian Museum
Author abbrev. (zoology)kreftii

Johann Ludwig (Louis) Gerard Krefft (17 February 1830 – 19 February 1881), a talented artist and draughtsman, the Curator of the Australian Museum for 13 years (1861-1874), and a hard-working, effective, and respected scientist and natural historian, was one of Australia's first and most influential zoologists and palaeontologists.

"Some of [Krefft's] observations on animals have not been surpassed and can no longer be equalled because of the spread of settlement." (Rutledge & Whitley, 1974).
"Mr. Krefft was probably the first man who thoroughly studied the reptiles of Australia." (Obituary, in Nature, 21 April 1881).[3]

He is also noted as an ichthyologist for his scientific description of the Queensland lungfish (now recognized as a classic example of Darwin's "living fossils");[4] and, in addition to his numerous scientific papers and his newspaper articles on natural history, his publications include The Snakes of Australia (1869), Guide to the Australian Fossil Remains in the Australian Museum (1870), The Mammals of Australia (1871), and Catalogue of the Minerals and Rocks in the Australian Museum (1873).[5]

Krefft was one of the very few Australian scientists in the 1860s and 1870s to support Darwin's position on the origin of species by means of natural selection. According to Macdonald, et al. (2007), he was one of the first to warn of the devastating effects of the invasive species (sheep, cats, etc.) on native species.[6] Also, along with several significant others — such as the proprietor of the Melbourne Argus, Edward Wilson,[7] and the trustee of the Australian Museum, George Bennett[8] — Krefft expressed considerable concern in relation to the effects of the expanding European settlement upon the indigenous population.[9]

"Gerard Krefft is a significant figure in the history of nineteenth century Australian science. He is celebrated not only for his zoological work but as a man who was prepared to challenge individuals on points of scientific fact regardless of their position in Sydney society or metropolitan science. He is also remembered as one who could be abrasive and incautious in delicate political situations and a man whose career and life ultimately ended in tragedy. The dramatic end of Krefft’s career in 1874 — where he was stripped of his position as Australian Museum curator, physically removed from the Museum and his character assassinated — often overshadows his early career and his development as a scientist." (Stephens, 2013, p.187)


Gerard Krefft (1869) with his Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy.[10]

Krefft was born on 17 February 1830 in the Duchy of Brunswick (now part of Germany), the son of William Krefft, a confectioner, and his wife Johanna (née Buschhoff).[11]


He was educated at St Martin's College in Braunschweig (i.e., Martino-Katharineum [de]) from 1834 to 1845.[11] As a youth, he was interested in art and wished to study painting. After his schooling, his family found employment for him at a mercantile firm in Halberstadt.


He married Annie McPhail (-1926),[12] later (1893) Mrs. Robert Macintosh,[13] on 6 February 1869.[11] They had four children,[14] only two of whom survived their infancy: Rudolph Gerard Krefft (1869-1951),[15] and Herman Gerard Krefft (1879-1911).[16] A fifth child, an unnamed stillborn daughter, was delivered on 2 July 1874.[17]

German heritage[edit]

As a German-speaker, Krefft belonged to the largest non-English-speaking group in Australia in the 1800s;[18] and, as such, he was one of a number of influential German-speaking residents — such as William Blandowski, Ludwig Becker, Hermann Beckler, Amalie Dietrich, Diedrich Henne, Friedrich Krichauff, Johann Luehmann, Johann Menge, Carl Mücke (a.k.a. Muecke), Ludwig Preiss, Carl Ludwig Christian Rümker (a.k.a. Ruemker), Moritz Richard Schomburgk, Richard Wolfgang Semon, George Ulrich, Eugene von Guérard, Robert von Lendenfeld, Ferdinand von Mueller, Georg von Neumayer, and Carl Wilhelmi — who brought their "epistemic traditions" to Australia, and not only became "deeply entangled with the Australian colonial project", but also "intricately involved in imagining, knowing and shaping colonial Australia" (Barrett, et al., 2018, p.2).[19]

"Natural history"[edit]

Given Vallances' tripartite division (1978) of nineteenth century Australian science[20] — i.e., the proto-scientific period (1788-1839), the pioneer-scientific period (1840-1874), and the classic science period (1875-) — Krefft’s influential Australian career was firmly centred in the pioneer-scientific period. Consequently, and in order to avoid the prochronistic mistake of viewing the past through the eyes of the present, and given,

  • that the Australian Museum (established in 1827) is the fifth oldest museum of natural history in the world,[21][22]
  • the need to identify the Australian Museum's orientation during Krefft's tenure,
  • the need to identify Krefft’s particular domains of interest (and influence) as a scientist,[23][24]
  • the on-going significance of Krefft's (more than 180) "Natural History" articles published in the Sydney Mail from March 1871 to June 1875, and
  • that 19th. century natural history was concerned with the study of nature; and, from this, was directly involved with the evidence obtained from the direct observation of nature (however ambiguously "nature" might be described),

it is important to note that the widely used "umbrella" terms of natural history and natural historian (or naturalist) were generally understood (and applied) in the mid-1800s, especially in relation to museum culture,[25] to the collective enterprises of a wide range of diverse enterprises, now separately identified as, at least, the disciplines of anthropology, astronomy, botany, ethnology, geology, herpetology, ichthyology, palaeontology, and zoology.

In 1822 (pp.iii-iv) Friedrich Mohs drew attention to the inappropriateness of the label natural history, on the grounds that it "does not express the essential properties of the science to which it is applied".[26]

The "Darwinian doctrine" and the consequent "Darwinian controversy"[edit]

"Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. ... But do they really believe that at innumerable periods in the earth's history certain elemental atoms have been commanded suddenly to flash into living tissues?" — Charles Darwin (1859, pp.488, 483)
"In the Australian colonies in 1870, Darwin’s radical rethinking of the origin of species was still regarded with general suspicion and antagonism." — Finney (2022, p.3)
"What appears so remarkable to [those in] a later age is that in the mid-nineteenth century scientists could look upon a supernatural explanation as a valid alternative to a scientific one." — Ellegård (1990, p.15)

Darwin was not the first to speak of "evolution". Robert Chambers, in his popular works, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844/1884) and Explanations (1845), had already made the notion of "evolution" a matter of public discussion. Also, there were the two (anonymous) articles — recently attributed to Robert Jameson, the Journal's editor (see: Tanghe & Kestemont, 2018) — "Observations on the Nature and Importance of Geology" (Anon, 1826) and "Of the Changes which Life has experienced on the Globe" (Anon, 1827), that had been published in Edinburgh at the time that Darwin was studying medicine at Edinburgh University.

However, Darwin was the first to propose "natural selection"[28] as the process responsible for the diversity of life on Earth.[29][30] Along with the Sydney botanist, Robert D. FitzGerald, and the Melbourne economist, Professor William Edward Hearn,[31] Krefft was one of the very few Australian scientists in the 1860s and 1870s to support Darwin's position on the origin of species by means of natural selection.[32][33][34] Krefft’s scientific career,[35] and, in particular, his entire professional life at the Australian Museum were concurrent with, and greatly influenced by, the "Darwinian controversy" and its widespread ramifications.[36]

In Alvar Ellegård's extensive (1958) survey of the coverage of the "Darwinian doctrine" within the contemporary U.K. press between 1859 and 1872[37] — within which he (Ellegård, 1990, p.24) distinguished three aspects: "first, the Evolution idea in its general application to the whole of the organic world; second, the Natural Selection theory; and third, [the] theory of Man’s descent from the lower animals" — Ellegård identified five ideological "positions" taken (or ideological "attitudes" displayed) by individual participants over that decade and a half,[38] which were determined, to a considerable extent, not only by their levels of education,[39] but also by their particular politico-social, philosophical, and/or religious orientation.[40] Ellegård's five positions (collectively) reflected a series. As one moved from (A) to (E) along that series, "less and less of the processes going into the formation of species were recognized [by those holding that position] as supernatural, or outside the range of ordinary scientific explanation ... [and, therefore] anybody accepting a position with a higher [level] accepted ipso facto all the scientific explanation already granted by those holding a lower position" (Ellegård, 1990, p.30):

  • (A): Absolute Creation (p.30);[41]
  • (B): Progressive Creation (p.30);[42]
  • (C): Derivation (p.30);
  • (D): Directed Selection (p.31);[43] and
  • (E): Natural Selection (p.31).[44]


In order to avoid the military draft, Krefft moved to New York City in 1850,[45][46] where he was employed as a clerk and a draughtsman, mainly concerned with producing depictions of sea views and shipping.[47]

Whilst in New York, he encountered the work of John James Audubon at the New York Mercantile Library. Having been granted permission to do so, Krefft made copies of some of the Audubon plates, which he then sold to raise his fare to Australia.[46][48] Krefft arrived in Melbourne in November 1852, and worked in the Victorian goldfields "with much success" for some five years.[47] Krefft contributed examples of his drawings to the Victorian Industrial Society's Exhibition, in Melbourne, in February 1858.[49][50]

Natural historian, museum curator and administrator[edit]


A talented artist and draughtsman, and having met Blandowski when he (Krefft) was making copies of Gould's illustrations in The Mammals of Australia in the Public Library of Victoria,[53][54] Krefft was hired, by Blandowski, "on the basis of Krefft's ability to produce detailed drawings of natural history specimens",[55] to help sketch and collect specimens for the National Museum of Victoria[56] on William Blandowski's explorations[57][58] of the relatively poorly-known and semi-arid country around the confluence of the Murray River and Darling River in 1856–1857.[59][45][60][61]

Blandowski was recalled to Melbourne by the Victorian Government in early August; and Krefft took command of the expedition until it returned at the end of November 1857.[62] In 1858 Krefft was appointed to the National Museum of Victoria,[63] to catalogue the expedition's collection of 17,434 specimens,[64] which he listed under 3389 catalogue numbers.[65]


In 1858, following the death of his father, Krefft was obliged to return to Germany, where he travelled via England — where he visited the principal museums, met up with John Gould, John Edward Gray, Albert Günther, and Richard Owen,[66] and presented a paper (Krefft, 1858b) to the Zoological Society of London.

He took many illustrations and specimens with him;[62] however, as Allen (2006, p.33) notes, "after his return to Germany, Krefft attempted to publish his observations and drawings, but was prevented from doing so by Blandowski ... [with] Blandowski claim[ing to Krefft's publisher] that the artwork from the expedition belonged to him, as expedition leader." Krefft returned to Australia from his sojourn in Germany, with brief stays en route at the Cape of Good Hope and Adelaide, arriving in Sydney on 6 May 1860.[67]

In June 1860, on the recommendation of Governor Sir William Denison,[11][68][69]he was appointed Assistant Curator to Simon Rood Pittard (1821–1861).[70][71][72] at the Australian Museum, "much to the annoyance of the museum trustees, who would have preferred someone with a formal degree".[73] Pittard, driven by his Anglo-Catholic, Puseyite views — and following the practice of Charles Willson Peale at the Peale Museum, in Philadelphia[74] — adorned the walls of the Museum with inscriptions of biblical texts.[75][76] Less than three weeks after Pittard’s death (in August 1861) the Trustees decided that these inscriptions were "[to] be removed, and that in future “no words be inscribed on the walls of the Board Room without the consent of the Trustees"."[77]

Having performed all of the duties of the position since Pittard's death in August 1861, Krefft was eventually appointed Curator of the museum in May 1864.[78][79][80]

During his time at the Australian Museum, Krefft maintained a relationship with the Melbourne Museum, corresponding and exchanged specimens with Frederick McCoy, its Director.[45] He also corresponded with a wide range of eminent overseas naturalists, including Charles Darwin, A.K.L.G. Günther, and Sir Richard Owen in the UK; L.J.R. Agassiz in the USA; "and many learned German scientists"[11] — and it is important to note that these interactions of Krefft were "informal communications with individuals rather than official dealings through government agencies, with the ensuing connections giving rise to further interactions with savants and museums in other centres of knowledge and power, including Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Sweden, Argentina, Canada, India and the United States, as well as Britain" (Davidson, 2017, p.8).

"As a scientist Krefft occupied a position far removed from that of the typical collector at the periphery. He was a theoretically sophisticated naturalist whose contribution to the zoological literature of Australia was substantial and of lasting value. His letters to Darwin were those of a colleague and fellow scientist rather than a mere informant, and he took advantage of the existing networks of correspondence in furthering both his own career and the cause of science in the Australian colonies generally." — Butcher, 1988, p.147.

He was also responsible for arranging and cataloguing the Museum's collection of donated fossils, as well as those he had discovered in his own exploratory efforts in the field, such as the two important excavations of the fossil remains of mammals, birds, and reptiles he conducted in 1866 and 1869 at the Wellington Caves.[81][82][83][84]

"The New Museum Idea"[edit]

Krefft was "a dynamic figure who vigorously researched, wrote about and promoted the Museum’s collections".[85] He served as the Australian Museum's Curator at a time of significant culture change — both in terms of the place of science and scientific standards within the community,[86] and in terms of the embedded assumptions, foundation principles, and experimental strategies of science itself — when the museum itself was shifting "from [being] a colonial offshoot of the British science establishment, managed by a group of gentleman naturalists, towards [becoming] an institution serving the needs of an increasingly independent and professional group of scientists".[87]

During his tenure as Curator Krefft was responsible for making many significant changes to the Museum's premises and its displays,[88][89] and, also, for actively promoting the concept of the museum as a popular institution appealing to a broader audience — that is, an establishment designed to provide experiences that engage, entertain, and educate all ages, economic groups, education levels, and social classes[90] — as well as being a place for the collection, preservation, and display of specimens, and the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge.[91][92]

However, over the time of his tenure, Krefft's advocacy of the complete separation of the Museum's at-the-time confused and disordered collection into:

(a) the exhibition spaces and the ordered, comprehensive, displays for the public (known today as synoptical collections),[93] and
(b) the (systematically housed elsewhere on the premises) specimens, catalogues, and other research material primarily intended for research, rather than display,

produced an on-going culture-clash with the "gentlemen amateurs" among the Trustees, who were collectors themselves, and were "building up [their] private collections sometimes at the expense of the museum"[11] — these included, Dr. James Charles Cox, Edward Smith Hill (brother-in-law of Sir Daniel Cooper), Sir William John Macleay, Captain Arthur Onslow, and Alexander Walker Scott[11] — that eventually led to Krefft's later (1874) dismissal.

Cabinets of curiosities[edit]

For at least two centuries British (and colonial) museums, clearly reflecting their Wunderkämmer/Cabinets of Curiosities heritage, had done little more than present "aimless collection[s] of curiosities and bric-à-brac, brought together without method or system of collections"; where, for instance, one of the most famous collections in "bygone days", that of the seventeenth century’s Musæum Tradescantianum (the collection which later provided the nucleus for Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum), "was a miscellany without didactic value", "its arrangement was unscientific, and the public gained little or no advantage from its existence" (Lindsay, 1911, p.60).[94]

In August 1846, within the Act establishing the Smithsonian Institution,[95] was a provision transferring the custody of the United States' official National Cabinet of Curiosities,[96] previously deposited in the US Patent Office Building, to the Smithsonian.

Public museums[edit]

In 1864, towards the end of his lengthy career as the Curator of the British Museum, John Edward Gray,[97] acknowledging the differences between a museum's research and public pedagogy functions, and expressing his hope that his colleagues would "heartily concur in doing all that is in our power to render [the British Museum] and other institutions conducive to the increase of the knowledge, the happiness, and the comforts of the people",[98] remarked that, in his view "public museums" were meant to serve the dual purposes of "the diffusion of instruction and rational amusement among the mass of the people, and ... to afford the scientific student every possible means of examining and studying the specimens of which the museum consists".[98][99]

At a time when "Colonial museums tended to exhibit specimens row upon row, and for the most part neglected to incorporate up-to-date techniques such as explanatory labels and habitat cases" (Sheets-Pyenson, 1988, p.123), Gray's scientific position, curatorial rationale, and administrative approach were strongly supported by Krefft — who was "devoted to the museum's interests", rather than to those of the trustees[11] — who had already begun separating his own museum's research collections from its exhibition collections, and had already adopted many of Gray's measures by the early 1860s.[100]

The new museum idea[edit]

In 1893, Sir William Henry Flower, labelled Gray's view "The New Museum Idea",[101] describing it as "the key-note of nearly all the museum reform of recent date", (Flower, 1893, pp.29-30). Although these views were not unique to Gray,[102] it does seem that Gray's (1864) axiom had the widest dissemination over the ensuing years, was the most widely quoted and, therefore, can be said to have had the greatest influence — influencing many world-wide, including Krefft, and in the UK, such as Flower, at the British Museum (see: Flower, 1898),[103] and in the USA, such as G. Brown Goode at the Smithsonian Institution (see: Goode, 1895),[104] and Henry Fairfield Osborn, at the American Museum of Natural History (see, Osborn, 1912),[105] etc.

In 1917, American museum director John Cotton Dana lamented the fact that there was still great room for improvement, noting that the best museum displays were to be found in department stores, rather than in museums of the day.[106]



   Among the exhibits in the Fine Arts section of the Agricultural
Society's Exhibition, visitors will have noticed some beautiful
coloured photographs shown by Mr. Krefft.
   These pictures are coloured by a process invented by Mr. Krefft,
which appears to be entirely different from any method in ordinary
use, producing an effect remarkable for its delicacy of tone, though
adhering strictly to fidelity to nature, and preserving intact the most
minute details of the original photograph.
   This is particularly the case with regard to architectural views;
which are brought out by this process with great clearness, and
appear to stand forward with almost stereoscopic solidity.
   Some views of foliage and forest scenery also appear to much
advantage, as coloured under the skilful manipulation of Mr. Krefft.
        The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 April 1875.

"A photographic establishment is one of the most essential parts of a modern museum." — Gerard Krefft, 5 August 1868.[108]

One of Krefft’s most important curatorial innovations was his introduction of photography — a medium he had first encountered during his time with the Blandowski Expedition in 1856–1857 — into the Australian Museum's practice.[109]

This not only provided a valuable means through which the Museum's objects and collections could be documented, but also served to substantiate the veracity of Krefft’s colonial observations, and enhance his (and the Museum's) international recognition overall, due to the fact that the photographs could also be sent to experts and centres of European and American scholarship other than just to London alone.

Moreover, over time, photographs significantly reduced the need to send precious specimens and samples overseas to the detriment of the Museum's own collections:[110] see, for instance, the (1870) photograph of Krefft's first-ever Queensland lungfish specimen (at Finney, 2022, p.6), and the four (1870) photographs of the specimen at various stages of its dissection by Krefft (at Finney, 2022, pp.6-7).

The thousands of meticulously arranged visual images on the glass plates that Krefft and his assistant, Henry Barnes, produced (over 15 years) through the collodion wet plate process, both on-site (at the museum)[111] and in-the-field, recording landscapes and people (on expeditions), demonstrated and validated Krefft's expertise to all and sundry.

Krefft with a reef manta ray: a species he described in 1868

According to Davidson (2017, pp.16, 57, 68), given the London's scientific elite's widespread, prevailing mistrust of the observations and material evidence of the colonial explorers and naturalists,[112] Krefft's images not only provided "incontrovertible photographic evidence" of his claims for a specific item of interest, but also — given the extremely wide range of disciplinary mindsets prevailing at the time — they also served as (inclusive) "boundary objects": viz., entities that "facilitate[d] an ecological approach to knowledge making and sharing" by "provid[ing] connections between different individuals and groups who nevertheless might view them, interpret them, and use them in distinct ways, or for different aims" (p.10).[113]

The Queensland lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri)[edit]

"This wonderful creature [sc. the ceratodus] seems contrived for the illustration of the doctrine of Evolution." — Thomas Henry Huxley, 14 December 1880.[114]

In 1835, having examined teeth that had been extracted from the Rhaetian (latest stage of the Triassic) fossil beds of the Aust Cliff region of Gloucestershire in South West England, Louis Agassiz identified and described ten different species of a holotype (or "type specimen"), which he named ceratodus latissimus (‘horned tooth’ + 'broadest'),[115] and had supposed — based upon the structure of their teeth plates resembling that of a Port Jackson shark[116][117] — were a kind of shark or ray, and from this, he had postulated, belonged to an order of the class of cartilaginous fishes (Chondrichthyes) collectively known as Chimaera.

Over the 1860s, Krefft’s regular dinner companion, the pastoralist squatter and former Premier of New South Wales, William Forster, had often spoken of the Queensland fresh-water salmon with a cartilaginous backbone,[118] well known to the Queensland squatters as Burnett Salmon — called "salmon" because of its pink, salmon-coloured flesh and its good eating — or "barramunda" (N.B. not barramundi). On each occasion, Krefft expressed his view that Forster’s claim of the existence of such a salmon was entirely mistaken.[119]

In January 1870, Forster presented Krefft with an approx. 3ft (92cm) specimen of the Burnett Salmon[120] — the first that Krefft had ever seen[121] — the teeth of which, from his detailed (and, perhaps, unique to Australia) familiarity with the relevant scientific literature,[122][123] Krefft immediately recognized as "a living example of Ceratodus, a creature, thought to have been like a shark, which had hitherto been known only from fossil teeth".[124]

This represents a classic example of Walpole's serendipitous discoveries: i.e., those made by "accident and sagacity" (Walpole, 1840/1906, pp.365-366), in that: "(a) they were accidental: in that the discoverer was "not in quest of" the thing discovered; (b) they were made by one who was sufficiently sagacious to apprehend the connection between items that, to others, were completely random; and (c) they were not hidden: they were clearly visible to the sufficiently sagacious — i.e., 'hidden in plain sight'— and, once their location was indicated, could be seen by all" (Yeates, 2018, p.15).

"Natural History" columns in The Sydney Mail[edit]

Given that one of Krefft's main objectives, as Curator, was to re-position the Museum as a "forum of people's science" (Moyal, 1986, p.99), and given his recognition of the economic, social, and educational value of a wider dissemination of an accurate, up-to-date knowledge and understanding of scientific matters (especially Australian natural history) to the emerging colony and its developing community, it is significant that Krefft published more than one hundred and fifty, lengthy, once-a-week "Natural History" columns in The Sydney Mail (from March 1871 until June 1874) on an extremely wide range of subjects (see: [1]), that were specifically directed at an educated Australian lay audience (rather than, that is, engaging with his well-informed fellow scientists).[130]

In his first article (Krefft, 1871), reflecting a view that had been expressed a decade earlier by the botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker,[131] Krefft spoke of how, although "few countries offer such a wide field to the student of nature as Australia" there were very few "handy books for the beginner" available in Sydney, "which has caused, in some measure, the apathy of the people to study our natural products". Moreover, he wrote, because "the most useful books" were little known — and many of those were "so expensive that they cannot be purchased, except by the wealthy" — he proposed to present a series of articles on Australian natural history, with the (never realised) hope that their aggregate would eventually be published as a complete work.

Due to the distractions connected with the last stages of his disputes with the trustees of the Australian Museum, the last item he published whilst still Museum curator was on 27 June 1874.[133] Sixteen weeks later, following his separation from the Museum, he resumed his weekly articles,[134] and went on to publish another thirty-three "Natural History" articles over the next nine months.[135]

July 1873[edit]

In July 1873, he devoted two of his columns (1873a, 1873b) to

The Darwin Correspondence Project contains an un-dated fragment of a letter from Krefft,[136] in which he explains that, given the "dreadful ... ignorance of even well educated people", and the constant criticisms of Darwin's "theories" voiced in Melbourne by the devout Irish Catholic Professor Frederick McCoy of the National Museum of Victoria, and the Evangelical Anglican Bishop of Melbourne Charles Perry, and, especially, the well-attended (7 July) Sydney lecture by the Melbourne-based Jesuit, Joseph O'Malley,[137] on "Noah's Ark"[138] — with the devout Irish Catholic layman[139] and Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Peter Faucett in the chair,[140]

Dismissal from office[edit]

The Trustees controversially dismissed Krefft from his position of Curator in 1874. Krefft's assistant curator for the preceding decade, George Masters, had resigned earlier that year,[143] in order "to become curator of the growing collection of Sir William Macleay" (Strahan, 1979, p.135) — a collection which Masters continued to curate, once it was transferred to the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney, until his retirement in 1912. The Museum trustees, at a special meeting held the day after Krefft's removal from the Museum's premises, appointed the Macleay protégé, Edward Pierson Ramsay, to the position of Curator (Strahan, 1979, p.38), an office that Ramsay held until 1895, when he was succeeded by Robert Etheridge.

Gold theft and its aftermath[edit]

Following his report to the trustees that, upon his return to the Museum on Christmas Eve 1873, he had discovered a robbery (which was never solved) of "specimens of gold to the value of £70",[145][146] and the trustees (although eager to do so) being unable to find any evidence of Krefft's complicity, he had fallen foul of the Trustees — especially William John Macleay, whose extensive private collection would, in the 1890s, become the foundation of the collections of the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney (Strahan, 1979, p.37) — with his subsequent accusations that the trustees were using the Museum's resources to augment their own private collections.[147]

Museum closure[edit]

In the process of the escalating dispute between the trustees and Krefft,[152] the Museum was closed to the public, by order of the trustees, for eleven weeks — from 4 July 1874 to 23 September 1874 — and, at the same time, a police guard was stationed at the Museum, and Krefft was denied access to all parts of the Museum (including the cellar within which the fuel for his much-needed-in-the-winter fires was stored), except his private residence.[153][154][155][156]

Krefft had been suspended following an investigation by a subcommittee of trustees — Christopher Rolleston, Auditor-General of New South Wales, was appointed chairman, and Archibald Liversidge, Professor of Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Sydney, Edward Smith Hill, wine and spirit merchant, and Haynes Gibbes Alleyne, of the New South Wales Medical Board — who, having examined a number of witnesses, found some of the charges against Krefft sustained, and also claim to have discovered "a number of [other] grave irregularities".[157]

Krefft had been unable to meet the trustees' request to appear before them on the Thursday (2 July 1874) because he was unwell (he had supplied a medical certificate to that effect),[158] and that his wife, whose difficult confinement had been attended by George Bennett, had just delivered a stillborn child (on 2 July 1874), a daughter, after two days of intense labour with Krefft by her side the whole time in their residence over the Museum.[159][160]

Eviction from his residential quarters[edit]

On 1 September 1874, three weeks before Krefft's forceful eviction, long-term trustees George Bennett (who, at the time, was attending Mrs Krefft's confinement) and William Branwhite Clarke both resigned "as a consequence of the steps recently taken by the trustees of the Museum with respect to the Curator".[164]

On 21 September 1874, Krefft and his family were physically removed from his Museum apartment within which he had barricaded himself,[165] by the "diminutive bailiff" Charles H. Peart, assisted by two known prizefighters (identified as Kelly and Williams) who had been expressly hired (from Kiss's Horse Bazaar)[166][167] to effect the eviction,[168] because the Police refused to act — on the grounds that Krefft had not been dismissed by the Government, only by the trustees (and, therefore, it was a civil (and not a police) matter). At the time of his eviction, he was forcibly carried out of his apartment, refusing to move from his chair, and was, then, unceremoniously thrown out into Macquarie street by the prizefighters.[169][170] The press report of Krefft's subsequent (November 1874) damages action noted that, "throughout the affair [Krefft] had denied the trustees' power to dismiss him; and, on the trustees appealing to the Government, the Colonial Secretary [viz., Henry Parkes] had cautiously told the trustees that, as they thought it expedient to expel [Krefft] without first seeking the advice of the Government, no assistance could be afforded".[167]

At the time of his forcible eviction, all of his possessions were seized; and, almost two years after the eviction Krefft was complaining that "my own and my wife's personal property, my books, specimens, scientific instruments, medals and testimonials", all of which had been "illegally taken possession of by the trustees", were still to be returned to him.[171][172]

Krefft's position[edit]

Krefft's position was that the trustees, acting independently of the New South Wales government, had no right to dismiss him.

Trustee's allegations[edit]

The trustees — two members of which, William Macleay and Captain Arthur Onslow, "manifested great animus towards Mr. Krefft, and used their utmost exertions to cast obloquy upon that gentleman"[174][175] — responded by accusing Krefft of drunkenness, falsifying attendance records, wilfully destroying a fossil sent to the Museum by one of its trustees, George Bennett, for its preparation to be sent on the Richard Owen at the British Museum — an entirely false allegation that was completely (and independently) refuted by a letter from Owen, received by Bennett in late June 1874, in which Owen "acknowledged receiving [the fossil specimen] in good order"[176] — and, even, condoning the sale of pornographic postcards.[46] The (fifty to sixty) postcards in question, "some of which were of the most indecent character" (which had been "seen" by one of the trustees "in the workshop of the Museum") had been copied entirely without Krefft's knowledge or consent, by the museum employees (and Krefft's subordinates) taxidermist/photographer Robert Barnes and his brother Henry Barnes.[177]

Legal action and legislative outcome[edit]

"[In these matters] I am only one against many and you know that law is expensive and only made for the rich. Had I been an Englishman by birth, had I humbugged people, attended at Church, and spread knowledge on the principle that the God of Moses and of the Prophets made "little apples",[180] I would have gained the day, but [as] a true believer in [your] theory of developement [sic] I am hounded down in this [Paradise] of Bushrangers’ of rogues, Cheats, and Vagabonds". — Krefft to Charles Darwin, 22 October 1874, seeking Darwin's support.[181]

Krefft subsequently brought an action, in November 1874, to recover £2,000 damages for trespass and assault against one of the trustees, Edward Smith Hill,[182][167] and "the jury, after a short deliberation, found a verdict for the plaintiff, with £250 for damages".[167] The judge (Justice Alfred Cheeke) held that Krefft was a superior officer under government, and that no one had power to remove him but the governor with the advice of the executive council.[183]

In 1876 — with John Robertson (rather than Henry Parkes) as Premier — the New South Wales parliament passed a vote of £1,000 to be applied in satisfaction of Krefft's claims.[184][185][186] The Government refused to pay unless Krefft renounced all other claims, which Krefft refused to do. He sued the trustees for his medals and property, and was awarded £925. They offered to return his belongings with only £200.[187]


Krefft died on 19 February 1881,[189][190] from congestion of the lungs "after suffering for some months past from dropsy and Bright's disease".[191] He was buried in the churchyard of St Jude's Church of England, Randwick, Sydney.[11][192]


  • 1864: he published a Catalogue of Mammalia in the Collection of the Australian Museum.
  • 1865: he published the pamphlet, Two Papers on the Vertebrata of the Lower Murray and Darling and on the Snakes of Sydney (1865a) — the two papers had been read before the Philosophical Society of New South Wales.
    The pamphlet also included a third paper on the Aborigines of the Lower Murray and Darling (i.e., Krefft, 1865b).
  • 1869: The Snakes of Australia was published, which was the first definitive work on this group of Australian animals.[45]
    Unable to find a publisher, Krefft eventually financed the publication himself, and it was published by the Government Printer.[197] Krefft and his publication were praised at the Sydney Intercolonial Exhibition of 1870 and the Scott sisters, Helena Scott (a.k.a. Helena Forde) and Harriet Scott (a.k.a. Harriet Morgan), received a Very High Commendation for the striking artwork that accompanied Krefft's text.[198][199]
  • 1870: he published the first scientific description of the Queensland lungfish (Krefft, 1870a, 1870b, 1870c, 1870d) — and, by announcing his discovery in the pages of the Sydney Morning Herald (1870a), rather than in some "learned British journal ... Krefft was not only claiming the lungfish, [but] was also staking a claim for Australian scientific independence".[200]
    • In November 1889, Norman Lockyer, the founding Editor of Nature, noted that Krefft's discovery of "the Dipnoous [viz., 'having both gills and lungs'] fish-like creature Ceratodus of the Queensland rivers" was "[one] of the more striking zoological discoveries which come within our [first] twenty years [of publication]".[201]
  • 1871: he published The Mammals of Australia, which also included plates by the Scott sisters.
  • 1872: Krefft was one of the few scientists supporting Darwinism in Australia during 1870s;[202][203] and, as of May 1872, became a correspondent of Charles Darwin[204] — see, for instance, Darwin's acknowledgement, in The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms (Darwin, 1881, p.122) of Krefft's contribution to his investigations.[205]
  • 1873: Catalogue of the Minerals and Rocks in the Collection of the Australian Museum was published.[5]
  • 1877 he began the publication of Krefft's Nature in Australia — see: item in the collection of the State Library of New South Wales — a popular journal for the discussion of questions of natural history, but it soon ceased publication.[11]

Learned Society affiliations; awards, etc.[edit]

External media
audio icon Early scientific photography in Australia, (ABC Radio National).
audio icon Charles Darwin and the curator’s chair, (Australian Museum).
video icon Capturing Nature exhibition photo preview, (Australian Museum).
video icon Bringing Scientific Research To The Museum, Tom Gleeson's Secrets of The Australian Museum, (ABC Science).
video icon Gerard Krefft, Wilhelm Blandowski and the library that travelled, AMRI Seminar, Vanessa Finney, (Australian Museum).


Krefft was:


  • In 1869, the Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy was conferred upon Krefft by Victor Emmanuel II, "in token of his Majesty's appreciation of Mr. Krefft's services in the cause of science".[207]
  • He received a gold medal from the Government of New South Wales "for services rendered".[47]
  • He held "a silver medal for exhibits from the Emperor of the French, and ... various other silver and bronze medals awarded in the colony".[47]
  • He was awarded "the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy".[208]


Krefftberget is located in Svalbard
The Krefftberget, in the extreme southwestern part of Barents Island, in the Svalbard archipelago of Norway

Apart from his scientific contributions, Krefft is remembered for the demonstration he provided at the Australian Museum, on 14 February 1868, for Prince Alfred — at the time, the Duke of Edinburg and, later, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha — involving Henry Parkes' pet mongoose killing several snakes. The mongoose was subsequently presented to the Prince who took it with him when he left Australia on the HMS Galatea in May 1868.[209][210][211]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stehmann, M. & Hulley, P.A. (1994), "Gerhard Krefft, 30 March 1912-20 March 1993", Copeia, Vol.1994, No.2 (16 May 16 1994), pp.558-564. JSTOR 1447019
  2. ^ These three are listed on his tombstone at: Gerard Krefft, at Find a Grave.
  3. ^ Anon (1881), p.589.
  4. ^ "Despite his interest in reptiles, mammals and fossils, Krefft cemented his reputation as an ichthyologist with the description in 1870 of the Queensland Lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri."(McGrouther, 2006, p.103)
  5. ^ a b See list of Publications, below.
  6. ^ See for instance, Krefft’s observations (1862, p.12) within his 1862 description of the Eastern Chæropus (Chæropus occidentalis):
    "This singular animal which Sir Thomas Mitchell first discovered in his expedition to the Darling, June 16, 1836, is still found on the plains of the Murray; though it is exceedingly rare, and is disappearing as fast as the native population. The large flocks of sheep and herds of cattle occupying the country will soon disperse those individuals which are still to be found in the so-called settled districts, and it will become more and more difficult to procure specimens for our national collection."
  7. ^ Wilson did not mince his words:
    "This country has been shamelessly stolen from the blacks. ... In less than 20 years, we have nearly swept them off the face of the earth. We have shot them down like dogs ... and consigned whole tribes to the agonies of an excruciating death. We have made them drunkards and infected them with disease, which has rotted the bones of their adults, and made few children as exist amongst them a sorrow and a torture from their very instant of birth. We have made them outcasts on their own land, and are rapidly consigning them to entire annihilation." (Wilson, 1856a; for a more-readable text see Wilson, 1856b).
  8. ^ George Bennett — later, Secretary/Curator of the Australian Museum (1835-1841) and trustee until his resignation in 1874 in protest at the treatment of Krefft — who, following his visit to the Australian Museum in 1832, observed, in relation to its current collection of native flora and fauna, that:
    "Native weapons, utensils, and other specimens of the arts, as existing among the Aborigines, as well as the skulls of the different tribes, and accurate drawings of their peculiar cast of features would be a valuable addition [to its collection]. At the present time [viz. 1834], such might be procured without much difficulty; but it is equally certain, as well as much to be regretted, that the tribes in the settled parts of the colony are fast decreasing, and many, if not all, will, at no distant period, be known just by name. Here, in a public museum, the remains of the arts, & c. as existing among them, may be preserved as lasting memorials of the former races inhabiting the lands, when they had ceased to exist." (Bennett, 1834, p.69).
  9. ^ For instance, in 1856 (p.358) Krefft noted that "the Aboriginal population of Victoria in 1847 amounted to about 5000; in 1858, shortly after these notes had been taken, their number had been reduced to 1768, men, women, and children; and if they have decreased at the same rate to the present day there will scarcely be a thousand souls left".
  10. ^ The inscription is to Dr. John Mildred Creed (1842–1930).
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rutledge & Whitley (1974).
  12. ^ Literary Roll of Honour, The (Sydney) Sun, (Wednesday, 21 May 1913), p.10; Literary Fund, The Maitland Daily Mercury, (Saturday, 8 January 1916), p.2; and Commonwealth Literary Fund, The (Adelaide) Register, (Saturday, 2 September 1922), p.5.
  13. ^ Deaths: McIntosh, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Monday, 10 November 1884), p.1; and Conjugal Felicity, The (Sydney) Globe, (Wednesday, 10 February 1886), p.3.
  14. ^ Rudolf Gerard Krefft (1869–1951); Archibald Gustav Carl Pappee Krefft (1871–1872) (see: Deaths: Krefft, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Saturday, 27 January 1872), p.9); William Albert Krefft (1873–1873) (see: Deaths: Krefft, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Tuesday, 18 March 1873), p.1); and Hermann Gerard Krefft (1879–1911).
  15. ^ Marriages: Krefft—Freeman, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Friday, 11 June 1897), p.1; and Deaths: Krefft, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Thursday, 25 January 1951), p.22.
  16. ^ Births: Krefft, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Thursday, 9 October 1879), p.9; Deaths: Krefft, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Friday, 20 October 1911), p.8; and Naturalist’s Death, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Friday, 20 October 1911), p.12.
  17. ^ Births: Krefft, The (Sydney) Evening News, (Friday, 3 July 1874), p.2.
  18. ^ Leitner (2004), p.181.
  19. ^ In relation to "Australasia", another German-speaking explorer and geologist, Julius von Haast (1822-1887), was appointed as the inaugural Curator/Director of the Canterbury Museum, in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1867.
  20. ^ Derived from Simpson (1942), p.131.
  21. ^ Meacham, S. (2020), "Dinosaurs to the rescue as New Life awakens for an Old Museum, The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday, 27 November 2020.
  22. ^ The oldest being the French National Museum of Natural History (Muséum national d'histoire naturelle (MNHN), established, as such, in 1793.
  23. ^ A technical term coined by William Whewell in 1834 (p.59), on the basis that scientist : science :: artist : art.
  24. ^ "By the 1870s ... "natural history" was being replaced by the word "science", with its connotations of the careful collection of observed data, induction and testing of hypotheses. leading either to verification or falsification" (Bowen & Bowen, 2003, p.127).
  25. ^ Garascia (2020), p.314.
  26. ^ "Natural History is by no means a historical science; it has no business with accidents or facts, but refers to objects, of which it is indifferent whether they exist contemporaneously or consecutively; and it considers these objects either singly, or in such relations as they are brought into, by the application of the science itself. ... The peculiar character of History, consists in being a narrative or a relation of facts, arranged according to the succession of time. Natural History has nothing to relate, and takes no notice of the succession of events." (Mohs, 1822, pp.iii-iv; as translated at Mohs (1825), pp.1-2.
  27. ^ Whewell (1847), p.117.
  28. ^ As opposed to the "artificial selection" of livestock or plant breeders.
  29. ^ "It was Darwin’s greatest accomplishment to show that the complex organization and functionality of living beings can be explained as the result of a natural process — natural selection — without any need to resort to a Creator or other external agent."(Ayala, 2009, p.327)
  30. ^ "Two myths about evolution persist today: that there is a prescient directionality to evolution and that survival depends entirely on cutthroat competitive fitness. Contrary to the first myth, natural selection is a description of a process, not a force. No one is "selecting" organisms for survival in the benign sense of pigeon breeders selecting for desirable traits in show breeds or for extinction in the malignant sense of Nazis selecting prisoners at death camps. Natural selection is nonprescient — it cannot look forward to anticipate what changes are going to be needed for survival. ... Natural selection simply means that those individuals with variations better suited to their environment leave behind more offspring than individuals that are less well adapted. This outcome is known as "differential reproductive success"." (Shermer, 2009).
  31. ^ According to La Nauze (1949, p.61), Hearn’s Plutology (1864) "was the first book in English (and I [viz., La Nauze] think in any language) systematically to apply the Darwinian theory of organic evolution to political economy, and to insist that the proper method for the study of economic society was biological".
  32. ^ "It was rather remarkable that the members of the Australian scientific establishment almost to a man, including von Mueller and McCoy in Melbourne, were vocal opponents of Darwin’s ideas on the origin of species by means of natural selection. For their scientific work however, it mattered little whether they believed that species had evolved or were fixed and immutable, as their interests were in descriptive aspects, the cataloguing and description of animals and plants and their basic natural history. Darwin seems to have had only two local champions among the biologists, Gerard Krefft and Robert D. Fitzgerald." (Mulvaney & Calaby, 1985, p.146).
  33. ^ "In 1860, [Krefft] was appointed assistant curator of the Australian Museum, and the next year was made curator. He built a reputation as a talented scientist, [and was] one of the few at the time to embrace Darwin's newly published theory of evolution by natural selection" (Olsen, 2022, p.111).
  34. ^ "[The] trustees ... [of] the Australian Museum ... most of whom were Anglicans or nonconformists, rejected the theory of the evolutionary origins of species. ... As [Krefft] later claimed when writing to Darwin, his evolutionism was the prime cause of his relations with the trustees becoming increasingly marked by irresolvable, personally debilitating disputes that eventually ended with his dismissal in 1874." (Turnbull, 2017, p.220).
  35. ^ From which, perhaps, nearly twenty extremely productive and influential years were taken by his controversial dismissal in 1874 at the age of 44.
  36. ^ In relation to the importance and significance in the "earlier half of the nineteenth century" of the distinction between those who held "a belief in Nature's evolution" and those who believed "in an evolution of species", (p.328) one must heed Potter’s (pp.326-327) warning against the error — essentially driven by the accounts of "nineteenth-century evolutionary thought" provided in twentieth-century "histories of evolutionary theory" — of forming the false impression that "the most intelligent students in natural science ... [during] the period from 1820 to 1860 ... were moving closer and closer to a belief in the mutability of species":
    "The 'mutationists', as such believers were called then, were very few, and were not the men with the highest reputations in their respective fields of study.
    Erasmus Darwin, Lamarck, Goethe, Lorenz Oken, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, W.C. Wells, Patrick Matthew, and Robert Chambers, whose names figure in the histories of evolutionary theory, were not the most famous men in scientific work of their day, and were by no means the most learned or intelligent, except perhaps in respect to that one idea which they were developing.
    If any well-informed Englishman had in the year 1850 been asked to name the best minds among workers in the natural sciences during the past twenty years, he would probably have mentioned none of these names, but rather Cuvier, Richard Owen, Lyell, the Herschels [viz., William Herschel and John Herschel], Sedgwick, Henslow, and Louis Agassiz — not one of whom had the slightest belief in the mutability of species before Darwin published his Origin, and most of whom refused to agree with the hypothesis even after Darwin had argued in its favor."
  37. ^ Namely, from On the Origin of Species (1859), and On the Various Contrivances by which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilised by Insects, and on the Good Effects of Intercrossing (1862), and The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication (1868a, 1868b), and The Descent of Man (1871a, 1871b), to and including The Origin of Species (1872), the sixth and final edition of On the Origin of Species.
  38. ^ Ellegård (p.31) stresses the fact that the direction. of his classification — with its apparent (exclusive) concentration on the issues of religion vs. science and supernaturalism vs. naturalism — wss not due to the influence of any a priori considerations on his part, but were entirely reflecting (a) how the problem appeared to those at the time, and, from his own research, (b) "the actual positions taken in the contemporary press".
  39. ^ Given that their views tended to be formed from what they read in the popular press (or what they were told from the pulpit) — rather than, that is, from reading the most up-to-date and most relevant books, pamphlets, journal articles, and professional society proceedings — "by and large, the lower the educational standard, the less was the inclination to accept the Darwinian doctrines"; (Ellegård, 1990, p.33) and, moreover, "the public of the mass circulation organs had few other sources of information open to them on these matters" and from this, if they were to have any opinion on these matters at all, there would be "little reason" for them to differ from that which the press of their choice had provided for them (p.34).
  40. ^ In relation to the substance of these 19th century "positions"/"attitudes", it is significant to note that — despite the fact that "the U.S. is the undisputed world leader in science" (Diamond, et al., 2022, p.4) — according to a recent examination of the widespread, general American scepticism about science, that, in 2022:
    "26 percent of Americans still believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth, despite evidence to the contrary amassed by Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler four centuries ago. As well, 40 percent of Americans, including 13 percent of American public-high-school biology teachers, still don’t believe in human evolution, and an additional 38 percent believe that humans evolved under God’s guidance. Then there are the 60 percent of Americans who believe that dinosaurs died out within the last 10,000 years, and, astonishingly, one-third of those Americans believe that dinosaurs died out as recently as a century ago" (pp.5-6).
  41. ^ Namely, "the fundamentalist religious position, according to which each species arose as a distinct and instantaneous creation, in the literal and naïve sense of the word." (Ellegård, 1990, p.30).
  42. ^ Although those holding this position "recognized, on geological evidence, that the further back we go in time, the simpler and the less differentiated are the forms of organic life that we find", these "more differentiated forms" were not, they thought, descendants of some earlier, "less differentiated" form, but had "come into being in some wholly mysterious way, best characterized by the word creation" (Ellegård, 1990, p.30).
  43. ^ Whilst those taking this position "admitted the efficacy of Natural Selection for a considerable amount of specific differentiation ... it still included a teleological element as an indispensable part of the explanation of organic evolution ... referring to unknown factors in order to explain the more important evolutionary steps" (Ellegård, 1990, p.31).
  44. ^ Namely, "a scientific, and therefore non-teleological and non-supernatural explanation of the evolution of the whole organic world ... [which was, in fact] the distinctive element of Darwin's theory" (Ellegård, 1990, p.31).
  45. ^ a b c d Stephens, 2013.
  46. ^ a b c Nancarrow (2009), p.146.
  47. ^ a b c d e f g h i Heaton (1879), p.108.
  48. ^ Riley (2016), p.30.
  49. ^ Riley (2016).
  50. ^ "Mr. Krefft’s drawings have a special interest, as they are illustrations from the life of some of the more curious animals, &c., of the country, taken during the late expedition to the Murray, with Mr. Blandowski. The most striking is that of a native corroboree, at Gall Gall, and of the rare animal, the chæropus, about which there has of late been so much controversy." (Review of the Exhibition at Anon (1858, p.105).)
  51. ^ At the Gall-Gall Station of John Henry Williams (1834-1922) and his mother Elizabeth Williams (née Jenkins) (1818-1865), on the Murray River, near to present-day Mildura, in the area now known as Gol Gol, in New South Wales.
  52. ^ "Krefft proved to be a keen and perceptive observer of wildlife and a fine natural history illustrator. Throughout the [Blandowski] Expedition he kept numerous mammal species in captivity to learn more about their habits, documenting diet and breeding information, including seasonality and litter size. He is the only person known to have kept the pig-footed bandicoot Chaeropus ecaudatus in captivity and his observations are virtually the only natural history notes on this animal. Krefft’s illustration of C. ecaudatus far surpasses that [presented in Gould's Mammals of Australia] in capturing the essence of the animal, not least because it was drawn from life rather than from a stuffed skin." (Menkhorst, 2009, p.65)
  53. ^ Allen (2006), p.31.
  54. ^ Kean (2009).
  55. ^ Allen (2006), p.34.
  56. ^ The Museum was established in 1854, the same year as the Melbourne Public Library, now known as State Library Victoria.
  57. ^ "During the Expedition, Krefft was responsible for overseeing the preparation of specimens and the registration and record-keeping for all the biological material. Krefft apparently also carried out much of the day-to-day work around the camp, including cooking and caring for the horses and bullocks. He was also required to act as Blandowski’s amanuensis, taking dictation from Blandowski by candlelight after dinner."(Menkhorst, 2009, p.65)
  58. ^ "During the 1856/1857 expedition [Krefft] was Blandowski’s right-hand man, the natural history illustrator and the chronicler of all Blandowski’s idiosyncrasies, and especially his failings." (Humphries, 2003, p.163)
  59. ^ Menkhorst, 2009, p.63.)
  60. ^ Iredale & Whitley (1932); Allen, 2009b.
  61. ^ 150th Anniversary of William Blandowski`s Expedition, Monument Australia.
  62. ^ a b Whitley (1958), p.23.
  63. ^ The museum was established in 1853, just two years after the separation of Victoria from New South Wales in 1851.
  64. ^ Krefft identified ten categories of specimens: "stones, fossils & sundry specimens" (358 items); "insects" (4,202 items); "shells" (8,484 items); "fishes" (247 items); "frogs" (199 items); "snakes" (68 items); "lizards" (535 items); "turtles" (64 items); "birds" (2,335 items), and "quadrupeds" (742 items).
  65. ^ Note that a number of the available catalogue numbers have zero content (see Krefft, 1858, passim).
  66. ^ Nancarrow (2009), p.146.
  67. ^ Shipping: Arrivals—May 6, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Monday, 7 May 1860), p.4.
  68. ^ As van Leeuwen (1998, p.16) notes, "Krefft's timely gift of seashells to augment Denison's growing collection ... would further have endeared him to the Governor-General."
  69. ^ One of his referees was Melbourne's Frederick McCoy (Knapman, 2012, p.97).
  70. ^ van Leeuwen (1998).
  71. ^ The Late Mr. S.R. Pittard, The Sydney Mail, (Saturday, 24 August 1861), p.1.
  72. ^ The Late Mr. S.R. Pittard, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Friday, 17 January 1862), p.4.
  73. ^ Macinnes (2012), p.108.
  74. ^ See: Sellers (1980); Hart & Ward, D.C. (1988); Peale (1800); and Peale (1804).
  75. ^ One of the texts displayed at Peale’s Museum (Peale, 1804, p.2) was that from Job 12: 7–10:
    "But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind."
  76. ^ Brigham (1996).
  77. ^ van Leeuwen, Michael (1998, p.19), citing the entry in the Museum’s Minute Book of the Trustees dated 5 September 1861.
  78. ^ "Given the almost instinctive reluctance of the Trustees to appoint a non-Briton to the position … it is almost inconceivable that Krefft could have won this position in open competition [in 1861], as he was not a member of the charmed circle around William Sharp Macleay in the colony and Richard Owen in England. There is no doubt that the Trustees intended his tenure in the position as a temporary measure only, designed merely to "hold the fort" until a suitable gentleman could be found." (van Leeuwen, 1998, pp.19-20.)
  79. ^ "May, 31. One of the appointments of the month was that of Mr. Gerard Kreft [sic] to be Curator of the Australian Museum. This gentleman has performed the duties of the office since the death of Mr. Pittard.": at Chronicle of Occurrences, 1864, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Saturday, 31 December 1864), p.4.
  80. ^ In relation to later issues relating to his (figurative and virtual) removal from office in 1874, it is significant that the delay in his official appointment was no reflection on Krefft's fitness to occupy the position. It was entirely due to the time taken to resolve dispute between the Museum's Trustees and the New South Wales' government about which of the two of them should be his official employer. Eventually, it was decided that he was an employee of the New South Wales' government.
  81. ^ Krefft (1866).
  82. ^ Anon (1870).
  83. ^ Krefft (1870).
  84. ^ Dawson (1985), pp.56-59.
  85. ^ Stephens (2007), p.309.
  86. ^ Hoare, 1971 and 1976.
  87. ^ Stephens (2007), p.305.
  88. ^ See, for instance, Anon (1868b, and 1868c).
  89. ^ "An inward conviction of the fitness of things soon forces itself on the observant mind when "the right man is in the right place", and the state of the Australian Museum, since the curatorship of Mr. Krefft, is an evidence of the fact. The late Dr. Pittard recognized the slough of despond into which the institution had drifted. By his talents and energy, his popular lectures, and his endeavours to organize and utilize what was previously merely a chamber of curiosities, effected much for the museum; but, what was still more valuable, he recognized the qualifications of Mr. Krefft, who was appointed his assistant. The latter, however, was of a far more practical nature, and the alterations and improvements effected since his accession to his present office, have, notwithstanding very tardy pecuniary aid, completely metamorphosed the institution, and rendered it one that will, by its many specimens, and the care and accuracy of arrangement, vie with almost any provincial collections as a school of natural history." (Review of Krefft's Mammals of Australia, Australian Town and Country Journal, (Saturday, 23 December 1871), p.13).
  90. ^ "The interest which all classes take in Natural History, has gradually changed the old fashioned curiosity shops of fifty years ago, into useful Museums — where rational amusement, combined with instruction, is offered to the mass of the people, and where students have every opportunity to examine and study the specimens, of which the Museum consists." (Krefft, 1868, p.15)
  91. ^ "[Krefft's] view stood in stark contrast to the way the trustees had not only established but wished to continue administering the Australian Museum, which had long served their own interests and maintained their social status in a class system that had been transplanted from Britain to colonial New South Wales. The distinction between Krefft’s ambitions and those of his masters was as much an issue of who – or, more specifically, what type of person – should be in charge of the museum and how it should be run." (Davidson, 2017, p.95.)
  92. ^ For more on the nature and ramifications of this sort of "vision" in the USA, see: Rader & Cain, 2014, passim.
  93. ^ From the Greek συνοπτικός, synoptikos, 'seeing everything together'.
    According to Aristides Brezina, of the Natural History Museum at Vienna, museum collections were of two different kinds:
    (a) systematic collections, which "secure in due time and preserve as great and complete a variety of the material as possible", and
    (b) synoptical collections, which "illustrate as fully as possible all ways in which the matter may be considered". (Brezina, 1904, p.211)
  94. ^ "Going back to the Renaissance Cabinet of Curiosities, collections of the rare and the wonderful have long served as a means to demonstrate one's elite social status, functioning as material evidence of wealth, power, and mastery. However, the long nineteenth century saw museums became increasingly open, accessible, and responsible to an emerging conception of the democratic citizen. This gave rise to a conflict between two very different conceptions of what museums ought to accomplish. Should they serve a forum in which a culture's core values are debated, contested, and at times even overturned, or a temple for the veneration of sacrosanct objects, ideas, and persons?" (Rieppel, 2019, p.46.)
  95. ^ See: "An Act to Establish the Smithsonian Institution, 1846", at The Smithsonian Institution Archives.
  96. ^ For a detailed, extended account of the capacious "National Cabinet of Curiosities", the relevant Congressional legislation, and the eventual transferral of the Cabinet's custody to the Smithsonian, see Goode (1901), pp.112-156.
  97. ^ At the time of his address Gray had already been an employee of the British Museum for 40 years, and had been its Keeper of the Zoology Department for 24 years.
  98. ^ a b Gray (1864), "Presidential Address", p.86.
  99. ^ Gray (loc. cit.) elaborated further: "Now, it appears to me that, in the desire to combine these two objects, which are essentially distinct, the first object, namely the general instruction of the people, has been to a great extent lost sight of and sacrificed to the second, without any corresponding advantage to the latter, because the system itself has been thoroughly erroneous. The curators of large museums have naturally, and, perhaps, properly, been men more deeply devoted to scientific study than interested in elementary instruction, and they have consequently done what they thought best for the promotion of science by accumulating and exhibiting on the shelves or in the open cases of the museum every specimen which they possess, without considering that by so doing they were overwhelming the general visitor with a mass of unintelligible objects, and at the same time rendering their attentive study by the man of science more difficult and onerous than if they had been brought into a smaller space and in a more available condition."
  100. ^ See Krefft (1868), especially pp.15 and 21.
  101. ^ "The "new museum idea" encouraged curators to design galleries and carefully select objects for display so as to actively and explicitly teach visitors, rather than simply (and passively) allowing them access to the entirety of the collection and expecting them to engage in self-directed study." (Anderson, 2020, p.100. emphasis in original).
  102. ^ Similar views in relation to displays were expressed by Edward Forbes, of the Museum of Practical Geology in his 1853 lecture; although he was far less concerned with the education of the public, and was far more concerned with the goal of inculcating nationalistic pride in Britain and the British Empire (see: Forbes, 1953).
  103. ^ "Though the first duty of museums is, without question, to preserve the evidence upon which the history of mankind and the knowledge of science is based, any one acquainted with the numerous succession of essays, addresses, lectures, and papers, which constitute the museum literature of the last thirty years, must recognise the gradual development of the conception that the museum of the future is to have for its complete ideal, not only the simple preservation of the objects contained in it, but also their arrangement in such a manner as to provide for the instruction of those who visit it. The value of a museum will be tested not only by its contents, but by the treatment of those contents as a means of the advancement of knowledge." (Flower, 1893, p.22)
  104. ^ In his Principles of Museum Administration (1895, p.42), George Brown Goode, noting that "for any science ... a synoptical series with a full complement of descriptive labels ... forms an elementary manual, the labels forming the text, the specimens the illustrations", and observing that "a collection of this kind in a Natural History Museum may either illustrate the principles of classification and phylogeny, those of geographical distribution, or may deal with the problems of comparative morphology", remarked that "their purpose is to teach some special lesson by means of a small or complete series of specimens, arranged, labeled and provided with all possible illustrative accessories".
  105. ^ "The new museum idea [is] that the museum is not a conservative but a progressive educational force, that it has a teaching quality or value peculiar to itself, that the museum succeeds if it teaches, fails partially if it merely amuses or interests people and fails entirely if it simply mystifies. The old museum idea was that of a sanctuary or refuge, a safe deposit vault for curious, rare, or beautiful objects which might be lost or destroyed; the ignorant visitor was tolerated rather than attracted, the curator was a keeper, not a teacher." (Osborn, 1912, p.494)
  106. ^ "A great city department store of the first class is perhaps more like a good museum of art than are any of the museums we have yet established. It is centrally located; it is easily reached; it is open to all at all the hours when patrons wish to visit it; it receives all courteously and gives information freely; it displays its most attractive and interesting objects and shows countless others on request; its collections are classified according to the knowledge and needs of its patrons; it is well lighted; it has convenient and inexpensive rest rooms; it supplies guides free of charge; it advertises itself widely and continuously; and it changes its exhibits to meet daily changes in subjects of interest, changes of taste in art, and the progress of invention and discovery.
    A department store is not a good museum; but so far are museums from being the active and influential agencies they might be that they may be compared with department stores and not altogether to their advantage." (Dana, 1917, pp.23-24)
  107. ^ Coloured Photographs. The Sydney Morning Herald, (Friday, 16 April 1875), p.7.
  108. ^ Krefft (August 1868), p.24.
  109. ^ "The Victorian era heralded an age of transformation in which momentous changes in the field of natural history coincided with the rise of new visual technologies. Concurrently, different parts of the British Empire began to more actively claim their right to being acknowledged as indispensable contributors to knowledge and the progress of empire" (Davidson, 2017, n.p.)
  110. ^ Finney (2019a).
  111. ^ "Photography could record specimens as they arrived at the Museum, capturing true-to-life texture, size and shapes before the detailed work of taxidermy began. ... Held in the Museum’s archives, the photographs [present] a natural history rogues' gallery: dozens of animals captured, mugshot style, against a white-sheet backdrop. The photos were taken in and around the Museum, mostly in the courtyards and gardens to best exploit the precious light required by the photographers’ rudimentary cameras" (Finney, 2019b, pp.25-26).
  112. ^ Essentially due to their collective lack of scientific credentials and/or social standing (Davidson, 2017, p.68).
  113. ^ The notion of a boundary object was positioned by Star and Griesemer in their 1989 article about the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley — namely, "an object which lives in multiple social worlds and which has different identities in each" (1989, p.409) — and, it is important to note that, in doing so, they gave the "boundary object" notion a name, but they did not invent it. The value of their terminological innovation is that, ever since then, its referent, within a particular context, could be unequivocally named, identified, investigated, productively discussed, and generally understood by all concerned. Their (metaphorical) sociological notion of a boundary object is entirely symmetrical with:
    (a) the linguistic category of simplified pidgin or creole language which allows effective communication between speakers of two mutually unintelligible languages, and
    (b) the scientific/technological concept of a trading zone — a metaphor derived from anthropological studies of how different cultures are able to exchange goods, despite their differences in language and culture — that is, a "neutral" space wherein scientists holding different disciplinary mind-sets are able to collaborate and/or "trade" expertise and ideas with one another, despite their disciplinary differences and conceptual orientations.
  114. ^ Huxley (1880), p.660.
  115. ^ See Cross, et al. (2018, p.641, Fig.5) for Agassiz's own illustration of the teeth plates from which his description was derived.
  116. ^ Anderson (1939), p.2-23.
  117. ^ Which, also, clearly explains the significance of Agassiz's post-1870 remark in a letter to Krefft: "my fossil sharks are sharks no longer" (Heaton, 1879, p.109).
  118. ^ Whitley (1929), p.363.
  119. ^ Krefft (1870b), p.223.
  120. ^ In relation to average size and weight of the fish, retired Queensland banker, Daniel O’Connor (1826-1916), reported (1896, p.102) that the 109 specimens he had captured in 1896, "ranged between thirty-three [84cm] and forty-five inches [114cm] in length, and were from nine [4kg] to fourteen pounds [6 kg] in weight".
  121. ^ According to Finney (2022, pp.1-2), Krefft immediately "understood its enormous significance".
  122. ^ Finney (2022, p.2) speaks of "the genius of Krefft who recognized the fish’s "true character" by seeing it as a "missing link", a revelation that had apparently eluded all others and was only possible with Krefft’s particular blend of scientific knowledge, local field experience, and imagination".
  123. ^ "Dans les champs de l’observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits prepares" ('in the realm of observation, chance only favours the prepared mind') (Pasteur, 1854, p.131); "Seeds of great discoveries are constantly floating around us, but they only take root and germinate in minds well prepared to receive them" (Henry, 1880, p.163), etc.
  124. ^ Whitley (1927), p.50.
  125. ^ Krefft (1870a).
  126. ^ Krefft (1870c): cites responses from Mr. P.L. Sclater, F.R.S., Sir Philip de Malpas Grey Egerton, F.R.S., Dr. Albert Günther, F.R.S., and Sir W.T. Denison.
  127. ^ "With unerring exactitude, Mr. Krefft gave, in a leading journal, a preliminary description of the fish, assigned its proper position in the system, and had the satisfaction to find his description confirmed by the best naturalists of the day, including Professor Agassiz, who wrote to him a very candid acknowledgment of his own previous errors on the subject, remarking in his letter, "my fossil sharks are sharks no longer".(Heaton, 1879, p.109).
  128. ^ Clarke (1871), p.89.
  129. ^ Clarke (1871), p.90.
  130. ^ In addition to Krefft's "native German", Whitley (1958, p.21) notes that (a) he "also knew Latin, French and Dutch", and (b) that his English publications were written in "perfect English".
  131. ^ "The Flora of Australia has been justly regarded as the most remarkable that is known, owing to the number of peculiar forms of vegetation which that continent presents. So numerous indeed are the peculiarities of this Flora, that it has been considered as differing fundamentally, or in almost all its attributes, from those of other lands; and speculations have been entertained that its origin is either referable to another period of the world's history from that in which the existing plants of other continents have been produced, or to a separate creative effort from that which contemporaneously peopled the rest of the globe with its existing vegetation; whilst others again have supposed that the climate or some other attribute of Australia has exerted an influence on its vegetation, differing both in kind and degree from that of other climates." (Hooker, 1859, p.xxvii)
  132. ^ a b c Krefft, G. (1871), "Natural History: The Natural History of New South Wales", The Sydney Mail, (Saturday, 4 March 1871), p.22.
  133. ^ Krefft, G., "Natural History: The Uncommon Frog", The Sydney Mail, (Saturday, 27 June 1874), p.818.
  134. ^ The first being: Krefft, G., "Natural History: The Reptiles of Australia: Recent and Fossil", The Sydney Mail, (Saturday, 17 October 1874), p.497.
  135. ^ The last being: Krefft, G., "Natural History: Remarks on the Alteration of Organisms", The Sydney Mail, (Saturday, 26 June 1875), p.809.
  136. ^ It is clear from its content that Krefft’s letter was written quite soon after 12 July 1873.
  137. ^ Author of Noah's Ark Vindicated and Explained (1871); see Obituary at: The Late Father O'Malley, S.J., The (Adelaide) Southern Cross, (Friday, 26 August 1910), p.13.
  138. ^ Lecture on Noah's Ark, by the Rev. J O'Malley, S.J., The Freeman's Journal, (Saturday, 12 July 1873), pp.9-10; it is significant that the advertisements for his earlier Melbourne lectures on the same topic appeared under the Jesuit motto A.M.D.G. (see, for instance: The Advocate, (Saturday, 9 July 1870), p.7).
  139. ^ In relation to his religiosity, his devotion, and his activities within the Sydney Irish Catholic community ("a most devoted end exemplary Catholic"), see his extended obituary in the Catholic newspaper, The Freeman's Journal: i.e., Death of the Hon. Peter Faucett: Supreme Court Judge for 23 years: Close of a Distinguished Career, The Freeman's Journal, (Saturday, 26 May 1894), p.15.
  140. ^ Somewhat later, in 1877, O’Malley delivered a comprehensive series of thirty lecture/sermons in Melbourne, entitled "Modern Thought", which collectively — it was supposed by the Roman Catholic newspaper The Advocate — would "be extremely instructive to Catholics, whose faith is whole and sound; very useful to others, whose views on religious questions are infected by the course of contemporary thought, and extremely unpleasant to the disciples of Tom Paine, Renan, Huxley, and Darwin" (Modern Thought, The Advocate, (Saturday, 21 April 1877), p.9), which extended from the First (22 April 1877) Lecture to the last, Thirtieth (1 December 1877) Lecture.
  141. ^ a b Krefft (1873a).
  142. ^ Krefft (1873b).
  143. ^ Masters Mastered, Sydney Punch, (Friday, 25 September 1874), p.2.
  144. ^ Sherriff (1874), p.45.
  145. ^ A considerable amount: almost one and a half times the average yearly wage in 1873.
  146. ^ "Krefft was absent from the Museum on [the day of the robbery], having gone to Botany Bay to arrange the preparation of the skeleton of a whale, leaving the attendant [John Adolphus] Thorpe and the messenger [Michael] O'Grady in charge. On his return [the next day], he found that the lid of an island case in what is now known as the Long Gallery had been lifted free by removal of the screws that held it down and that gold specimens valued at about £60 had been taken. Krefft notified the police and the investigating detective found that there was a possibility that the gold had been stolen at a time when O'Grady and Thorpe had both been absent from the gallery." (Strahan, 1979, p.31)
  147. ^ Williams, Wüster & Fry (2006).
  148. ^ Burglaries, Stealing from the Premises, &c., New South Wales Police Gazette and Weekly Record of Crime, No.53, (Wednesday, 31 December 1873), p.377.
  149. ^ Reward Notice No.308, New South Wales Government Gazette, No.36, (Tuesday, 17 February 1874), p.487.
  150. ^ Burglaries, Stealing from the Premises, &c., New South Wales Police Gazette and Weekly Record of Crime, No.8, (Wednesday, 25 February 1874), p.52.
  151. ^ The Australian Museum, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Saturday, 17 April 1875), p.9.
  152. ^ On 4 March 1874, in the earlier stages of the dispute, and in a private and confidential letter to Krefft (see: SLNSW, pp.91-93), Henry Parkes, the Premier of New South Wales, stated unequivocally that he was fully confident in Krefft’s qualification for the office he held at the Museum.
  153. ^ The Museum doors nailed up — The Police in Charge, The (Sydney) Evening News, (Monday, 6 July 1974), p.2.
  154. ^ "The Australian Museum — We are requested to mention that this institution is closed for a short time. Due notice will be given on its being re-opened.": The Sydney Morning Herald, (Monday, 6 July 1874), p.4.
  155. ^ The Australian Museum, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Friday, 10 July 1874), p.7.
  156. ^ Museum, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Wednesday, 23 September 1874), p.4.
  157. ^ a b The Australian Museum, The (Sydney) Empire, (Thursday, 24 September 1874), p.4.
  158. ^ The certificate was issued by Frederick Milford, M.D. (Heidelberg), M.R.C.S. (England), L.R.C.P. (London) — Milford's obituary: Obituary: Dr. Milford, The Freeman's Journal, (Saturday, 9 August 1902), p.19.
  159. ^ Nancarrow (2007), p.10.
  160. ^ "BIRTHS: KREFFT—July 2, at the Australian Museum, College-street, the wife of Gerard Krefft, of a daughter, stillborn." (Sydney Morning Herald, (Friday, 3 July 1874), p.1.
  161. ^ a b Krefft, G. (6 July 1874), "(Letter to the Editor)", The (Sydney) Evening News, (Monday, 6 July 1874), p3.
  162. ^ Petty Pranks of Scientific Pretenders, The Sydney Punch, (Friday, 10 July 1874), p.3.
  163. ^ Detail of part of the section in the Trustees report for the year 1874 dealing with relation to the twelfth charge ("Disobeying the orders of the trustees given at the last ordinary monthly meeting") levelled against Krefft in July 1874 (Australian Museum, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Saturday, 17 April 1875), p.9).
  164. ^ The Museum Difficulty, The (Sydney) Evening News, (Tuesday, 1 September 1874), p.2: The newspaper report, in noting that both Bennet and Clarke had previously acted as secretaries of the Museum, "and always had the interest of the Museum at heart", also observed that, "it is much to be regretted that circumstances should have arisen to induce gentlemen of such high attainments to sever their connection with the institution". In view of Krefft's subsequent eviction, it is significant that this report, whilst dealing with the "consequences" of "steps recently taken", also clearly indicates the likelihood of certain 'future steps': "It is rumoured, we know not with what truth, that the remaining trustees are about to take energetic steps to remove Mr. Krefft, the curator, from the premises".
  165. ^ He had refused to offer any defence against the Trustees' allegations until he was shown the actual charges and the supposed supporting evidence.
  166. ^ Luck (2014), p.93.
  167. ^ a b c d e f g h Law: Jury Court: Sittings for Trial of Causes: Krefft v. Hill, The (Sydney) Empire, (Thursday, 19 November 1874), p.4.
  168. ^ The Museum Difficulty, The (Sydney) Evening News, (Thursday, 19 November 1874), p.4.
  169. ^ Wooley & McKay (2018).
  170. ^ Photographs of Krefft's chair (which is now on permanent display at the Australian Museum), can be seen at Power (2015) and at Taylor (2015).
  171. ^ Krefft, G., (Letter to the Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald, (Monday, 12 June 1876), p.2.
  172. ^ See also Krefft (1877).
  173. ^ 'Justitia Omnes', "Mr. Krefft and the Museum Trustees (Letter to the Editor)", The (Sydney) Empire, (Thursday, 24 September 1874), p.4.
  174. ^ Legislative Assembly, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Friday, 3 July 1874), p.6.
  175. ^ See, for instance, the hostile contributions made in relation to Krefft in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly on 16 June 1874, by Macleay (Member for Murrumbidgee) and Onslow (Member for Camden) to the debate on the motion of Walter Cooper (Member for East Macquarie) in relation to "the condition and system of management of the Sydney Museum" (see: Legislative Assembly: The Sydney Museum, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Wednesday, 17 July 1874), pp.23).
  176. ^ The Sydney Museum, The Harp and Southern Cross, (Friday, 10 July 1874), p.6).
  177. ^ For a list of the 12 charges, and the various associated complaints that had been levelled against Krefft, see the details of the trustees' report to the New South Wales Parliament: Australian Museum, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Saturday, 17 April 1875), p.9.
  178. ^ Taken directly from the Report of the Trustees of the Museum of Australia, for the year 1874, tabled in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, in June 1876, at: Intercolonial News, The Queenslander. (Saturday, 8 July 1876), p.18.
  179. ^ Scott, Montague, "DIPROTODON!!", Sydney Punch, (Friday, 26 June 1874), p.5.
  180. ^ Alluding to Chamier, Frederick (1840), The Spitfire: A Tale of the Sea: Volume III, London: Henry Colburn, p.118.
  181. ^ Darwin Correspondence Project: Letter no. 9694.
  182. ^ Law: Jury Court, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Thursday, 19 November 1874), p.7.
  183. ^ "When the courts awarded Krefft damages [in 1874], the trustees refused to pay up, though they had plundered the museum's coffers to recoup their own legal costs." (Macinnes, 2012, p.114)
  184. ^ Mr. Krefft and the Government, The Sydney Mail, (Saturday, 9 December 1876), p.752.
  185. ^ £1000 = two times Krefft's annual salary of £500.
  186. ^ Krefft's Few Letters and Testimonials from distinguished Men of Science (1876), was published in anticipation of the parliamentary investigation. It included commendations/testimonials from John Gould (dated 10 February 1859); Frederick McCoy (6 June 1860); Simon Rood Pittard (6 June 1861); Albert Günther (19 March 1864); Charles Darwin (17 February 1873); Richard Owen (13 April 1874); Charles Wyville Thomson (21 April 1874); and Rudolf von Willemoes-Suhm (1 May 1874).
  187. ^ Macinnes, 2012, p.114.
  188. ^ Law: Jury Court: Sittings for Trial of Causes: Krefft v. Hill, The (Sydney) Empire, (Saturday, 14 November 1874), p.4.
  189. ^ Deaths: Krefft, The (Sydney) Evening News, (Saturday, 19 February 1881), p.4.
  190. ^ The Late Gerard Krefft, The Sydney Mail, (Saturday, 26 February 1881), p.332.
  191. ^ Death of Gerard Krefft, The (Sydney) Evening News, Saturday, 19 February 1881), p.3.
  192. ^ See tombstone at Gerard Krefft, Find a Grave.
  193. ^ Lounger, The (Melbourne) Herald, (Monday 21 February 1881), p.3.
  194. ^ Town Talk (Obituary), The (Sydney) Evening News, (Tuesday, 22 February 1881), p.2.
  195. ^ a b Obituary: Gerard Krefft, Sydney Morning Herald, (Thursday, 24 February 1881), p.7.
  196. ^ a b Obituary: Mr. Gerard Krefft, The Australian Town and Country Journal, (Saturday, 26 February 1881), p.23.
  197. ^ "Plate - Diamond snake, Morelia spilotes". Museums Victoria Collections. Museums Victoria. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  198. ^ "Plate - Diamond snake, Morelia spilotes". Museums Victoria Collections. Museums Victoria. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  199. ^ " Mr. Krefft's book is illustrated by 12 carefully executed lithographs from drawings by two sisters, Miss Harriet Scott, and Mrs. Edward Forde, daughters of Mr. A.M. Scott M.A. and the printer and engraver have co-operated with the author and the fair artists to produce a work which is both a valuable contribution to science and a credit to New South Wales." (The Snakes of Australia, The Australasian, (Saturday, 4 June 1870), p.8)
  200. ^ Macinnes (2012), p.113.
  201. ^ Lockyer (1889), p.3.
  202. ^ Mozley (1967).
  203. ^ Moyal & Marks (2019).
  204. ^ See details of the correspondence exchanges on various subjects between the two at the Darwin Correspondence Project.
  205. ^ Krefft wrote to Darwin on 22 October 1874, following his dismissal from office, seeking Darwin's support; Darwin eventually replied — enclosing a postal order for ₤5 with his letter — that, due to his ill health, he was unable to organise a subscription to raise funds for Kreff.
  206. ^ Krefft, 1876, p.1; Heaton, 1879, p.108.
  207. ^ Notes of the Week: From the 2nd July to the 9th July, The Sydney Morning Herald, (Monday 12 July 1869), p.3.
  208. ^ Although this "fact" is recorded in nearly every English-language biography of Krefft, the awarding institution is never identified. His German-language biography in the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (i.e., Zimmermann, 1906, p.374) also records that he received an honorary doctorate (Ehrendoktor), but fails to record the name of the institution involved. Given the overall precision and level of detail in Heaton's (1879) biography, and given that Heaton's work was published in Sydney, and given that Heaton's work was published two years before Krefft's death, it seems entirely possible that the source of the "fact" in question might have been a very-much-alive Krefft, and to have been personally delivered to Heaton by Krefft himself.
  209. ^ Anon (1868a).
  210. ^ Brainwood (2014).
  211. ^ Although the contemporary newspaper report (Anon, 1868a) identified the mongoose as an Egyptian mongoose (herpestes ichneumon), later accounts, perhaps based upon stronger historical records (e.g., Brainwood, 2014), identify it as a "Ceylon mongoose" (urva edwardsii lanka).
  212. ^ The allusion to the Queensland lungfish as a "living fossil" is widespread: e.g., p.214 of Arthington (2009).
  213. ^ Beolens, Watkins, and Grayson (2011).
  214. ^ Cremona, et al. (2020).
  215. ^ "Krefftberget (Svalbard)". Norwegian Polar Institute. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  216. ^ Schedule 'B' National Memorials Ordinance 1928-1972: Street Nomenclature: List of Additional Names with Reference to Origin: Division of Florey: Krefft Street, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No.S24, (8 February 1978), p.19.
  217. ^ Last Night’s Telegrams, The Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser, (Tuesday, 25 January 1881), p.3.


Krefft's publications (Books, monographs, pamphlets, in chronological order)[edit]

Krefft's contributions to Academic journals, newspapers, etc.[edit]

Krefft was a member of many scientific societies, and contributed papers to the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London and other scientific and popular journals, some of which were also printed separately as pamphlets. For a comprehensive, chronological list (of more than 150 of his contributions), see Whitley (1958, pp.25-34), with some later additions and modifications to that list at Whitley (1969, pp.39-42); also, see Mahoney & Ride (1975, pp.197-215).

Other sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Assistant Curator,
The Australian Museum,
Sydney, New South Wales

Succeeded by
George Masters
Preceded by
Simon Rood Pittard
Acting Curator,
The Australian Museum,
Sydney, New South Wales

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Simon Rood Pittard
The Australian Museum,
Sydney, New South Wales

Succeeded by