Herbert C. Robinson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Herbert Christopher Robinson (4 November 1874 – June 1929) was a British zoologist and ornithologist. He is principally known for conceiving and initiating the major ornithological reference The Birds of the Malay Peninsula.

Robinson was born in Liverpool in a large family that included several brokers, barristers and academics. He was educated at Marlborough College, though he was unable to complete his studies there due to bad health. An attempted collecting expedition to New Guinea was again abortive because of illness. He worked at the Liverpool Museum with Henry Ogg Forbes before visiting the Federated Malay States where he later accepted the Directorship of Museums. He was based in Selangor from 1903 to 1926, making a return visit to England in 1920. He retired from the civil service in 1926 and began preparing a comprehensive illustrated account of the birds of the Malay Peninsula. Of this work he produced the first two volumes and much of the manuscript of a third before he died in a nursing home in Oxford early in June 1929.[1] His work was eventually completed in five volumes by others.

Acknowledgement of his contributions to zoology include a species of bat, Nyctimene robinsoni, named by Oldfield Thomas when describing the specimens Robinson had obtained at Cooktown in eastern Australia.[2] Robinson is commemorated in the scientific names of two species of lizards: Malayodracon robinsonii and Tropidophorus robinsoni.[3]


  1. ^ Chisholm AH (1929). "Obituary" (PDF). Emu. 29: 158. doi:10.1071/mu929158b.
  2. ^ Thomas, Oldfield (1904). "XXVIII.—New Bats and Rodents from West Africa, the Malay Peninsula and Papuasia". The Annals and Magazine of Natural History; Zoology, Botany, and Geology. 14: 188–196. doi:10.1080/03745480409442992.
  3. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Robinson, H. C.", p. 223).


  • Additional biographical information by J.S. Fox, Family History Researcher