Margaret Bushby Lascelles Cockburn

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Margaret Bushby Lascelles Cockburn's grave at Kotagiri, India

Margaret Bushby Lascelles Cockburn (2 July 1829 – 26 March 1928) was an artist and amateur ornithologist who lived in the Nilgiris in India. She was born in Salem, India, and her father was the Collector of the District, M. D. Cockburn. The family initially visited Kotagiri in summer but settled permanently around 1855 at "Hope Park". Cockburn experimented on tea planting at Alports Estate and made numerous observations on local natural history and many of these were reported in the works of Allan Octavian Hume.[1][1] She also made paintings of local birds and flora. The Natural History Museum, London, produced a diary in 2002 with illustrations made by her of the fauna and flora of the Kotagiri region.[2] A collection of butterflies was also bequeathed to the Natural History Museum.

She set up the first school for Badagas and contributed towards the construction of a church at Kotagiri in 1867 which was later taken over by the Basel Mission.[3] A subspecies of Anthus similis from the Nilgiri region was named after her, but this is no longer considered valid.[4]


  1. ^ a b Hume, Allan Octavian; Eugene William Oates (4 April 1889). "The nests and eggs of Indian birds". London: R. H. Porter – via Internet Archive.
  2. ^ "The Natural History Museum Diary 2002 (June 2001 edition)". Open Library.
  3. ^ Francis, W. The Nilgiris Madras District Gazetteers, p. 127.
  4. ^ Oates, E. W. (1890). The Fauna of British India. Birds. Volume 2. London: Taylor and Francis. p. 305.

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