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Arthur Edward Walton (1897-1959) was a British biologist who was a pioneer of artificial insemination in farm animals. Towards this end, he researched animal reproductive biology; specifically, sperm physiology.


Arthur Walton was born on 16 March 1897 in London, England. He was the son of Scottish painter Edward Arthur Walton (1860-1922) and the widow Helen Urie Law (née Henderson) (1859-1945), who also painted. (Indeed, many of Arthur's relatives were involved in the arts.) Arthur was the fourth of five children.[1] He was educated in Edinburgh, first at Daniel Stewart's College[2] (a private school) and then at the University of Edinburgh, at which he mostly studied agriculture and from which he received a bachelor of science degree in 1923. He began his research into sperm physiology at Edinburgh and continued his investigations at the University of Cambridge, from which he received a Ph.D. in 1927. From 1927 to 1933, he worked with Francis Marshall and John Hammond in the University of Cambridge's School of Agriculture. From 1933 onwards, he worked at the Cambridge Animal Research Station, which he helped to administer until his death. He married Elsie Walton (?-1996); the couple adopted a son, Nicholas, and a daughter, Sally. Arthur Walton died on 6 April 1957 of a heart attack.


Prior to the development of artificial insemination, the genes of superior livestock could be shared only by transporting the adult animals from one farm to another in order to mate them with local animals. Thus the process of breeding better livestock was very slow, cumbersome, and risky. An obvious improvement to the process would be to transport not the animals themselves, but only their sperm. Arthur Walton devoted his life to realizing this improvement. Dr Arthur Walton acted a chief air raid warden for the village of Girton where he lived during the second world war 1939 to 1945


  1. ^ Edward Walton's children: stepdaughter Lilian May Law (1882-?), Cecile (1891-1956), John W. (1895-1971), Arthur Edward (1897-1959), and Elsie Marjorie (1898-1976). Source: . Scroll down 3/4 of the page.
  2. ^ Currently (2008): Stewart's Melville College.


  • John Hammond and Thaddeus Mann, Obituary: "Dr. Arthur Walton," Nature, vol. 183, no. 4678, pages 1777-1778 (27 June 1959).
  • R. M. Moor, W. D. Booth, and W. R. Allen, A History of the Cambridge Animal Research Station: 1933-1986 (Newmarket, Suffolk, England: R & W Communications, 2008), pages 37-38.