The Kings Candlesticks - Family Trees
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Very Rev Charles Peter LAYARD DD FRS [19201]
Elizabeth WARD [19202]
Nathaniel AUSTEN of Ramsgate [27140]
Henry Peter John LAYARD [27112]
Marianne AUSTEN [27139]

Edgar Leopold LAYARD CMG [27183]


Family Links

1. Barbara Anne CALTHROP [27184]

2. Jane Catherine BLACKALL [27186]

Edgar Leopold LAYARD CMG [27183]

  • Born: 23 Jul 1824, Berti Palace Florence Italy
  • Marriage (1): Barbara Anne CALTHROP [27184] on 18 Oct 1845 in Isleham CAM
  • Marriage (2): Jane Catherine BLACKALL [27186] on 24 Nov 1887 in St John Darlinghurst Sydney Aust
  • Died: 1 Jan 1900, Otterbourne Budleigh Salterton DEV aged 75
  • Crem.: Ashes in Vault St Peter/Paul Church Gosberton LIN

bullet  General Notes:

Edgar Leopold Layard CMG FZS MBOU, (23 July 1824 - 1 January 1900)
Was a British diplomat and a naturalist mainly interested in ornithology and to a lesser extent the molluscs. He worked for a significant part of his life in Ceylon and later in South Africa, Fiji and New Caledonia. He studied the zoology of these places and established natural history museums in Sri Lanka and South Africa. Several species of animals are named after him.
Born in the Berti Palace, Florence, Italy, to an English family of Huguenot descent, Layard was the youngest of seven sons (two of the earlier siblings died in infancy) of Henry Peter John Layard of the Ceylon Civil Service (the son of Charles Peter Layard, dean of Bristol, and grandson of Daniel Peter Layard the physician) with his wife Marianne, a daughter of Nathaniel Austen, banker, of Ramsgate. Through her, he was partly of Spanish descent. His uncle was Benjamin Austen, a London solicitor and close friend of Benjamin Disraeli in the 1820s and 1830s. His oldest brother was the archaeologist and politician Sir Austen Henry Layard. Layard attributed his early interest in natural history to the lack of siblings close to his age. Lacking playmates, he spent time making collections of shells and butterflies. His interests were not approved of by his father who approved only of literary tastes. When he was ten years old the family returned from Italy to England in Surrey. Layard's father died soon after and his mother moved with the children to her parental home in Ramsgate. Here Layard met a taxidermist and naturalist Mr.Thompson (Layard describes his as "of the "Elnis" and mentions that he was sometime Mayor of Ramsgate) and learnt to skin and mount birds. After going to school at Richmond he moved to Wheaton Aston and then to Cambridge. He was to join the clergy but influenced by Leonard Jenyns and Col. Babbington, he felt attracted to zoology. He also met a woman with a taste for zoology who he would later marry. Layard chose to go to Canada but found it too cold and returned after 18 months. Now 21 he heard from a cousin of a vacancy in Ceylon for someone with mechanical skills to work on machinery in a coffee estate. He married Barbara Anne, daughter of Reverend John Calthrop on 18 October 1848 and travelled to Ceylon with his wife, now skilled in art, so as to assist him in his zoological studies. Reaching Ceylon he fell ill and was attended to by Dr. Robert Templeton (1802 - 1892). Noticing the butterfly nets, the two became close friends who pursued the study of lepidoptera. Templeton also influenced Sir J.E. Tennent to find Layard an appointment. Layard was appointed a Custom House officer at Balliganbay. A correspondence with Edward Blyth changed his focus from botany to zoology and birds. Blyth sent him a list of all 182 of the known birds from Ceylon and sought specimens of poorly-known species. Layard valued his correspondence with Blyth greatly and was saddened by his death: This was the beginning of a correspondence continued monthly for years, & of the pleasure & profit it was to me, I can give no idea. I used carefully to bind up his letters as they came, & I often now, when I see them, think with a sad heart of the bright intelligence and vast ornithological knowledge that sank with him, in shadows, in the grave.
Layard spent ten years in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), where he studied the local fauna with Robert Templeton. He was forced to leave Ceylon by his and his wife's poor health. Most of their children died in infancy. Before leaving Ceylon, Layard's collection resulted in the number of species going from 182 to 318 species. On one occasion, he was able to use his natural history skills while settling a land dispute in Ceylon between two neighbouring farmers. He settled the disputed position of a filled up drain by digging them up and noticing the remains of a species of mollusc, which was later named after him as Tortulosa layardi (Pfeiffer 1851), along the true drain path. His collections were sent off to England and amounted to 9 tons.
In 1854, he went to the Cape Colony as a civil servant working in the service of the governor George Edward Grey (1812 -1898). In addition, from 1855 Layard also took on a spare time position as curator of the South African Museum, and carried out extensive improvements at his own expense as well as building up the museum's collection and exhibits. In December 1855 Charles Darwin wrote to Layard with a description of his research investigating "the variation & origin of species", and requested assistance in obtaining specimens of domesticated animals and birds, particularly pigeons. Layard wrote back, and in June Darwin thanked him cordially for his "very valuable letter". In an expedition from October 1856 to March 1857, Layard visited Mauritius, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Madagascar, and ports on the southern coast of South Africa. In 1865 Layard found a whale which became known as the strap-toothed whale or the Layard's beaked whale, and was formally named Mesoplodon layardii. His work at the Mixed Commission ended when it was abolished in 1870, and Layard then had to return to Britain. He was succeeded at the museum by Roland Trimen. Subsequently, Layard had posts in Brazil, where he collected birds for Arthur Hay (1824 -1878).
Edgar Layard administered the government of Fiji from 1874 to 1875 and was honorary British Consul at Noumea, New Caledonia from 1876. Layard was appointed as an arbitrator to the British and Portuguese Commission at the Cape of Good Hope in 1862. Edgar Layard and his son, Edgar Leopold Calthrop Layard (referred to in the literature as either E.L.C. Layard or Leopold Layard to differentiate him from his father), were active collectors in this region, mainly of bird specimens. Between 1870 and 1881, they visited Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, New Britain and Norfolk Island. Aside from the South African material, the bird collections they made from their 'home base' of New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands are the most scientifically important. The Layards sent material to William Sharp MacLeay in Sydney, but also to many other ornithologists. Their specimens have become very scattered. Many went to the British Museum in London. Others went to Henry Baker Tristram, and are now in the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside in Liverpool, England.
In 1867, Layard published The Birds of South Africa, where he described 702 species. This work was later updated by Richard Bowdler Sharpe (1847 -1909).
Layard wrote in his biographical notes:
I don't profess to be a scientific naturalist, I have never been rich enough to purchase the books required for the study, and my life has been spent in countries where no museums existed, save those I myself established. In Ceylon I founded a museum in connection with the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Calcutta, what became of it I do not know, after my connection with the island was severed. At the Cape, the Museum also of my founding still flourishes. All I lay claim to is a certain knowledge of the life history of the Birds of the countries I have inhabited. I have followed them assiduously with their nature haunts, and watched them as closely as I could, and what I have seen I have recorded.
Layard's first wife, Barbara Anne Calthrop (died 1886), whom he married in 1845, is commemorated in the specific epithet of Layard's parakeet (Psittacula calthropae) and he named the brown-breasted flycatcher (Muscicapa muttui) after his Tamil cook, Muttu who he considered as his "fidus Achates" or faithful follower. Only one son survived from the first marriage Edgar Leopold Calthorp Layard (born 21 Sep 1848). Layard married Jane Catherine Blackhall, daughter of General Robert Blackhall, in 1887.
Layard died in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, England on 1 January 1900.
Several species are named after Layard including Layard's tit-babbler (Sylvia layardi) and the squirrel, Funambulus layardi. A species of lizard endemic to Sri Lanka, Nessia layardi (originally placed in the genus Acontias) was named after him by Edward Frederick Kelaart.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia site.

You ask me for my autobiography! Well you shall have what I remember of it and some letters that I have gathered from "tradition". To put the last first then. I was born in the Berti Palace in Florence on the 23rd of July 1824, the youngest of my father's seven sons; the eldest of whom is Sir Henry Austin Layard, the late ambassadeur to Turkey. The two next before me died in their infancy so there was a pretty large gap of five years, between me and my next brother. This appears to me to account for my early bias to Natural History. I was too young to join in the games and sports of my elder brothers, so was relegated to my own wits for amusement, which I soon found in the collection of butterflies and shells. How well I remember the hoards of the latter I accumulated in my walks with my faithfully old nurse and her device \emdash not discovered for a long time\emdash to keep my [still] within compass. I had a collecting basket with a handle in the middle, on each side of which was a flap; as I introduced a fine example of Helix aspersa or H .muralis by one flap, she extracted a ditto by the other! The clausilias I was allowed to keep! They were not so shiny as the others, and did not leave shining tracksall over the nursery walls! My father, one of the old school, was a literary man, and cared nothing for natural science (in its infancy)!! Many a rating and many a spanking I have got for my "low tastes" as he called them, and for filling the house with "creeping things innumerable". How little the good man thought he was trying to quench what has proved the greatest happiness of my life, my love of nature in her own wilds!
I must have been very young between five and six I fancy, when I met with my first "adventure with wild beasts". We were travelling from Italy \emdash where my family resided for many years \emdash to England, and halted some time at Interlacken in Switzerland. I was hunting an old wall for what I now think must have been the most lovely blue eggs of the Hedge-Sparrow, and on thrusting my hand [and] area, as far as that small member would reach, into a hole, out of which I had seen a bird flutter, out came a large snake who had probably gone in for the same purpose as my hand. My faithful old nurse could not stand that, and with a yell she bolted, but recovering her presence of mind returned to find her young charge had seized the "monster" by the neck and was holding on tight while the reptile wound itself round his head and body \emdash a miniature Laocoön in fact! Her cries brought to the rescue some country men at work in the field, and I was deprived of my prize, I think, well "spanked" into the bargain, for giving my old nurse such a fright, and warned off old walls! I might have caused the dear old souls death, as she was a martyr to a heart complaint.That was my first introduction to the reptiles! As for birds! How well I remember my first "stuffed bird". My brothers had clubbed their pocket money together and bought a small hunting owl, with his little stand covered with a red cloth, bundle of limed twigs, and all complete. This little fellow was kept in a spacious closet off the nursery and taken out hunting as required. I can recollect the "bitter too too awful" stink of that cupboard, arising from the remains of his of a faithful domestic, a Belgian, whom my father had picked up somewhere after Waterloo, with a bullet in his head or through it, I am not sure which, but my belief to this day is that he had a great portion of his skull replaced by a silver plate. If he had not, I shall still believe it, so it don't matter to dispute it. He was out of a class \emdash old nurse being another \emdash of servants now nearly, if not quite, extinct. He and she were faithful living, friends, not domestics. Our interests were their interests \emdash our joys their joys \emdash our sorrows their sorrows. They both lived many, many years with us, and died our pensioners. All honour to their memories. Old Pachôt on one of these hunting expeditions, brought home a wonderful bird! Never had mine eyes seen anything half so heavenly! I gazed entranced! Those blues and greens. How [ ] it I never knew, but after long years deep thought, I have come to the conclusion it was a "Roller"!But the question arose \emdash how was it to be kept? Pachôt said he would skin it, and eventually produced a wonderful ["Guy"], which I then thought the perfection of art and skill. The chief ingredient in the preservative, [ ] as pepper! for it set old nurse and the maid girls off sneezing to such an extent, that the [ ] specimen was consigned to a drawer only to be looked at on "grand occasions" \emdash one of these soon came or was manufactured, and on tiptoe of expectation I adjourned to the drawer. And when the drawer was opened the bird began to say" \emdash Alas! no such luck! Our old friends taxidermy was not equal to his good intentions! A mass of disintegrated feathers met our view, among which lay the more solid skull. 'And the worms they crawled in And the worms they crawled out,and they sported his eyes and his temples about!'Sic transit gloria Rolli! behold the end of my stuffed bird.
How well I remember chasing the glorious Papilios Machaon and Podalirius, the glowing "Sulphurs" and somber "Browns" at Perfola and Myteliano, country seat of my old friend the Marchesa Manchini, at the foot of Cortona, the ancient [ where many of my happiest childhood hours were spent, and where they were nearly ended! The latter in this wise. We had just arrived from Rome, not by "Rail" in those days, over 50 years ago, but in our own travelling carriage, a light one for my parents and a lumbering Vettorino for us children and servants. One of my brothers \emdash who now sleeps in the Crimea \emdash and I adjourned to the garden, where in were several fish-ponds of considerable depth. In one of them floated sundry empty wine casks. We began to shove these about with some long rakes that lay handy and not being up in Dynamics, or hydrostatics, in those days, I pushed with zeal untempered with knowledge, with the result that my barrel suddenly moved off from the side of the pond, leaving a vacant space of water, into which I plunged headlong! The catastrophe was witnessed from the top of my fathers carriage by old Pachôt, who was unlacing the "Imperial", the lumbering, huge flat box that in those days covered the whole of the carriage top, Pachtôt to the rescue! I was fished out with a rake, my dripping garments stript off my shivering person, and being thus unprotected by the vestment known as "anti-spankiness", was well "spanked" to restore warmth and administer consolation, and shoved into bed, under heaped up blankets, there to remain until fires were lit and a warm bath substituted for my involuntary cold one.
My next reminiscences come to me "When I was a school-boy aged ten" When we had left Italy and settled finally in England. The change, I believe, killed my poor father he could not stand the climate. I was at school with two of my brothers at Richmond in Surrey.My "low tastes" had clung to and grown with me. At Aylesbury, when home for the holidays, I had learned under old Pachtôt, to shoot larks, and sparrows, but my love had been given to Butterflies and I collected assiduously. The next time I came home, my mother had removed to [Ramsgate], her native place, and lived with her aged mother. Here I fell in with a first-rate Field Naturalist and Taxidermist, my dear old friend Mr.Thompson of the "Elnis" long since, "gone behind the Veil". I believe the site, even, of his beautiful house and grounds is all now lose under "Streets and Rows and Terraces".He had a room in his house fitted up as a museum, and here everything was the work of his own hands. Every bird and beast was killed and stuffed by him, from the lordly Eagle to the tiny shrew \emdash [ ] every butterfly, moth, beetle, shell etc., had and set out by himself. This aquaintance set fast the color of my life. My kind friend shewed me the haunts of the rare butterflies and moths, and actually drove me over to Richborough Castle that I might catch the then, to me, [ ] Aporia crataji, or "black veined white", with my own net. Ah! was not that day to be remembers, thou' it occurred so long ago" in the merry day! \emdash the merry days! When we were young". But I was now to take higher flight. I wanted to imitate his life-like birds! Would he teach me? Yes he would, and I was soon initiated into the art of skinning. I remember my first attempt. It was on a black Scoter duck, which he shot, and gave over to my tender mercies. Under his guidance I skinned it \emdash and proceeded to make it up into a skin, when he was called out to do some business \emdash he was Mayor of Ramsgate, I think, at the time. "How much cotton shall I put into the neck sir?" I asked as he went away \emdash "Oh! fill it" was his answer, and fill it I did! At first it seemed as if it had no end, it took in such a lot of cotton! but I rammed away, and by the time he came back I had effected a wonderful transmutation! I had changed, at least so he vowed, pointing to the elongated neck \emdash a black scoter into a black swan! The merciless chaffing I got over my poor duck, has never been forgotten, and many times and oft, when I am filling up a neck, does my dear old long-lost friends merry face, with the humorous twinkle of the eye, rise to my rememberance.
From my school at Richmond I followed my [ ] to his living in Staffordshire [Lapley] near Wheaton Aston, or "Wicked Aston" as it was called, tradition says because on Sunday, while waiting for church time, the parishioners of the latter place, sold the parish bible and prayer book to some strolling [ ] to allow they had them with them! At Lapley I had much scope for my favourite pursuit and accumulated quite a respectable collection of English lepidoptera and a few birds. My next move was to Cambridge, whither my Mother and I removed together, my Brothers having all started in life. I was destined for the church, but being to young to enter college was set to read with a private tutor. Here I formed the acquaintance of the Revd. L. Jenyns of [ ], Col. Babbinton and others. I obtained some "Kudos" among the big-wigs of Science by exhibiting a grand 'Camberwell beauty' "Vanessa antigua", captured close to Cambridge by one who afterwards became my brother-in-law. The kind encouragement of these veterans in science; helped me very much in my love for it. But my zoological ponderings began to alienate me, much to the horror of my dear mother,from the doctrines I learnt at her knee.about creation, the deity, the sun standing still etc and I found the church would not do for me. Meanwhile I had come across a young lady who had a great taste for zoology! but we were so young that though we knew our own minds, we felt that we should not persuade others that we did so! and for some time it was simply an exchange of insects, by the carriers card, in a nice little Cork-lined box, but under the covering paper was generally found a few slips of other paper sadly perforated with pins it is true, but not the less dear and precious to those who knew where to look for them! at last we determined that we would face the probable storm, and then found that loving welcomes came from both "Heads of Families"!It was not "a plague on both your Houses".I elected to go to Canada, thinking I might the sooner make a home for my darling in a new country. I could turn my hand to anything. I had picked up a knowledge of all sorts of trades, carpentry, turning, Smith's work, surveying, everything in fact but Latin and Greek, to which W. Garnous, of Sydney [ ], Col. Babbinton and others. I obtained I never took kindly. I could plough and I could reap, and was a dead shot with gun, on rifle and another in the fish way. I thought I was but one for a settler, but "man proposes" and I could not stand the cold, and after 18 months I had to come back, wiser than I went, but no nearer my matrimony!
At this juncture a cousin wrote from Ceylon saying he had heard of my mechanical [turn] and offered me employment in a coffee estate, to develop the water power etc.I was now just turned twenty one and my love had been faithful already three years! So said my dear mother, "Marry and go" \emdash and so I did. My loving young wife had taught herself drawing and painting that she might help me in my zoological pursuits, and few have experienced the exquisite delight that we two young people did, in making acquaintance with Tropical scenery and animal life. My wife had a fair general knowledge of Botany which added to our jest. Here again \emdash "the best laid schemes of mice and men \emdash went all astray". My cousin had been pulled down through the failure of a mercantile firm in London, and all my little fortune, went with him! I found myself beginning life, with a wife, and seventeen pounds sterling. The wife, I know, would never spend a sixpence unnecessarily, and I may as well say at once, that in all our poverty and straits, I have, thanks to her, never owed a sixpence that I could not pay on demand.I was shortly after landing seized with a terrible illness, and Doctor Templeton of the Artillery, who attended my relatives in Ceylon came to me. He quickly spied out our butterfly nets, and cross-questioning my little wife, wormed out of her our history and pursuits. From that moment he was the "one that sticketh closer than a brother". Not a fee would he ever take from me, he interested Sir J.E. Tennent \emdash then colonial secretary, and "a man of mickle might" in the colony \emdash in my favor. Through him, on my recovery, I got my first appointment in the Colonial Service. I was appointed Custom House officer at Balliganbay, a lovely spot, since rendered famous in zoological annals.
On my way to "kiss hands" for my appointment, I fell in with Judge T "where are you going, young Layard" said he "To thank Mr S for my appointment" (S was Head of the Customs) It was £100 per annum and I was glad to get my foot on the ladder. "Well" said the Judge "I was sworn in one of the [ ] judges this morning, I have been looking for you to offer you the appointment of "Private Secretary". Dr Templeton told me of your cash, and he wants to keep you in town, to help him in his zoological pursuits and the berth is £80 better than the other, and a sure step to a magistracy if you will read for the Bar. I will help you in your studies, and as I have met you several times, I know what you can do. If you will take the berth I will advance you a couple of months pay out of my own pocket to start you with a horse and trap, you can repay me at your leisure". It is needless to say I accepted this kind offer and my young wife and I started house-keeping on our own account, as up to that moment we had been kindly taken in by a cousin.We led a very happy life. In the early morning, from half past four or five till eight o'clock we scoured the cinnamon gardens" on which our premises abutted in search of Lepidoptera, and their larvae. These latter my wife tended, and figured while I was at my work during the day. At night we played and sang, as we had brought her piano with us and she played well. We could not keep up much society, we could not afford it; but we had a few staunch friends. We early resolved never to buy anything we could not pay for on the spot, our furniture was therefore of the plainest and scantiest, and this reminds me of an amusing episode. Two ladies were discussing us. Says Mrs A, "They belong to the Layard family do they not?" "Oh yes! "replied Mrs B. "I hear they are the Elder branch". "He is the Mister Layard of Ceylon". "Oh really! shall you call?" "Oh dear no! (with emphasis); why they have only common packwood furniture!!!" The want of such society did not much trouble us. Another grand lady called not to see us, but to see our collection of butterflies, the fame of which began to be noised about. She was very condescending "Now really they are very beautiful! I have collected all the time I have been here, we have not a tenth part of what you have. Did you young people really catch them all yourselves?" We assured her we had done so in our morning and evening walks "Walks?" she exclaimed "Walk? do you walk?I never do, I have a carriage!" ...then said my little woman \emdash you won't have a collection!" How we did tramp about! What lovely spots we found. We knew every path and track through the cinnamon jungle and named them according to the insects we caught there. On Sphinx road" we have seen thousands of Sphingidae of an evening. At "Thecla corner" we could always be sure if seeing, if not catching, the glorious blue Thecla hercules and parada, giants of their families, and great prizes to us, accustomed only to the little-"blues and Hairstreaks" of England. What long walks did we take to secure the food plant of some favourite caterpillar we were nursing, and whose transformations my "better-half" was drawing and painting, and what a delight it was to watch the Butterfly or moth emerge from its pupa,and then the lovely perfect specimen we secured [ ]. I remember the first huge [ ] that we successfuly reared. We fed the great fat green caterpillars on cinnamon and cajea leaves and when they finally wove their massive cocoons we saw that the breeding cages lent us by our dear old friend Dr Templeton would be to small for the expansion of the perfect insects wings. A "happy thought" came into the wife's head. She pinned up the large cocoons inside our big mosquito net!How Templeton laughed and chaffed us with fly allusions to "professional services", that sent one of us flying from the room! Thank heaven there was no need for them for over three years. We had "no encumbrances", and when circuit time came, we got a friend to take our furniture, gave up our house, packed ourselves, with gun, Butterfly net, collecting box for shells, and ditto for caterpillars, into our little buggy, and off we went round the south coast to Galle, stopping at the circuit towns on the way.What glorious fun it was! and with what delight did we drink in the beauties of nature, so bountifully spread around us. How different our life and [ ] were to those with whom our lot was cast, may be gathered from the following anecdotes.
One morning we pushed our way through some tangled bushes on to the high road, just as a friend was passing in his buggy. My wife was carrying a huge mass of the Pitcher plant (Nepenethes). She usually did the carrying, to allow me more scope for running. Seeing the grand "pitchers" our friend drew rein \emdash "What on earth have you two got now?" he exclaimed \emdash "you are the oddest couple I know always turning up in the most unexpected places and generally with some unheard of plant, or butterfly or something! What is that queer thing you have got now". We assured him it was nothing out of the way \emdash a "Pitcher Plant". "But did you get it here?" I don't know it and I have lived all my life! We told him, with a smile that there were acres of it in the swamp at the back of his father's house wherein he was born!!Another time my wife was driving with a cousin who remarked, as they passed along a road through the cinnamon gardens, \emdash "Ah! the cinnamon is in flower. Again, look at the beautiful white star\emdash shaped flower". My wife assured her that was not the flower of the cinnamon, but of a common creeper, that infected the gardens and climbed over the bushes. "Oh,come" was the reply \emdash "that won't do! \emdash you young folks don't know everything, and you can't teach me who have been here all my life! "Please stop your carriage a moment" \emdash said the wife, and she soon returned from a dash into the bush bearing a long trail of the creeper with the star\emdash shaped blossoms, and a branch of cinnamon with its tiny greenish yellow flowerets. "Oh! I never thought of gathering them" said our friend!Oh the delight and fun of our journeys in circuit the [ ]we were put to the adventures we encountered. What did we care for roughing it! We were young strong full of hope, life and love! "None could be, blithe as we On the merry days when we were young Then youths say and fancy free O'er life is glowing here The hearts own light, shone more bright In the merry days when we were young.Alas! after battling with the world for forty years, side by side, we can now realize the truth of the last words of the sad old say."Those happy hours are fled, Like leaves from roses dead;Their perfume hangs o'er the Tomb,Of the merry days when we were young" \emdash Yes! thank God the "perfume brings not bitter remembrance. We often recall with laughter, mingled with tears of sweet regret, some of our "adventures" of our first sight of a troup of monkeys at Caltura. How they ran along a pliant bough, using it as a spring board to launch themselves across the ravine. How one little fellow missed his aim and toppled over yelling and shreiking into the leafy bed below \emdash How we there saw our first "golden oriole" flash across our eyes \emdash How a leopard sprang into the verandah as "Apoo" was shutting up the shutters of our little temporary residence in the jungle, and while he held one shutter the wife held the other and I ran for my gun. The brute cameafter our [ ]cat, which took refuge on the roof and would not come down for three days. I can picture to myself the very spot where I shot my first "Cabragoqa", a huge aquatic lizard. I thought it was a crocodile! as I fired from the buggy, while my wife held the reins. I had just shot a huge cobra, that lay extended half across the road! My gun was always by my side in the buggy, the butterfly-net in the wife's side, and then our delight at capturing the first climbing [finch] "Anabas scanderis" deliberately walking along the dusty road and then watching him climb up the sides of the paddy \emdash [porunda], into which we put him, on arrival at the Nest House, not however until he had picked our fingers till they ran with blood! For two years we went the Southern circuit, and then came separation. I had to go the Northern one, where my wife could not accompany me, not that she feared the wild jungles of the west coast, but the expense of the Palanguim travelling was too great. Mine was of course paid, like the judges and government. But what a delight that first journey was, and what "journals", in the way of letters, did I write describing all the new butterflies, shells, birds etc. I met with. I should state that I had changed my Judge. I found I had been using a "warming pan" for Judge T's brother, and when he came out I was expected to resign. This I did, but I had made friends. The Senior [Prison] Judge sent for me. He was a canny Scot from Glasgow. "Eh lad!" said the kind old man "I hear Brother T has na treated ye quite fairly, but dinna ye be down hearted! Luck's wi ye! My Secretary has just been promoted to a magistracy and I am very glad to offer ye his place. I've often noticed your suggestions, and I see ye are profitting by your legal studies \emdash you'll no [ ]" My dear old friend often got scotch in his talk when he [ ] the judge in his kind heart and so I travelled north with the judge.
I can't say I troubled my Palanquia-bearers much, except before day-light. I generally trudged ahead of the long line of coolies, our two palkies and Judge S's horse, collecting, as I went along. The Judge studied his cases in his palki; for he was most painstaking and, of an evening, at dinner, for he almost always made me dine with him, he made me tell him all about my captures and what I had observed during the day. He became much interested in my doings with the following result. The Northern circuit with its long wearisome Palki work, its heat and discomforts was dreaded by the judges. Fancy then the astonishment of the others, when my Judge, when arrangements were being made for the judicial circuits, volunteered to again out of his turn, take the Jaffna circuit! "Why brother S" exclaimed the chief,my kind old friend Sir A.O." \emdash you have only just come back from it! Your turn won't come for two years yet!" "True." \emdash responded Brother S, \emdash "but you see, I have had so much pleasure with my young secretary yonder, \emdash who has shewn me such wonderful plants, and insects and birds and opened my eyes to so many new things that I never dreamt of before, that if you, and Brother T, don't object, I'll just be going again". "Going again" we did! This time I rode my own horse, with a view of saving part of the allowance made to the secretary for coolie \emdash hire. On my return, I applied to the treasurer (a cousin) for my allowance. He refused to give it on the plea that I had not expended it. I told him it did not matter how I got to Jaffna, so as I got there, and I was entitled to the allowance. He still refused so I "took" my bill and sat down quickly and wrote To E.G. Layard "For horse hire so many days and so much" far more than the coolie allowance came too!! "Billy G" in a fit took off the Bill to the Col. Sec. Sir J.E.T. \emdash "See" said he \emdash the impudence of my young cousin!" My good kind friend laughed very heartily \emdash "Pay him his coolie allowance", he said \emdash "I know he has undergone the fatigue to save a few pounds, he has such a horror of debt!".I got my money and well it was I did, for on my return home from circuit was met with a surprise and a confession! My darling told me she wanted to go into Town to buy "some soft materials to make up into little garments", so I was to assume the honored title of "Father"!!My cousin had saved a few pounds out of the wreck of my first little fortune, and I left it in his hands. We resolved to go into town and draw upon this little store that we have [ ] kept for a "rainy day". This was however a "sunny day", but we found we must draw, nevertheless. We drove in and found HL walking up and down his veranda. I told him my joyful news, and that I wanted a few pounds to buy baby linen. Can you picture my consternation when he said "It has pleased the Lord to afflict me, Edgar, I am a bankrupt! I stopped payment then morning, and you much come in with the other creditors, your money is second on some land I have, but it will be long ere you can realize \emdash not till my estate is wound up"!!! So a second time I had lost my all! I staggered back to my Buggy, and broke the news to my wife. It was a heavy blow, but she bravely met it. "I know what I will do said she, thro' her tears. "Mrs.--- admires the beautiful lace that was given to me on our Wedding day. I will ask her to buy it. She knows its value" \emdash so the Wedding lace furnished the baby's basinet! and we never owed a sixpence to anyone.I once went the day after an auction sale, to pay for a trifling lot of furniture, I bought. The auctioneer put me off. I insisted on paying, and did so, letting him know? I made a point of paying at once. As he handed me the receipt he said "If you will persuade my debtors to pay me as rapidly as you have done I will give you a couple of thousand pounds". He failed about a month after with £7000 of bad debts!! It was however hard work at times! of course the coming baby increased our expenses, and one day my kind friend Dr. Templeton came in and found us pondering our "ways and means". "Faith now", said he letting out his Irish brogue as he often did when fully facetious \emdash "What makes you young folks so down in the mouth? We are three days from "pay-day" (the end of the month) and the [Byoherqui] is empty!! "Showing her empty purse, Oh! bedad now! but that's serious", \emdash said he feeling in his pockets, and finally capturing four sixpenny bits, in some remote corner \emdash "Theres one m'son I have for cigars, & must keep \emdash my dinner I get at the mess \emdash (he was in the Artillery) "& the three others you re welcome to. "Thank you heartily Doctor, we will live on them for the next three days," & so we did and I rather think my old friend went without cigars for the next three days, unless he "cadged them"!! Aye! Youth is the time to form friendships, when one is in sight of the "three score years", friendships are not made then. But the time had come when I must lose my firm friend and ally. Templeton was ordered home \emdash he left me his insect boxes, & collecting materials, but above all he left me a letter to answer, which had a material effect on my future. This letter was from Blyth, the curator of the Calcutta museum, asking for information on and, if possible, skins of certain Ceylon birds. Now tho' passionately fond of the gun, I could not afford to use it much, so I plainly told him, when I sent him the information required. I chiefly used it to supplement the pot & could not waste powder & shot on small birds. His reply came by return mail. He was delighted to welcome a new correspondent, who evidently had been a close observer of birds, he urged me to follow the study of ornithology, & supply him with birds, He valued the birds he wanted at so much and he sent me a•note for that amount, & a little over, begging me to expend the same on ammunition, to procure for him the birds he wanted, & any other species I could obtain. He sent also a list of all the known species from Ceylon, 182 in number, with a lot of small paintings of rare or doubtful species, descriptions of others, & a vast amount of information. This was the beginning of a correspondence continued monthly for years, & of the pleasure & profit it was to me, I can give no idea. I used carefully to bind up his letters as they came, & I often now, when I see them, think with a sad heart of the bright intelligence and vast ornithological knowlege that sank with him, in shadows, in the grave. After that letter I devoted myself more & more to ornithology. My Wifes time was of course much taken up with "the Baby" my eldest son, Leopold, who of all our seven children has about survived, to help me in my favourite pursuits, & nursing and delineation of caterpillers, gave way to other nursing! -------on my last journey to Jaffna (the northern circuit) I had acquired my favourite weapon "Long Tom" now so well known in the collecting world. This little gun .360 in the bore, & 3 feet 8 inches long in the barrel, was one of a pair sent out to the design of a [Giutteman] at Jaffna by name of Napsil Burleigh, who had a great love for ornithology (he too like many others of those I held dear, has gone 'behind the veil') not wanting both, he had parted with one to a lawyer, who took a temporary fancy to it, from him he bought it back for me for £4. All my other guns had been stolen from me by the rascally natives \emdash my own servants (would that the barrels would have burst in their hands, & shatter them!) just before the circuit commenced.With this wonderful little weapon I soon repaid Blyth his outlay, & ere I left Ceylon had brought up the list of known species from 182 to 318!! Every bird enumerated with the exception of some half a dozen (if so many) got by Dr. Kelaart, fell to my own shot, & was skinned, & preserved by me. Every one was sent to Blyth, and the types were retained in the Calcutta Museum, often his description of them. The others (duplicate) returned to me passed into the possession of a cousin of the present Lord Wimborne, but have perished by exposure.
I had many happy hours over these birds, whenever we drove out for our evening's airing "Long Tom" was so snugly nestled at my side, as my Baby was on its mother's knee. If I jumped out to get a shot at some coveted bird, old "Baba" my pet horse, took charge of mother and child \emdash he would come to my call 'ha a mile away, along the road, and if anyone had annoyed them my bull terrier 'hero' would have had him by the throat in no time. At night when "Baby" was snug in bed, my wife would play our best songs, while I sat by, at a little table, I had for the purpose, and skinned and sang! We were still poor in worldly circumstances but rich in ourselves \emdash in love of our pursuits, and of each other, and our little one. A change however was to come. A vacancy occurred at Point Pedro, at the entrance north of the Island, near Jaffna. Many who had become acquainted with me on circuit urged me to apply for the Berth, that of Magistrate. Judge S, tho' loudly lamenting that he should lose me, gave me a warm letter of recommendation to Lord Torrington, our then Governor, and I know I should have the support of our Colonial Secretary Mr. McCarthy (afterwards Sir Charles)I boldly demanded an audience. It was granted and I asked for the Berth. "I have not heard of the vacancy" said His Excellency!! I have special information my Lord, from friends" said I, handing him my letter. "Well \emdash he laughed \emdash you know more than I do, and they seem to want you up there. You are a Barrister now are you not? Yes, my Lord, I have passed my exam, & here is a letter from Mr. Justice S ". "Better and better said His Ex, and here comes Maccarthey" \emdash The Colon. Sec. was just then announced, and came in with his hands full of papers \emdash 'Maccarthey \emdash Mr. Layard tells me Point Pedro is vacant, & he asks me for the berth" \emdash "May I join in his request your Ex here is the report for Van D's suspension for bribery, just received from the Commissioners, by the steamer. She is just in time to take the Chief Justice up there, & will start tomorrrow morning". \emdash "Well, Mr. L you shall have the berth; said his Lordship kindly, "and from all I Hear you deserve it". I thanked him and asked if I might go in the steamer (a Govt Boat) I was sure the Chief Justice would not object. "Yes I might, but could I get ready, "Oh yes! I would be up all night packing \emdash "But" said his Ex \emdash how about your debts? You must not run away from your creditors! When I have paid the milkman, your Ex, for the milk I shall take this evening and that I had this morning, I shall not owe a sou in Colombo, or elsewhere". Lord Torrington brought his hand down on the table with a sounding slap "By G----- he said "you deserve the appointment if only for that. I know you \emdash you are the poorest, & have the least pay of any of your family. I doubt if any of them & hardly any other of the Civil Service can say the same!And so after a night of hard work, I started with the kind old chief soon after daylight. I remember one piece of advice, among many others which he gave me for my conduct as a magistrate "There are three maxims" \emdash he said \emdash "I would have you observe. The first is \emdash Sit like a hen! \emdash the second is \emdash Sit like a hen!! \emdash the third is Sit like a hen!!!" I pondered a bit and the replied \emdash "I understand you Sir A and will condense all into one word \emdash "Patience". "Right you are Boy" said the chief, and I never had cause to doubt it.
At Point Pedro I was a rich man £300 per annum & house free, living was cheap. We got a big turtle for sixpence, as much or more delicious fish that we could eat for a fanain (2½). Others might have been lonely, but we had our time well filled up. I often was in court from dawn till long into the night \emdash I remembered the maxim \emdash "Sit like a hen". I sifted every case so thoroughly that the natives, who are awfully liticious dared not bring a false case before me. I never had judgment reversed tho' at first, appeals from [me] to the higher court were as "numerous as blackberries". I devoted every Saturday to examining my district, in company of my gun. The result was a vast addition to the Ceylon fauna and a thorough knowledge of my district, and people. I knew every road, footpath, field, fence and almost every man by sight. It was of no use for a [ ] witness to say he came from such a place, to such a place, in such a space of time, I had walked it and mapped it on a bit chart \emdash that I was making. witness to My knowledge of surveying was standing in good stead, and so with many other trades I had picked up! I mended my buggy when broken, and put a new hood to it. I helped to forge my own dredge, and made my youngsters their first pair of shoes.he natives, at first, could not make me out. One day when much heated, I begged some men drawing water with the well\emdash whip, and huge mat basket, to let me drink. The rim of the basket was muddy and my hands were black with powder, so I dipt my face in the sparkling water and drank \emdash 'He drinks like a dog! they exclaimed, much shocked. Another time I had taken my buggy wheels off, when unluckily a lot of head\emdash men came to pay their respects! With my hammer and files about me and my grimy hands, I don't wonder at their saying to each other, "Our magistrate is a blacksmith!" I explained to them that an English gentleman only considered a dishonest action as staining his hands, and his honour, and that I was proud to be able to use my hands, & could do so at most trades. While I was skewing them the use of certain tools, the interpreter went into the house to warn my wife the Headmen were coming to Salaam \emdash when he saw how she was employed, the staid nature quite broke down! He rushed at her, seized her netting \emdash mesh, needle, and netting out of her hands, & conceded them all behind the door \emdash "Madam, Madam" he exclaimed \emdash for God's sake don't let them see you doing [ ] that is especially the work of the lowest Fisher caste!! a lady should do nothing at all!!" She was netting me a net to fish the coral pools!! "Oh that won't suit me'she said and when the Headmen came she showed them her drawings of Fishes, Butterflies, Moths, Caterpillers, plants & played them the National Anthem and did a dozen other things to their extreme surprise. I believe a big council was held, and we were at last voted such High Caste that we knew everything!!!
My knowledge of the habits of various creatures obtained me such reverence, and at times helped me. I had a heavy land\emdash case to decide, a special matter, as our courts (Magistrates) did not touch them. I took all the evidence on both sides carefully \emdash I "sat like a hen" for days. The testimony to the boundary ditch was equal on both sides, but it was clear that one side, or the other, was "swearing very hard". It was at an extreme corner of my district, so far that at that time I had not visited, and consequently did not know it. The vast plain, covered in the wet season with a paddy, was now parched and dry. The retiring waters had filled up the ditch with mud and this caused the dispute. I told the contending parties, place on Saturday morning. On arriving I found a huge crowd evidently come to see the Magistrate bewildered. There was not a trace of a ditch, but my surveying eye detected at once a slight depression towards one spot or rather line, here I saw the dead shells of the large Ampullaria (since named after me by the way) in most abundance. I told the parties each to mark out his line with pegs, and to my delight the one I suspected of lying, drew his line on such a part of the slightly raised land, that I felt sure he was in the wrong, & merely wanted to rob his neighbour of land and watercourse. The other fellow quite fairly followed the slight depression. When all was ready I produced a live specimen of the Ampullaria from my pocket and told people I had, a witness there that would not lie. If the ditch had been, as it must have been, the last to hold water then should we find them aestivating, or laid up for the dry season.I ordered a mamotty (native spade.) to be brought and a trench to be dug along the first named line \emdash not a shell did we find! on the second being opened, they turned up by scores!! "This" said I "is the line of the ditch". A roar of delight followed my decision, and the defeated party threw himself at my feet praying for mercy \emdash "It was [ ] witnesses, to with the Headman, and meet me at the no use trying to deceive a man who 'spoke the language of the birds and beasts'. I was ["Paq"] or "uncanny" a demon in fact! Of course the living shells had followed the retreating water and finally buried themselves in the soft mud of the ditches as it dried up Another time, a woman was giving evidence which I knew must be false, but I could not catch her. A Gecko one of a pair that lived behind a beam over my head, uttered its peculiar cry. The natives are very superstitious about this reptile. "There" \emdash said the woman \emdash "the magistrate knows all the beasts say \emdash he heard the Gecko say "I was right"! "I" made a shot and said "no" on the contrary he said you were speaking false things, and that I was to fine you for perjury \emdash he shall say it again and convince you. I gently emitted the call of the female whom I could see, but she could not and the shrill note of the male again rang out in response. The woman threw her hands above her head "It is of no use" she cried, "they told me you were "Page and now I know it. I confess all \emdash I have been lying"!!
It was at Point Pedro that I first made the aquaintance of the late Prof. C.B. Adams of Amhurst Col. Cambridge and several other naturalists, thro' the agency of the American Missionaries, and commenced that system of shell exchange which I have carried on to this day.But troubles were coming on me. Children came too fast and died as they came! we had no medical help within 26 miles, and so the found was laid for a disease that for the last 22 years has made my dear wife a cripple! She who in our young days was my companion on walks and rides such as no other woman dared, was now, in her older age, to be almost confined to her chair.I had at last to send her home to England for her life and tho' I was rising in the service, and had been promoted to a good post in Colombo, I had shortly to follow her, from my own health failing. As long as I could get away to the forest, and have lots of exercise, I kept well, The confinement of an office killed me! I got a pate de foie gras in my inside but the "foie" was my own, not that of a goose (hen!) and the result was seventy five leaches on my wretched side and stomach. They were put on by a friend, who could not stop to take them off, & I was left to the tender care of a native servant. The result was I fainted, & as the leeches fell of he quietly put them into a bottle, & let me bleed from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. from all these open wounds. How the Doctor managed to patch them up, & enable me to be sent to Galle and shipped away to England, I don't know, but so it was, and my collections were sent after me, and on them I paid freight for 9 tons! I never returned to the Island I loved so much. The Doctors guaranteed my death in six months they would not guarantee my wife's life for six weeks!! "Skin for skin"! Yea all that a man hath will he give for his life"! What then would I not give up for the life gone I loved so dearly; I resigned!
Where to turn for a living was the next question. Many of my zoological friends united in a memorial to the Secretary of State, praying my transference to a colony with a milder climate, & Sir George Gray hearing of this, & having first been appointed Governor of the Cape Colony, wrote and asked me to go with him, and found a Museum there.This seemed too good to be refused and I followed him to the Cape, as soon as I could, being the bearer of Despatches, announcing the Battle of the Alina [ ? ] and the Death of Genl. Cathcart, therein, he having once been Governor of the Cape Colony.I found I had to begin life all over again! I was at length placed in the office of the Colonial Secretary, as a junior clerk, on a very small salary. We still stuck to our principles, but found our poverty hard to bear. Often we have sat in our coats, cloaks and shawls druing the winter, to avoid spending money on coals for a fire, and we heaped on clothing on the bed to save the expense of blankets! but we never ran into debt. At length the Museum fund was voted by the Parliament, and I was appointed Curator with the addition of £100 per annum to my salary. But my health was still so broken, (not being much improved by anxiety) that a kind friend Commandore Trotter, commanding in the station proposed to Sir George Grey to send me away on a cruise he was about to take to Mauritius, and this enabled me at the same time to collect all the sea fowl of the Cape Seas, for the Museum, and health for myself. Three months was thought to be the probable duration of the cruise, but dispatches found at Mauritius, sent us to Madagascar, the Comoro Islands, and all the east coast of Africa from the Line to Natal, so I was away seven months. I worked hard at collecting for the Museum, and back a large collection of birds, shells, insects etc and laid the foundation of the South African Museum with them.
But bad news awaited me on my return. My poor wife had given birth to a little dead baby girl \emdash News came of the death of my brother in the Crimea, and all seemed dark. Gradually the clouds cleared away, tho' we were still miserably poor. Years past away, the museum grew and the erection of a building suitable for it, and the fine library was dis by Sir George and myself. We induced the Parilament to vote the money and the building was commenced. We had been there nearly nine A years, when the Govenor, still Sir George Grea?y, asked me to be his Private Secretary, and my wife to come to government house to receive his guests. It was finally arranged that I was not to lose my time "in the Civil Service" but to be "detached in Special Service", and this was settled. In a few months however Sir George was ordered to New Zealand and he begged us to accompany him. My noble wife braved all the discomforts of a long journey, in the winter season, by sea in the low Southern latitudes, and after some weeks tossing on the stormy southern seas (we ran down to 42º South) we got safe to N.Zealand H.M.S. Cossack.We could not do much collecting in N.Zealand, time being rather taken up with more important matters, but if birds were scarce and hard to get, Ferns, of wondrous beauty, lay all around us, close to our hands, & so we seized on them. There was this advantage too. My wife could set them out, & press them, unaided, when I was at my desk in the office. So a collection was begun which now numbers some 2000 species! In N.Zealand we stayed several months when I received the welcome news that if I liked to apply for the position of "Arbitrator" in the Mixed Commission at the Cape, under the Slave Trade Treaties I should have it. This I owed to the kind intervention of my valued friend Professor Owen, now Sir Richard Owen. I of course at once applied to Lord John Russell, in whose gift it was, and my application was backed up by a most powerful letter from Sir George Grey. I had now to return via the Australian colonies to the Cape and found a ship sailing direct.
On arriving in Sydney, I learned that the curator of the Museum had just died, & the Premier and Governor pressed me to take the appointtment. I told them frankly that I was expecting a post in the Imperial Service and with higher pay and "anticipations" (the next step could be that of Judge and commission in £1200) but they nevertheless kept the berth open for me till I learnt from Adelaide that I was gazetted to the new appointment.The wretched vessel in which I had taken our passages kept us dangling about for over two months, following her to Melbourne & Adelaide. We met with the kindest attention from everyone, from the Governors downwards. At Adelaide, His Excellency insisted on our making his house our "pied a terre", tho' many friends carried us off to spend a week here or ten days there. I made a most delightful trip under the wing of an influential settler to Lake Alexandria, shooting Kangaroos, black Swans, etc for the Cape Museum, of which I still remained Curator. One little episode I should mention. I carried off from their burial places in the trees, the skulls of four aborigines two male & 2 female \emdash 1 pair for the Adelaide Museum, whose curator begged me to get them & a pair for that at the Cape, as the commencement of an Ethnological series. I did not know the danger I ran. I got them on the [sly] the evening before we turned our faces homewards, wrapped them up in our "swag", & strapped them on my back. We had not ridden far, when my host said "What is that strong aromatic smell, it seems to follow us" I then told him what I had done. "My heavens" he said "it was too bad of to get you to do this \emdash if the natives of that tribe scent you, they will know what you have been at \emdash rifling their dead, & they will spear you to a "certainty".We hurried on, however, & got clear away, not falling in with any natives, & I brought home my prizes in safety, but it is the last time I shall go on a "Head hunting" expedition; especially when the natives use these strong aromatic to embalm their dead.
I got a good idea of the Australian Fauna & Flora in my stay in that region, but when I reached the Cape I found myself poorer than when I started and in debt too for the first time in my life! for I had actually had been obliged in Australia to borrow £100 of one who was previously a stranger to me! I found however that my pay was to date from day of gazetting, & there was a little allowance for starting, in lieu of passage money, as I was supposed to be on the spot, so I soon repaid my loan & as the pay was £800 and the Museum £100 & a home I soon pulled up and began a "nest-egg" for my wife and child, in case of my death. My boy was in England under his uncle, my brother-in-law's care, who placed him at Eton. Death however upset all our plans for the future. My dear brother-in-law died suddenly, leaving us a nice little legacy, but to my astonishment and grief, my own family, without consulting me, withdrew my son from Eton, sent him out to the Cape, and one day to my great astonishment he walked into the house! having arrived by the mail from England.We remained eight years more at the Cape and tho' I succeeded to the Title of Judge & Commissioner, I did not succeed to the [enrolement]! a proposition had been made to abrogate the Treaties, as the Salve Trade had ceased, & finally I was instructed to wind up the office & return home.
I confess up to that time I had little to complain of I was laying by a little money, & with nothing to do at the courts, as no prizes were brought in for adjudication, I could devote all my time to the Museum. I inaugurated a system of Exchange, & my bones went about everywhere. I gradually furnished the Museum with cases & added to the gallery, for which by the way I advanced the money, out of my own pocket, & repaid myself by [increments] spread over several years; the whole allowance for the upkeep of the museum was only £300 per annum out of which I had to pay myself, the Taxidermist & the attendant!I had years before commenced to collect materials for a catalogue of the Birds of South Africa, & I now determined to print a cheap as plain and unscentific language as possible, so as to be within the comprehension of everyone, thus to become the companion of the boys of the country, & induce them to learn something of the rich Avifauna around them. Some friends urged me to make the scheme known, & ask for subscribers. This was done, & as soon as I had enough names on my list (& it was most rapidly filled up, chiefly from the Eastern Province) to pay the bare expenses, I published the book. I don't profess to be a scientific naturalist, I have Never been rich enough to purchase the books required for the study, and my life has been spent in countries where no museums existed, save those I myself established. In Ceylon I founded a museum in connection with the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Calcutta, what became of it I do not know, after my connection with the island was severed. At the Cape, the Museum also of my founding still flourishes. All I lay claim to is a certain knowledge of the life history of the Birds of the countries I have inhabited. I have followed them assiduously with their nature haunts, and watched them as closely as I could, and what I have seen I have recorded. When therefore I state in any of my writings, that I obtained such a bird, in such a place, that the colour of his eyes and legs, in life and the contents of the stomach were such and such, I can only assure my readers that such was absolutely the case. The only element of error may be in the name of the bird, but as I did not identify more than three or four "of my own bat", all the rest being named by "Experts" in England and Europe, I think the chances I must take are small.When first I arrived at the Cape and enquired for any list or accounts of S. African birds, I found none of the former existed and that the latter was scattered in various places. There were a few books of the old Authors in the Public Library \emdash Levaillant's Birds of South Africa. Dr. Andrew Smith's 'Birds' of the Expedition he commanded, and a Rare little trace The Raptores of S. Africa, evidently the commencement of a general list be.... Ends]
Ref: <>

Marriage year1845
Marriage day18
Marriage monthOct
Groom's first name(s)Edgar Leopold
Groom's last nameLAYARD
Groom's marital statusbac
Groom's agefull
Groom's occupationgent
Groom's residenceof St Marys Parish Cheltenham
Groom's father's first name(s)Henry Peter John deceased
Groom's father's occupationlate of Her Majestys Civil Service
Bride's first name(s)Barbara Anne
Bride's last nameCALTHROP
Bride's marital status sp
Bride's agefull
Bride's residenceotp
Bride's father's first name(s)John
Bride's father's occupationclerk
By licence or bannsby lic
Noteswitness 5 H G CALTHROP [ceremony by John CALTHROP]
Record setCambridgeshire Marriages

Edgar L Layard
Marriage year1887
Registration year1887
Registration districtSydney New South Wales
Spouse's namesJane C Graham
Registration number1669
Record setNew South Wales Marriages 1788-1945

Birth year1825
Death year1900
DistrictSt. Thomas
Record setEngland & Wales Deaths 1837-2007

Edgar Leopold Layard of Buttleigh Salterton Dev
Age 75
Birth year1825
Burial date01 Jan 1900
ChurchSt Peter & St Paul
Record setNational Burial Index For England & Wales
This entry in the Gosberton Register includes "Ashes after cremation in vault in church"

bullet  Research Notes:

The Dictionary of Australasian Biography
Layard, Edgar Leopold, C.M.G.,
Son of the late Henry Peter John Layard, of the Ceylon Civil Service, and younger brother of the Right Hon. Sir Austen Henry Layard, was born in 1824; went to Ceylon in 1846; was appointed secretary to the junior judge, and called to the bar. He subsequently held various positions in the public service of the colony till 1855, when he resigned, and entered the Civil Service of the Cape of Good Hope, where in 1861 he was appointed private secretary to Sir George Grey , the Governor, whom he accompanied in the same capacity to New Zealand, retaining his rank in the Cape Service. In 1862 he was appointed Arbitrator to the mixed British and Portuguese Commission at the Cape of Good Hope for suppressing the slave trade, and Arbitrator in the mixed court at the Cape of Good Hope, between Great Britain and the United States, for suppressing the African slave trade. He was promoted to be judge in 1867; appointed Consul at Para in 1871, and for Fiji and the Tonga Islands in 1873. In August of the latter year he was appointed, in conjunction with Commodore Goodenough , to investigate the proposed cession of Fiji to the British Crown, and in March 1874 they presented a report embodying the terms of cession offered by the native chiefs and approved of by the European inhabitants. These, however, proved unacceptable, and the annexation was subsequently negotiated by Sir Hercules Robinson . Mr. Layard was administrator of the government of Fiji from 1874 to 1875, and has been Consul and Lloyd's Agent in New Caledonia since 1876. He married first, in 1845, Barbara Anne, daughter of the late Rev. John Calthrop, vicar of Gosberton, who died in 1886; secondly, in 1887, Jane Catherine, daughter of the late Gen. Robert Blackett, H.E.I.C.S., and widow of James A. Graham, B.C.S. Mr. Layard was created C.M.G. in 1875.

Images and memoribilia courtesy of S Wilson - 2018


bullet  Other Records

1. Edgar Leopold Layard: Sketch of his Birth Place in Florence: Berti Palace Florence Italy.
A note on the back of the sketch of the house, by his mother Marianne reads " At my death, for Edgar Leopold Layard, this house of his birth, left by me, his mother, Marianne Layard."

The observant amongst you will have noted Casa Rucellai as the title of this sketch.
Nancy Wilson has supplied some further background. "E.L. Layard calls the residence "Berti Palace" - which was odd to me, because other sources I have found say that the family lived in the 'Palazzo Rucellai' for some years. This is confirmed both by the autobiography of Sir Henry Austen Layard, and a recent book about the Palazzo, "House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo" by Alison Levy, pgs 60 and 163. Her study from records at the Palazzo confirm the Layard family living there.
The palazzo was designed by Leon Battisti Alberti, possibly the family referred to it as " 'Berti Palace" informally. "

I do not know this as a fact, but I think "Berti" has crept in as a family nickname for the property, possibly a play on the name of the architect, and I have drawn attention to this on Edgar Leopold's file (it will not show until my next update).

2. Edgar Leopold Layard: Letter, 4 Oct 1881, Moindou New Caledonia.
Letter addressed to "Mrs Layard, British Consulate, Noumea"
Courtesy Mrs S Wilson 2018

Le Residence Moindou
Oct Tuesday 4th 1881
My darling Wife
Dr Bannister, the lover, is going to Noumea this week so I write early to take advantage of him whenever he comes to have his last kiss! I believe they have hurried the wedding so that I shall be present for instead of waiting till the middle of November it is to come off on Saturday the 29th of this month & then I accompany the "young couple" to Teremba & dine & sleep at Commandant Chaumant(?)
Soon after the steamer anchored the Govt boat came for me sent by Chaumont & took me straight to his house, he being loud in his regrets that I had not come in time for dinner to which he had invited the Dr and two other of the Chief Officers to meet me. The steamer was late owing to landing Le Conte at his place. I am to dine & sleep there on my return on the 29th & either go on to Bourail or if it can be arranged they will send me out to the steamer when she comes into the reef on Monday morning, on her return from Bourail. We have fine weather at last & it is truly glorious, the river is however so high that I cannot fish. It has flooded all mine hosts plantation & ¾ of the potatoe crop and tobacco. Coffee not much damaged. I tried the spinning spoon & minnow for half an hour last night but never got a run - the river is as yellow as the Tibur! (Tiber?) I am really already much better. I have not had one fit of coughing during the day of course the usual morning fit comes on but that is not so bad as usual. Dr Bannister wd examine my arm, & he says the snap of the sinew has caused a partial displacement of the bones, so he has strapped me up tight & I moisten the bandage with the camphorated spirits - tell Kate the Dr says the rubbing was most beneficial. I fear however I shall never really recover the full use of the arm.

Thursday 6th. The Dr comes today for the last time previous to his trip to Noumea. I have tried the fish with the fly & the spinning tackle but they won't take. I shall try them again when the water is lower. It is still high & very discoloured & more rain is falling in the hills. I don't know when we shall have really fine weather. All say they have never known such a queer season - we have caught a few fish with the arrow(?). I got one about a pound weight.
There are very few birds about, but the young men have gone into the forest today on a pighunt & promise to bring me some nice birds. Tell Leo the Leptornis has made a nice specimen & that I already have one "Brownie" but with a bad tail. I have three additional birds eggs to add to our information. Blackbird, Gerygone & Yellow-vent,& hope for more. I have a small new Balicuus. Found on leaves. The Girls & Mama are very pleased with their presents& the plum puddings are coming in for the wedding breakfast all in a blaze! My cough is nearly quite gone & does not bother me in the least, in fact I am generally in better health. I hope to have good accounts of you in your letter which you will write tomorrow - write to me on our wedding day and tell me you love me as much as you did "long long ago" I am glad I can get this letter to you by this chance & shall probably write again on Saturday if I have the time. It depends on the birds I get!
Here come the dogs from the pig-hunt. My friend "Sulaqui"now the best of the pack & two other somewhat wounded "Casar" badly - old "Pampoon" limping - all the pigs caught & caged one killed - the boys are lingering for more birds so I must shut up and get ready for them. God bless you my darling - I hope I shall come back to find you well and sound. Love to Leo - kind regards to friends - tell Kate my hand is all swollen up with the tight bandage!

Your loving hubby
E.L. Layard
(ps) 2 more Brownies just done.

Transcribed by Mrs S Wilson - 2018.

3. Edgar Leopold Layard: Letter, 12 Oct 1881, Moindou New Caledonia.
Letter addressed to "Mrs Layard, British Consulate, Noumea"
Courtesy Mrs S Wilson 2018

Wednesday 12th Oct/81

My darling Wife - I have your letter of Thursday last. Thanks for all the news it contains & especial for the good account generally of yourself. I am much amused at the story of the Marie row. It only shews me more & more how utterly unfitted the present gov[erno]r is for his position. He may be a pleasant man in private life but as Governor he is utterly unfit for the place. One part of your letter is unclear. You say MacCloud!! (it should be McLeod) has applied for a "labour licence" & that Leo has or will send his bond to Sydney & and that he (Leo) thinks old Duncan is in - I don't understand this at all. The English Authorities can't grant a labour Licence for N.Caledonia & who is "old Duncan"? & what connection has he with the affair? Non Sabbe! Well the Moindou fish will take the big fly under water. I have just brought home a nice lot but the sun must be covered or they will not run at all. I can't however yet cross the river to reach the best places & tho' I have killed a good lot of "pounders" I have not seen one as large as I saw last year,
The young men started at 3 a.m this morning for the pine forest in the central chain - they have my little gun & lots of cartridges & I hope will bring back a lot of "yellow cheeks" & other rare birds. All those they shoot today they will inject with carbolic acid. The return the day after tomorrow. One of the children has just brought in a "Brownie", killed close to the house with a stone. It is a young bird & I see the bill is not that queer livid blue till it is adult. Tell Leo. I have a prize in the birds egg line two nest of the Gerygone each with a cuckow's egg in it! As it is a small domed nest it is evident the cuckow cannot lay in it but first deposits its egg on the ground & carries it to the nest in its bill.
The flood has done much damage here the old man has lost hundreds of pumpkins & much Tobacco & beans & many young coffee trees. I console him by saying it is these floods that render his land so fertile. It has left hundreds of tons of soft mud over the land & the bid coffee bushes are splendid too much bloom in fact! All the "Womenkind" are hard at work making bridal finery & the old man is building a long room for the wedding breakfast, after which it will be used as a coffee store. I had a long hunt this morning after shells, turning over decaying logs or in the bush. I found black scorpions but no shells!! I put a butterfly I thought new into your letter to keep it. Just now when I opened the letter I found it full of red ants - they have not left much of my butterfly!!! Tell Leo I have found an orchid I think new - I will bring some down with me.

Thursday 13th. The young men sent back during the night the produce of their hunt during their journey to their destination - several pigs and [for me?] a red vented Siffleur & Megaburulus. I have made splendid specimens of them both. I write a little today again as I may have my hands full of work tomorrow & the birds will already have been shot 2 days so I must look sharp or they will spoil. But I write in much discomfort - the mosquitoes swarm! The old man says on account of his burning a place for the wedding feast. I am sitting in Para rig-pijamas over trousers - I could not bear the torment! I am jolly well otherwise - not a cough all day or night. I fear rain may fall again tomorrow as the wind has gone round to N. & clouds are gathering - so I am off to try the fishing again before the river come down in flood.

Our Wedding day! A quarter past 5 am! I don't think my bride is awake certainly not up on this glorious morning. The air is just delicious & would be most enjoyable except for these cursed mosquitoes - they are swarming. I suppose it is the wet ground - & darned - there I have made a smudge but killed mine enemy. I send letter to you as a wedding present!!! I had such a days work yesterday - 2 Notus 4 red vented "Siffleurs" 3 green doves 1 Leptornis and 1 Megalurulus. Tell Leo. The day before I had some nice fishing. I find they will take almost any large fly - I caught half a dozen with an old salmon fly of poor dear John's. Leo knows it - they however take the worm best & there are more places in which to fish in that manner. I shift from one to the other as I come to the places.
And now darling I must close as the boys are off to school and take this with them to post. I hope you are continuing well as for myself my cold is gone long ago. My darling you know I shall be glad to get back to you & wish I was with you today. The 'happy lover' will be here this evening but he will not be as happy as I was long years ago - for he will only kiss his "Ladyie-love" - I kissed my wife. My darling you have made my life very happy & tho' its evening is clouded by your sad laments - still I am thankful we have come to the sunset together & that I can give you the comforts you need. God bless you my pet - the boys have come for my letter - love to Leo - tell Kate my pillow is empty (?) ! ever your loving & affect hubby E.L.L.

Transcribed by Mrs S Wilson - 2018.

4. Edgar Leopold Layard: Letter, Saturday 29th (Oct 1881), Moindou New Caledonia.
Letter addressed to "Mrs Layard, British Consulate, Noumea"
Courtesy Mrs S Wilson 2018

Saturday 29th (Oct 1881)

My darling Wife
You will not suppose I can write much when I tell you I have tumbled into wedding festivities & you will believe that I have been received with open arms when I tell you I have been representing pater familias (who is confined to his couch with paralysis or something of the kind) beauxing (?) the Mother by Special request signing the Marriage register etc etc. Now we are in all the bustle and row of preparation for the breakfast & there is a row! Tell Leo I think I have already seen one of each 2 new birds in our 3 mile walk to church but that Mr Boyd does not know either of the birds I have brought up!! He talks confidently of 3 species of parrot & of a crow with a white ring round the eye - it was this that I think I saw this morning.
I am living with the young men in their new unfinished house so I shall be independent & cruise about as often(?) as I like. The old man and I shall get on well as he is a philosopher & does not go in for confession!!
The forest come right down to the house & the river runs within gunshot with a border of fine trees but as yet of course I have not visited it. The eldest girl was married to M. Cocq a creole ½ caste today he is a well educated man & I like him - there are 5 more sisters and 4 brothers! I have been doing a vast amount of chaff as you may well suppose. The wedding took place from M. Galley's house (our former neighbour. The Commandant at Teramba met me at the Procurcum(?) when I saw the General there. He has invited me to breakfast and drive with him in passing (?) or whenever I come in - in fact everyone is most civil. I don't want to stay a month but if I can't get one of the little gun-boats calling in to give me a lift I suppose I must. Tell Leo to look after this. The steamer returns this day month, & write of the best opportunity.
I hope you have had no return of your faintness. Write once a week I shall write over Saturday or Sunday the post leaves on Monday morning, but we are 3 miles away so I may not be able to get every letter over always. I hope you will be able to read this but I write on the window ledge all the tables and chairs being occupied & the room full of people. I keep myself up to the bride as a pattern husband for writing! I previously solemnly beseeched the young couple to pause ere it was too late & when they refused offered as counsel to put them quickly out of their pain!! So you see I am chez moi!
God bless you my darling I must leave off - hope you had my telegram last night. Tell Leo I made good friends with the pretty girl & cross old mother & the lass hoped we should sail together at the end of the high month(?)! Here comes the bride now for breakfast - thank god I am so hung on lots of milk in the morning.
God bless you again,
Your loving hubby
E.L. Layard

Transcribed by Mrs S Wilson - 2018.

5. Edgar Leopold Layard: Letter, Fri 4th Nov 1881, Moindou New Caledonia. Letter addressed to "Mrs Layard, British Consulate, Noumea"
Courtesy Mrs S Wilson 2018

Moindou, Friday 4th November 1881

My own darling

I am "At Home" all day having had a fine long tramp yesterday - so I write to you as I don't know when I may be called on tomorrow for my letter to be sent off to the post at Moindou. I have nothing much to tell you. We start out at 6 am and shoot till 10 then come home, mend [?] cartridges and breakfast any time till 12, then I skin and as yet have never had more than I can finish before dark. I am as I said before 2 months too late and the birds are far away in the great central chain where I can not get and I can't hire a "hig" to go and shoot. There ain't none left!! Jonny Boyer and his labourers killed the chief and his people all decamped - that is, those that were not killed! Tell Leo I have a pair of Megalurulus, and pair of "Brownies" -
1 Campephaya analis (killed yesterday), both the parrots are new but I am disappointed! The forest is magnificent - but empty! The course of the river is thro' grand old Erythrian [Eritrean?] trees now all out of flower - 2 months ago a blaze of red and swarming with birds! How I regret I have not my rod and a lot of small flies! The river is full of fish and lovely! How I long to wade down the ripples and throw a fly over some of the big fellows I see rise. Next year I'll come again if only for the fishing.

Tomorrow I hope to go skull hunting; next day we all go [on] a pic-nic to the "cascades" and fish with the grasshopper and spear. I expect some [free?] of course, our guns go also. The girls are to cook and hunt ferns for us. In that line I have not done much, a splendid Vittaria, 7 feet long and a new Pteris.

I have just been beating the old man at Piquette - poor old chap! He is suffering terribly with sciatica and has been bedridden for 3 months but is getting better now the warm weather is coming on. I wish I had another pack of cards to teach the girls Bezique - we sent to Moindou and Teramba in vain - none to be had! The bridegroom rode over yesterday, and both come on Sunday to join the pic-nic. I fear however that rain is gathering in the mountains. But it is cool and delicious and really cold at night.

I long to hear news of your teeth and trust the young men will bring me a letter from Moindou tonight; they have ridden over to La Foa where [?] Galley P B was killed, and that thro' coincidence. They say it was never doubted for a moment as to who shot him - Naima laid [in] wait for him to end the war as he thought by killing the chief. You recollect [?]'s "cock and bull" story of Lecar's servants being bribed by him to do it! A young Lecar is fine now at Moindou and no one abuses Lecar about here.

Any chance of a gun-boat coming up or shall I have to wait for the steamer? How is the bush house getting on, I want Leo to send me up some seeds of the "Bleeding Nun red star creeper - the dark blue pea and some corncockle - tell him to send them by post. (Saturday 10.00 am) Just in from a successful hunt - tell Leo 2 brownies, 2
Megalurulus, and 2 crested parrots and one [?] Kanaque skull so now I have two! On arrival find your letter of Nov 2. My tel. was put into the office by myself at 5.30 pm. I hope your jaw will do. It is the 3rd he has made!! I suppose you must suffer some inconvenience at first. Tell Leo if I had my rod and flies I could catch a hundred fish a day. I have been throwing them flies and they took every one. Oh! why did I forget the rod!! Thank Leo for his "bit" and beg him to copy the Gov letter about Indian Coolies for Despatch. The youngest boyer is just starting for Teramba so I shall send this in by him to prevent any chance of not getting it to the Post. God help you my ? I hope to find you wearing your jaws easily when I come back. Kind regards to ? - the children have just brought me a new fern this instant.

Ever your loving husband
E L Layard

Transcribed by Mr G Hutchins - 2018.

6. Edgar Leopold Layard: Letter, Sat 12 November (1881), Moindou New Caledonia.
Letter addressed to
"Mrs Layard, British Consulate, Noumea"
Courtesy Mrs S Wilson 2018

Saturday 12th November

My darling Wife

You run a good chance of getting but a scant letter this time! The whole plan is in confusion with the plastering, and I write in momentary expectation of the return of the two sons from "the great central chain" whither they have gone hunting, chiefly for me; I wanted to go but prudence forbade and I am glad I staid [sic] away! The rain began the day they left and they have been out two days, sleeping in the forest. They have my little gun with them so I have been fishing and yesterday had such sport as will make Leo's mouth water to hear of!!! Oh for my dear old rod and proper hooks!! Had I had them I could not have carried the fish I could and should have caught, as it was, I could but just carry them in my hand! and this with a bit of bamboo 8 feet long for a rod, and some twisted crochet cotton for a line and miserable trade hooks. I astounded them all when I came staggering up under my load of fish, some fine 2 pounders among them. I must have had some 50 lb weight of fish! I am sure they will take a fly and fireball, the big ones a spinning minnow. I'll try them next year if I live. Now I shall have a jolly paper for the "Field".

In the middle of my fun, what should I see but a new bird! A Glyciphila I think, bright green with a blackish head - There was no mistaking it, I saw it plainly. If the young men bring back the gun today I'll look for him tomorrow. They have the carbolic acid syringe with them and will I hope and bring back some of the birds I want, so I shall be busy skinning for hours

How this letter will reach Moindou, to be posted, I don't know but I write as usual on the chance. I hope you will get it, and have got, my other two. You need not write to me after you get this, as I shall take the first opportunity of returning. ? M. Cacque is on the look out for a vessel and will ask the Capt of either of the steamers (war boats) or gun boats that may call in at Teramba to give me a passage down. Or if I can get "[?] Jimmy Sous" cutter I'll come in her. I am keeping some grub in case I am compelled to take a cutter.

These good folks are kindness itself and do all that they can to make me comfortable. The girls put a fresh bouquet of flowers on my table daily, and we have great fun. The poor old man and I play piquette, and I hold my own with him, tho' he says he is a good player. The mosquitoes are beginning with the rain and warm sunshine and I am glad of my net. I want to persuade the old man to come to Noumea for medical treatment. If he does not he will never recover. I have given him two nights rest and ease with chlorodyne and he is so grateful - at times he suffers awfully- sciatica.

I am to consult [?] Vanbray about him on my return. They have two sons at the Priests' School. Tell Leo to find them out and be kind to them. We shall always be sure of a welcome here when we want a holiday and some fishing. I know I am a prime favourite! I see a welcome present I can give them of which I am glad - they want a lamp that will not blow out for the table - we must find one for them on my return. What did our small "silber" [silver?] cost? Charles shall send us one from Sydney for them.

12 o'clock. The young men just returned with one Septornis and three Gran Analis, and a parrot. Rained all the time! Spoilt their cartridges! Forest superb - seen nothing like it but awful travelling - impossible for me. Now for breakfast and then to work at birds. They send off to Teramba directly so my letter will go in a few moments - God help you my pet. I hope the man will bring back a letter from you for me. Love to Leo, a lick on the head for 'Pats', a kiss for Chemin and Tiger!

Your loving husband E L Layard.

Transcribed by Mr G Hutchins - 2018.

7. Edgar Leopold Layard: Letter, Fri 18 (Nov 1881), Moindou New Caledonia.
Letter addressed to
"Mrs Layard, British Consulate, Noumea"
Courtesy Mrs S Wilson 2018

Moindou, Friday 18th
My own darling wife

The Beckers rode over yesterday and we had a consultation over my return from which I have decided to wait the advent of the "Croix du Sud" steamer on the 28th or 29th. Jimmy Song is going on to Bourail and won't be back for a week if then. You must tell Leo to telegraph to me the movements of the "Croix du Sud". We expect the bride and groom here tomorrow night to spend Sunday & I shall get him to telegraph to Leo but this should reach you by Wednesday and if any change in the steamer's movements tell Leo to telegraph me to be sent on by [?] if necessary as a letter may remain in the P.O. at Moindou until someone happens to go there. My kind hosts here say they should be glad to keep me to the end of the year if I'll stop! But the mosquitoes are coming and I don two pairs of socks at night. The net is very useful.

I skin a few birds every day, but as I only take the rare things, I don't get many. The fishing is over, as I can't get locusts. Had I my artificial flies I could do something. Beckers wanted me to return with them, but I did not see it! Then he wants me to return with him in December when Madam B goes to Sydney. I tell them I have had my year's holiday, and will wait till next year. Leo might go with him, and have some fun; he says there are lots of pigeons and quail and fishing; Leo might go. They will be in Noumea early in December. We must ask them to dinner. It will be useful to have a house to go to, if Leo or I want a spree. I am to have a long, serious talk with Dr [?] Vanbray about the poor old gentleman. He has been confined to his bed 4 months with sciatica and will never recover if he has not some good treatment. I beg him to come to Noumea and put himself in hospital. His life and activity is of great value to his family, especially just now.

I got your two letters of the 7th and 12th both together so I did not kiss the bride - No one did, not the fashion in these diggings! The people here say [?] Grassie was very ill-treated, starved and in want of decent clothing. I am glad cook continues steady and [??] (you were a false prophet!) and I am [?] doubly glad Leo thrashed Sasso. He should have done it six months since - hope he (Leo) will take warning! No orchids for Leo from here. I can't reach the mountain forest and there is nothing in the low grounds.

I don't care what you have cost me in the [toosifying?] line so long as you are comfortable and can use them. Becker says you look lovely! Poor "Pats". Kiss the place to make it well and mew like his mother. We have 7 cats here each girl (5 left) has her pet and so has the mother. Tell Leo I am glad to hear the news of the "Bush House". I shall bring the roots of some lovely pinks from here. I long to see the ferns. Sorry to hear about Scaplehorn [?] he will go to the bad. Girls highly pleased with the seeds.

You must stop Cooks going out in time or grief will ensue. Kate is a fool to take up with John. I don't wonder your cake tins are gone and all will go if you don't do as I suggest - make a list of all you have and call them over once a month and when a cook leaves: there is no other plan. We have the mail telegrams but nothing more. Thank Leo for his bit of letter. I know this will be common property for him so I don't write specially. Grassie's brother has this moment come in and given me all the news of you etc. Sorry to hear of Mrs [?Carter's] fall - tell her to avoid high heels in future, and she will have [???] to heal.

Evening. One of the young men just starting for Moindou, so I close this as I shall not have a chance probably tomorrow. God bless you [?Picey]. I long to see you again and my son too. I am jolly well, barring a little lame from walking so much. The old New Zealand pain in the sinew of the heel. I hope to hear about the Croix-du-Sud soon. Your loving husband E L L. Leo must telegraph.

Transcribed by Mr G Hutchins - 2018.

8. Edgar Leopold Layard: Layards Flycatcher.
Gratitude Immortalised in the Name.
The Layard's flycatcher is a winter migrant that has been described as a new species by E L Layard in 1854 from a specimen obtained from Pt Pedro in Jaffna which is the Northern most point in Sri Lanka. The grateful Layard has named it after his servant and cook Muttu and the dedication of the species reads as follows.
"I name this new species after my old and attached servant Muttu, to whose patient perseverance and hunting skill I owe so many of my best birds. This one he brought to me one morning at Pt Pedro during the month of June. Thus the virtually unknown Muttu has been immortalised in a scientific name although nothing more (not even his full name) is known or recorded, except for this mention by Layard himself.
Since the first specimen of the species was obtained in June, Layard thought it to be an endemic to Sri Lanka. The second record of the species was made by Vincent Legge who obtained (killed), two specimens near Trincomalee in January 1875, and thereafter by him in February 1877 when he obtained three out of four birds at a place described by him as Ikkada Barawa in the Hewagam Korale.
Cutting from "The Island"newspaper of 27 June 07.
Article courtesy of Adrian Hancock 2021

9. Layards Parakeet: Bright green longtailed parrot.
This parrot is named after Edgar Leopold Layard with a specific epithet to his wife.
A bright green, long-tailed parrot, with a gray hood and conspicuous black throat. The beak is red-orange in males, but all dark in duller females. Small groups inhabit upper levels of humid forest in the Wet Zone and drier, wooded areas outside of that, in both the lowlands and hills. Combination of gray hood and black throat differentiates this from all other long-tailed parrots on the island; female Plum-headed Parakeet also has a gray hood but lacks the black throat of Layard's Parakeet. Gregarious and noisy birds, with raucous "ak-ak-ak-ak-ak" heard often.

Edgar's name and the bird is imortalised in a stamp.
Courtesy of Adrian Hancock 2021

10. Edgar Leopold Layard: Carved mother of pearl shells from his vast collection of 9 ton of shells.
Courtesy Mr G Hutchins - 2018

11. Edgar Leopold Layard: His Decoration - Order of St Michael and St George.

12. Edgar Leopold Layard: Will, 5 Feb 1894 Proved 15 Feb 1900.
THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me EDGAR LEOPOLD LAYARD presently residing at "Otterbourne" at Budleigh Salterton in the County of Devon England Esquire formerly of Her Majesty's Consular Service in the first place I declare my intention hereby to annull all former wills and testamentary dispositions And in the next place I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my beloved son Edgar Leopold Calthrop Layard and Colonel Robert Blackall Graham of "Glen Isla" Cheltenham England (a nephew of my present beloved wife Jane Catherine) EXECUTORS of this my will
And after payment of all my just debts funeral testamentary and other expenses I direct my said executors to cause to be cut or carved on the Mural Tablet placed by me in Gosberton Church in Lincolnshire to the memory of my late beloved wife Barbara Anne and her family on the space left for that purpose on the lower part thereof my name age and date of my death And if I die in England I hereby express my wish that I may be cremated and that my ashes may be deposited in the Vault constructed for the remains of my late beloved wife in the said Church at Gosberton I give and bequeath unto my said beloved wife Jane Catherine Layard the sum of one hundred pounds sterling for her immediate use and in priority of all other pecuniary legacies and appropriations under this my will And also all and every my household furniture linen china glass wines and consumable stores chattels and effects in and about my said dwellinghouse of Otterbourne or its appurtenances at the time of my death (except certain articles hereinafter given to my said son) for her own use and benefit absolutely And I give and bequeath to my said son Edgar Leopold Calthrop Layard absolutely all my wearing apparel books plate and plated articles pictures fire arms engravings and books of engravings photographs and also all my fishing rods and fishing tackle and all my collections of shells and ferns also of native arms utensils and things brought from the South Sea Islands and Africa and the old black Italian Cabinet that belonged to his grandmother
And I also give and bequeath to my said son absolutely all the jewelry that belonged to his mother and grandmother enjoining him not to retain any article of jewelry or anything whatever that I have purchased and presented to my said wife Jane Catherine since I married her or that she brought with her when she married me
And I also give and bequeath the following pecuniary legacies (that is to say) Unto Mary Layard Bowker of Tharfield in the Eastern Province of Cape Colony and Emily Wilson of Cwn-hir Lodge in Kensington in Adelaide in the Colony of South Australia severally and respectively the sum of Ten pounds sterling free of legacy duty to purchase memorial rings or otherwise In memory of their godmother my late beloved wife Barbara and myself
And unto Marion Biden (born Atmore) the wife of Mr William Biden of Port Elizabeth in the Cape Colony the sum of Fifty pounds free of Legacy duty In memory of the great love and affection always borne by her to my said late wife and myself
And unto my said son Edgar Leopold Calthrop Layard the sum of five hundred pounds sterling absolutely as a sort of make weight or compensation for my having spent a much larger sum of money on the furniture hereinbefore bequeathed to my said wife Jane Catherine than I now consider I ought to have done
And as to all the rest and residue of my personal estate property and effects whatsoever and wheresoever and of what nature or kind soever (including the proceeds of real estate sold) and whether in possession reversion remainder or expectancy I bequeath the same unto my executors hereinbefore named and appointed Upon trust to divide set apart and apportion the same residuary personal estate into two equal parts or moieties one of such moieties to be allotted and appropriated for my said son Edgar Leopold Calthrop Layard absolutely and beneficially and to be paid over assigned and transferred to him my said son his executors administrators or assigns as soon as conveniently may be after my death And upon further trust to allot and appropriate or (upon the written request of my said wife Jane Catherine) to sell and convert and when converted to lay out and invest the other or remaining moiety or equal half part of my said residuary personal estate or the monies arising from the sale and conversion thereof as the case may be in the names or name of my said executors or the survivor of them or other the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my will and during the lifetime of my said wife Jane Catherine Layard to stand possessed of the stocks funds or securities, in or upon which the same moiety of my said residuary personal estate shall from time to time be invested In trust to pay the interest dividends and income of the said investments unto or permit the same income to be received by my said wife Jane Catherine Layard for her own use and benefit so long as she shall live and from and immediately after her death Upon trust to pay over assign & transfer the said last mentioned moiety of my said residuary personal estate and the investments thereof unto my said son Edgar Leopold Calthrop Layard his executors administrators and assigns absolutely and beneficially. And I declare and direct that in the event of my leaving any real estate the same shall be forthwith sold and disposed of by my executors to whom I devise the same In trust accordingly it being my will that the proceeds shall be treated as money from the date of my death and form part of my residuary personal estate
Provided always and I empower my said executors and other the trustees or trustee of this my will notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained (except only my wife's specified option in regard to settled estate) and notwithstanding any rule of law or equity to the contrary to retain and continue for an indefinite period at their or his discretion all or any part of my personal estate in the actual condition or state of Investment (not being mere personal security) in or upon which the same shall be at the time of my death however doubtful or hazardous or limited the description or nature of the property or investment may be or otherwise (with a view to the advantage of my estate or the more convenient and satisfactory division and distribution thereof) to call in and compel payment or sell and dispose of the same as and when my said executors trustees or trustee shall in the exercise of their discretion deem it necessary or expedient so to do And I declare that the interest dividends and income of my said residuary personal estate to accrue after my death and until the actual sale and conversion thereof (including rent if any of unsold real estate) shall be deemed the annual income of my said residuary personal estate applicable as such for the purposes of this my will without regard to the amounts of such income or to the nature or permanence of the investment or investments yielding the same no part of such income being in any event liable to be retained as capital but no property not actually producing income which shall form part of my estate shall be treated as producing income or as entitling any person to the receipt of income
Provided also and I declare with reference to the moiety of my trust estate hereinbefore settled upon my said wife Jane Catherine Layard for her life that all calls or contributions to calls on shares or holdings of mine in Banking or other Companies shall be paid or satisfied out of the capital of the same moiety
Provided also and I declare that my said executors or other the trustees or trustee of this my will shall have the fullest powers of determining what articles or items of property pass under any specific bequest contained in this my will or any codicil hereto and of dividing allotting and apportioning blended trust funds and (subject to the directions in that behalf hereinbefore contained) of determining whether any moneys are to be treated as capital or income and generally of determining all matters as to which any doubt difficulty or questions may arise under or in relation to the administration and distribution of my estate and effects or the execution of the trusts of this my will or any codicil thereto Provided further and I declare that during the lifetime of my said wife Jane Catherine Layard her consent shall be necessary to the exercise of the Statutory Power of appointing a new trustee or new trustees of this my will and also to the variation or transposition of any investments upon which monies arising from the sale and conversion of the settled moiety of my said trust estate or any part thereof shall have been laid out by my executors as hereinbefore is provided
And hereby revoking all former or other wills codicils and testamentary papers by me at any time made I declare this to be my last will
IN WITNESS whereof I the said Edgar Leopold Layard have to this my last will and testament set my hand this fifth day of February A.D. 1894
Signed and declared by the above named Edgar Leopold Layard the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us both being present at the same time who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses
H.B.RUSSELL Manager of the Wilts & Dorset Banking Co., Ld. Budleigh Salterton
B.C,CHAMPNESS Bank Clerk Wilts & Dorset Banking Co. Ld. Budleigh Salterton.

Layard Edgar Leopold of Otterbourne Budleigh Salterton Devonshire CMG died 1 January 1900. Probate London 15 February 1900 to Edgar Leopold Calthrop Layard Esq and Robert Blackhall Graham Col. Effects £5225 19s 1d. Re-sworn July 1900 £5797 5s 7d and January 1901 £5849 9s 3d.
National Probate Calendar.


Edgar married Barbara Anne CALTHROP [27184] [MRIN: 9757], daughter of Rev John CALTHROP of Gosberton [27356] and Barbara BONNER [27357], on 18 Oct 1845 in Isleham CAM. (Barbara Anne CALTHROP [27184] was baptised on 17 Jun 1814 in Gosberton LIN, died in 1886 and was buried in Gosberton LIN.)


Edgar next married Jane Catherine BLACKALL [27186] [MRIN: 9758], daughter of Gen. Robert BLACKALL [27354] and Unknown, on 24 Nov 1887 in St John Darlinghurst Sydney Aust. (Jane Catherine BLACKALL [27186] was born about 1832 in Lernot India and died on 9 Sep 1912 in Tiverton DEV.)

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