Backhouse, James (1794-1869)

Also known as
B., J. (1794-1869)
J. B. (1794-1869)
Field of activity
Naturalist; Quaker missionary; Artist; Draughtsman; Diarist; Botanical collector
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an36567836
NLA Persistent Identifier
https://nla.gov.au/nla.party-638012

Biographies

James Backhouse (1794-1869), naturalist and Quaker missionary, was born on 8 July 1794, the fourth child of James and Mary Backhouse, members of a well-known Quaker business family of Darlington, Durham,...

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

Only in Australia for six years, Backhouse kept extensive records of his experiences, which were then posthumously published in London. His observations have proven to be an invaluable resource for information about life in early colonial Australia.

sketcher, diarist, naturalist and Quaker missionary, was born in Darlington, Durham, on 8 July 1794. He spent six years in Australia, arriving at Hobart Town in February 1832 and departing from Fremantle in February 1838. During this time he travelled the colony extensively on foot, accompanied by his friend and fellow missionary George Washington Walker , and urged many improvements in the conditions of Aborigines, government convicts and assigned servants. In 1832-34 he was based in Van Diemen’s Land, but he travelled farther afield in 1835-38: through New South Wales, to Norfolk Island and Moreton Bay (1836) and to Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Backhouse died on 20 January 1869 in York, England. Backhouse recorded his journeys in A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies (London 1843), an important source book for the period illustrated after his own and other people’s sketches. Entrance to Port Davey, Van Diemen’s Land and Ben Lomond VDL are stated to be after sketches by Backhouse but so is A Chain Gang (located in New South Wales in the first edition but subsequently corrected to Van Diemen’s Land), which is actually after an engraving by Charles Bruce . Hobart Town 1834 and other views are acknowledged to be after Charles Wheeler . The Mitchell Library holds 19 of Backhouse’s original journals, bound in three volumes, which certainly include original drawings, usually roughly drawn standard views. Other Backhouse material is preserved with the Walker Papers (TU). Backhouse gave a valuable herbarium collected in Australia and ...

  • February 1832 Arrived Hobart Town, Tas.

Flourished

  • fl. c.1832 - c.1843

View the full record at Design and Art Australia Online

James Backhouse was a Quaker missionary who visited Australia in 1832-1838, making observations of Australian flora and fauna as well as writing about Australian society. As a botanical collector in Australia and Norfolk Island, he contributed to the classification and taxonomy of eucalypts. Notably, Joseph Hooker, George Bentham and Ferdinand von Mueller named eucalypt specimen collected by James Backhouse.

Backhouse was apprenticed to a chemist in Darlington and trained for two years in a Norwich nursery. On return to England, he gave two manuscript volumes of botanical recollections in Australia to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Commemorated by Backhousia, a genus of a myrtaceous shrub.

  • Career position - Nursery owner in York, UK
  • Life event - Arrived in Australia (Hobart)
  • Career position - Reported on penal settlements and Aboriginal establishments in Tasmania
  • Career position - Collected herbarium for Kew Gardens (England?)
  • Career position - Reported on penal settlements and Aboriginal establishments in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Moreton Bay
  • Career position - Visited Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth promoting temperance and Aboriginal protection committees
  • Career position - Missionary work in Africa
  • Nursery Manager in York, UK
  • Career position - published in London
  • Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus maculata Hook. Backhouse collected a syntype
  • Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus siderophloia Benth. var. rostrata Benth. (= Eucalyptus fibrosa F. Muell. (1859)). Backhouse collected the syntype

View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science

Related people and organisations

Design and Art Australia Online

  • Walker Papers, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tas.
  • National Library of Australia, Canberra, ACT
  • Society of Friends, London, England, UK
  • Linnaean Society, London, England, UK
  • Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
  • (see also) Bruce, Charles
  • (see also) Wheeler, Charles
  • (see also) Backhouse, S.
  • (see also) Biriban,
  • (see also) Walker, George Washington
  • (see also) Wheeler, Charles
  • (see also) Hobart Town 1834
  • (see also) A Chain Gang
  • (see also) Ben Lomond VDL
  • (see also) Entrance to Port Davey, Van Diemen's Land

Libraries Australia

  • (see also) Quakers

Resources for James Backhouse

Selected resources (12)

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  1. Backhouse, James
    Published: The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre
    Series: Encyclopedia of Australian Science
  2. Backhouse, James (1794-1869)
    Trott, Mary Bartram
    Published: Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1966
    Series: Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1, 45-46
  3. A Century of Botanical Endeavour in South Australia
    Maiden, J.H.
    Published: 1907
    Series: Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, xi, 158-199
  4. Botanical Pioneers in Victoria
    Willis, J.H.
    Published: [Brown Pier Anderson], [Melbourne], 1949
    Series: Victorian Naturalist, 66, 19
  5. Records of Victorian Botanists
    Maiden, J.H.
    Published: Melbourne, 1908
    Series: Victorian Naturalist, 25, 101-117
  6. Records of Queensland Botanists
    Maiden, J.H.
    Published: 1909
    Series: Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, xii, 373-383
  7. Records of Australian Botanists - (a) General, (b) New South Wales
    Maiden, J.H.
    Published: 1908
    Series: Journal and Proceedings of The Royal Society of New South Wales, xlii, 60-132
  8. Visit of an Early Naturalist to Victoria
    Gilbert, Lionel
    Published: 1952
    Series: Victorian Naturalist, 68, 175-178
  9. Extracts from the letters of James Backhouse : whilst engaged in a religious visit to van Diemen's Land, New South Wales, and South Africa accompanied by George Washington Walker
    Backhouse, James
    Published: Harvey and Darton, London, 1842
  10. A narrative of a visit to the Australian colonies
    Backhouse, James
    Published: Hamilton Adams, London, 1843
  11. The Study of Australian Eucalypts
    McCarthy, Gavan; Smith, Ailie; Moje, Christine; Rigby, Rebecca
    Published: eScholarship Research Centre, 2013
  12. Botanists of the Eucalypts: short biographies of people who have named eucalypts, whose names have been given to species or who have collected type material
    Hall, Norman
    Published: CSIRO, Melbourne, 1978

Resources by James Backhouse (61)

  1. Extracts from the letters of James Backhouse : when engaged in a religious visit on the island of the Mauritius, accompanied by George Washington Walker
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Book : 1839 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 106,207.664)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 106,207.664)

  2. Letterbook no. 3, James Backhouse of York, 1835-1837
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Unpublished : 1835-1837 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 100,311.234)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 100,311.234)

  3. James Backhouse and George Washington Walker, papers 1830-1843
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Unpublished : 1830-1843 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 90,538.281)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 90,538.281)

  4. Journal of a visit to the Australian colonies
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Unpublished, Microform : 1831-1841 ]
    At State Library VIC
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79,223.078)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79,223.078)

  5. Correspondence and accounts
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Unpublished : 1832-1844 ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 77,293.234)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 77,293.234)

  6. A narrative of a visit to the Mauritius and South Africa / by James Backhouse ; illustrated by two maps, sixteen etchings, and twenty-eight woodcuts
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Book : 1844-2014 ]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 13 libraries
    A narrative of a visit to the Mauritius and South Africa / by James Backhouse ; illustrated by two maps, sixteen etchings, and twenty-eight woodcuts
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 71,627.75)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 71,627.75)

  7. Mount Warning
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Art work : 1843 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 65,355.527)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 65,355.527)

  8. A fern valley, V.D.L
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Art work : 1843 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 65,340.414)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 65,340.414)

  9. On the Clyde, V.D.L
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Art work : 1843 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 64,896.711)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 64,896.711)

  10. Rocks of Martin Vaz
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Art work : 1843 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 64,754.574)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 64,754.574)

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Resources about James Backhouse (40)

  1. [Biographical cuttings on James Backhouse, missionary, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]
    [ Published : 1900-1990 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 106,120.359)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 106,120.359)

  2. Extracts from the letters of James Backhouse : when engaged in a religious visit on the island of the Mauritius, accompanied by George Washington Walker
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Book : 1839 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 106,018.031)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 106,018.031)

  3. [Review of] A narrative of a visit to the Australian Colonies / by James Backhouse
    Elkin, A. P. (Adolphus Peter), 1891-1979
    [ Book : 1968 ]
    At AIATSIS Collections
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 102,181.281)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 102,181.281)

  4. Letterbook no. 3, James Backhouse of York, 1835-1837
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Unpublished : 1835-1837 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 99,918.156)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 99,918.156)

  5. James Backhouse and George Washington Walker, papers 1830-1843
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Unpublished : 1830-1843 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 90,074.008)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 90,074.008)

  6. Journal of a visit to the Australian colonies
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Unpublished, Microform : 1831-1841 ]
    At State Library VIC
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 78,698.156)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 78,698.156)

  7. Correspondence and accounts
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Unpublished : 1832-1844 ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 77,074.492)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 77,074.492)

  8. The Backhouse Quaker family of York nurserymen : including James Backhouse: 1794-1869, botanist and Quaker missionary / by David Rubinstein
    Rubinstein, David
    [ Book : 2009 ]
    The Backhouse Quaker family of York nurserymen : including James Backhouse: 1794-1869, botanist and Quaker missionary / by David Rubinstein
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 73,195.039)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 73,195.039)

  9. A narrative of a visit to the Mauritius and South Africa / by James Backhouse ; illustrated by two maps, sixteen etchings, and twenty-eight woodcuts
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Book : 1844-2014 ]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 13 libraries
    A narrative of a visit to the Mauritius and South Africa / by James Backhouse ; illustrated by two maps, sixteen etchings, and twenty-eight woodcuts
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 70,966.477)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 70,966.477)

  10. Extracts from the letters of James Backhouse : whilst engaged in a religious visit to Van Dieman's [i.e. Diemen's] Land, New South Wales, and South Africa, accompanied by George Washington Walker
    Backhouse, James, 1794-1869
    [ Book : 1841 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 62,885.203)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 62,885.203)

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  1. Backhouse, Harriet May (1888-1951)
    Solicitor; Lawyer
    ... became an articled clerk with James Whiteside McCay, Barrister, practising at 360-366 Collins St ... a'Beckett Talworth Backhouse and Harriet May married in 1919, soon after Nigel returned from service in the ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 38,800.707)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 38,800.707)

  2. Walker, James Backhouse (1841-1899)
    Solicitor; Historian; Lawyers; Historians
    ... James Backhouse Walker (1841-1899), solicitor and historian, was born on 14 October 1841 in Hobart ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,492.692)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,492.692)

  3. D'Emden, Henri James (1824-1875)
    Artist; ; Printmaker; Cartoonist / Illustrator; Illustrator; 6924; Journalist; 9002; Clergyman; 9540; Lawyer; 6931
    ... Walker, James Backhouse ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 607.103)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 607.103)

  1. ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION. In the will of James Backhouse, late of Bathurst, in the Colony of New South Wales, landowner, deceased.
    New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900) Tuesday 14 August 1883 [Issue No.341] p 4394

    Government Gazette Private Notices

    ... In the Supreme Court of New South Wales. ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION. In the will of James ... Backhouse, late of Bathurst, in the Colony of New South Wales, landowner, deceased. NOTICE is hereby given ... 134 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,728.276)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,728.276)

  2. IN INSOLVENCY. In the Insolvent Estate of William Backhouse Dixon, of Bourke. To the Official Assignee and Creditors.
    New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900) Friday 4 March 1887 [Issue No.119] p 1531

    Government Gazette Private Notices

    ... . (21.245) IN INSOLVENCY. In the Insolvent Estate of William Backhouse Dixon, of Bourke. To the Official ... , and 25th Victoria No. 8.—Dated this 3rd day of March, 1887. PHILIP JAMES BIDDULPH, Solicitor for said ... 136 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,128.942)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,128.942)

  3. NOTICE of intended distribution of estate.—Any person having any claim upon the estate of NEIL JAMES
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 21 August 1981 [Issue No.118] p 4539

    Government Gazette Private Notices

    ... JAMES LYN WOOD, late of Coffs Harbour, retired railway worker, who died on 26th October, 1980, must send ... particulars of his claim to the executrix, Brenda Joyce Lynwood, c.o. Messrs Murray & Backhouse, Solicitors ... 123 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 636.668)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 636.668)

  1. Mount Warning
    Backhouse, Jame ...
    [ Art work : 1843 ]
  2. A fern valley, V.D.L
    Backhouse, Jame ...
    [ Art work : 1843 ]
  3. On the Clyde, V.D.L
    Backhouse, Jame ...
    [ Art work : 1843 ]
  4. Rocks of Martin Vaz
    Backhouse, Jame ...
    [ Art work : 1843 ]
  5. Heads of Port Jackson
    Backhouse, Jame ...
    [ Art work : 1843 ]
  6. Aborigines of N.S. Wales
    Backhouse, Jame ...
    [ Art work : 1843 ]
  1. James Backhouse lecture / Society of Friends. Australia Yearly Meeting
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia. Yearly Meeting
    [ Periodical : 1964-2019 ]
    Possibly online
    At 4 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,051.039)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,051.039)

  2. Photographs of James Backhouse (1794-1869) undated
    Backhouse, James
    [ Article : 1845 ]
    View online
    At Uni of TAS Open Rep
    Photographs of James Backhouse (1794-1869) undated
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 966.013)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 966.013)

  3. James Backhouse lecture
    Society of Friends. Australia Yearly Meeting
    [ Periodical : 1900-2019 ]
    At UQ Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 868.635)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 868.635)

  4. The James Backhouse lectures
    [ Periodical ]
    At UWA Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 845.482)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 845.482)

  1. James Backhouse Walker
    James Backhouse Walker
    [ Unpublished ]
    View online
    At UTAS Collections
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 972.749)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 972.749)

  2. James Backhouse, (Subseries), (from Records held by the Linnean Society of London / Miscellaneous manuscripts )
    [ Unpublished ]
    View online
    At AJCP
    James Backhouse,  (Subseries),  (from Records held by the Linnean Society of London  / Miscellaneous manuscripts )
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 469.729)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 469.729)

  3. Notes on Tasmania and Norfolk Island by James Backhouse Walker, ca. 1897
    Walker, James Backhouse, 1841-1899
    [ Unpublished : 1897 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 451.722)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 451.722)

  1. Calmo : mystical music to soothe the soul / compiled and edited by Jeremy Backhouse
    Backhouse, Jeremy
    [ Printed music : 2006 ]
    At UON Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 131.652)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 131.652)

  2. Notes on Tasmania and Norfolk Island / J. B. Walker
    Walker, James Backhouse, 1841-1899
    [ Video : 2008 ]
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 130.345)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 130.345)

  3. Dickens' magic : songs from the musical play / Elizabeth Backhouse
    Backhouse, Elizabeth
    [ Sound : 1994 ]
    At WA State Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 101.291)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 101.291)

  4. The cloud of unknowing / Francis Pott
    Pott, Francis, 1957-
    [ Sound : 2007 ]
    Possibly online
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 61.058)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 61.058)

  1. THE LATE JAMES BACKHOUSE.
    Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899) Thursday 22 April 1869 p 3 Article
    ... THE LATE JAMES BACKHOUSE. (From the Yorkshire Express, January 30, 1869.) It is our painful duty to ... have to record the decease of one of our oldest citizens, James Backhouse, who died on the 20th inst ... 717 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12,889.828)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12,889.828)

  2. THE NEW BISHOP.
    Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899) Wednesday 26 July 1843 p 3 Article
    ... deal of the evil mnight be obviated by a few barrow loads of metal judiciously applied. Mr. JAMES ... BACKHOUSE, the friend who it will be recollected, visited these colonies several years ago, is about to ... 4067 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8,528.243)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8,528.243)

  3. WHILE THERE IS LIFE THERE IS HOPE.
    The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848) Wednesday 20 March 1844 p 3 Article
    ... letter addressed to James Backhouse and Goorgo Washington Walkor, by a convict, confined on Goat Island ... , Port Jackson, New South Wales. When James Backhouse and Goorgo Washing ton Walker were in Now South ... 1789 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8,427.766)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8,427.766)

  1. Nurse Backhouse
    Nurse Backhouse
    Created by nicam09, 15 items.

    Nurse Backhouse Private Hospital, 42 Pitt Street Redfern

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 510.056)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 510.056)

  2. BACKHOUSE, MESSER, CHEYNE, STONE - aircraft crash off Saida, LEBANON 29/1/1943
    BACKHOUSE, MESSER, CHEYNE, STONE - aircraft crash off Saida, LEBANON 29/1/1943
    Created by mccallumalison8, 34 items.

    RAAF PERSONNEL SERVING ON ATTACHMENTIN ROYAL AIR FORCE SQUADRONS AND SUPPORT UNITSIN WORLD WAR 2 AND MISSING WITH NO KNOWN GRAVE. 406323 Flight Sergeant BACKHOUSE, Herbert Frederic...

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 232.851)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 232.851)

  3. james grady
    james grady
    Created by simes, 216 items.

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 153.728)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 153.728)

  1. Prelude to Federation (1884-1898) : extracts from the journal of James Backhouse Walker / edited by Peter Benson Walker
    Walker, James Backhouse, 1841-1899
    [ Book : 1976-1978 ]
    View online
    At 25 libraries
    Prelude to Federation (1884-1898) : extracts from the journal of James Backhouse Walker / edited by Peter Benson Walker
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 919.323)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 919.323)

  2. The Tasmanian Aborigines / by James Backhouse Walker
    Walker, James Backhouse, 1841-1899
    The Tasmanian aborigines
    [ Book, Government publication : 1898-1900 ]
    View online
    At 25 libraries
    The Tasmanian Aborigines / by James Backhouse Walker
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 829.728)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 829.728)

  3. Early Tasmania : papers read before the Royal Society of Tasmania during the years 1888 to 1899 / by James Backhouse Walker
    Walker, James Backhouse, 1841-1899
    [ Book, Government publication : 1902-1989 ]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 51 libraries
    Early Tasmania : papers read before the Royal Society of Tasmania during the years 1888 to 1899 / by James Backhouse Walker
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 653.266)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 653.266)

  4. A Quaker astronomer reflects / Jocelyn Bell Burnell
    Burnell, Jocelyn Bell
    [ Book : 2013 ]
    At 7 libraries
    A Quaker astronomer reflects / Jocelyn Bell Burnell
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 619.148)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 619.148)