John Latham ( 1740 - 1837)

Latham is considered to be the Father of Australian Ornithology for the scientific descriptions he provided for birds sent from the convict colony of Sydney Cove in 1788. He studied anatomy under the surgeon John Hunter and after practicing medicine and making his fortune he retired from practice in 1796 devoting his life to ornithology. He became the leading English ornithologist of his day, a time that coincided with the discovery of Australia’s east coast by James Cook and the establishment of a penal colony at Botany Bay.

Ann Latham (1772-1835) Ann was John Latham’s daughter, and she assisted her father in painting birds, mammals and butterflies for her father. She also recorded the first Australian bird species sent to London. The watercolours were made before her marriage in 1795 to a surgeon in Winchester. After 1795 Ann stopped helping her father.

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