Miss Waldron’s Purple Colobus. Discovering Miss Waldron

This text began out as a follow-up to a earlier one which touched on Willoughby Prescott Lowe (1872-1949), a serious animal collector for the Pure Historical past Museum in London and others. On wanting him up within the Eponym Dictionary of Mammals and within the Eponym Dictionary of Birds I discovered the next:

…He’s additionally infamous for having shot eight specimens of Miss Waldron’s Purple Colobus Piliocolobus badius waldroni in Ghana in 1933. Miss Waldron additionally labored on the museum and accompanied him on this journey. The colobus was already uncommon and is now regarded as extinct.

However who was Miss Waldron. What was she doing within the Gold Coast—as  Ghana then was—within the Thirties. Within the 2014 version of the Eponym Dictionary of Birds she was described as:

Miss Fanny Waldron [dates not found] was an worker of the BMNH [British Museum Natural History]. She accompanied W.P. Lowe on his expedition…in 1934-35 when she was nicely over 60.

Intrigued by the lack of knowledge I then discovered that others on the web Hen Discussion board had additionally failed to seek out out something about Miss Waldron and that in a single index she has been described as Frances since, presumably, Fanny was generally used as an off-the-cuff derivation from the diminutive ‘Fran’, as in ‘Peggy’ for ‘Margaret’. Since Lowe and senior workers of the Museum used ‘Fanny’ I can solely assume the indexer had not realised that an off-the-cuff identify would simply not have been utilized in a proper report or paper within the Thirties.

I’m happy to say that I’ve discovered who Miss Waldron was. Readers will quickly realise that a lot of the data given above is incorrect whereas little is correct and even half-right.

Discovering Miss Waldron

I quickly discovered her by looking by means of delivery data in ancestry.com and findmypast.com. There she is, together with Willoughby Lowe, on board Elder Dempster Line ships, travelling between England and Gold Coast (now Ghana). Fortuitously these data give her age and deal with in London.

With that data I used to be in a position to widen the search and acquire a reasonably complete image of Miss Waldron. She was certainly a ‘Fanny’ however not ‘Fanny’ with a ‘y’ however ‘Fannie’. Fannie was the identify registered at delivery and was the one she used when filling in her personal varieties for a ship’s manifest, for instance. Nevertheless, census enumerators and people writing about her, within the ornithological literature for instance, have used ‘Fanny’. It will appear her circle of relatives who needed to fill in some census varieties for themselves additionally forgot and used ‘Fanny’ now and again. However her identify was merely Fannie Waldron. Even the report of probate after her loss of life notes her identify as ‘Fannie in any other case Fanny’.

I’ve included some element of Fannie and her household within the hope that others could have additional data or pictures. Present members of the family are sometimes unaware of what their antecedents received as much as, as evidenced by the variety of individuals contacting me to say that they had discovered an article of mine whereas looking for data on household historical past.

FANNIE WALDRON was born on 5 June 1876 in Hungerford, Berkshire. She was the daughter of Walter Brind Waldron (1840-1913) and Marian Wooden (1847-1917). The Waldrons got here to personal giant estates in Patagonia and in Kenya, in addition to farming in England. Walter and Marian had eight kids: Mary Elizabeth in 1868, Clara in 1870, Edith in 1871, Walter George in 1872, Ruth Marian in 1874 (named as a contact by Fannie when coming into the USA), Fanny in 1876, Hilda in 1878 and Dorothy Brind in 1890.

Within the 1881 Census, Walter in proven as farming 1600 acres and using 37 males, 10 boys and eight girls. The farm was Poughley Park close to Lambourn. It was a part of the Hungerford Registration District and it’s the place Fannie was born.

By 1891 the household was dwelling in Peasemore Home in Berkshire. Fannie was nonetheless dwelling together with her dad and mom then in addition to in 1901 and 1911. By the latter Census, the Waldrons had moved to fifteen Portarlington Highway, Bournemouth; Walter is described as ‘chairman and director of firms’. That report reveals one of many kids had died.

By the point of the 1921 Census, each Fannie’s dad and mom had died. She may be discovered, as ‘head of family’, at The Broadway, Birkenshaw, Totland on the Isle of Wight. On census day she had three guests from Bournemouth and a servant.

In 1924 delivery data present her deal with as 12 Southwell Gardens, London SW7. From then on, and doubtless till 1950, she was dwelling at 26 Moore Road in Chelsea, London. Right now this deal with is assessed as ‘a 5 bed room freehold terraced home unfold over 3,283 sq. toes, making it one of many largest properties right here—it’s ranked because the fifth costliest property in SW3 2QW, with a valuation of £5,918,000’.


The next is a listing of Fannie Waldron’s worldwide travels from 1899 to 1938. It might be incomplete since just some delivery data may be discovered on-line. I’ve included all of them as a result of though I discovered no gathering actions related to journeys others than the 2 with Willoughby Lowe in 1933-34 and 1934-35 different data could flip up sooner or later that might be fitted to the sooner voyages.

1899 Chile. Though solely listed as ‘F Waldron’ it appears extremely seemingly this was Fannie because the household had farming pursuits in Chile and had used Punta Arenas as their base. She arrived in Liverpool on 26 August 1898 from Punta Arenas on board Orissa (Pacific Steam Navigation Firm).

1920-21 Hawaii. On 27 October she arrived in Quebec on board Canadian Pacific’s Empress of France having departed from Liverpool on 21 October. She crossed the US border the identical day at St Albans, Vermont. Then she may be discovered arriving in Honolulu on the Union Steam Ship Firm of New Zealand’s ship RMS Niagara on 17 November 1920 from Vancouver. Almost three months later she left Honolulu for San Francisco on board Matson Line’s Matsonia, arriving on 16 March 1921. For immigration she was described as 5’ 8” with brown hair and gray eyes. She travelled together with her maid, Dorothy Wales, aged 22.

1924. Amazon Cruise to Manaus, Brazil. Departed Liverpool on Sales space Steamship Firm’s Hildebrand

1926-27 India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). She departed from London on board P&O’s Rawalpindi on 12 November 1926. The following report is of her leaving Colombo on P&O’s Moldavia which arrived in London on 11 March 1927. She really disembarked at Plymouth, earlier than the ship sailed on to London.

1930 Trinidad. She left Avonmouth on 11 January 1930 on board the Elders & Fyffes ship Ariguani sure for Trinidad. She returned on the identical firm’s Camito which arrived at Avonmouth (Bristol) on 27 February.

1933-34 West Africa. Departed Liverpool for Takoradi, Gold Coast (Ghana), on board the Elder & Dempster Line ship Appa on 29 November 1933 with Willoughby Lowe. The return journey was on the identical line’s ship, Accra, which arrived in Liverpool on 20 March 1934 from Takoradi.

1934-35 West Africa. Departed Liverpool for Takoradi, Gold Coast (Ghana), on board the Elder & Dempster Line ship Adda on 28 November 1934 with Willoughby. Returned on the identical line’s Apapa to reach in Plymouth on 18 March 1935. Lowe embarked at Accra; Miss Waldron at Takoradi.

1938 West Indies. A cruise from Dover (returning to Plymouth) to Kingston, Puerto Colombia, Curacao, Trinidad, Barbados on board the Royal Netherlands Steamship Firm’s Colombia.

Stories of the 1933-34 and 1934-5 Expeditions to West Africa

Stories by David Bannerman of the Pure Historical past Museum on the 1933-34 and 1934-35 expeditions appeared within the Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Membership. David Bannerman (1886-1979) on the time was chairman of the Membership and the skilled on the birds of West Africa:

Mr. David Bannerman made some remarks on a set of some 560 birds just lately made in Ashanti, Gold Coast, by Mr. Willoughby P. Lowe for the British Museum, and exhibited a specimen of Glaucidium tephronotum tephronotum, the Gold Coast Yellow-legged Owlet, from Mampong. Mr. Bannerman mentioned that no giant assortment from the forests of the Gold Coast had been made since Governor Ussher had employed Aubinn—a local collector—to acquire birds for him between the years 1867-1872. Though numerous very uncommon birds had been secured in that assortment, and eventually had been introduced to the British Museum, none bore any information on the labels, the one locality talked about being both Denkera (a spot which isn’t marked on fashionable maps, however which is located in lat. 6°15’N., 2°12’W. lengthy., south-west of Kumasi) or “the inside of the Gold Coast.” It was crucial, subsequently, that we must always have affirmation of Ussher’s data, and preparations had been made with Mr. W. P. Lowe, with assistance from the Godman Fund, to spend three months in Ashanti from December 1933 to March of this 12 months. Mr Lowe’s assortment incorporates numerous uncommon species, however a cursory look has not revealed something solely new. By far the best prize is a feminine specimen which had simply completed laying of Glaucidium tephronotum tepgronotum Sharpe, which was secured on February 25, 1934, at Mampong, Ashanti…. Quantity 54, p 122, 1933-34.

Different uncommon birds exhibited, of which Mr. Lowe secured specimens, are: The Black Dwarf Hornbill (Lophoceros hartlaubi hartlaubi), a uncommon species, of which few specimens are identified. The Lengthy-tailed Hawk (Urotriorchis macrourus macrourus), three specimens of which had been secured at Mampong and Ejura. The Fernando Po or Fraser’s Eagle-Owl (Bubo poensis poensis), two adults and an immature one being obtained-the first specimen I’ve ever seen in immature gown. The Maned Owl (Jubula letti), the primary report from the Gold Coast: beforehand not identified from any locality between Liberia and Cameroons. An account of Mr. Lowe’s journey, along with an annotated listing of the specimens he secured, will, it’s hoped, be revealed in ‘The Ibis’ in the end. The passerine birds, which haven’t but been named, are prone to show of appreciable curiosity, and the gathering as an entire is a priceless asset to our West African materials within the British Museum. Quantity 54 p 123, 1933-34.

Mr. Willoughby P. Lowe visited the Gold Coast final winter on behalf of the British Museum, and made collections of birds, fish, and mammals in Ashanti. He’s leaving once more this month for a similar vacation spot. Quantity 55, p  35, 1934-35.

Mr. David Bannerman exhibited a choice of birds of many species which had just lately been obtained by Mr. Willoughby P. Lowe in Ashanti, and made the next remarks :—

I’m exhibiting tonight numerous stunning and attention-grabbing birds which Mr. W. P. Lowe and Miss F. Waldron have just lately collected from the Gold Coast. It is going to be remembered that within the winter of 1933-34 the identical travellers made a big assortment within the forests of Ashanti on behalf of the British Museum. I made some point out of the outcomes of that journey at our April assembly in 1934…

This 12 months they once more visited the Gold Coast within the hope of including numerous species to their former assortment. On this they’ve been profitable. They haven’t solely secured numerous attention-grabbing species which they did not get the 12 months beforehand, however have been instrumental in making two or three discoveries of specific curiosity which I suggest to say to you now.

I’m happy to say that Mr. Lowe is current with us this night and can be glad to reply any questions which can be put to him about his experiences. The birds are exhibited within the instances on the desk. I’m now engaged in choosing these birds that are required by the British Museum and the rest will go to the Royal Pure Historical past Museum in Sweden. Quantity 55, p 126-126, 1934-35.

Mr. Bannerman subsequent described a brand new race of the from the Gold Coast, which he proposed to call

Anthoscopus flavifrons waldroni, subsp. nov.

Description (grownup male).—Differs from A. flavifrons flavifrons within the brighter, extra yellowish-olive plumage of the crown, mantle, again, rump, and wing-coverts, and within the paler underparts, that are extra yellow, significantly on the breast, than within the typical species. Eye darkish brown, invoice black, the bottom of decrease mandible and edges of each mandibles bluish-white.

Measurements of sort.—Invoice 10, wing 55, tail 28, tarsus 13.5 mm. Distribution.—The forests of Ashanti, Gold Coast. Sort.—♂︎ grownup, Goaso, Ashanti, Dec. 15, 1934. Collectors: W. P. Lowe and Miss F. Waldron. Remarks.—The invention, after a few years, of a race of Anthoscopus flavifrons flavifrons in Higher Guinea is of nice curiosity. The everyday species inhabits the Cameroon forests, and no different race of this chicken had beforehand been found. I’ve a lot pleasure in naming this chicken after Miss Fanny Waldron, who accompanied Mr. Lowe to the Gold Coast and who has been instrumental in acquiring many priceless specimens—significantly of fish—for the Zoological Departments of the British Museum. Quantity 55, p 131, 1934-35.

Mr. Bannerman lastly exhibited an grownup, younger, and eggs of the Ahanta Francolin (Francolinus ahantensis ahantensis), and made the next observations :—Though the Ahanta Francolin has such a variety in West Africa, Mr. W. P. Lowe is the primary collector to safe specimens of the younger and on the similar time a clutch of eggs…. Quantity 55, p 132, 1934-35.

Mr. David Bannerman exhibited a specimen of a uncommon Cuckoo-Shrike from West Africa, and made some additional observations upon Mr. Willoughby Lowe’s assortment from Ashanti. He mentioned :—

I’ve now accomplished the examination of the Passerine species within the assortment which Mr. W. P. Lowe and Miss Waldron made in Ashanti final winter, and the next are worthy of report…. Quantity 55, p 154, 1934-35.

Lowe himself wrote up an account the birds seen and picked up within the two expeditions. The report (Report on the Lowe—Waldron Expeditions to the Ashanti Forests and Northern Territories of the Gold Coast) prolonged over three papers in The Ibis in 1937. The primary half particulars the itinerary and the start of the chicken listing; elements two and three proceed the listing which incorporates notes on every species. He ended his acknowledgements with:

Lastly, I have to specific my gratitude to my companion, Miss Fanny Waldron, with out whose curiosity and help these pure historical past collections might by no means have been made.

He clearly didn’t know that her identify was really ‘Fannie’.

The 1934-35 expedition with Fannie, when he was 64 and Fannie 58 on their return, had been Willoughby Lowe’s final. He was mentioned to have been be in a low situation, from which he by no means totally lined, after his son, aged 21, drowned off Exmouth in 1931.

Images from Willoughby Lowe’s Report on the 2 expeditions

Specimens within the Pure Historical past Museum, London

A search of {the catalogue} reveals the specimens collected by Lowe and Waldron in 1933-34 and 1934-35 which have been retained by the museum. When it comes to specimens I counted 1 plant, 54 fish, 2 amphibians, 7 reptiles, 5 birds and 90 mammals. Bannerman (see above) and Lowe reported that almost all of birds from the 1934-35 expedition had been despatched to Sweden.


1. Miss Waldron’s Purple Colobus

A very powerful discovering of the 2 gathering journeys was the monkey, now often called Miss Waldron’s Purple Colobus (Piliocolobus waldroni, or generally as waldronae to mirror, pedantically, the feminine for whom it’s named. It might be extinct however there seems to be some proof that it might simply be hanging on within the Ivory Coast. The primary specimen was, I learn, shot or obtained by Lowe in December 1933. It was named as a subspecies of what’s now Piliocolobus badius waldroni by Robert William Hayman of the Pure Historical past Museum in 1935 (not 1936 as said in some publications, though the paper could have really appeared from the printers in 1936, a matter considered by priority-obsessed taxonomists). I’ll take care of this species, if certainly it’s a species, in a separate article.

2. Anthoscopus flavifrons waldroni

See Bannerman’s description of the subspecies of the Forest Penduline-tit within the Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Membership above. Once more it generally seems as waldronae.

3. Barbus waldroni

Described by John Roxborough Norman (1898-1944) of the Pure Historical past Museum in 1935. Presently considered a subspecies of Labeobarbus bynni, the Niger Barb. 

Press Protection

Willoughby Lowe seems to have had an eye fixed to publicity. He introduced his plans for the 1933-4 journey to the Western Morning Information and Day by day Gazette of 4 October 1933:

…In an interview granted to a “Western Morning Information” consultant, Mr Willoughby Lowe mentioned his plans for his newest expedition, on which he expects to be absent from England for 3 or 4 months, With a map. unfold in entrance of him, Mr. Lowe indicated that he would land at Takoradi, on the Gold Coast, and, gathering his safarl, would proceed by prepare to Kumasi, within the inside. Mr. Lowe’s social gathering won’t be giant, and he would be the solely white man…

Northwards from Kumasi large forests, by means of which, owing to the speedy development of vegetation, journey is painfully sluggish. “These jungles have by no means been correctly explored, and it Is right here that I hope to get a few of my finest specimens.” mentioned Mr. Lowe. I believe these jungles ought to carry mammals, birds, and vegetation that nobody has ever seen. Within the swamps there must be uncommon fishes and reptiles. Beforehand I’ve solely visited the coast of West Africa, however I’ve at all times come again with some new specimens….

The Western Morning Information of 31 March 1934 in an extended article gave information of his return:

In neither article does Miss Waldron get a point out. Against this within the press protection of the return in 1935, each Lowe and Waldron function. The Yorkshire Put up of 30 March, supplies an instance:

On the Pure Historical past Museum South Kensington. I watched to-day numerous fish from West Africa being categorised. These have been collected by Miss F. Waldron and Mr. Lowe. and a few could show to be new to science. Miss Waldron and Mr. Lowe have introduced again sure mud or lung fish which, in the course of the warmth of Summer time reside in a state of suspended animation utterly encased in dry mud. Even ought to the Summer time drought up significantly extreme they’ll survive nicely over six months.

The Belfast Telegraph, 18 March 1935:

A number of new species had been amongst a set of 800 birds, reptiles, and monkeys consigned to the British Museum and Zoo which had been landed at Plymouth on Sunday. They had been introduced ashore from the Elder-Dempster liner Apapa by Mr. Willoughby Lowe and Miss F. Waldron, the naturalists, who’ve travelled 1,000 miles within the inside of West Africa, trying to find specimens for the British Museum. One of the crucial attention-grabbing finds was a sleeping fish, which may stay inanimate and apparently useless for months when the rivers dry up. These fish bury themselves within the mud or clay and stay in a comatose situation till the wet season comes spherical and floods the dried-up river beds.

This story made the nationwide press as this text from the Information Chronicle (18 March):

It will seem that the social gathering had introduced some animals for London Zoo. Examination of the ‘day books’ in ZSL’s archives might present extra data. Lowe talked about in his 1937 report that:

We caught two [Red-necked Buzzards, Buteo auguralis] alive at Ejura, and meant them for the Zoological Gardens, London, however we had been so in need of house we couldn’t carry them.

Lungfish actually made it to the Zoo. as desribed in a syndicated article that reached the Motherwell Occasions (29 March 1935).

The 1933-4 and 1934-5 Expeditions: Unanswered Questions

All through her life, Fannie Waldron was not employed however ‘dwelling on personal means’. She was not, as is has been said, or inferred, a member of workers of the Pure Historical past Museum; nor was Willoughby Lowe. Collectors had been on short-term contracts of some kind however on this case I have no idea if Lowe was paid a set sum plus bills, or if cost was based mostly on the variety of specimens. Did London Zoo pay Lowe for the animals it acquired? Was Miss Waldron included within the association with Lowe? I’ve been unable to seek out any data on how Willoughby Lowe and Fannie met or planed their first journey. Bannerman talked about that the Godman Fund had been used to half finance the 1933-34 journey. The charity, now closed was the Godman Exploration Fund set as much as assist journey on behalf of the museum. I strongly suspect that given the acknowledgement Lowe wrote in his account of the expeditionsI, the truth that Fannie Waldron was a really rich girl along with the three eponyms bestowed by museum workers, she could have largely funded the 2 expeditions. 

London Circles

Maybe because of the collections made in West Africa  Fannie Waldron will need to have turn out to be identified within the zoological circles of London. She was a visitor on two events at conferences of the  British Aviculturists’ Membership (based in 1946) . The primary was on 12 November 1947; the second  on 22 June 1948. The latter was a fairly grand affair :

That’s all the data I’ve discovered on Fannie till her loss of life. A press report said that she had moved from London to Goring-by-Sea, close to Worthing, on the Sussex coast in 1950. That transfer would have come when she was 74.


The Worthing Herald of Friday 6 November 1959 introduced:


A member of St. John’s Guild for the Blind and a well known supporter of the Church and South American Missionary Societies, Miss Fannie Waldron, of Wayside, Ashurst-drive, Goring, died at a Worthing nursing residence final Thursday. She was 85. Miss Waldron got here to Worthing from London in 1950 and shortly turned well-known for her common visits to Gifford Home and different houses for disabled and aged folks. Among the many societies she supported had been the RSPCA, the Society for Sick Animals and the Putney Dwelling for Incurables. She was additionally a member of Goring Parish Church. The funeral was at Peasemore Parish Church on Monday.

Peasemore Home, Berkshire, had been her household’s home and different family members are buried at Peasemore.

Fannie died on 29 October 1959 in a nursing residence at 40 Mill Highway, Worthing. The probate report is proven beneath:

The Worthing Gazette (24 February 1960) later supplied some particulars of her will:

…Probate has been granted to her nephews, Stephen W. Brown, of Peasemore, close to Newbury, Berks.. and Maurice C. Waldron, of 16 Coleman-street, E.C.

She left an annuity of £300, a legacy of £300, the proceeds from the sale of her residence and sure results, to her buddy Gertrude Aldridge; £100 to St. John’s Guild for the Blind; £50 every to South American Missionary Society and Putney Dwelling for Incurables; £25 every to the Society for the Safety of Animals in North Africa, Peasemore Churchyard Fund, the Society for Sick Animals, and the R.S.P.C.A.

Different bequests had been. £50 to her buddy Irene Wix; £25 every to her buddies Mary O’Dea and Teresa Crowley; £25 *as a token of my appreciation for the various kindnesses he has proven to me throughout my lifetime” to Mr. G. Dixon. of three Tennyson-road, Worthing; a couple of different private legacies and the

the rest particularly to kin and The Pals of the Poor and Gentlefolk’s Assist, Wi-fi for the Bedridden Society, The Church Missionary Society, and Royal London Society for the Blind.

A Unhappy Afternote: Pure Fiction

A narrative based mostly on Willoughby Lowe and Fannie Waldron and their expedition to West Africa appeared within the ebook Animal Crackers by Hannah Tinti in 2004. On the finish of the brief story the writer wrote: ‘Though loosely based mostly on historic truth, all characters and occasions on this story are fictional’. Nevertheless, the work of fiction traduces each Lowe and Waldron and has strengthened my utter loathing of historic fiction.

A Revised Entry for Eponym Lexicographers


Miss Waldron’s Purple Colobus Colobus badius waldroni Hayman, 1935 (at the moment Piliocolobus waldroni)

Forest Penduline Tit Anthoscopus flavifrons waldroni Bannerman, 1935

Barbus waldroni Norman, 1935 (at the moment a ssp of the Niger Barb, Labeobarbus bynni)

Miss Fannie (generally Fanny) Waldron (1876-1959) took half in two joint gathering expeditions with Willoughby Prescott Lowe (1872-1949) to the Gold Coast (Ghana) in 1933-34 and 1934-35 for the British Museum (Pure Historical past). Some specimens had been despatched from BMNH to the Royal Pure Historical past Museum in Sweden. Reside specimens had been acquired by London Zoo. All three of her eponymous organisms are generally proven as waldronae. Lowe wrote: ‘Lastly, I have to specific my gratitude to my companion, Miss Fanny Waldron, with out whose curiosity and help these pure historical past collections might by no means have been made’.

Bannerman DR. 1950. Willoughby Prescott Lowe. Vice-President B.O.U. 1943–45 and Union Silver Medallist. Ibis 92, 142–145 

Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2009. The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins College Press

Beolens, B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2014. The Eponym Dictionary of Birds. London: Bloomsbury.

Hayman RW. 1935: On a set of mammals from the Gold Coast. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London.1935, 915-937.

Lowe WP. 1937a. Report on the Lowe-Waldron Expeditions to the Ashanti Forests and Northern Territories of the Gold Coast.. Ibis 79, 345-368.

Lowe WP. 1937b. Report on the Lowe-Waldron Expeditions to the Ashanti Forests and Northern Territories of the Gold Coast.—Half II. Ibis 79, 635-662.

Lowe WP. 1937c. Report on the Lowe-Waldron Expeditions to the Ashanti Forests and Northern Territories of the Gold Coast.—Half III. Ibis 79, 830-846.

McGraw WS. 2005. Replace on the Seek for Miss Waldron’s Purple Colobus Monkey. Worldwide Journal of Primatology 26, 605-619.  DOI: 10.1007/s10764-005-4368-9 

Norman JR. 1935. A group of fishes from the Ashanti Forest, Gold Coast. Annals and Journal of Pure Historical past (Collection 10) 15, 215-221.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *