Guide to the Papers of Edward Smith Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Stanley, Edward Smith, 13th Earl of Derby, 1775-1851
Papers of Edward Smith Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
12 April 1813 - 1851
Collection Number
79 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Correspondence and manuscripts.

Subjects include: natural history collections; dispatch of birds and other specimens from Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and East Indies for Derby's collections; appointment of J. MacGilivray as naturalist on HMS Rattlesnake; Maori disturbances 1843 and fighting against Maoris at Kawati Pah; and John Gould's Birds of Australia.

Correspondents include J. Gray, Sir William Hooker, G.W. Earl, J.W. Willis, Edward Stanley, John Gould and T.M. McDonnell.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the Liverpool Record Office as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1986 (AJCP Reels: M2077). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Liverpool Record Office, Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool.

Collection reference: 920 DER. For further information, see Liverpool Record Office and Local Studies catalogue (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-Aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2019. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

The identifiers used in this finding aid were accurate at the time of filming.


Australia; Australia: flora and fauna; Birds: Australia; Birds: New Zealand; Dutch East Indies; Earl, G.W.; Gould, John; Gray, John E., Dr; Hooker, Sir William J.; Kawati Pah, New Zealand; MacGillivray, John; Maori; McDonnell, T.M.; Naturalists; New Zealand; New Zealand Wars; New Zealand: flora and fauna; Papua New Guinea; Papua New Guinea: flora and fauna; Rattlesnake, HMS (ship); Stanley, Edward S., Lord Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby; Stanley, Edward, Captain; Willis, J.W.


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 134, p.49.

Biographical / Historical

Edward Smith Stanley (1775-1851), Baron Stanley (summoned 1832), 13th Earl of Derby (succeeded 1834). Educated Trinity College, Cambridge. Whig M.P. 1796-1832. President of Linnean Society 1828-1833. President of Zoological Society of London 1831-1851. Established extensive menagerie and museum at his home at Knowsley. His natural history collections formed the basis of the Liverpool Museum, opened in 1860.

Item Descriptions

Series. Correspondence, 12 April 1813 - 1851

77 items

Filmed Selectively.

W. Butterworth (Singapore) to Derby, 5 December 1849 (File 1/27/1)

Selection of G.W. Earl to carry out zoological researches in Indian Archipelago.

G.W. Earl to W. Butterworth, 30 November 1849 (File 1/27/1B)

Commission from Derby to collect birds and quadrupeds in Malay Archipelago; sends notes on desiderata.

W. Colenso (Hawkes Bay) to Derby, 19 January 1848 (File 1/37/1)

Interest in New Zealand natural history; disappearance of many species of animals and birds; difficulty of obtaining living specimens of large birds; reluctance of older natives to help collectors. (15pp.)

H. Cuming to Derby: sends birds and shells from Philippines, 20 October 1840 (File 1/43/1)

H. Cuming to Derby: animals of Philippines, 21 August 1848 (File 1/43/8)

H. Cuming to Derby: birds of Philippines, 19 October 1848 (File 1/43/9)

E. Dixon to Derby: memoir of Australian birds kept in captivity, 1 November 1849 (File 1/46/5)

J. Drummond (Fremantle) to Sir William Hooker, 28 April 1844 (File 1/47/1)

Preparations for despatch of collection of plants and seeds; activities of sons; interest of son in exploring Himalayas.

G.W. Earl (Singapore) to Derby, 3 February 1851 (File 1/48/1)

Arrangements for despatch of collection; details of specimens of birds; suggestions for collecting birds in Malaya.

G.W. Earl to Derby, 6 February 1851 (File 1/48/2)

Despatch of collection; Borneo specimens; Sir James Brooke.

P. Earl to Derby, 2 April 1845 (File 1/49/1)

Sends list of New Zealand birds selected by Derby from those sent by Warwick.

L. Fraser to Derby, 25 September 1840 (File 1/59/8)

Collection of Philippine birds of H. Cuming.

L. Fraser to Derby: Cuming Collection, 14 October 1840 (File 1/59/12)

L. Fraser to Derby, 20 October 1840 (File 1/59/13)

Selection of specimens from collection of H. Cuming.

J. Garside (Manchester) to Derby, 29 May 1845 (File 1/64/1)

Interview with J. Gould about Australian parrots; price of parrots.

J. Gould correspondence, 1840 - 1851 (File 1/67/1-30)

Items of note include:

J. Gould (London) to Derby: account of work in Australia; lists of birds; living specimens brought from Australia; naturalization of kangaroos in England; despatch of natural history specimens; visit to Europe; publication of Birds of Australia; travels of J. Gilbert; receipt of collections from Gilbert; identification of birds; 1845 expedition of L. Leichhardt and death of Gilbert; kangaroo rats; collecting work of Strange in Moreton Bay and New Zealand. (26 letters).

J. Gilbert (Perth, Darling Downs) to J. Gould: collecting activities in Western Australia and New South Wales. (3 letters)

J. Gould. Drawing of Parrot

J. Gray to Derby, 29 March 1842 (File 1/69/10)

Refusal of Capt. F. Blackwood to back bills of J. MacGillivray.

J. Gray to Derby, 9 October 1844 (File 1/69/35)

Receipt of box from J. MacGillivray; arrangement of insects.

J. Gray to Derby: specimens sent by J. MacGillivray, 11 October 1844 (File 1/69/36)

J. Gray to Derby: interest in natural history of J. Brooke of Sarawak, 13 January 1845 (File 1/69/42)

J. Gray to Derby: conduct of J. MacGillivray, 10 March 1845 (File 1/69/46)

J. Gray to Derby: refers to collection of J. MacGillivray, 23 May 1845 (File 1/69/52)

J. Gray to Derby: sends letters from J. MacGillivray, 28 October 1845 (File 1/69/60)

J. Gray to Derby: refers to bills of J. MacGillivray, 6 November 1845 (File 1/69/61)

J. Gray to Derby: bird collecting on New Guinea expedition of Capt. O. Stanley, 1 May 1846 (File 1/69/83)

J. Gray to Derby: arrival of H.M.S. Fly; J. MacGillivray, 24 June 1846 (File 1/69/86)

J. Gray to Derby, 8 July 1846 (File 1/69/87)

Interview with J. MacGillivray; plans to publish account of voyage of H.M.S. Fly; J.B. Jukes.

J. Gray to Derby: Van Diemen's Land birds, 28 July 1846 (File 1/69/88)

J. Gray to Derby: payments to J. MacGillivray, 27 August 1846 (File 1/69/93)

J. Gray to Derby, 20 November 1846 (File 1/69/100)

Appointment of J. MacGillivray as naturalist on H.M.S. Rattlesnake; letter from Capt. O. Stanley.

Sir Robert Heron to Derby: kangaroos, 30 June (File 1/80/1)

Sir Robert Heron to Derby: offer of exchange of kangaroos, 20 August 1835 (File 1/80/3)

Sir Robert Heron to Derby: black swan, 30 December 1835 (File 1/80/4)

Sir Robert Heron to Derby: emus; flying squirrels, 28 August 1844 (File 1/80/12)

Sir Robert Heron to Derby: kangaroos, 24 June 1849 (File 1/80/40)

Sir Robert Heron to Derby: Australian parakeets, 27 August 1850 (File 1/80/42)

Sir William Hooker to Derby, 26 January 1845 (File 1/82/25)

Achievements of Drummond Family in collecting natural history specimens in Western Australia.

Sir William Hooker to Derby: seeds collected by convict north of Moreton Bay, 25 March 1845 (File 1/82/32)

Sir William Hooker to Derby: forwards skins from Rev. W. Colenso in New Zealand, 5 July 1849 (File 1/82/55)

Sir William Hooker to Derby: Rev. W. Colenso and New Zealand birds, 8 August 1849 (File 1/82/56)

A. Hepburn to A. White, 13 January 1845 (File)

Quotes letter of J. MacGillivray about voyage of H.M.S Fly; his appreciation of patronage of Lord Derby.

J. Leadbeater to Derby: offers collection of birds from Swan River, 18 July 1840 (File 1/105/1)

M.A. Lewin to Stanley, 30 October 1822 (File 1/107/1)

Offers paintings of birds, plants and view of Sydney Harbour by J.W. Lewin.

T. McDonnell (Hokianga London) to Derby, 1835 - 1844 (File 1/112/1-6)

Arrival in New Zealand; relations between Europeans and Maoris; duties as British Resident at Hokianga; import of spirits; arrest of murderers of Capt. S. Bragg; birds and animals of New Zealand; supply of spars for Admiralty; Maori disturbances in 1843; interest in systematic colonization of New Zealand. (6 letters)

Rev. F. Marriott (Hobart) to Derby, 17 May 1846 (File 1/115/1)

Forwards white kangaroo and native hens; hopes to obtain lyrebird.

D. Mitchell to Derby, 10 September 1847 (File 1/118/15)

Birds discovered by Rev. J. Stair at Navigator Islands; offer of Capt. Fayrer to assist Zoological Society in Australia.

D. Mitchell to Derby, 17 September 1847 (File 1/118/16)

Interview with Capt. Fayrer; agencies to be established by Indian and Australian Royal Steam Packet Company.

D. Mitchell to Derby: arrangements with Low to obtain animals at Labuan, 9 February 1848 (File 1/118/)

D. Mitchell to Derby: receipt of New Zealand poe bird from Lieut. Gough, 12 February 1849 (File 1/118/)

D. Mitchell to Derby, 28 August 1849 (File 1/118/)

Plan of Derby of sending collector to Singapore; suggests Zoological Society participate in venture.

D. Mitchell to Derby: discovery of cassowary in Australia by Kennedy Expedition, 27 October 1849 (File 1/118/)

D. Mitchell to Derby: interview with Garnett concerning collecting in Sarawak for Derby, n.d. (File 1/118/)

W. Ogilby to Derby: offer by Derby of kangaroos for Zoological Society, 28 January 1843 (File 1/128/24)

W. Ogilby to Derby: appointment of naturalist for naval expedition to Borneo, 28 December 1844 (File 1/128/43)

R. Owen to Derby: research on gigantic New Zealand bird (Dinorsis), 16 December 1844 (File 1/129/1)

R. Owen to Derby: sends cast of leg bones of Dinorsis, 14 January 1845 (File 1/129/2)

R. Owen to Derby: arrival of bones of extinct New Zealand birds discovered by Mantell, 25 January 1848 (File 1/129/4)

J. Sabine to Derby, 22 May 1835 (File 1/143/)

Letters of introduction needed for H. Cuming to visit Philippines to collect natural history specimens.

J. Sherlock to Stanley: supply of birds, including number from Australia, 12 April 1813 (File 1/148/1)

J. Smith (Aberdeen) to Derby: sends drawing of New Zealand kiwi, 9 September 1837 (File 1/151/1)

T. Spring Rice to Derby: colonial appointment for T. McDonnell, 16 June 1834 (File 1/157/1)

E. Stanley (Bay of Islands) to Derby, 9 January 1846 (File 1/160/1)

Arrival in New Zealand; account of fighting against Maoris at Kawiti Pah; undertakes to collect natural history curiosities.

E. Stanley to Derby, 14 January 1846 (File 1/160/2)

Destruction of Kawiti Pah; expects to move to River Hutt; collection of shells.

F. Strange (Sydney) to Derby, 29 October 1847 (File 1/165/1)

Collecting of birds and animals; plans to visit New Zealand.

F. Strange to Derby, 27 December 1847 (File 1/165/2)

Despatch of birds; plans for expedition to New Zealand.

J. Veitch (Exeter) to Derby, 13 July 1846 (File 1/176/1)

Acquisition of Singapore and Penang game fowl; refers to visit of son, surgeon on H.M.S. Hazard, to East Indies.

J. Veitch to Derby, 22 March 1851 (File 1/177/1)

Account of search for birds in Borneo in 1846; partridges; importance of Borneo for naturalists.

I. Warwick to Derby: birds brought from New Zealand by Earl, 5 February 1845 (File 1/182/1)

G. Waterhouse to Derby, 2 July (File 1/183/5)

Synopsis of J. Gould. Birds of Australia; kangaroos.

T. Whitfield to Derby, 1 November 1844 (File 1/187/)

Refers to visit to Australia in 1832; inquires if Derby interested in Harrington Collection of Australian flying squirrels, possums, native rat and bird skins.

T. Whitfield to Derby: repeats offer of Harrington Collection, 9 November 1844 (File 1/187/)

T. Whitfield to Derby: summary of Harrington Collection, 11 November 1844 (File 1/187/)

T. Whitfield to Derby: requests decision on Harrington Collection, 19 November 1844 (File 1/187/)

J.W. Willis (Melbourne) to Derby, 30 April 1843 (File 1/190/9)

Sends 'Arab', mixture of monkey, possum and sloth; ruin of Australian colonies; reckless insubordination of Sir George Gipps; hopes of retirement.

J. Willis to Derby, 16 November 1843 (File 1/190/10)

Dismissal by Sir George Gipps; interview with Lord Stanley; dishonourable speculations of C.J. La Trobe; reckless expenditure on bounty emigrants; disastrous policies of Gipps; sends specimen of flying mouse.

Series. Unlisted Papers

2 items

Account of Java, Madura and Dutch East Indies in the 18th century, possibly by Sir Stamford Raffles (File)

(Incomplete, in exercise book paginated 36-71).

Manuscript on state of New Zealand (10 pp., incomplete), n.d. (File)