S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Cavendish, Mr H S H (bird collection)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

H.S.H. Cavendish, a British traveller in Africa, spent two years in South Africa on a two year shooting and sight-seeing trip during 1894-1896. He then led an expedition to the south of Lake Rudolph (now Lake Turkana, Kenya) during 1896-1897. The next year (1898) he travelled in the Somali Peninsula and its hinterland, and contributed to knowledge of its river system. He described these ventures in "Through Somaliland and around and south of Lake Rudolf" (Geographical Journal, 1898).

Later in 1898 Cavendish paid a short visit to southern Mozambique and collected specimens of 37 species of birds in the neighbourhood of Beira and in the Cheringoma district (between Beira and the lower Zambezi River). The collection was described by R.B. Sharpe in The Ibis in 1900. One species was new to science and is still recognised as a local race of the Common Waxbill, Estrilda astrild cavendishi. Several other species were new to the southern African fauna.

Cavendish led an unsettled life. He married Isabel Jay in 1902, but she divorced him in 1906. Later that year he married again and had two children. However, he drank to excess and mistreated his second wife, May Cavendish, who divorced him in 1912.


List of sources:

Cavendish, H.S.H. Through Somaliland and around and south of Lake Rudolf. Geographical Journal, 1898, Vol. 11 pp. 372-393. Page 372 read at http://www.jstor.org/stable/1774709?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 10th ed., 1902-1903.

New Zealand Herald, 31 August 1912, p. 2: ‘Explorer and marriage’. Retrieved at http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=NZH19120831.2.107.33

Sharpe, R.B. On a collection of birds obtained by Mr H.S.H. Cavendish in Mozambique. The Ibis, 1900, Vol. 42(1), pp. 109-115. Page 109 read at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1474-919X.1900.tb00730.x/abstract

Summaries of some recent botanical and zoological papers referring to South Africa. Transactions of the South African Philosophical Society, 1902, Vol. 11(4), pp. 383-418.


Compiled by: C. Plug


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