S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Court, Mr Philip Walthen (veterinary science)

Born: 1828, Worcestershire, United Kingdom.
Died: 1903, United Kingdom.

Philip W. Court, ostrich feather pioneer and merchant, emigrated to the Cape Colony in 1847 and fought in several Frontier Wars. He was one of the earliest hunters to penetrate beyond the Zambesi River, from where he brought back young ostriches in 1850 and bred them on his farm near Port Elizabeth. During the eighteen-sixties he visited the Australian goldfields and New Zealand, where he fought in a war against the Maories. After his return to Port Elizabeth he became a produce merchant in 1868 and subsequently spent some time on the diamond fields. He was one of the early producers of, and dealers in, ostrich feathers.

During the early eighteen-eighties Court wrote a pamphlet on mange in livestock and its treatment, probably to advertise a patent remedy. The full title was: Scab, or brandziekte; its nature, symptoms, and cure. Also, a description of the glycering dip, with directions for its use in the cure of scab, and foot and mouth disease. Extracts from newspapers, and several professional and private testimonials to its efficacy in the cure and prevention of disease in sheep and other animals. A Dutch edition was published in Port Elizabeth in 1882, and the third edition of the English version in 1884.

Court was a committee member of the Port Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, and a committee member of the Port Elizabeth Agricultural Society in 1885. In 1888 he provided help in natural history to the Port Elizabehth Museum. He was married to Fanny Alice Court and retired to England in 1894.


List of sources:
Cape of Good Hope. Report on the Port Elizabeth Museum, 1888, p. 2.

General directory and guide-book to the Cape of Good Hope and its dependencies, 1886, p. 272.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Philip Wathen Court.

Rootsweb South-Africa-Eastern-Cape-L archives. http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/SOUTH-AFRICA-EASTERN-CAPE/2010-02/1265990342 as on 2016-5-3.

Rosenthal, E. Southern African dictionary of national biography. London: F. Warne, 1966.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.


Compiled by: C. Plug


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