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Topic: Henry Hammersley Travers

Is part of topic Collectors of bird skins

Henry Hammersley Travers was born in 1844 and arrived in New Zealand (Nelson) in 1850.  He was educated at Nelson College, and admitted to the New Zealand bar as a lawyer in 1876. He practised in Wellington, and later lived in Parapararumu.

Henry Travers made two trips to the Chatham Islands, where he collected important plant, bird and insect specimens, together with lizards, rock samples, whale bones, and Moriori artefacts. The first trip was funded by his father, W.T. L Travers, in 1864.  The second trip was in 1871, and was possibly on behalf of the Colonial Museum.

In 1869 he married Ida Smith of Christchurch, and they had five children. Travers collected extensively from the Nelson Province and possibly purchased bird specimens from Nelson taxidermists. He made trips to Stephens Island in search of the then just-extinct Lyall's wren in February and December 1895 and again in 1903, to the subantarctic islands, and many other places.

Lyall's wren (Traversia lyalli) and the black robin (Petroica traversi) were named after Henry Travers.

Travers seems to have failed as a lawyer and lost his practise by 1900. He was appointed Curator of the Newtown Museum on 10 November 1913 but was dismissed some time in 1915. He died in 1928, and his wife Ida died in 1937, apparently bequeathing his large remaining collection of birds to the Dominion Museum (accessioned in 1944). 

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