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Dr James Benjamin HarveyPrint Page Print this page

The headstone on the grave was erected by the Port Lincoln Caledonian Society in memory of Dr James Benjamin Harvey, the first doctor in Port Lincoln.

He was born in 1804 in Tottenham, England, married Sophie in 1830, aged 26, and set up practice as a surgeon in Devonshire. However , after 7 years the practice wasn’t doing that well and Sophie was beginning to show signs of chest trouble which wasn’t helped by the damp climate.

A fresh start in a new warmer country seemed a better option. Dr Harvey obtained a grant of land and the job of Harbour-Master at Port Lincoln in 1839. He was also permitted to practise privately as a surgeon. He died in 1843 and was buried on Boston Island where he had land.

JAMES BENJAMIN HARVEY, M.RCS.

Mr. J. D. Somerville has increased the debt which Port Lincoln owes to him. His latest work is to compile an account as far as the matter is available of the association of Dr. James Benjamin Harvey, M.R.C.S., with early Port Lincoln. We have been favored with the opportunity of reading the first section of Mr. Sommerville's work on Dr. Harvey. It treats Dr. Harvey as a naturalist. The doctor was an enthusiastic zoologist and' botanist.  

He must have been a man of exceptional energy and ability, and it was a great loss to Port Lincoln that such a man should have died before he had time to make the exhaustive investigations into local flora and fauna which would have been his delight. Dr. Harvey died in 1841 and both he and his wife are buried on Boston Island. It appears that Dr. and Mrs. Harvey's home was the two-storey house on allotment No. 71 on the North road, so that this house is now over 100 years old and one of the oldest residences in Port Lincoln.

Harvey had a collection of 20,000 valuable natural history specimens which, he had collected and used in his lectures at Teignmouth, England. His home in Port Lincoln would not accommodate this vast collection, but he selected the choicest of them to bring to Australia and disposed of the remainder to the Literary and Philosophical Society of Birmingham. He afterwards regretted that those which he brought were lost to science in Port Lincoln. Dr. Harvey had two sons and some time after his death the specimens, which he retained, augmented by 200 species of shells collected at Port Lincoln and 60 or 70 species of birds were sold by auction.
Port Lincoln Times, Thursday 15 January 1942.

Location

Address:Boston Island, Port Lincoln, 5606
State:SA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.695
Long: 135.930278
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Medicine
Approx. Event Start Date:1839
Approx. Event End Date:1843
Monument Designer:Caledonian Society

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1974
Front Inscription

JAMES BENJAMEN (sic) HARVEY
First Doctor Pt. Lincoln 1839
         Died 1843
Also His Wife Who Died 1842
Buried Here By Request.
        Erected By
Pt. Lincoln Caledonian Society 1974
                                   P.J. Baillie Chief

Source: MA
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