Keast Lord




Veterinarian and Naturalist

" In Victoria I used to get up about 9, read the newspapers, take a few solar observations with a Sextant till 12, have luncheon, and ride up to town about 2, lounge about the town paying visits and shopping till 3, then go for a ride till 4:39, get home about 5:30, have dinner at 6, cup of tea at 7:30, rubber of whist (for love) till 11, and then turn in and that was our ordinary employment.  We used to be overrun at various portions of the day by naval officers coming on shore for fun, and in the evening we used sometimes to have as many as a dozen at a time in our Mess-room, and we were all great friends with them."

-- 27 May 1860,
Lt. Anderson RE

Served as veterinary surgeon in the Crimea, 18556.  Naturalist to the Boundary Commission sent to British Columbia, 1858.  Joined the staff of the journal Land and Water in 1866 before being engaged by the viceroy in archaeological and scientific research in Egypt.  Was a correspondent of Charles Darwin.  Appointed manager of the newly established Brighton Aquarium 1872, four months before his death.

John Keast Lord, by J. Kirkwood, after Unknown artist.

Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery
NPG D7665

Early visitors to the Okanagan Valley remarked on the numbers of birds they encountered. Like the naturalist John Keast Lord who wrote in 1860 when he marveled:  "If there is an Eden for water-birds, the Osoyoos lakes must be that favored spot." 

"As I smoked away, silent as all about me, suddenly a sharp clear whistle that awoke the echoes far and near, thoroughly roused me, and sent all other thoughts to the rout."  This was John Keast Lord's introduction to the hoary or "whistling" marmot.  Mr. Lord, a naturalist attached to the British Boundary Commission in 1861, was quietly smoking his pipe near the point where the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the United States meet, above Cameron Lake in Waterton Lakes National Park.

There is an attractive little book that deals with the life of the Victorian naturalist John Keast Lord (1819-1872).

John Keast Lord: Materials for a life describes his early life in Devon, his qualification as a veterinary surgeon, his subsequent wanderings in North America, his part in the Crimean campaign, his services as naturalist, veterinarian and transport manager with the British North-American Boundary commission  1858-1862, his subsequent career as author and journalist, his Red Sea expedition of 1868-1869, and his final appointment as manager of the Brighton Aquarium.

Lord's "attractive little book"

Notes on William Bullock's Egyptian Hall, where Lord lectured, and on the dispersal of Bullock's zoological collections are included.  Appendices list material in the Natural History Museum collected by Lord on the Boundary Commission, species named after him, his scientific papers, and a selection of his other writings.  For more info on this book, please see:

Books Published by John K Lord include:

Lord, J. K. 1863: Lord, John Keast. 1863.  Notes on two new species of mammals. Proceedings of the scientific meetings of the Zoological Society of London (1863): 95--8.

Lord, J. K. 1866: Lord, John Keast. 1866.  The Naturalist in Vancouver Island and British Columbia. 2 vols. London: Richard Bentley.

The gastropod name Turbonilla lordi (E.A. Smith, 1880) and the bivalve name Psephidia lordi (Baird, 1863) are likely honouring the British naturalist John Keast Lord, 1817-72, who worked in Vancouver Island and British Columbia.

--from Biographical Etymology of Marine Organism Names