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Kangaroos in Lincolnshire ~ The Life & Times

Kangaroos in Lincolnshire
It sounds a little unlikely but there is an interesting connection to this Antipodean creature and Lincolnshire . . .

The primary and biggest name when thinking of Kangaroos in Lincolnshire is non other than Sir Joseph Banks, one of Lincolnshire’s biggest ‘names’
Banks was one of the first Europeans to describe Kangaroos as he sailed aboard James Cook’s Endeavour way back in 1770.
There was settlement in the early 1790s in Australia and with that came the export of Kangaroos to England.

Initially they came to private ‘collections’ such as the Royal Menagerie at Kew but later the circus and fairs started acquiring them and travelling the country.
In 1799 the Stamford Mercury talks of a ‘great novelty to be exhibited - those extraordinary animals the Kanguroos from Botany Bay!’
These animals were also seen in Louth and Boston and would have been the first seen in the county - quite a thing when you think about it.

Later on in the 1820s they were also present in the bizarre menagerie of Samuel Russell Collet at Eagle and in the 1830s and 40s Sir Robert Heron was keeping Kangaroos at Stubton Hall, his were particularly special as they were acquired with the help of Sir Joseph Banks himself in 1810

You may marvel that I managed to get an article out of ‘Kangaroos in Lincolnshire’ but marvel further, Geoffrey Morey got an entire book out of it in 1962 titled The Lincoln Kangaroos !

If you know anything else, or have any opinions, connected specifically with Kangaroos here in the Golden Shire then please do feel free to comment.
Hoppingly yours,


  1. pirates daughter said,

    March 24, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

    In the 1960s there was a colony of wallabies nr Lincoln owned I think by a local Doctor ,I am sure that there was also wallabies or kangaroos living wild in Lincolnshire, I don’t know if they have died out or are still out there but I’m sure I remember reading about them

  2. Rod said,

    March 24, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

    there was also an escaped one a while ago and the RSPCA caught it and took it to an animal park I visited, nobody ever found out whence it came !

  3. Karen said,

    March 25, 2013 @ 7:17 am

    Hi Rod,
    are you aware of the different purposes your website serves?

    I for once just learned a new English word from it, a language I have been speaking as a second language for 60 years now.

    ‘Where from’ something / someone came was alright all this time, now I have learned the wonderful word ‘whence’. I shall make frequent use of it, as I also do of overmorrow (the day after tomorrow) and nudiustertian (the day before yesterday) both of which I recently learned from “A-Word-a-Day”.

    Anybody interested find yourself this website, most interesting for any logophile (one who loves words).

    From an also very cold, snow covered Northern Germany, however with meticulously swept footpaths in front of houses (told you about this custom / law here once before) kind regards


  4. Rod said,

    March 25, 2013 @ 8:10 am

    I try to add a little something to all articles, my ability is limited though, I wish I could do better, a classical education would have helped - but we are where we are :)

    Keep warm Karen and I’m pleased to hear your paths are clear :)
    Best wishes from England
    A poor but would-be wordsmith, Rod

  5. pikey pete said,

    March 25, 2013 @ 7:35 pm

    re………..kangeroos in lincolnshire .. i do believe one went on ( walkabout ) a number of years ago in north owersby it was eventually reunited with its owner sometime later after alarming a few local residents

  6. minnie said,

    March 25, 2013 @ 7:50 pm

    there were and ?still are wallabies living in the wild along the coast - I was told that a number of them ‘escaped’ from the old Cleethorpes zoo and were surviving in the wild quite well.

  7. Nick M said,

    March 25, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

    Yep — one or some escaped into Humberston farmland from the old Zoo in the 70s. The father of one of my classmates at Clee Grammar rounded one up from his fields.

  8. pikey pete said,

    March 26, 2013 @ 7:00 am

    one large male kangaroo escaped from the traveling circus in boston lincolnshire circa 1930,s it was coaxed by the village bobby into a hastily made enclosure waiting for the owner to arrive in the mean time it blacked the bobbys eye . with a flying kick . This animal was the main attraction at the traveling circus in the boxing booths

  9. Rod said,

    March 26, 2013 @ 7:43 am

    Thanks guys, there’s clearly been quite a bit of activity.
    I wonder whether there’s been any breeding and if any of the original influx to Lincs in the early 1880s passed on their strain . . .

  10. kaz said,

    March 29, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    Hi Rod, its been a while, but have just read this amazing article! being an ex grimbarian, now living in the land of roos, i find the news unbelievable, but do not doubt you for a second!
    im surprised they are not affected by the cold, but i guess the lincs ones have addapted to the cold & snow!
    great work once again!!! thanks!!

  11. Rod said,

    March 29, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

    I suppose that’s shows just how amazing the internet is, a Grimbarian now on the Far Side of the World reading about Kangaroos in Lincolnshire . . . it’s mind-bending when you think about it

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