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World Explorers and Travellers 

Location: Explorers & Collectors

The Beaney's Collections include a range of fascinating items given by people with Canterbury connections who have travelled across the world. General William Miller, born in Wingham, near Canterbury, went to South America in 1817 to fight for the independence of Peru, after serving under Wellington in Spain. He became a national hero and was awarded the title of Grand Marshal of Ayacucho. Miller gave the museum a large number of insects and minerals from South America. Items from other collectors include souvenirs of the Battle of Omdurman in Africa and the overthrow of King Theebaw in Burma.

Items on display include:

  • Sudanese shield brought back from the Battle of Omdurman. Given in 1902 by Canterbury resident General Sir James Graham, and brought back in 1898 by his son from the Battle of Omdurman.
  • West African daggers. Collected in 1828/29 by Captain Thomas Boteler RN, who wrote saying he would add to the museum collections on his survey trip, but died of fever.
  • Cast of part of a Mastodon andium lower jaw. Canterbury curator John Brent allowed the British Museum to keep the original in exchange for a cast along with various fossil specimens.
  • Club from Nootka Sound. Very likely collected on Captain Cook's Pacific voyages in the late eighteenth century.
  • Carved wooden paddle from the South Sea Islands. Dates from the early nineteenth century.
  • Snow shoe from central northern Canada. Dating from the early to mid nineteenth century.
Sudanese Shield on display on at the Beaney Art Museum and Library

Sudanese shield. Given in 1902 by Canterbury resident General Sir James Graham, and brought back in 1898 by his son from the Battle of Omdurman, where the British army massacred Sudanese 'Dervishes', securing control of the Nile.

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