Edge-Partington, James

Biography

James Edge Partington was born in 1854 in Brighton Grove, Manchester. He was educated at Rugby and qualified as a solicitor. In 1879 he embarked on a three year expedition to the Pacific. It was during this period that Edge Partington became a serious collector and ethnologist of Pacific material.

In 1883 he published his journals entitled ‘Random Rot’, outlining his activities in the Pacific. On returning to England he began working as a volunteer in the ethnographical department of the British Museum, documenting the museum’s South Sea collection. Edge Partington researched and documented private and public collections of Pacific and Maori material and published two volumes of drawings and descriptions of native Pacific Islands weapons, tools, ornaments and dress (in 1890 and 1895).

James Edge Partington married Ada Caroline Cunliffe and had a son; Thomas William Edge Partington (1883 - 1920).

Edge Partington undertook a second Pacific voyage which produced further publications (1889) and further extended his research and collection activities. He amassed a large collection of photographs relating to the pacific (now in the British Museum) and was a frequent contributor to the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (then known as MAN).

Artefacts collected by Edge Partington are found in collections all over the world, particularly in New Zealand, England, and Australia. After his death many items went to the the British Museum. The remaining collection was acquired by the Auckland Museum, New Zealand.

Brief biography

academic, anthropologist and collector (1854 -1930)

Connected to...

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk