Jamrach, Johann Christian Carl (DNB00)

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JAMRACH, JOHANN CHRISTIAN CARL (1815–1891), dealer in wild animals, son of Johann Gottlieb Jamrach, a dealer in birds, shells, and the like, was born in Hamburg in March 1815. He came to England and was always known here as Charles Jamrach. About 1840 he became a dealer in wild animals, carrying on at first a business which a brother had established in East Smithfield, but he very soon moved to Ratcliff Highway, to what is now 180 St. George's Street East. Here he greatly enlarged his business, and practically acquired a monopoly of the trade in wild animals in this country; he supplied all the travelling menageries and the Zoological Gardens, and was widely known among naturalists. His establishment in Ratcliff Highway excited much curiosity and furnished materials for innumerable newspaper articles. As time went on he found it profitable to import large quantities of Eastern curiosities, and in later years his trade in animals suffered from competition. Jamrach died at Beaufort Cottage, Bow, on 6 Sept. 1891. He was a strong, courageous man, as was shown in his single-handed struggle with a runaway tiger in 1857, of which Frank Buckland wrote a description. A print of Jamrach is in the ‘Pall Mall Budget’ for 10 Sept. 1891. He married, first, Mary Athanasio, daughter of a Neapolitan; secondly, Ellen Downing; and thirdly, Clara Salter. He left issue by his first two wives.

[Private information; Times, 6 and 9 Sept. 1891; Buckland's Curiosities of Natural History, 1st ser. pp. 231, &c.]

W. A. J. A.