Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Charles Adolph (Carl) Leibius (1833–1893)

by G. P. Walsh

This article was published:

Charles Adolph (Carl) Leibius (1833-1893), chemist and public servant, was born in Württemberg, Germany, son of Gottleib Leibius, merchant, and his wife Julie, née Boettinger. After studying science at the Universität Heidelberg (Ph.D., 1857) he went to London and studied analytical and assaying chemistry, working at the Royal College with Professor Hofmann. He arrived in Sydney in 1859 where on 31 March he was appointed assistant assayer at the branch Mint on a salary of £580. He was promoted senior assayer on 1 October 1870 at £700. In 1859 he had joined the Royal Society (Philosophical Society) of New South Wales. He was joint honorary secretary in 1875-86, a vice-president in 1886-87 and 1891-92 and president in 1890-91. His presidential address on 6 May 1891 dealt with the progress of some branches of applied science in the colony. In addition to his administrative work he delivered six short papers mainly on the identification and refining of gold and other ores. He was elected a fellow of the Chemical Society of London on 18 December 1879, and admitted to the University of Sydney (M.A. ad eund., 1882).

Leibius's main interests were scientific. Enthusiasm, thoroughness and directness in all he did were strong features of his character. His genial and sincere disposition won him many friends, among the closest being Robert Hunt, deputy-master of the Mint. He was a director of the City and Suburban Building and Investment Society, and in 1885 contributed to the Patriotic Fund for the Sudan contingent. He died at his residence, Ithaca, Burwood, on 19 June 1893 and was buried in the Anglican cemetery, Rookwood. His estate was sworn for probate at under £11,500. He was survived by his wife Margaret, née Burnell (d.1924), whom he had married on 31 October 1863 at St James's Church, Sydney, and by three daughters and a son, Gustav Hugo, who with Robert Garran published Index of Cases Judicially Noticed in the Courts of New South Wales and on Appeal Therefrom, 1825-1895 (Sydney, 1896).

Select Bibliography

  • Chemical Society, Journal, 65 (1894), 388
  • Royal Society of New South Wales, Proceedings, 28 (1894), 36
  • Sydney Morning Herald, 20 June 1893.

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

G. P. Walsh, 'Leibius, Charles Adolph (Carl) (1833–1893)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1974, accessed online 13 July 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, (Melbourne University Press), 1974

View the front pages for Volume 5

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


Württemberg, Germany


19 June, 1893 (aged ~ 60)
Burwood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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