Timothy (tortoise)

Timothy (c. 1844 – 3 April 2004) was a 5 kg (11 lb) Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoise who was thought to be approximately 160 years old at the time of her death. This made her the UK's oldest known resident.[3] In spite of her name, Timothy was female; it was not properly known how to sex tortoises in the 19th century. Timothy was named after a tortoise owned by Gilbert White.[4]

Timothy was believed to have been born in the Mediterranean shores of Turkey[1] and was found aboard a Portuguese privateer in 1854, aged around 10, by Captain John Guy Courtenay-Everard of the Royal Navy. The tortoise served as a mascot on a series of navy vessels until 1892. She was ship's mascot of HMS Queen during the first bombardment of Sevastopol in the Crimean War (she was the last survivor of this war),[2] then moved to HMS Princess Charlotte followed by HMS Nankin.[3] After her naval service she retired to live out her life on dry land, taken in by the Earl of Devon at his home, Powderham Castle. From 1935 she lived in the castle's rose garden and was owned by Camilla Gabrielle Courtenay (1913–2010), the daughter of the 16th Earl of Devon.[2] On her underside was etched "Where have I fallen? What have I done?", English translation of the Courtenay family motto ubi lapsus, quid feci.[5]

In 1926, Timothy's owners decided that he should mate, and it was then discovered that "he" was actually female.[3][6] Despite this information, mating attempts were unsuccessful.

Timothy is buried near the place of her demise at Powderham Castle.[2]

SpeciesSpur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca)
Bornc. 1844
Died3 April 2004 (aged 160)[2]
Powderham Castle
Timothy in 1993. The tag attached to her says "My name is Timothy. I am very old – please do not pick me up".

See also


  1. ^ a b Bruce (2004), p. 2.
  2. ^ a b c d "Timmy the tortoise dies aged 160". BBC News. 7 April 2004. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "War Hero Tortoise Dies, Aged 160". Sky News. 7 April 2004. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  4. ^ Bruce (2004), pp. 17–24.
  5. ^ Bruce (2004), pp. 3–4.
  6. ^ "Facts & Figures". Powderham Castle. 2009. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2018.

External links

Greek tortoise

The Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca), also known commonly as the spur-thighed tortoise, is a species of tortoise in the family Testudinidae. Testudo graeca is one of five species of Mediterranean tortoises (genera Testudo and Agrionemys). The other four species are Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni), the Egyptian tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni), the marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata), and the Russian tortoise (Agrionemys horsfieldii). The Greek tortoise is a very long-lived animal, achieving a lifespan of upwards of 125 years, with some unverified reports of up to 200 years.

Lin Wang

Lin Wang (Chinese: 林旺; pinyin: Lín Wàng; Zhuyin Fuhao: ㄌ一ㄣˊ ㄨㄤˋ; 29 October 1917 – 26 February 2003) was an Asian elephant that served with the Chinese Expeditionary Force during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and later relocated to Taiwan with the Kuomintang forces. Lin Wang lived out most of his life in the Taipei Zoo and unquestionably was the most popular and famous animal in Taiwan. Many adults and children alike affectionately called the bull elephant "Grandpa Lin Wang."


Timothy may refer to:

Timothy (given name), a common male given name

First Epistle to Timothy, an epistle of the Bible attributed to Paul

Second Epistle to Timothy, an epistle of the Bible attributed to Paul

Timothy-grass, a type of a grass

Timothy (tortoise), famous tortoise of the UK

"Timothy" (song), early 1970s song by The Buoys

Timothy Goes to School, a children's animated series produced by Nelvana

Timothy (TV film), a 2014 Australian television comedy

Individual turtles and tortoises

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