Adolphus Rousham was born in Kingsbridge around 1864 and died in Exeter in 1938. He worked as a teacher in Faversham, Grimbsy, Exeter, Beaford and Shobrooke, and became headmaster of Exwick Council School in 1891. Rousham was dedicated to public service and served as a churchwarden for 39 years and also honorary secretary of the Exwick Cottage Garden Society. He also had roles with the Exwick Church Lads’ Brigade, Exwick Boy Scouts, and the Devon and Exeter Equitable Benefit Society.
A Nightingale’s tale
Rousham was a keen bird-watcher and natural historian, and was honorary treasurer of the Devon Bird-watching and Preservation Society. He also belonged to the Royal Albert Memorial University College Field Club and Natural History Society. Like other members of this club, he had a special interest in nightingales in Devon. In 1906 he discovered the first known nightingale’s nest in Devon, located on the banks of Exeter canal. His discovery proved this bird was a nesting species in the county. Through his friendship with Alfred Rowden they recorded many examples of nightingales in the area, especially in Stoke Woods where they spent many hours observing the birds. He donated several bird’s nests and eggs to RAMM’s collection.