By Bernard Verdcourt
The Rev. Edward Cyril Gordon, – a nephew of Bishop Hannington, was born in 1858 at Atwick Vicarage, Hull, and was educated at Lincoln Grammar School and Marlborough College. He was at the Church Missionary College in 1880 and obtained a 2nd. class Honours in the Oxford and Cambridge Preliminary Theology Examination. He was ordained in May 1882 by Bishop Perry for the Bishop of London and also in 1891 by Bishop Tucker of the Eastern Equatorial African Mission, to which Gordon had been appointed in May 1882.
From 1882–7 he was at Msalala, 1887–8 at Rubaga, 1888–9 at Usambiro and in 1889 in Uganda. During this period he presumably collected the splendid Ampullaria gordoni which Smith described in 1892; this is now considered to be only a race of A. ovata, the common nilotic species. He must have brought his shells back to England and presented them to the Museum during his leave in September 1891. In 1893 he returned to the Eastern Equatorial African Uganda Mission and then spent from 1895–97 in the Sese Islands – one of the wettest places in East Africa and presumably then a thoroughly unhealthy place.
He finally returned to England in 1902, was placed on the disabled list in 1905 and died at Clifton, Bristol in January 1926. In 1898 :he had married Ellen Bazett, a sister of Mrs. R. H. Leakey (a family prominent in the development of both science and the Church in East Africa), and of three other Bazetts, all missionary women. Ellen Gordon long outlived her husband and died at Chobham in 1953 at the age of 93.
[For list of species described from material collected by Rev. E.C. Gordon refer to Collectors in East Africa, No. 19: Supplement to Parts 2, 3 and 4, published September 1993.]