Joseph Arnold, MD of Beccles

Image credit: Beccles and District Museum

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This is a self portrait of Dr Joseph Arnold, who discovered the world’s largest and most evil smelling flower, the Corpse flower, in Sumatra.

Born at Beccles in 1782, he was the son of a local tanner, Edward Arnold. He was educated at the Sir John Leman School, now this museum, and then at the Fauconberge School which was in the same street. He was a doctor of medicine, having been apprenticed locally to Dr Crowfoot, before he joined the Royal Navy as assistant surgeon.

His exploits are more fully described on one of the museum swing-boards in the Waveney room.

He died of malaria at Padang, Sumatra, 26 July 1818.

Beccles and District Museum



Joseph Arnold, MD of Beccles


early 1800s


oil on board


H 10 x W 8 cm

Accession number


Work type



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Normally on display at

Beccles and District Museum

Leman House, Ballygate, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 9ND England

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