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Title: 10 prints from Rev Francis Orpen Morris natural history books
Item Name: Animals
Maker: Fawcett, Benjamin


Ten hand-coloured book plates/illustrations taken from books by parson-naturalist Rev Francis Orpen Morris (1810 – 1893). Nine of the plates are from A History of British Birds which was written by Morris and first published in 1850. One illustration is from A History of the Nests and Eggs of British Birds also written by Morris and first published in 1851. It is not known which editions of the books these illustrations are from. Rev Morris was born in Ireland but moved to England with his family age 14. He became vicar of All Saints church in Nafferton in 1844 then vicar of St James in Nunburnholme in 1854, a post he stayed in until his death. The majority of Morris’ natural history books were financed and printed by Benjamin Fawcett of Driffied. Morris and Fawcett had a working relationship which lasted over forty years. As well as working for the Church of England and writing books, Morris campaigned for wildlife protection in particular birds. He was a founder member of the Association for the Protection of Sea Birds which was set up by Rev Henry Barnes Lawrence of Bridlington Priory in 1868. The Association’s campaign led to the Sea Birds Preservation Act 1869. In 1885 Morris set up the Plumage League with Lady Mount Temple. The Plumage League was the first organisation to campaign against what was described as Malicious Millenary (the use of feathers in hats and other fashions). The organisation was short lived but paved the way for other organisations such as the RSPB. The illustrations were purchased as handling items for the Birds, Books and Belfries: An East Yorkshire Parson-Naturalist exhibition which ran at the Treasure House in 2022. The illustrations from British Birdsare chaffinch, cuckoo, white owl, redshank, heron, herring gull, ivory gull, Iceland gull and crane and from Nest and Eggs, blackcap. See also 2023.29

Year: 1850 onwards
Materials: paper
Measurements: 25cm l x 15cm w
ID_Number: ERYMS (BAG) : 2023.28

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