www.Taxidermy4cash.com, William Borrer of Henfield, West Sussex.

by Www.Taxidermy4cash.com - Date: 2006-12-15 - Word Count: 1752 Share This!

William Borrer, Naturalist

William Borrer was born at Barrow Hill, Henfield, West Sussex on January 18th 1814. He inherited a love of natural history from his father the noted botanist William Borrer senior, friend of Sir Joesph Banks and William Hooker.
William Borrer was educated at Baton's school at Leith Hill Surrey. He then went to Cambridge in 1835 where he entered Peterhouse as a Fellow Commoner, taking his BA degree in 1839 and MA a few years later. He married in 1842 and settled in "Brookhill" a house where he was to house his natural history collection in Cowfold.
Borrer had a keen interest in Natural History but the most complete collections were that of British Birds and their eggs. Right up until his death in 1898 he was till adding birds eggs to his collection.

In his museum in Cowfold, he would entertain others who had a similar interest, entertaining them with stories of how he shot Snipe before breakfast on Coe fen to the rear of Peterhouse Collage Cambridge and went after wildfowl on the Ouse in Cambridge, shooting a left and right at Swans.
He also obtained Old English Bustards from the Lakenheath district and Gyr Falcons on the South Downs. The birds are indicated below.He would tell of the time before the advent of the railway where he would ride to Brighton to listen to the Assizies and return on Horse back over the Downs via Truliegh Hill to shoot Grey Patridge on Henfield Common, when Henfield Common was "Shooting indeed". In 1892 he published a book "Birds of Sussex", in which he brought together the observations of many local Ornithologists. He died at Brookhill in October 1898, upon his death his collection was given to the Brighton Museum in 1901.
Below are set out some of the cases that either William Borrer shot or assisted in providing to E.T.Booth when they went on shooting trips together around the UK. This is not the complete donation, but some that I have photographed

Gilbert White wrote "Natural History of Selbourne" a compilation of letters written to both Mr Thomas Pennant and Mr Daines Barrington, and Joseph Banks in 1789. Joseph Banks being the naturalist who accompanied Captain Cook on his voyages to Australia.
Gilbert White was born 1720 and educated at Oxford (Magdelan Collage). He died at the age of 73 in 1793 and was buired in the church yard at Selbourne where he carried out most of his studies into both taxidermy and natural history.
Charles Darwin used both his letters and book when undertaking research some 100 years later. What is interesting is that in his journals of the time, he makes reference to a visit to the home of Daines Barrington on August 1st 1770 to view his collection of exotic stuffed birds. This must be a very early notation of a collection of stuffed birds from abroad. The taxidermist however was not noted. The 1700's are possibly the earliest attemps that people made into "stuffing" birds for collections and also creating what can best be regarded as a commercial market for this trade.
The book is a facinating insight into birds species and areas in which these were located in and aropund the end of the 18th Century. Species like Honey Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Concrakes, Stone Curlew, Ravens, Blackcocks, Hoopoes and Beeeaters, most of which are now extinct in both Hampshire and Sussex. An interestin note is reference to the Mistle Thrush (known by the Welsh as Pen-y-Llwyn) or "Master of the Coppice" due its fierce reputation for attacking people during its breeding season. No doubt White and others have had experience of this.
White, no doubt would have know Borrer and like him observed birds in places like Cuckmere Haven, Chichester, Lewes, Seaford and Plumpton plain. All areas where E.T Booth began his collecting for his own museum some 100 years later.

Letter to The Honourable Daines Barrington, son of Vicount Barrington

From Gilber White Selborne, June 30, 1769. Dear Sir,
When I was in town last month I partly engaged that I would sometime do myself the honour to write to you on the subject of natural history: and I am the more ready to fulfil my promise, because I see you are a gentleman of great candour, and one that will make allowances; especially where the writer professes to be an out-door naturalist, one that takes his observations from the subject itself, and not from the writings of others.
The following is a List of the Summer Birds of Passage which I have discovered in this neighbourhood, ranged somewhat in the order in which they appear. 1. Wry-neck, Raii nomina: Jynx, sive torquilla: Usually appears about: The middle of March: harsh note. 2. Smallest willow-wren, Regulus non cristatus: March 23: chirps till September. 3. Swallow, Hirundo domestica: April 13. 4. Martin, Hirundo rustica: Ditto. 5. Sand-martin, Hirundo riparia: Ditto. 6. Black-cap, Atricapilla: Ditto: a sweet wild note. 7. Nightingale, Luscinia: Beginning of April. 8. Cuckoo, Cuculus: Middle of April. 9. Middle willow-wren, Regulus non cristatus: Ditto, a sweet plaintive note. 10. White-throat, Ficedulae affinis: Middle of April: mean note; sings on till September. 11. Red-start, Ruticilla: Ditto: more agreeable song. 12. Stone curlew, OEdicnemus: End of March; loud nocturnal whistle. 13. Turtle-dove, Turtur: 14. Grasshopper-lark, Alauda minima locustae voce: Middle of April: a small sibilous note, till the end of July. 15. Swift, Hirundo apus: About April 27. 16. Less reed-sparrow, Passer arundinaceus minor: A sweet polyglot, but hurrying: it has the notes of many birds. 17. Land-rail, Ortygometra: A loud harsh note, crex, crex. 18. Largest willow-wren, Regulus non cristatus: Cantat voce stridula locustae; end of April, on the tops of high beeches. 19. Goat-sucker, or fern-owl, Caprimulgus: Beginning of May; chatters by night with a singular noise. 20. Fly-catcher, Stoparola: May 12. A very mute bird: this is the latest summer bird of passage. This assemblage of curious and amusing birds belongs to ten several genera of the Linnaean system; and are all of the ordo of passeres, save the jynx and cuculus, which are picae, and the charadrius (oedicnemus) and rallus (ortygometra) which are grallae.
These birds, as they stand numerically, belong to the following Linnaean genera: 1. Jynx. 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 16, 18. Motacilla. 3, 4, 5, 15. Hirundo. 8. Cuculus. 12. Charadrius. 13. Columba. 17. Rallus. 19. Caprimulgus. 14. Alauda. 20. Muscicapa. Most soft-billed birds live on insects, and not on grain and seeds; and therefore at the end of summer they retire: but the following soft-billed birds, though insect-eaters, stay with us the year round: Red-breast, Raii nomina: Rubecula: Wren, Passer troglodytes: These frequent houses; and haunt outbuildings in the winter; eat spiders. Hedge-sparrow, Curruca: Haunt sinks for crumbs and other sweepings. White-wagtail, Motacilla alba: Yellow-wagtail, Motacilla flava: Grey-wagtail, Motacilla cinerea: These frequent shallow rivulets near the spring heads, where they never freeze: eat the aureliae of Phryganea. The smallest birds that walk. Wheat-ear, Oenanthe: Some of these are to be seen with us the winter through. Whin-chat, OEnanthe secunda: Stone-chatter, OEnanthe tertia: Golden-crowned wren, Regulus cristatus: This is the smallest British bird: haunts the tops of tall trees; stays the winter through. A List of the Winter Birds of Passage round this neighbourhood, ranged somewhat in the order in which they appear: 1. Ring-ousel, Raii nomina: Merula torquata: This is a new migration which I have lately discovered about Michaelmas week, and again about the fourteenth of March. 2. Redwing, Turdus iliacus: About Michaelmas. 3. Fieldfare, Turdus pilaris, Though a percher by day, roosts on the ground. 4. Royston-crew, Cornix cinerea: Most frequent on downs. 5. Wood-cock, Scolopax: Appears about old Michaelmas. 6. Snipe, Gallinago minor: Some snipes constantly breed with us. 7. Jack-snipe, Gallinago minima: 8. Wood-pigeon, OEnas: Seldom appears till late: not in such plenty as formerly. 9. Wild-swan, Cygnus ferus: On some large waters. 10. Wild-goose, Anser ferus: 11. Wild-duck, Anas torquata minor: 12. Pochard, Anas fera fusca: 13. Widgeon, Penelope: 14. Teal, breeds with us in Wolmer-forest, Querquedula: On our lakes and streams. 15. Gross-beak, Coccothraustes: 16. Cross-bill, Loxia: 17. Silk-tail, Garrulus bohemicus: These are only wanderers that appear occasionally, and are not observant of any regular migration. These birds, as they stand numerically, belong to the following Linnaean genera: 1, 2, 3. Turdus. 4. Corvus. 5, 6, 7. Scolopax. 8. Columba. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Anas. 15, 16. Loxia. 17. Ampelis. Birds that sing in the night are but few: Nightingale, Luscinia: 'In shadiest covert hid.'--MILTON. Woodlark, Alauda arborea: Suspended in mid air. Less reed-sparrow, Passer arundinaceus minor: Among reeds and willows. I should now proceed to such birds as continue to sing after Midsummer, but, as they are rather numerous, they would exceed the bounds of this paper: besides, as this is now the season for remarking on that subject, I am willing to repeat my observations on some birds concerning the continuation of whose song I seem at present to have some doubt. I am, etc.

Danies Barrington
Daines Barrington (1727 - March 14 1800) was an English lawyer antiquary and naturalist. Barrington was the fourth son of the first Viscount Barrington. He was educated for the profession of the law and after filling various posts was appointed a Welsh judge in 1757 and afterwards second justice of Chester. Though an indifferent judge his Observations on the Statutes chiefly the more ancient from Magna Charta to 21st James I. (1766) had a high reputation among historians and constitutional antiquaries. In 1773 he published an edition of Orosius with Alfred's Saxon version and an English translation with original notes. His Tracts on the Probability of reaching the North Pole (1775) were written in consequence of the northern voyage of discovery undertaken by Captain C. J. Phipps afterwards Lord Mulgrave (1744-1792).
Barrington's other writings are chiefly to be found in the publications of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies of both of which he was long a member and of the latter vice-president. Many of these were collected by him in a quarto volume entitled Miscellanies on various Subjects (1781). He contributed to the Philosophical Transactions for 1780 an account of Mozart's visit at eight years of age to London. In his Miscellanies on varied subjects he included this with accounts of four other prodigies namely William Crotch Charles and Samuel Wesley and Garrett Wellesley Lord Mornington. Among the most curious and ingenious of his papers are his Experiments and Observations on the Singing of Birds and his Essay on the Language of Birds. He was buried in the Temple Church London.


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