Marmaduke Tunstall

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Marmaduke Tunstall.

Marmaduke Tunstall (1743 – 11 October 1790) was an English ornithologist and collector. He was the author of Ornithologica Britannica (1771), probably the first British work to use binomial nomenclature.

Tunstall was born at Burton Constable in Yorkshire. In 1760 he succeeded to the family estates of Scargill, Hutton, Long Villers and Wycliffe. Being a Catholic, he was educated at Douai in France. On completing his studies he took up residence in Welbeck Street, London, where he formed an extensive museum, as well as a large collection of living birds and animals. He is known for discovering the Peregrine falcon. After his marriage in 1776 the museum was moved to Wycliffe, and at the time was one of the finest in England.

Tunstall became a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London at the age of twenty-one, and in 1771 was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.

Tunstall died at Wycliffe, and his estates passed to his half-brother, William Constable. Constable invited Thomas Bewick to Wycliffe where he spent two months making drawings from the bird specimens. The collection was eventually purchased by the Newcastle Society in 1822, and formed the basis of the Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne Museum.[1]


  • Mullens and Swann – A Bibliography of British Ornithology (1917)

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