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Parkin, Thomas, 1845-1932 (barrister at law and ornithologist)



Thomas Parkin of Fairseat, The Tarns, St Cuthbert, Cumberland and High Wickham, near Hastings, was the son of Reverend John Parkin, Vicar of Halton in Sussex, and Emelia Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Sharpe. Educated at Rugby school and Trinity College, Cambridge, Parkin matriculated in 1864 and took his B.A. in 1868 and M.A. in 1871. He was admitted to the Inner Temple 21 November 1870 and called to the bar 26 January 1874. He served with the Third Battalion of the Border Regiment (Royal Cumberland Militia), was a Justice of the Peace for Sussex, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, of the Historical Society, and of the Linnean Society. Parkin was one of the founding members of the Hastings & St. Leonards Natural History Society and was elected its first president.

Parkin travelled extensively in 1887 to Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania via the Cape of Good Hope collecting seabirds en route. He returned via Cape Horn. The seabirds were given to the British Museum. He also collected in Southern Spain and in the southern states of the USA and made trips to North Africa, living briefly in Paris.

The Booth Museum of Natural History, Bighton, collections contain 4,190 specimens collected by Parkin. 4,160 of these are eggs which are scrupulously catalogued with find dates, localities and details of earlier collectors all recorded. In addition, there are seventeen examples of Dodo bones collected by George Clarke in La Mare aux Songes in Mauritius. Parkin also acquired the egg of a Great Auk.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Four volumes of Yarrell's British Birds in the fourth edition from the library of Thomas Parkin

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10245
Dates: 1834-1909
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