basketcrossdownloademailerrorfacebookgoogleplushomeleftnavphonerightsearchsubnavsuccessticktwitteryoutube
Sign in

Sacred Ibis: The Ornithology of Canon Henry Baker Tristram, DD, FRS by W. G. Hale

This book is a biography of Henry Baker Tristram: explorer, ornithologist, and priest. It follows Tristram's epic adventures and love for birds. Published in 2016.

Cover of Sacred Ibis, copyright Sacristy Press.

This book is a biography of Henry Baker Tristram: explorer, ornithologist, and priest. It follows Tristram’s epic adventures and love for birds.

He was an English clergyman, Bible scholar, traveller and ornithologist. As a parson-naturalist he was an early supporter of Darwinism, attempting to reconcile evolution and creation and he took part in the famous “Oxford debate” between Bishop Wilberforce of Oxford and Thomas Huxley. This led to the unfortunate and incorrect assumption that Tristram subsequently gave up his support of Darwin. This book will appeal to anyone with an interest in local history, theology or ornithology in particular, it follows Tristram’s epic adventures and love for birds—from his childhood in Elingham, Northumberland then his years at Durham school and his time as a Residentiary Canon of Durham Cathedral.

In the book are over 80 colour plates, including photographs of Tristram with his wild beard that he grew to keep his throat warm during expeditions, which he kept it his whole life and had to obtain special permissions from the bishop to do so, and a reproduction of Darwin’s first letter to Tristram. The title ‘Sacred Ibis’ comes from members of the British Ornithologists’ Union (of which he was a founding member) being referred to as ‘ibises’.

This book is available to view in the Society library on the 2nd floor of the Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle. Members of the Natural History Society of Northumbria are able to borrow this book from the library.