Sign in

Letter NEWHM:1996.H67.522

John Hancock to Alfred Newton (24 February 1871)

A draft copy of a letter to Newton asking his advice about a forthcoming ‘Catalogue of Birds’ Hancock is compiling for the Transactions of the Natural History Society.





24th Feby. 1871

To Pro. Newton

Dear Sir.

I am busy with a Catalogue of the Birds of Northumberland & Durham for the Transactions our Natural History Transactions and am anxious to see how such local lists are framed — Can you point out to me any such list which the plan of which I might safely take as a guide.

What arrangement would you recommend me to follow? I am inclined to that of Temminck with some slight modifications –

In a catalogue of this sort it seems unnecessary to divide the genera to the extent that might be proper in a general work  – Your opinion in this matter will much oblige –

Yours truly | J Hancock  [signature]




1. Professor Alfred Newton FRS (1829-1907), ornithologist and Prof. of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy at Cambridge University from 1866-1907.




2. John Hancock published his ‘A Catalogue of the Birds of Northumberland and Durham’ in the Transactions of the Natural History Society of Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland and Durham, Volume 6 in 1874.

3. Coenraad Jacob Temminck (1778-1858) was a Dutch aristocrat and zoologist. His important ornithological works including Manuel d’ornithologie ou tableau systématique des oiseaux qui se trouvent en Europe.  Parts 1 – 4, 1820-40.

John Hancock owned a copy of the second edition of Temminck’s work which he presented to the library of the Natural History Society.

To read Newton’s reply to Hancock,  please click here