W M E Milner Esq.

Having just read his account that formed the substance of the previous entry, I felt obliged to discover what I could about the author. A search produced several instances referring to his writings in ‘The Zoologist’ but precious little else.

However, with a little perseverance, I found a reference to Sir W M E Milner, Bart. Nunappleton, Tadcaster, Yorkshire in a list of subscribers to John Gould’s ‘Mammals of Australia’ which was the subject of an exhibition and sale in Nov/Dec 2009 at the Trowbridge Gallery: http://www.trowbridgegallery.com.au/

It soon became apparent that Nun Appleton Hall in Yorkshire was the home of Sir William Mordaunt Edward Milner, 5th Baronet (20th June 1820-12th February 1867) who would have gained his tile on the death of his father (Sir William Mordaunt Stuart Milner) on the 25th of March 1855.

This William wasn’t at home in 1851 but by 1861 he was to be found at 25 Adelaide Crescent in Hove together with his wife Georgina Anne and their seven children. As it happens, Georgina Ann was at Nun Appleton Hall in 1851 with four of her children. I suspect her husband was pursuing his ornithological interests elsewgere in the world.

Oh, and the couple were wed in St George’s, Hanover Square, London in the Spring of 1844 where the record shows the bride as Anne Georgina Lumley.

Finally, this all hinges on whether or not that unlikely source, an exhibition catalogue, did indeed direct me to the correct person so I was delighted to find my endeavours confirmed by no less an eminence than one Charles Darwin, as the first paragraph in this piece of  correspondence shows: http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-2422#back-mark-2422.f1 – and all thanks to a nut found by Milner in the gut of a bird he caught on St Kilda, which was where this all started…

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