William Lewin: Paintings of British Birds' Eggs

Scope and Content

A series of paintings of the eggs of British birds made by W. Lewin from the specimens in the Portland museum, 97 folios. There is an index at fo. 91.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Lewin (d. 1795), naturalist, published The birds of Great Britain accurately figured in 7 volumes, 1789-1795. The volumes included coloured engravings by Lewin and plates of eggs added from the collection of the Duchess of Portland. The second edition was published in 8 volumes, 1795-1801. Lewin also wrote a paper on rare British insects in 1793 for the Linnean Society's transactions, Vol. III, 1-4, and published a volume of The insects of Great Britain (London, 1795). He was made a Fellow of the Linnean Society in 1791.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Spencer George Perceval, 1921.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entries on Lewin in Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of national biography, Vol. XI (London, 1909), p. 1049.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Custodial History

The volume was formerly the property of William Constable of Burton Constable, Yorkshire, and was part of the Burton Constable sale of 1889.


The paintings are reproduced in the first edition of William Lewin's Birds of Great Britain.

Corporate Names