Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Skottowe Manuscript

Black & White (sulphur-crested) Cockatoos
"The birds are very numerous and in their wild
state their note is of a most discordant nature.
The white bird however when tame can be learn'd to talk. I
have never seen a black one alive in the possession of anyone."
[I attest to both observations: they are very noisy
and the black ones are reasonably rare]

John Dory
[good eating!]

Mamura superba

"There are however in this part of the world,
a great number, most of which possess some
remarkable and beautiful tints and I shall ever
regret that the part where I was station'd at
was so extremely barren of subjects."

Macleay's swallowtail butterfly

"Thomas Skottowe of the 73 (Highland) Regiment of Foot was Commandant of the Newcastle penal settlement from 1811 to 1814. While in Newcastle, Skottowe organised the collection and drawing of specimens for this manuscript. He was also was responsible for their arrangement and wrote the accompanying text."

Select Specimens From Nature of the Birds Animals &c of New South Wales Collected and Arranged by Thomas Skottowe Esqr. The Drawings By T. R. Browne. Newcastle, New South Wales, 1813 is online at the State Library of NSW via the Picman database.

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