Open main menu


NUTTALL, JOSIAH (1771–1849), naturalist, son of a handloom weaver, was born at Heywood, Lancashire, in 1771. Early in life he became a collector of birds, a close observer of nature, and in time an expert taxidermist. For some years he was engaged in the museum of Mr. Bullock of Liverpool, and subsequently at the Royal Institution in the same town. He realised sufficient means to purchase property in his native village, where he retired with a good collection of British and foreign birds. Here he turned his attention to literary pursuits, and in 1845 published an epic poem in ten cantos, entitled ‘Belshazzar, a Wild Rhapsody and Incoherent Remonstrance, abruptly written on seeing Haydon's celebrated Picture of Belshazzar's Feast,’ a work as curious in itself as in its title. He died unmarried at Heywood on 6 Sept. 1849, aged 78.

[Manchester Guardian, 15 Sept. 1849.]

C. W. S.