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(1714 – 1793)

(Born: Castlenook, Northumberland, England, 1714; Died: Norton, Northumberland, England, 19 July 1793) English antiquarian.

Wallis graduated from Queen's College, Oxford, with his B.A. in 1737, followed by his M.A. in 1740. He afterwards became curate of Simonburn, Northumberland, where he began to collect material that described the natural history of the area. In 1792, due to infirmity, he retired. After his death the next year he left a small but valuable library of works, mainly on natural history.

Biographical references: Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 1127, 318-329. DNB: 59, p. 145. Gentleman's Magazine: 1793, 2, p. 769 [obituary]. Poggendorff: 2, cols. 1253-5. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI.

1. English, 1769.
The Natural History and Antiquities of Northumberland: and so much of the County of Durham as lies between the Rivers Tyne and Tweed; Commonly called North Bishoprick ... By John Wallis ... London, Printed for the Author, by W. and W. Strahan, 1769.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 4°: xxvii, 438, [8] p. [Vol 2] 4°: iv, 562, 22, [2] p. Page size: 270 x 210 mm.

Rare. The author, a native of Northumberland, became a historian of the county. Over the course of twenty years he collected material for his history of the region including botanical and mineral products. He published his account in 1769. The first volume deals with minerals, fossils, plants, and animals of the county, while the second covers the antiquities, arranged as three tours throughout the county.

Contents: Vol 1: Heavens and Air; Waters; Earths; Sand; Stones; Fossil-shells; Ores; Trees and plants; Birds; Insects and reptiles; Fishes; Quadrupeds; Eminent Men.

Vol 2: Antiquities; Three Journeys; Bookplate of William Wilshere. John Wallis, was the curate at Bellingham. Roman history on Chesters and environ as well as notable Northumbrian names: Blackett, Ridley, Gibson, Ord, Walton, Cresswell, etc.

Bibliographical references: BL. Dryander, Catalogus Banks, 1796-1800: 1, p. 438. LKG: XIV 425. NUC: 646, p. 599 [NW 0049032].