William Birkbeck

Banker and collector of antiquities

William Birkbeck was born in Keswick, Norfolk, 1832. He was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Lucy Birkbeck. In 1871 he married Susan Birkbeck. He was a wealthy banker and landowner who suffered from tuberculosis and visited Egypt on medical advice because of the more favourable warm climate. Records exist showing that he went there in 1882 with the physician Frank Worthington. William died in 1897. In 1914 his widow, Susan, donated a collection of antiquities to Norwich Castle Museum. Labels on the objects record the donor as Mrs S. Birkbeck and give the registration number of 19.14, indicating the collection was accessioned in 1914. In 1956 this collection was sold to Liverpool Museum. On some of the record cards and in the accession list made by Elaine Tankard there is the detail "Egypt, Banks of Nile, 1870" suggesting the collection was put together by a tourist visiting Egypt by boat in 1870, perhaps on an earlier visit made by William Birkbeck.
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Artist/maker, Previous owner
  • Nationality
    British
  • Born
    1832
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Norfolk
  • Died
    1897
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Norfolk
  • Cause of death
    Unknown or unrecorded
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