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William Brodrick was the son of a barrister living in Gower Street in London, who had a practice at the Old Bailey as well as other London Courts and the home circuit of Essex, Hertford and Middlesex. His maternal uncle was the renowned ornithologist P J Selby of Twizell House, Northumberland.
He gained a BA from University College, Oxford in 1836 and then went to Edinburgh University to study medicine but it seems that he never practiced in this profession after completion of his studies.
He was financially well off and did not really need to work and thus was able to concentrate on his great passion which was the study, taming, training and painting of birds, particularly raptors. He produced two books on the subject. One of these, “Falconry in the British Isles” published in 1855 and reprinted in 1873, was the best book on the subject at the time. The text was by Francis Henry Salvin and Brodrick supplied the illustrations. There were chapters on the capture, taming, daily management, field training, diseases, implements and equipment for peregrines, gyr falcons, merlins, hobbies and sparrow hawks. The lithographs in the book were taken from the original very striking and well-observed watercolours and occasional oils that Brodrick had produced.
He lived at Little Hill in Chudleigh, Devon and it was from here that he sent his one exhibited painting. It was entitled “In the Mews”, (mews being the rooms or cages where moulting hawks are kept) and was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1881.
When he died on 21st December 1888, Brodrick left an estate valued at £23,000, a significant amount at that time.
|Height||91.50 cm||(36.02 inches)|
|Width||71.50 cm||(28.15 inches)|