Witley Court Worcestershire antique print. Antique print of Witley Court (here spelled Whitley Court) Worcestershire. Ruined former home of the Earl of Dudley, destroyed by fire in 1937. Antique print published by the Reverend Francis Orpen Morris (25 March 1810 – 10 February 1893.) Morris was an Irish clergyman, notable as “parson-naturalist” (ornithologist and entomologist) and as the author of many children’s books and books on natural history and heritage buildings. He died on 10 February 1893 and was buried at Nunburnholme, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. Morris was the eldest son of the Royal Navy’s Admiral Henry Gage Morris and Rebecca Orpen, youngest daughter of the Rev. Francis Orpen, vicar of Kilgarvan, co. Kerry. Francis Orpen Morris grew up on the western shores of Ireland where he developed an enduring love of the natural world. The whole family relocated to England in 1824. After living for some time in Worcester, they settled in Charmouth, Dorset in 1826. He entered the Church and became curate at Hanging Heaton, near Dewsbury. Then followed his ordaining as Deacon by the Archbishop of York in August 1834. Between 1842 and 1844 he was vicar at Huttons Ambo. In November 1844, he became vicar of Nafferton near Driffield in East Yorkshire, a parish he served for nine years. In 1854 he moved to the Rectory of Nunburnholme, near Market Weighton in East Yorkshire. Here he had ample leisure to pursue his interests in natural history. During his stay at Nafferton, Morris acquired a reputation for writing popular essays on natural history and in particular on birds. His first book was an arrangement of British birds and was published in 1834. About this time he formed a close working association with Benjamin Fawcett (1808–1893), a local printer. This relationship would last nearly 50 years and have a profound effect on British ornithology. Benjamin Fawcett was arguably the most accomplished of nineteenth century woodblock colour printers. Morris wrote the text for books which were financed and printed by Fawcett, and were illustrated by Alexander Francis Lydon (1836–1917). Colour printing was a major change from the fine monochrome work of Thomas Bewick (1753–1828). At first wood-engraving illustrations were coloured by hand, but later a system of colouring from multiple wood blocks was used. Morris’ books were mostly published by Groombridge & Sons, of London. His first best-seller was A History of British Birds which was published from June 1850 in monthly parts over a period of some seven years. Each folio consisted of text and 4 hand-coloured plates. Initially only a thousand copies were printed, but surprising demand quickly forced Fawcett to move to larger premises at East Lodge in Driffield. A Natural History of the Nests and Eggs of British Birds, A History of British Butterflies and A History of British Moths followed in rapid succession. The final work which Fawcett, Morris and Lydon would do together was The County Seats of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland. This appeared in six volumes, each with 40 coloured plates, and text as usual by Morris. Groombridge & Sons dissolved about 1880, with neither Fawcett nor Morris having profited much financially from their collaboration.