The Library

Animals > Turkeys

Turkey 1

16th-century English oak panel from a coffer showing a man in a roundel wearing a ruff, beneath him a turkey, probably meant for William Strickland, a Yorkshireman, who was said to have acquired 6 turkeys by trading with Native Americans while on a voyage to America in 1526.  He brought them into Bristol where he sold them in the market for tuppence each.  He continued to trade in turkeys with such success that he was able to build himself a stately home near Bridlington in East Yorkshire; the local village church at Boynton is decorated throughout with turkeys, carved in stone on the walls, in wood on the pulpit and stained glass in the windows.  He became a member of Parliament in the reign of Elizabeth I.  The drawing of his coat-of-arms, held at the College of Arms in London, is thought to be the first depiction of the turkey in Europe.  He died in 1598.

Turkey 2

William Strickland's turkey from the above panel showing the distinctive turkey head.

Turkey 3

16th-century English oak panel, the pair to No.1, showing a man seated with a turkey on his lap that he is plucking.