Edward Wheeler Bird (1823-1904)

Edward Wheeler Bird (1823-1904) was an India-born English Judge, founding member and President of the Anglo–Israel Association, author, and editor of The Banner of Israel publication for 27 years. Bird was born in India, but he would later return to English and attend London’s University College School (UCS) in 1832-1838 and is listed as an Alumni and titled with “A great Tamil Scholar.” Bird was active in the Church’s Ministry Among Jewish People & The Bible Society in London. Bird wrote two books during his lifetime, Are the English the Lost Tribes of Israel? (1876) and Geography at the Gates (1880). In both his books and all his articles, went under the penname Philo-Israel. Bird was a major figure for the British Israel movement until his death. There is a brass tablet memorial set up at Parish Church in Clifton Bristol England in his honor. Bird is best known for taking part in an excavation of the historic Hill of Tara in Ireland, where they thought the Ark of the Covenant was buried. The details of the events leading up, and during the excavation are unclear. What is clear is Bird and anyone doing excavating were there by permission of the landlord Gustavus Villiers Briscoe, which is a detail that is often left out.