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An adventuring Lisburn MP, Sir James Emerson Tennent

Author, traveller, and one-time MP for Lisburn, Sir James Emerson Tennent (1804–69) was a prominent early member of the Belfast Natural History & Philosophical Society. A generous contributor to the Belfast Museum, Emerson Tennent donated many exotic items from his travels to its collection.

In 1845, he famously brought the mummified remains of two ancient Egyptians back to Belfast. That was despite a ban on tomb opening and the removal of mummified remains being in place. The mummies were unrolled in front of an audience at the Belfast Museum in October 1850. Emerson Tennent published a report on what was discovered.

You can view a copy of this historic report in our ‘Ancient Egypt: Lisburn Stories’ exhibition in Assembly Rooms. The exhibition is free and runs until 12 October.

Sir James Emerson Tennent. ILC&LM Collection
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