Armstrong, Edward Allworthy (1900–78), clergyman, ornithologist, and scholar, was born 8 October 1900 in Belfast, son of Hamilton Armstrong and Mary Armstrong (née Allworthy), and grandson of Samuel Allworthy, a prominent Belfast physician. Armstrong was educated at RBAI, and studied philosophy and psychology at QUB, graduating BA (1921), followed by two years of theology at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. After his ordination (1924) he served as an anglican clergyman in Hong Kong, travelling widely, and then in England. He was awarded an MA in the history and philosophy of religion by Leeds University during his ministry in that city, and he later served for twenty-three years, from 1943 to his retirement in 1966, in the parish of St Mark's, Cambridge; but his reputation rests mainly on his pioneering study of bird behaviour. His Bird display: an introduction to the study of bird psychology (1942) had a considerable influence on biologists as well as on ornithologists. In 1955 he published a major contribution to scientific study of British species, a monograph on the wren; and in 1963 he wrote The study of bird song. Armstrong published several works describing the folklore surrounding birds, and also wrote on Shakespeare's nature imagery, and on St Francis of Assisi as a naturalist. His Birds of the grey wind (1940) described the scenery, ornithology, and folklore of Ireland so strikingly that he won the Burroughs medal, the first time it had been awarded outside America. Other honours included an MA honoris causa (1952) from Cambridge University, the Union gold medal of the British Ornithologists' Union in its centenary year (1959), and the Stamford Raffles award of the Zoological Society of London (1966). He died 19 December 1978 in Cambridge. He married (1940) Eunice Joan, daughter of Frank Uttley, a methodist minister; they had two sons.
British Birds, lxxii, no. 5 (May 1979), 219–21; Ibis, cxxi, no. 3 (July 1979), 369–71; DNB MP