Article ID: CBB054894983

Chronicling the Discovery of the British and Irish Native Floras – Richard Pulteney's Overlooked Contribution (2018)


Until 1897, when William Clarke produced his First records of British flowering plants, there was no publication where one could see the date and source of the discovery of all of the native plants in Britain and Ireland. Two manuscripts were traced in the library of the Natural History Museum, London, which are in the hand of Richard Pulteney, an apothecary and physician, and also author of works on Linnaeus and the history of botany in Britain. The first of these manuscripts, based on the second edition of Hudson's Flora Anglica (1778), traces each plant described in that work back to the earliest authorities; the second lists a single authority, as the ‘first describer or discoverer’ of each plant. Although Pulteney was handicapped by not having access to all of the pre-1640 literature, these manuscripts nevertheless represent an important contribution to the discovery of our flora, pre-dating, as they do, the work of Clarke by a century.

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Authors & Contributors
Nelson, E. Charles
Foley, M. J. Y.
Fisher, Celia
Holway, Tatiana M.
Page, Judith W
Smith, Elise Lawton
Archives of Natural History
Earth Sciences History: Journal of the History of the Earth Sciences Society
Revue d'Histoire des Mathématiques
Victorian Literature and Culture
Strawberry Tree
British Library
Oxford University Press
Cambridge University Press
University of Plymouth (United Kingdom
Durban Botanic Gardens
Plant geography; flora
Banks, Joseph
Drummond, James
Merrett, Christopher
Schomburgk, Robert Hermann
Kirwan, Richard
Murray, Lady Charlotte
Time Periods
18th century
19th century
17th century
Early modern
Great Britain
Amazon River Region (South America)
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

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