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Finch, Louisa, Countess of Aylesford, 1760–1832

Hepatics and mosses from the herbarium of the Countess of Aylesford.

Great Packington, Warwickshire, England, circa 1790-1810.
Physical Description:
61 sheets (in 1 box) ; 30 x 25 x 10 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2012 34
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
Lady Louisa Thynne, an avid collector of natural history specimens, and natural history painter, was born on 25 March 1760, the daughter of Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath and Lady Elizabeth Cavendish-Bentinck. She married Heneage Finch, 4th Earl of Aylesford on 18 November 1781, and died on 28 December 1832 at age 72. As a result of her marriage, Lady Louisa Thynne was styled as Countess of Aylesford. They lived at Great Packington in Warwickshire. The Natural History Museum has a Collection of Drawings of Cryptogamous Plants Made for the Countess of Aylesford. In 1834 her extensive collection of minerals passed to the mineral dealer Henry Heuland, from whom the Trustees of the Museum purchased many fine specimens. Her portrait was painted by Joshua Reynolds, and a mezzotint engraving is present in the National Portrait Gallery. The Aylesford Library was sold by Christies in 1888, and in 1971 a collection of lichen drawings appeared and was subsequently sold at Sotheby's.
Lady Charlotte Palmer French was the Countess's daughter, and the Finch and Dartmouth families were inter-connected by marriage.
Restricted fragile material. Use requires permission of the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Collection of liver-worts and mosses compiled by the Countess of Aylesford between 1790 and 1810, consisting of 82 specimens in small envelopes mounted on 61 sheets, with Latin nomenclature and other notes. The envelopes have been mounted at the time of presentation, and preserved in a book box, bound in half calf, lettered in gold on the spine. Accompanied by a title leaf: "Hepatics and mosses from the herbarium of the Countess of Aylesford. These were given to her niece and handed on eventually to Miss Charlotte Palmer, who gave them to J. Claridge Druce, who presented them to the Earl of Dartmouth, 1919."
Subject Terms:
Botanical specimens -- Collection and preservation -- Great Britain.
Botanical specimens -- Great Britain -- Specimens.
Finch, Louisa, Countess of Aylesford, 1760-1832.
Liverworts -- Collection and preservation -- Great Britain.
Liverworts -- Great Britain -- Specimens.
Mosses -- Collection and preservation -- Great Britain.
Mosses -- Great Britain -- Specimens.
Women in natural history.

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