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Spicilegium florae Hantoniensis.
Physical Description:
2 boxes (approximately 200 specimens) ; boxes each 37 x 29 x 9 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Flat C 2018 3
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
Two large book-form boxes labeled "Spicilegium Florae Hantoniensis," containing an extensive collection of botanical specimens of Hampshire plants, mosses and lichens. All specimens are neatly preserved in individual paper folders and docketed with date and location of collection. There are approximately 125 small folders (16 x 12 cm), 30 large folders (33 x 26 cm), and 6 small boxes of lichens. The folders generally contain no more than two or three example specimens (sometimes one); the boxes of lichen each contain around 15 to 20 specimens.
The collection was carefully planned; each folder or box bears a printed label, completed in manuscript, for recording the Latin name of each species and the location and date of collection. The locations are often quite specific, e.g.: "Alchemilla vulgaris. L. Hab: near the Tunnels B-stoke Canal. 1856"; "Osmunda regalis. L. Hab: Bog behind Tadley Church. June 1857"; "Valerianella dentata - Leight - Cornfields near Baughurst. July 1857"; "Littorella lacustris Hab: Margin of Pond at Ewhurst Park 1856"; "Aulacomnium palustre. Hab: Bog near Heckfield Heath. July 1858." Many of the plants were collected at Ewhurst Park, Kempshott Wood & Park, Pamber Forest, Tangier Park and other nearby locations.
Items bear minimal indications of the party or parties responsible for compiling the specimens. The majority of labels bear no name or initials. A good number (though less than half) are initialled "RMA." One sample is labeled, "Jungermannia tomentella. Hab: Basing Coll Mrs Sandell. Nov 1858."
Given the ambition of the collection and the fact that a number of the specimens were collected from Ewhurst Park -- a private estate with no public access -- it is possible that the collection was put together by Elizabeth Wellesley, Duchess of Wellington (1820-1904). From 1837 (to 1943), the Ewhurst estates were owned by the Dukes of Wellington. Elizabeth's brother Arthur Hay, 9th Marquess of Tweeddale, was a prominent ornithologist, and it may be that he inspired his sister to arrange a collection of local flora. The samples initialed "RMA" probably indicate that a friend and neighbor knowing and perhaps sharing an interest in botany had given them to Elizabeth Wellesley and she accordingly acknowledged the gift.
Subject Terms:
Botanical specimens -- Collection and preservation -- Great Britain.
Botanical specimens -- Great Britain.
Ewhurst Park (Hampshire, England)
Flowers -- Collection and preservation -- Great Britain.
Flowers -- Great Britain.
Lichens -- Collection and preservation -- Great Britain.
Lichens -- Europe -- Hampshire.
Lichens -- Great Britain.
Mosses -- England -- Hampshire.
Plants -- England -- Hampshire.
Pressed flower pictures.
Wellington, Elizabeth Wellesley, Duchess of, 1820-1904.
Women in natural history.
Botanical illustrations.
Wellington, Elizabeth Wellesley, Duchess of, 1820-1904.

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