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British Botanical Competition

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Roger Horton

Joined: 02 Oct 2012
Posts: 1545
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:14 pm    Post subject: British Botanical Competition Reply with quote

In 1864 the British Botanical Competition was organised by the Royal Horticultural Society for the best collections of plants made from each county of Great Britain. Its intention was to encourage botany among all classes. After objections raised by Charles Babington and others, a limit of 200 plant specimens was made, and the collection of rarities discouraged. Special labels were made available for the competition which did NOT have provision for the collectors name, so as to preserve anonymity. Thus many of the sheets will have subsequently had further 'labels on the back'.

Three Gold Medals, for the best county collections, were awarded to Dr Gustavus A Ornano St Brody of Cheltenham (Gloucetershire), Joshua Clarke of Saffron Walden (Essex), and Lydia Ernestine Becker of Altham, Acrington (Lancashire).
Joshua Clarke received a further Gold Medal for the discovery of a species new to to Britain, namely 'Erucastrum inodorum' (Erucastrum gallicum).
Another Gold Medal was given to George Smith for 'beautifully executed drawings of Fungi and Phanerogamous plants'.
There were 26 Silver, and 11 Bronze Medals.
John (Joannis) Fraser of 30 Darlington Street, Wolverhampton (Staffordshire) was awarded a Silver.

More details in an article on Fraser from the The Herbarium, University of Hull.
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