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SMITH, Sir James Edward (1759-1828)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0100 G/PP2/23
Held at: King's College London College Archives
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Full title: SMITH, Sir James Edward (1759-1828)
Date(s): 1796
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume
Name of creator(s): Smith | Sir | James Edward | 1759-1828 | Knight | botanist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, Norwich, 1759; educated at home; began to study botany at eighteen; studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, 1781, studying botany under Dr John Hope; studied in London under John Hunter and Dr William Pitcairn, 1783; purchased the library, manuscripts, herbarium, and natural history collections made by Linnĉus and his father; devoted his studies to natural history, mainly botany; Fellow, Royal Society, 1785; travelled on the continent, visiting eminent naturalists, 1786-1787; medical degree, Leyden, 1786; Founder, 1788, President, 1788-1828, Linnean Society; lectured on botany and zoology, 1788; Lecturer on Botany, Guy's Hospital, 1788; published Sowerby's English Botany, 1790-1814; appointed to manage the Queen's herbarium, and teach her and her daughters botany and zoology, 1791; retired to Norwich, 1796; delivered an annual course of lectures at the Royal Institution, [1796]-1825; knighted, 1814; died, 1828.
Publications include: Compendium Florĉ Britannicĉ (Londini, 1800); Exotic Botany: consisting of coloured figures and scientific descriptions of such new, beautiful, or rare plants as are worthy of cultivation in the gardens of Britain ... The figures by J Sowerby 2 volumes (London, 1804); Remarks on the generic characters of the decandrous papilionaceous plants of New Holland (London, [1804]); An Introduction to physiological and systematical Botany (London, 1807); A Review of the modern state of Botany, with a particular reference to the natural systems of Linnĉus and Jussieu. From the second volume of the supplement to the Encyclopĉdia Britannica [Edinburgh, 1817?]; Considerations respecting Cambridge, more particularly relating to its Botanical professorship (London, 1818); A Grammar of Botany, illustrative of artificial, as well as natural classification; with an explanation of Jussieu's system (London, 1821); A Compendium of the English Flora (Longman & Co, London, 1829); The English Flora 5 volumes (London, 1824-36); English Botany, or coloured figures of British Plants. ... The figures by J Sowerby Second edition, edited by J De C Sowerby 12 volumes (London, [1832]-1846).


Scope and content/abstract:

'Lectures on Botany by James Edward Smith, MD FRS, President of the Linnaean Society, delivered in the theatre, Guy's Hospital, 1796'- manuscript volume of 18 lectures, titles include: A general view of the three kingdoms of nature; vegetable anatomy; parts of a plant; the various effects of light upon plants; the seed vessels; the sexual system of plants; the Linnaean system; illustrations of the Linnaean classes and orders. Also contains botanical illustrations 73 folios.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

1 volume

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive Services.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue

Archival Information

Archival history:

The volume of notes, 1796, was presented to Guy's Hospital Library in 1913 by Dr G Newton Pitt.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred from Guy's Hospital Medical School Library in 2002.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Correspondence and papers of Sir James Edward Smith (reference: Smith papers) and correspondence with James Sowerby, held by the Linnean Society of London; miscellaneous correspondence and papers, 1801-1827 (reference: MSS Sherard), correspondence with John Hawkins, 1801-1815 (reference: MSS Sherard) and correspondence with James and James de Carle Sowerby, 1816-1827 (reference: MSS Sherard), held by Oxford University, Department of Plant Sciences; correspondence, (3 volumes), held by Beinecke Library, Yale University Libraries (reference: d148); lecture notes, held by the National Archives of Scotland (reference: GD253/144); lectures, 1797, held by Oxford University, Magdalen College Archives (reference: MS 603); correspondence with Sir Joseph Banks, 1786-1818, (66 items) [see WR Dawson, The Banks letters, 1958 for their location]; letters to A B Lambert, 1788-1808 (reference: Add MS 28545) and letters to Macvey Napier, 1814-1820 (reference: Add MSS 34611-12 passim) held by the British Library, Manuscript Collections; letters to James Sowerby, 1789-1802, and letters (404) to members of the Sowerby family, 1789-1828 (reference: L Sowerby Coll A), held by the Natural History Museum.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: 'List of Books by Guy's Men in the Wills Library, Guy's Hospital' William Wale, in Guy's Hospital Reports Vol LXVII, 1913; Historical Manuscripts Commission On-line National Register of Archives; British Library Public On-line catalogue. Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
October 2001. Revised June 2004

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