Collection TitleGeneral William Munro Papers
TitleGeneral William Munro Papers
DescriptionThe collection contains lists of the plants Munro sent to Kew, copies of his own botanical works and extensive correspondence with the leading botanists of the day.
Creator NameMunro, General William (1818-1880)
Extent8 volumes
Administrative HistoryWilliam Munro was born at Druids Stoke in Gloucestershire in 1818. He entered the 39th Regiment of Foot on 20 January 1834, and pursued a military career for the next 31 years. During his various postings abroad his curiosity about botany led him collect many botanical specimens and put together several publications about his work.

Munro's first postings abroad were in India. Initially the 39th Foot spent five years in Bangalore; Bellary, Kamptee, Kurnool, Agra and Ferozepore followed in quick succession. It is thought that Munro started plant collecting upon his arrival in India in the state of Coorg. Munro was injured at the Battle of Maharajpore on 29 December 1843. However his military career continued to progress smoothly and he was promoted captain on 2 July 1844. The 39th Foot moved to Dinapore in 1844, and after almost 14 years in India returned to England in 1847.

During his time in India Munro completed several publications. By 1937 he had put together HORTUS BANGALORENSIS, a collection of plants found in the region of Bangalore. Soon after this Munro published other works including DISCOVERY OF FOSSIL PLANTS AT KAMPTEE and HORTUS ARGENSIS by 1844, he also founded the botanical gardens in Agra. On his return to England Munro published further work; 'On Antidotes to Snake Bites' for the JOURNAL OF THE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF INDIA in 1848, and 'Report on Timber Trees of Bengal' in 1847.

On 7 May 1852 Munro became major, and whilst based in Ireland Lieutenant-Colonel William Munro took control of his Regiment on 11 November 1853. He took the Regiment to Gibraltar, and from here entered into the Crimean War in late 1854. At the end of the campaign William Munro was promoted brevet colonel, became a Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath on 2 January 1857, a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (5ème Classe) and received the Order of the Medjidie (4th Class) from our Turkish allies

The 39th Foot was the first regiment to leave the Crimea on 1 May 1856 bound for Canada. Following this the Regiment moved to Bermuda in October 1859 returning to England in 1864. Although Munro relinquished has command in December 1865, he was re-employed and promoted Major-General on 6 March 1868 and commanded British troops in the Windward and Leeward Islands from 1870 to 1875, based in Barbados. He became Colonel of the 93rd Regiment (Sutherland Highlanders) on 11 October 1876, was promoted lieutenant-general on 10 February 1876 and achieved the rank of general on 25 June 1878.

Throughout his career Munro continued to pursue his interest in botany. Whilst based in Canada, India and West Indies he encouraged his soliders to grow vegetables. In 1861 he delivered OM THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE GRASSES OF LINNAEUS'S HERBARIUM, in 1868 A MONOGRAPH OF THE BAMBUSACEAE, and at his death he was working on GRAMINEAE. A number of plants named after Munro including Munroa Torrey, and Munronia Wight, and the Herbarium at Kew hold several specimens collected by him.

William Munro died at Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset on 29 January 1880.
Custodial HistoryIt is not known how this collection came to Kew.
SeriesMUN/1 Correspondence, MUN/2 Hortus Bangalorensis. Mss., MUN/3, Mss. Ex. Biblioth. Munroana, MUN/4 Gramineae Mss. Ex. Biblioth. Munroana, MUN/5, Bamboos and Palms Mss., MUN/6 Munro and Bentham - Gramineae Australia Mss., MUN/7 Paspalum Mss.
ArrangementThe manuscripts are contained within bound volumes which have been organised in chronological order
Physical DescriptionManuscript papers in 8 bound volumes - MUN/1 fragile and unfit for production, MUN/3 - binding and folios loose. MUN/4 - Loose folios within the volume. MUN/7 - Slightly loose folios at the front of the volume. Select microfilm available
Related MaterialSee also in the Archives -
Director's Correspondence vol. 96 English Letters MOO-MYL 1847-1900 (f. 269)
Director's Correspondence vol. 214 Winward Islands Letters 1865-1900 (ff. 89-118)
Director's Correspondence vol. 26 English Letters 1848 (ff. 396-397)
Director's Correspondence vol. 28 English Letters K-Z 1849 (ff. 112-117)
Director's Correspondence vol. 30 English Letters I-Z 1850 (f. 136)
Director's Correspondence vol. 31 English Letters 1851 (ff. 391-393)
Director's Correspondence vol. 32 English Letters 1852 (f. 304)
Director's Correspondence vol. 34 English Letters 1854 (f. 205)
Director's Correspondence vol. 42 English Letters L-Z 1852-1865 (f. 169)
Director's Correspondence vol. 54 East Indian Letters 1838-1854 (ff. 350-358)
Director's Correspondence vol. 64 N. American Letters 1851-1858 (f. 278)

Kew Herbarium Presentations to 1900 - Correspondence and papers relating to Presentations of specimens to the Herbarium until 1900 (ff. 605-613)

Goods Inwards, Volume 1859-1867 (ff 92, 286, 375)
Goods Inwards, Volume 1873-1877 (ff 177, 266, 275, 332, 378, 451, 464)
Goods Inwards, Volume 1868-1872 (ff 138, 274, 317, 327, 361)

Plant Determination Lists - Volume 1 Plant Lists - Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia 1845-1863; Crimea (ff 176, 524), Nelson New Zealand (f 162)
Volume XXVIII Plant Lists - Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia 1829-1895 Sandwich Islands (220-232).

Other correspondence can be found in -
Letters to Lindley L-Z 1820s-1840s (f. 662)
JDH/2/3/12 Letters from J.D. Hooker MEL-PAI c. 1840s-1900s (ff. 142-170)
Letters to Hemsley vol. 2 (f. 6)
GEB/1/7 George Bentham correspondence vol. 7 ff. 2896-3072
JDH/2/28 J.D. Hooker Royal Society Letters c. 1870's-1900's (f. 137)
GEB/1/11 George Bentham Letters to J.D. Hooker 1842-1884 (f 23)
CopiesSelect microfilm available - MRF/72 & MRF/73
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