Ref NoGB-110/JES/JS
TitleCorrespondence between Sir James Edward Smith and James Sowerby and James De Carle Sowerby
AdminHistoryJames Sowerby (1757-1822), natural history artist, publisher, and collector, born Fleet Street, London 21 March 1757. Educated at a day school. Indentured at 14 to Richard Wright, marine painter, who following a paralytic stroke referred him to a Mr (William?) Hodges. became a student at the Royal Academy on 1 December 1777.

Employed by William Curtis as a botanical illustrator for his publications including the "Flora Londinensis" (1783-1788), and "Botanical Magazine". Began his own publications with "Flora luxurians" (1789), followed by "An Easy Introduction to Drawing Flowers According to Nature" (1788), and its second edition, "A Botanical Drawing Book" (1791). Co-operated with James Edward Smith to produce "English Botany" (1790-1814). ALS 1789. FLS 1793. FGS 1808. Collaborated with Smith and others on numerous publications, and produced his own works on fungi and mineralogy.

Married Anne née de Carle, 9 February 1786, nine children, among them James De Carle Sowerby (1787-1871) naturalist and artist, born London, 5 June 1787, the eldest of Sowerby's children. Studied chemistry, mineralogy, and natural history.

Earliest published illustrations appeared in Dawson Turner's "Muscologiae Hibernicae spicilegium" (1804), and he described many of the fossils illustrated in the "Mineral Conchology" (1812-1846). Married Mary née Edwards (1786-1852) 25 September 1813.

Inherited the family business with his brother Charles Edward on their father's death in 1822. In 1838, with his cousin Phillip Barnes, James De Carle Sowerby founded the Royal Botanic Gardens at Regent's Park, becoming its first secretary, a post he held until retirement in 1869. FLS 1823 and a founder member of the Zoological Society, 1826.

Died Kilburn, London, 26 August 1871.
DescriptionLetters between Smith and James Sowerby and James De Carle Sowerby; includes discussion of publication of "English botany" and "Flora Graeca".
Extent22 items
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