Ref NoMS/321
TitleCorrespondence of N.J. Winch
AdminHistoryNathaniel John Winch (1768 - 1838) was a botanist with a particular interest in mosses as well as a geologist and merchant.

Winch was born in Hampton, Middlesex, on 20 December 1768. He was bound as an apprentice to Robert Lisle, Hostman, in Newcastle upon Tyne, on 24 December 1780. In 1805 he was elected sheriff and member of the common council of that city. He studied the plants of Northumberland, Cumberland, and Durham throughout his life, and in his publications he placed much emphasis on geographical distribution. His business as an iron merchant and anchor smith failed in 1808, and he became bankrupt.

Winch studied cryptogams, especially mosses, as well as flowering plants, and accumulated a herbarium of some twelve thousand species. He became a Fellow of the Linnean Society in 1803. His main publications included "The Botanist's Guide through Northumberland and Durham" (1805-1807), written in conjunction with John Thornhill and Richard Waugh; "Essay on the geographical distribution of plants through...Northumberland, Cumberland and Durham" (1819); and "Observations on the Geology of Northumberland and Durham" (1814). The genus 'Winchia' was named after him. He acted as secretary to the Newcastle Infirmary for more than 20 years.

Winch died in Newcastle upon Tyne on 5 May 1838. His manuscripts, library, and herbarium were bequeathed to the Linnean Society, but the greater part of them was subsequently handed over to the Natural History Society of Northumberland and Durham. His mineralogical collection was left to the Geological Society.
DescriptionCorrespondence of Nathaniel John Winch dated between 1788-1839, which is bound in 8 volumes. The correspondents are listed in alphabetical order by surname, with the number of letters, dates, references and summaries of the letters also included.

Topics discussed include Winch's work, requests for and receiving of specimens, opinions on other botanists and zoologists and their work and publications, Winch's activities, the working conditions of coal miners and their lamps, the health of Winch and his family, various learned societies, the purchase of the Allan Museum, letters of introduction, plant identification, family history of the Winch family, and geology.

An index of correspondents produced by Winch for letters received between 1823-1826 and 1831-1834 can be found amongst his own correspondence in MS/321/19.
Date1788 - 1839
Extent8 volumes in 4 boxes
ArrangementThe letters of Winch are physically arranged chronologically, i.e. in the order that Winch received them. The letters have been catalogued on the archive catalogue by putting the correspondents in alphabetical order by surname. The original arrangement of the letters in the volumes are unchanged and can be found using the reference for each letter.

A listing showing the content of the letters in their physical arrangement (i.e. in chronological order) can be found in the PDF attachment.
NotesThe reference included each letter corresponds to the volume and letter number, e.g. W5.013 is the 13th letter in volume 5. Please include these references when requesting to view material.


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