Ref NoMS/376
TitleCorrespondence of Richard Anthony Salisbury - R.A. Salisbury
AdminHistoryRichard Anthony Salisbury (born Richard Anthony Markham; 1761 - 1829) was a British botanist.

Salisbury was born Richard Anthony Markham on 2 May 1761 in Leeds to Richard Markham, a cloth merchant. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh and there met James Edward Smith. He changed his surname to Salisbury in return for funding to study botany and gardening, at the request of Mrs Anna Salisbury, in memory of her brother, John Salisbury of Exeter. He lived first at Chapel Allerton, one of the estates of his father, and there established substantial gardens. He later purchased Ridgeway House, the former residence of Peter Collinson.

Salisbury married Caroline Staniforth in 1796 and they had one child, Eleanor, born in 1797. They were separated soon after and a dispute over finances arose between them which led to Salisbury declaring himself bankrupt. In 1809, Salisbury was appointed the first honorary secretary of the Horticultural Society but by 1810 the accounts were found to be in disarray and Joseph Sabine was appointed to replace him. Salisbury carried out valuable work in horticultural and botanical sciences but contemporary botanists were keen to distance themselves from his work. This was in part due to the fact that he opposed the use of Linnaeus's system for classifying plants, which led to a long-running dispute with James Edward Smith, and partly due to Salisbury's personal conduct which many, including Smith, regarded as unethical. He died on 23 March 1829.

Salisbury had befriended a Mr Burchell, a florist from Fulham, and Salisbury made his son, Dr William John Burchell (1782?-1863) his heir. On the death of William John Burchell in 1863 Salisbury's herbarium went to Kew. His sister, Miss Burchell, was approached by Dr John E. Gray regarding Salisbury's manuscripts and transferred them to him so as not mix them up with her late brother's papers. Gray used some of the manuscripts to publish the completed portion of the 'Genera Plantarum'. By 1866 he had given some of these manuscripts to the British Museum and intended to give more once he had organised them. Following his death in March 1875, his wife, Mrs Maria Emma Gray [née Smith], presented a large number of Salisbury's papers to the Linnean Society in May, and possibly July, 1875. [See letters 1-2 in MS/376 for further details of the donation].
DescriptionCollection of 44 miscellaneous letters and a few loose fragments. Some are addressed to Salisbury, others are addressed to members of the Burchell family (including autobiographical data), and some to Karl S. Kunth.

GRAY, M.E. (Mrs)
1. London. 1875 Jul 7. Has found more Salisbury papers, adding to others given to Lin. Soc.
2. List of letters received from Mrs. Gray, 1875 Jul 8.

3. London. 1807 Sep 11. With approach of the season he hopes he will be given roots of Narcissus that he does not already possess.

4. Lyon. 1822 [Sep] 15. (In French) Thanks for Salisbury's work on Humboldt's plants. Will send specimens.

5. Gotha. 1825 Mar 12. (In French. To Kunth, C.) Has waited four months for specimens. Will include Salisbury's name in his new work.

6. Norwich. 1866 Mar 7. Family letter about the Musketts and their daughter.

7. Fulham. 1865 Jun 12. Apologizes for having sent to Oxford some papers that were not part of his brother's collection.

8. Fulham. 1828 Oct 22. (To Salisbury) Distressed that Salisbury had to endure so wicked a conspiracy but hopes that the "deluded wretches have met with their just punishment"; personal chatter.

9. Fulham. 1817 Sep 30. Complains he was misquoted about Mahonia grandifloria and Rhinoceros simus.
10. [No location]. 1819 Dec 13. (In Latin) About Amaryllis.
11. Fulham. 1822 Mar 7. (To Salisbury) Grateful to Salisbury for goodwill but hopes he will not "receive part or even drop of that venom which has been spit out at myself".
12. Rio de Janeiro. 1825 Aug 11. (To Salisbury) About his experience in South America and his future plans.
13. Rio de Janeiro. 1826 Sep 5. (To Salisbury) Has about 1,800 botanical species and 8,000 or 10,000 in his entomological collection; his botanical plans for the future.

14. Geneva. 1817 Jan 7. (In French) Has packed up his collections in Montpellier and returned to Geneva
15. Geneva. 1818 May 14 (In French) Unable to go to London - busy with new botanic garden.
16. Geneva. 1818 Sep 1. Printed list of generic and species names and letter. Seeking information (in French).
17. Geneva. 1818 Dec 23 (In French) Botanical disagreement.

18. Paris. 1821 Feb 21. (To Kunth, C., in French) Grateful for Fascicles 14, 15, 16 and 17 of Vol. IV of species Plantarum; has great need for remainder of the volume.

19. Philadelphia. 1820 Jul 4. Happy to hear from him; sad about the jealousy and ill-blood of botanists; botanical chatter; disillusioned with the U.S.
20. Lisbon. 1821 Sep 3. Is still unwell; the Government owes him £3,800; has been appointed to higher rank and higher salary in Portugal; invites Salisbury to come and see the vegetation which makes Portugal a magnificent botanic garden.

21. Neufchatel. 1827 Oct 6. (To Salisbury) Personal chatter.

22. Alston. 1815 Nov. 18. (To Salisbury) Encloses leaf and drawing of a new variery of Elm; in Devonshire the Cornish apple Aromatic is called Winter Warden; Downton pippins. [N.B. The coloured drawing and specimen leaf are enclosed.- Ed.]
23. Alston. 1816 Jan 22. He had uprooted a tree which was coated with white crust and had ill-tasting fruit; he had replaced it with a younger tree.

24. [No location; no date]. Burchell's Crinum Aquaticum; botanical chatter.

25. Halsted. 1815 May 28. (To Salisbury) Asks if the Horticultural Society would be interested in a full description of the Skegg tree which seeed to be confined to Halsted.

26. [No location; No date]. Will see him on Sunday next.

HOOKER, W. (Artist)
27. London. 1812 Apr 28. Asks if enclosed bills can be paid.

28. Creifswald. 1823 Dec 25. (In German) Regrets delay in answering; moss and algae.

29. Hydra. 1824 Mar 22. (To Salisbury?) Will attempt to collect all goods belonging to Dr Spindion Calojeropulo; if any British warship sets sail will advise him of Salisbury's injury caused by rebels against the Greek Government (?). [Letter written in local language with translation that is not very clear.-Ed.]

30. 1808 Jun 1. (To Salisbury) Smith's accusations against Salisbury; comparative value of species of Elm.

31. 1820 Jun 11. (In German).

32. Wygfair. 1808 Jun 1808. Daughter of friend of his needs to have a copy of Hooker's Paradisus; suspects that box he sent had not been received; anxious about the health of Joseph Banks.

33. London. 1816 Apr 5. (To Salisbury) The Narcissus in Lady Aden's collection of dried plants was provided by the Earl of Sunderland.

34. Paris. 1825 Sep 8. (To Kunth, C.). Encloses copy of Mycolog. Europ. Sect 2nd.
35. Paris. 1804 Apr 10 (To Salisbury) Botanical chatter.

36. Hull. 1828 Jan 15. (To Salisbury) Congratulates Salisbury on his good fortune; is the only surviving Trustee of the Separation Deed; thinks Salisbury's daughter had married a worthy man; asks Salisbury to choose more Trustees.

37. London. 1824 Oct 10. Very critical of an article by Bory de St. Vincent in Dictionaire Classique d'Histoire Naturelle.
38. London. 1825 Mar 16. (To Mrs Burchell) Asks Mrs Burchell to give to her three daughters some of the jewellery left by Salisbury's sister after her death.
38a. London. 1826 May 26. (To Miss Burchell) About an article he is writing on new plants he has found.
39. London. 1827 Dec 25. (To Mr Musket?) Suggests he and Musket may be related; gives a brief history of his family and the reason he changed his name; his present financial position.
40. London. 1828 Oct 20. (To Mrs and Miss Burchell) About his personal and professional woes; also the fact that his wife had bribed three men to rob him; two were transported for life, the other for seven years.
41. London. 1828 Nov 17. (To Mrs Burchell) Will introduce Muskett, one of his executors and a distant relation; history of Muskett and wife; she, after two years of marriage, "became an abandoned adultress"; he divorced her.
42. London. 1828 Dec 23. (To Mrs Burchell) The watch he has for Mary Ann Muskett is better than that which he gave to Miss Burchell; he will change them.
43. London. (Copy of letter to Smith, J.E., no date) The attack on him in Hyde Park and the transportation of his two attackers and one of his servants; family history and the reason he was given £10,000 to change his name.
44. London. 1829 Jan 23. (To Stocks, Michael) Family finance.
45. London. 1829 Feb 27. (To Mrs Burchell) In the event of his death his furniture and plate to go to William and Miss Burchell.
46. London. 1829 Mar 6. (To the Burchells) Has been ill but is getting better.
47. London. 1829 Mar 13. (To the Burchells) Still ill but hopes to see them next week; has jewelled ornaments for Mrs Burchell and a gold ring for Mr Burchell.

SCHWAM, T.S. (?)
48. [No location] 1820. (To Kunth, C., in Swedish) [German]. Sending botanical specimens [not enclosed].

49. Lyon (?) 1818. (To Kunth. C., in Swedish) [In German].

50. Orleans. 1826 Dec 15. (To Kunth, C., in French) Continuation of his Flora.

51. Uppsala. 1797 Dec 13 (To Salisbury, in Swedish) [In German]

52. Th. Ditton. 1832 May 3. (To Mr Gray) About Welsh, Irish and native furze; botanical chatter.

53. Family trees of Laycocke and Markham. On verso: wording on the tombstone of the Markham family.
54. Fragment of letter from Labillardiere (?) (in French)
55. "Allerton, a Fragment".
56. On verso of part envelope addressed to Gray, in pencil, the fact that Markham changed his name to Salisbury on 2 May 1787.
57. Fragments.
58. Two pieces of poetry.
59. Reprint from Taxon, November 1980: Generic names published in Salisbury's reviews of Robert Brown's works.
Extent44 letters and loose fragments
Related MaterialMS/377, MS/378, MS/379, MS/380, MS/381, MS/382 a & b, MS/383 a & b, MS/384, MS/385, MS/386 a & b
NotesTranscribed by J. Sellick.
AcquisitionBelieved to have been presented by Mrs Gray in May 1875.
Creator NameSalisbury, Richard Anthony (né Markham) (1761-1829)
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